Yves Saint Laurent
RETRO - Yves Saint Laurent Y EDT
Year Introduced: 1964 - Feminine
Notes: Aldehydes, honeysuckle, gardenia, green notes, peach, Mirabelle plum and galbanum; middle notes of tuberose, orris, jasmine, hyacinth, ylang-ylang and Bulgarian rose; and base notes of sandalwood, amber, patchouli, benzoin, civet, oakmoss, vetiver and styrax
YSL Y is a light fruity chypre that is perfect for the Summer.
An excerpt of a review from Yesterdays Perfume:
Like summer in a bottle, Yves Saint Laurent's first fragrance Y is a rare thing: a light-hearted chypre. Unlike Chanel No. 19, Bandit or even Crepe de Chine, Y has an almost incongruously sunny disposition to go along with the traditional intelligence, good taste, and gravitas most chypres convey.
I dismissed it at first as almost too bright and frivolous for my tastes — the perfume equivalent of ruffles, flowers or polka dots on a dress for someone who prefers wearing black — but the more I put the EDT on and let it dry down, the more I realized this was not a beauty to be dismissed.
The initial burst of notes beautifully harmonize together, with galbanum and honeysuckle singing the highest notes while the peach and honey smooth their edges with their warm sweetness. (For me, the honey was particularly intense, and signals the unexpected animalic nature of Y which helped me love it by giving a volume and depth to the flowers and fruit.)
By the time you arrive at the heart notes, the fragrance is already winding down into mossy creaminess. I'm both surprised and not that civet is darting around among the base notes. I almost couldn't detect it at first, except as an ineffable sense of disquietude that note seems to almost always impart. But when I rewound the video, so to speak, and applied it again, there the civet note was like the perfume version of a microexpression, defined by psychologist Paul Eckman as a fleeting, involuntary expression on someone's face who is trying to conceal or repress an emotion.
Y is just a gorgeous and unobtrusive scent that's subtle enough to be deemed, as I've read in several places, "the perfect office scent." For me, Y is like a glorious day at the beach during summer just as a chill hits the air and the sun begins to go down. As I inhale what's left of Y on my skin and still detect a touch of peach, rose and ylang-ylang through the fog of orris, sandalwood, amber and benzoin, it's like seeing the last of the sun over the horizon. I'm reminded of the beautiful day that I had, but the darker basenotes are signalling to me that it's time to go home.
An excerpt from Bois de Jasmin:
A green chypre can feel golden and warm, like the opulent Safari by Dominique Ropion, or chilly and aloof with iris, such as Paco Rabanne Metal. YSL’s Y, released in 1964, is immediately recognizable as a green chypre, but has a different feel from others in this family. To me, it’s a summer chypre, with the same aspirational mansion-in-the-Hamptons air as Estee Lauder White Linen. When I play tennis, I do it on free courts, not in backyards, but either way, this seems like the perfect perfume for a doubles match, especially if you’re wearing a skirt. If you prefer to watch from the lawn with a glass of white wine, it would be lovely for that too.
Y opens with a burst of cold, herbal green notes and sparkling yellow aldehydes, like damp grass and sunshine. The floral heart has a flirty, coquettish quality – it’s a bit sweeter than it needed to be, which adds to its girlish charm. Rather than focusing on the austere, powdery, grayish lavender notes of iris and hyacinth, as many green chypres do, Y is fruity and lactonic, with an emphasis on peach, honeysuckle, ylang-ylang, gardenia and rose. During this stage, it has the soft-focus quality of vintage Guerlains.
Y is on the light side, another reason I like it on hot days – under the flowers, you won’t find one of those dark and dirty patchouli bases that last forever and ever, just a trailing off into a soft woody base with the creamy undercurrent of oakmoss.
An excerpt from Now Smell This:
Y is a clean, soft green chypre that lays a gentle background. It is quiet and elegant, but still warm, and when you’re wearing it people notice you and not your scent. It stays close to your body. Someone crammed against you in an elevator when you’re wearing Y won’t think of perfume but will think you’re still warm from your morning shower and maybe have clipped a few flowers from the garden for your desk.
Wearing Y is like having a silky, moss green ribbon tied around your wrist. Y has the same blend of spring-like flowers and oakmoss as Balmain Vent Vert, but it is gentler with less sillage. Compared to Jacomo Silences, another green chypre, Y is less stormy and insistent.
Y is still available for purchase.
We are decanting from an unopened bottle of the original eau de toilette version of this fragrance.