Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse/Champagne

This is about as good as it gets, in my opinion. Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse was created by Sophia Grojsman in 1993, initially debuting under the name “Champagne”. The Champagne lobby wasn’t really feeling that, so YSL was forced to rechristen this fabulous perfume with a much less attractive name. Champagne is my very favorite drink. I always think of Holly Golightley drinking champagne before breakfast in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, her effervescent charm as intoxicating as those delightful bubbles.

On that note, just to give y’all a quick sense of who I am and what I bring to this site, I will say that while I often mention Marilyn Monroe in reviews, in truth I have much more in common with Audrey Hepburn (or, if you’re a Gossip Girl fan, I’m much more of a Blair than a Serena). Even as a blonde, I wasn’t quite come-hither enough to be a Marilyn. On the other hand, those classic Audrey standbys- pearls, big brown eyes, and wickedly flirtatious banter- have never failed me yet.

Anyway, back to Yvresse! Does Yvresse actually smell like champagne? Not really, although the drydown does smell quite a bit like wine. Rather, Yvresse captures the excitement of champagne, that feeling that you are about to break into giggles. Yvresse opens with glittering aldehydes and a blast of what Robin at Now Smell This identifies at nectarine, which almost feels like the tickle of champagne bubbles. It then becomes lusciously peachy and golden- fans of the juicy peach note in Bond No 9’s Chinatown will love this. There is also a supremely creamy vanilla note that reminded me very much of Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose, one of my all-time favorites. The anise note is barely detectable, so don’t let that scare you off.

With basenotes of oakmoss and patchouli, Yvresse definitely falls under the category of chypre. However, the chypre reputation for “difficult” perfumes is all wrong for Yvresse. It is nothing but a delight from start to finish. To me, Yvresse sends a very clear message: “Why yes, I am impossibly glamorous. I probably have a mysterious past and some thoroughly delightful eccentricities.”

Yvresse is no longer sold in U.S. stores, although you can still find it on the Yves Saint Laurent website ($60 for 2 oz). However, it is very widely available at reputable online perfume discounters for around $20 for 2 oz. This is a frankly unbelievable price for such a stunner.

Disclaimer: I swapped for my bottle of Yvresse.

38 thoughts on “Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse/Champagne

    1. Stefanie, isn’t it wonderful? I am so sad that YSL discontinued it. They seem to be discontinuing all of their fragrances with any character (except for Opium, which has perhaps a little too much character for me!) Parisienne and Opium are the only ones that I can find in American stores these days.

  1. I bought two vintage mini bottles of YSL Champagne this past summer (this was during my vintage spree – if it was vintage and cheap, I snapped it up). It didn’t suit me. But I’m starting to find that fruity chypres just… don’t suit me. That lactonic peach note is disturbing to me – I don’t like it in Mitsouko, I don’t like it in Femme, and I didn’t like it in Champagne. It may be one of those skin chemistry things, because it’s sour and musty on my skin, although lovely sniffed from the bottle. I swapped off my mini bottles – they were so *cute*! – and didn’t look back. I can’t wear everything…

    So glad you found an Audrey scent!

    1. Mals, I am sorry that it didn’t suit you! I am about to try Mitsuoko, so I will tread with caution. It is an odd creature, the fruity chypre. Where did you find all of these fabulous vintage perfumes? Ebay? Angela often talks about finding things at Goodwill, but I have NEVER seen anything that amazing at a thrift store.

  2. This sounds all sorts of delightful. I’m a champagne fiend. I will drink belini’s every night if allowed — and I often am as I have a mother-in-law who buys them by the case.

    I’ve never actually smelled Yvresse, but after reading this I was hunting around online for a bottle. The average price I found the 2 oz bottle for was roughly $34. Do you have a recommendation of were to find this as inexpensively as possible?

    I’m usually not opposed to splurging on perfumes, but I just bought a bottle of Givenchy Organza the other day and am supposed to be ‘saving’ for my trip to Tokyo in a month so any splurging needs to be cut to a minimum but I really think I’d love this perfume.

    Anything that captures the excitement of champagne sounds pretty ideal to me. Oh and Audrey is love. I’m not certain which classic film star I’d most identify with, perhaps Ava or Hedy Lamarr.

    1. I love bellinis!!! You are a very lucky daughter in law 🙂 since you love aldehydic florals, I am sure you’d love this too (although it’s really more fruity than floral). I saw it for $29.99 on scentiments, but if you need to be saving (for such an exciting trip!!) then I would be more than happy to send you a sample so that you can make sure you love it before you buy it. Ava was fabulous, I have never seen a Hedy Lamarr movie but her name is a running joke in my beloved “Blazing Saddles”.

      1. Wow. Screw saving. I just did an awful thing and bought a vintage unopened bottle of Shalimar. I don’t think I was in my right mind. I saw that glorious little bottle with it’s dark amber liquid and clicked ‘Buy It Now’ and before I knew it I was on PayPal transferring money out of my account.

        I think an intervention is in order.

        I appreciate the offer to send me a sample, but I can’t justify pretending to not be able to afford a $30 bottle of perfume after doing what I just did. Thank you for the offer though.

        And Hedy was quite the lovely star in her day. She was the adventuress, the temptress, the dame, and played the infamous Delilah. As much as I’d love to be the sophistication and charm of Audrey, I guess if I was a classic star I’d be the character actress. Fluidly fitting into any role or situation. I can play the role of sophistication, or be the bombshell, or the vamp.

        And yes, I do remember her name being a running joke in ‘Blazing Saddles’.

  3. Oooooooh! Shalimar! It will be fabulous. Intervention shmintervention! Plus if you don’t care for it, back up on ebay it goes, and some perfumista will put the money right back in your pocket before you can blink. If you do go for the Yvresse, it will be money well spent- I think it will suit you very well.

    Character actresses have always been my favorite kind 🙂

    1. I wear the EdT already and absolutely love it, but I know that the perfume is the real way to experience it, especially vintage.

      And yeah, I figured if by some ridiculously absurd chance vintage Shalimar and I somehow do not work out, back up onto eBay it goes.

      … and making matters worse, I found a bottle of Yvresse on eBay for $20, and couldn’t help myself there, either so I should have that shortly and will let you know my thoughts on it.

  4. One of a 80’s Greatests Hits! till date, it’s probably the closest thing to being my “signature”, as my friends and colleagues associate it with me. A glorious sparkling ‘peach’ that just make me roar, which fortunately it’s still available on the market -at least in my country- (I cross my fingers!!!)

    fact is that I’m starting to get scared of what’s going on thanks to your review, and I feel quite confused because of this (please anybody knows about it?):


    New relaunches often means that the original one is next to be discontinued (as you’ve said), right?


    So in the article above it’s been said that ‘they’ll preserve the sweet and alluring smell perfect for anybody’… but what does it means exactly?

    Definitely I’m afraid in short I’ll have to say goodbye to the so loved YVRESSE I knew… It seems the notes listed in Fragantica for this coming relaunched-version aren’t the same at all that the listed in the original Yvresse, which is terrible and a shame. What a sad and predictable times for Perfumery…

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