YSL Black Opium is an iconic scent that's recognisable across the world - but did you know you can smell the same for £115 less?
I've spritzed and sprayed many a designer fragrance in my time, and while I'm partial to splashing out on some of the best perfumes of all time to add to my ever-growing collection, such scents often come with a hefty price tag. And sure, Black Friday perfume deals can be a great way to save money on the most popular scents, but real fragrance fanatics know that perfume dupes are the way forward.
That's why I was thrilled to discover that M&S has a scent that's a dead ringer for YSL Black Opium. Launched in 2014, Black Opium was born out of the idea of creating a new addiction. Settling on coffee, the perfume's creator, Nathalie Lorson, has previously said the scent was inspired by the contrast between light and shade - hence the notes of both black coffee and white flowers.
The fragrance is a huge success to this day - data from Statista has shown that it was used by 926 thousand people in 2020, and it was the seventh most Googled fragrance worldwide in 2022. But at £125 for 90ml, it's certainly not a budget buy - so I tried M&S' £10 dupe, Midnight Blossom, instead.
This coveted scent blends notes of black coffee and vanilla with white flowers and orange blossom to create a provocative fragrance. It's currently 30% off in Look Fantastic's sale and with over 15,000 five-star reviews, this is a deal worth snapping up.
Forget Black Friday - this delicious fragrance is just £10 all year round. With notes of jasmine, tuberose, amber and mandarin, this is a heady and sensual floral fragrance, perfect for the cosy winter months.
As soon as I sprayed Midnight Blossom, I was reminded of Black Opium - the two scents are incredibly similar and both share notes of white flowers with musky undertones. But in order to conduct a proper smell test, I spritzed each fragrance on a different sheet of paper and had a good sniff.
The main difference is that Black Opium is slightly sweeter that Midnight Blossom. The M&S fragrance is missing the vanilla notes that YSL uses - and I actually preferred Midnight Blossom for this. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of sweet perfume, and to me, Midnight Blossom smelled more sophisticated. I even roped my partner into the smell test and he agreed - while there's not much in it, the M&S fragrance is the winning scent.
Where the two scents differ, however, is in their longevity. This is to be expected, as Black Opium is an Eau de Parfum - meaning it's a long-lasting perfume - while Midnight Blossom is an Eau de Toilette. The difference between these two scent types is their concentration - EDPs contain 10-20% perfume oil, while EDTs contain around 5-15% perfume oil, so they won't last as long.
When I wore YSL's Black Opium, there was no doubt that I could smell the scent on myself all day. I first applied it at 7am, and the scent was still lingering when I returned from the office at 5pm. If you're in search of a one-spray-wonder, I can highly recommend.
Meanwhile, I conducted the same test with M&S' Midnight Blossom, and by lunchtime I could barely detect the fragrance on myself. You'll probably need a couple of sprays of this scent to get you through the day - but luckily M&S offers a 30ml version of Midnight Blossom for just £6, perfect for popping in your handbag!
At over £100 cheaper, I wasn't expecting the M&S scent to last anywhere near as long as YSL's Black Opium and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this fragrance overall. I could hardly tell the difference between the two scents, but the subtle dissimilarities in notes meant I actually preferred Midnight Blossom to the designer counterpart.
If you're a fan of sweeter scents, need a perfume that will last you all day and love to have a fancy bottle on your dressing table then sure, it's worth investing in YSL Black Opium. But personally, I'm buying M&S' Midnight Blossom for all my fellow perfume fanatics this Christmas.
Where to buy perfume this Christmas
- Look Fantastic: Save up to 50% on popular designer fragrances
- Sephora: Huge savings on cult favourites and classic scents
- Amazon: Save on a range of fragrances with Black Friday deals
- John Lewis: Save 20% on designer fragrances for Black Friday
Perfume offers available now
This scent is a Goodto favourite - it has the advantages of being a well-known designer brand but at a more affordable price than other designer fragrances, and will linger all day. If you're a fan of Pink Pepper, Kiwi and Rhubarb top notes, you'll like this perfume.
Euphoria is one of Calvin Klein's most popular scents, combining notes of pomegranate, black orchid, lotus blossom and violet. A great option if you're looking for a new evening scent, it's now 50% off at Look Fantastic.
Fruity and floral, this is a very feminine scent that combines top notes of orange, blackcurrant and pink peppercorn with jasmine, peach and cedarwood. It's a huge 50% off in Look Fantastic's early Black Friday perfume sale - run, don't walk!
Ariana Grande has produced some of the most popular celebrity fragrances out there, and Cloud is a TikTok favourite too. It's warm and spicy, and comes in a beautiful bottle - now 27% off thanks to this Amazon deal.
If you're getting stuck into Black Friday, you might be interested to know when Black Friday ends or be asking about Black Friday vs Cyber Monday - which one has better discounts?
Here on Goodto, we've made sale shopping easier by rounding up the best Black Friday toys on sale and revealing where to buy cheap LEGO. If it's kitchen deals you're after, these are the best air fryers for families. And if you just fancy treating yourself for a change, check out these Anthropologie Black Friday deals.
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Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.
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