Y by Yves Saint Laurent 1964

Hi there Crew, Yves Saint Laurent is one of the big names in fashion that I’ve followed since childhood. When they took his first name from the brand it changed the way the houses name felt in my mouth. Suddenly one of the most forward, modern, beautiful fashion houses of the world sounded like a budget brand trying to be sophisticated. Saint Laurent sounds cheap and desperate to me, Yves Saint Laurent sounds like a couture house. Yes, you can disagree, we will still be friends. No, I will never buy anything with the label Saint Laurent.

Fortunately the beauty side of the business remains YSL and, of course, so do its vintage perfumes. Y has long been a favourite and a few years ago I stockpiled quite a bit of it. More than enough for two lifetimes even if it was the only perfume I wore. Since then I have sold or given as gifts over a litre of the EdT and still have enough to wear without being parsimonious; basically forever.

Y by Yves Saint Laurent 1964

Y by Yves Saint Laurent 1964

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes Green Notes Galbanum Honeysuckle Gardenia Peach Mirabelle Plum Heart: Hiacynth Orris Root Ylang-Ylang Jasmine Tuberose Bulgarian Rose
Base: Oakmoss Civet Vetiver Patchouli Sandalwood Benzoin Styrax

The reason I’m writing about Y? Well, on Saturday night I hosted a Studio 54 Hen’s Party. What else do you wear to a Studio 54 party than an aldehydic galbanum bomb floral chypre? So Y got the wear.

It was perfect. It helped me maintain my composure in the face of 50 screaming hens with no microphone. You have NO IDEA how much noise they made, it was bedlam. We all had a ball and my voice next morning was a croak.

Do you remember Y? Maybe you wear or wore it, or someone you know?
Let me know in the comments. I love to read your thoughts.
Portia xx


31 thoughts on “Y by Yves Saint Laurent 1964

  1. You made me smile, dear Portia – the hen night sounds fantastic, and your Y the perfect accessory. Yes, of course I wore and loved Y, being a chypre fan, and it made me feel so sophisticated. In fact I used to be quite an Yves Saint Laurent perfume fan – Champagne (Yvresse), Paris, and my favourite, Eau Libre (nothing to do with the current one of the same name); this was so green and fresh. Gosh, I had forgotten how good these were, so thank you for reminding me.


    • YAY for giving you a smile Jillie,
      I’m still smiling about how much fun the Hen’s Night was.
      YSL has had a stable full of amazing fragrances over the decades. I feel like we had a golden era of fragrance, especially us lovers of chypre. Oh well, nothing lasts forever. Luckily Y isn’t a super fan favourite and can be had on eBay very reasonably.
      Portia xx


  2. Yes, I wore Y, in a former lifetime it seems. I wasn’t a perfumista, just wearing perfume in the 80’s…I also wore Rive Gauche and Paris.
    I can’t remember how Y smelled, but it sounds wonderful. Aldehydic galbanum bomb floral chypre, I suppose it doesn’t really get better than that! I may be tempted to have a peek on Ebay…


    • Oh Hammamelis – Rive Gauche, I forgot about that beauty. I have suddenly recalled how a very handsome accountant working temporarily at my company told me every day how lovely I smelt when I was wearing that ….. I was too young and shy at the time to realise he was chatting me up! Who knows where life might have taken me if things had been different!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good rant about the YSL name change! That change also makes me wonder if the owners think people don’t want to learn to pronounce “Yves.” Kind of insulting, that. I too think aldehydic galbanum bomb floral chypre sounds fabulous and will look for a chance to give this a sniff.


  4. Not only are the name changes an insult to the great man the release of modern fragrances under the names of older classics shows a lack of respect to the fragrances he art directed!

    I still own Y both vintage & the cube rerelease. Both are beautiful but the cube bottle lacks the complexity & depth of the vintage.
    How lucky I was as a teen & young adult to be able to choose what pleased my nose rather than the most ridiculously expensive or latest tooth achingly sugar bomb


  5. I don’t think I’ve smelled any of these fragrances, but you might be glad to hear that the Barbie Expo in Montréal has a special exhibit dedicated to Yves, complete with dolls wearing miniatures of his dresses, including the iconic Mondrian mod dress.


  6. What is with these houses dropping a part of the name?! Earlier it was Thierry Mugler, now this. Why?!! What has happened to being proud of the brand history?
    I don’t think I’ve ever smelled Y, but being a huge galbanum fan I think I would like it.


  7. I procured a vintage mini of Y for a cousin, whose signature scent it was back in the day, and she was delighted to be reunited with it. Me, I thought it was a mushroom cloud of civet, hehe, even if I have moved my position on that note somewhat.


  8. I haven’t tried Y – I’m writing to say how much I love your posts :) something about 50 screaming hens makes me laugh. I would break out my bottle of Mystere, which embodied my idea of Studio 54 glam.

    Have a great day, Portia ;)


  9. Pingback: Vintage Y by Yves Saint Laurent | The Scented Hound

  10. Oh … how I loved my Y perfume. I wore it from when it was very first launched in 1964! Unfortunately, I can no longer afford the vintage perfume & the replacement version is just nothing like. However, I do have an vintage bottle which I found when I picked up my mother’s belongings from hospital after she died. She always laughingly said she kept some around to remind her of me. She wasn’t a sentimental woman, so I never really believed her. But there it was. The bottle was nearly empty and now, six years later, all the perfume has gone but you can still smell that luxurious scent. I don’t know if this is true, but I was told that Laurent name it Y after a lover who was very important to him. And because it meant so much to him personally, he refused to allow the perfume to be marketed. Which is why you never saw any adverts for it. How romantic, if true! Anyway, I truly envy you your stockpile and hope you enjoy wearing it for many years to come 😊


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