A beautiful green chypre-floral quite delightful in spring and early summer, Yves Saint Laurent’s Y was released in 1964 and immediately declared a classic.
And with good reason.
On beds of light, green mosses layered with a fresh, prominent patchouli, sparkling floral essences dance above like fireflies over wet green fields: rose, and jasmine, as you might expect, but, then, also, mirabelle, hyacinth, tuberose and the most delicate, piquant honeysuckle: an exquisite profusion of light, moistured flowers that steers Y on a different, more demure course than the other, more tempestuous chypres in the family such as Scherrer, Givenchy III, and the original Miss Dior.
The initial impression of the vintage eau de toilette I have in my collection is a dazzling display of perfume technique, achieving a lightness and vivacity that is rare with such sweet floral notes, while never straying into the fluttering grasslands of come-thither coy; the gentle, ambery moss base being perhaps the key, tempering this joyful floral ballet with a perfect, anchoring touch of elegant, French sobriety.
Crucial note: the current, reformulated, version of ‘Y’, available anywhere, is the olfactive equivalent of the actress Frances Farmer after she emerged, victimized – lobotomized (and upon the urging of her own mother, because of her communist tendencies), from her brutal electro convulsion shock therapy: remade, remodelled for an evil, callous world – her juice, verve and vigour squeezed out of her in a cruel, metallic carapace; plastic surgery that gutted her from within.
Don’t even think about it. A pristine, or near pristine, vintage edt is what you must have if you want to experience the poetry of the original composition; to feel what the perfumer intended; to bring those delightful, flower-brushing dragonflies to your lilypad.