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YSL Libre Perfume Review

YSL Libre Perfume Review

Brand & Perfume History

Released in 2019, the Yves Saint Laurent Libre Eau de Parfum fragrance quickly rose to fame and became a popular buy for many.

Focusing the fragrance around femininity, power and independence, the advertisement campaign for the scent appealed to the greater consumer, and tapped into the demand of creating a dynamic where women can be seen and make a statement-starting from the fragrance they wear. The entire campaign was shaped around androgynous fashion and weaponized femininity.

Brand History

Established in 1962, YSL was founded by partners Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent. Originally created as a house for haute couture, YSL became responsible for the revolution of fashion and its merger with exclusive collections across a wider scale.

Since this development came to be, the reputation of Yves Saint Laurent expanded beyond imagination and proceeded to create world-wide fame. The distinct identity and relevant occupation within fashion, has allowed the brands to further enhance the influence it has on the market, and diversify the level of product differentiation it offers to the industry.

YSL holds a car’s strong stance with its current fashion pedestal. To its name it holds luxury fashion lines, handbag collections, makeup beauty ranges and of course fragrances and perfume oils.

Achievement milestones for YSL include winning the prestigious fashion wool design competitions at just 18-years old. He was showcased as a world capable designer and even offered a designer role for House of Dior at just 20 years old. However, at the young age of 21, he opened his very own couture house and utilised his intrigue to express his art and truly showcase his unique fashion expertise. For more YSL perfumes head over to our YSL Perfume Reviews page.

Perfume History

The first fragrance to be released by Yves Saint Laurent was in 1964, after pressure from surrounding fashion houses such as Chanel had already created No5 and Coco Mademoiselle in 1921. The perfume released from YSL in 1964, was a signature scent, and it wanted to offer lush, long lasting smells that compliments its wearer.

The first fragrance to become available to YSL fans was a feminine fragrance that tippled with a masculine twist. Yves Saint Laurent liked to play with the archetypal ways of dressing women, so making an androgynous smell to create controversy and worldwide image was exactly YSL’s aim. His reshaping of a woman’s femininity caused worldwide conflict in fact, it cause many women to be refused entry to bars and restaurants for high society, due to the manner of their dressing; as tuxedos and tailoring for women was just not seen as acceptable, never mind mine cocktail tailored dresses that showed what was considered as ‘too much skin’.

Further shock to society arose when Yves Saint Laurent created his first ever male fragrance in 1971. The visuals and marketing used for advertisement campaigns for the Pour Homme fragrance showcased nude modelling to represent YSL fashion house, and the pioneering sophistication that came with modern advancement. Tackling the patriarchy and the views of society and masculinity was the personal brand mission for YSL, and clothes were just the beginning of that mission.

Further perfumes came to be in the following year of 1972, called Rive Gauche. This perfume introduced the first classic beautiful bottle that became a signature design quality of YSL. The crystal like bottle and colourful stopper for a lid to the fragrance, only further evolved to become more beautiful, artistic and unique.

It wasn’t until the late 1980s, that Yves Saint Laurent wanted to further invest his efforts into glorifying women and pushing further the boundaries of creating a seductive woman. As milestones progressed in perfumery, imagination and advertisement, more and more scandals continued to grow causing posters and newsstands to be taken aggressively and revolted against by minorities that believed representations of a woman to be too risqué.

Even decades later, more modern advertisement campaigns such as the Opium 2000 release with a naked Sophie Dahl continued to create anger and an influx of public complaints. Despite the progression of the times, the cultural shift is still challenging modern-time thinking despite the further freedom to express one’s artistic self.

The following years have seen amazing creativity for fragrances within the market. YSL has created Black Opium, the Ambree collection and of course YSL Libre, which have become glorified scents by many prestigious fashion awards and of course the general public.

Perfume Story

The story and campaign of the perfume Yves Saint Laurent Libre dives into the tale of a modern woman and the freedom that her personality possesses. Before the actual fragrance release, it is believed that the perfume went through 1500 conversions, with multiple changes for the smell prior to reaching the final formula. Due to the concoction itself coming with more than the aim to smell good, there was much on the line, and the fragrance needed to be perfect.

The fragrance represents the dichotomy of a woman, in terms of her possession of both the feminine and masculine traits. Libre of course means freedom in French, and what the perfume is trying to present as a narrative, is that for those wearing the scent, they do not need to label and generalise who they are. Using a singer such as Dua Lipa, for the face of the perfume pushes the boundaries even further, as she essentially lives to the own beat of her music, with her androgynous look and appearance, it became very fitting to use her as the face of the campaign.

The fragrance pays homage to the retailing of the feminine spirit, therefore everything from the tailoring of the fashion mattered in conveying the fragrances story. Saint Laurent’s tuxedo, which once created controversy and a spectacle was used within the advertisement campaign to act as an emblem for the progression and freedom of women within the modern times. Once a powerful statement for oppression and restriction during, now pivotal for the ensemble of female liberation. A woman can just be her regardless of the times, regardless of society- ‘If he can do it, why can’t I?’ became the tagline for the epitome of gender fluidity in the 21st century.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

The iconic bottle is one of the main reasons that this fragrance turns heads. With sharp angles, geometrically cut precise glass, the positioning of the lettering on the bottle is of no mistake. The geometric v highlights the interplay of the Y and its equilibrium between masculine and feminine characteristics. The gold chains that happen to asymmetrically coil around the neck of the fragrance make a statement and further add to the fragrance’s manifesto of ‘Libre’, freedom.

For a perfume the commands freedom to bend the rules, to be empowered and liberated to create your own music, the brand certainly has risen to the occasion of creating the perfect fragrance presentation.

Our Thoughts

This Moroccan orange blossom scent offers more than just a pleasant smell for the modern woman to wear. It acts as an emblem to how far women have come, and how far they will further progress. The clever marketing campaign has pushed the boundaries of this fragrance to become more than just a scent but a fashion statement and accessory that every woman should have in her purse.

The clever balance of warm and bold mandarin orange with Madagascar vanilla, plays with the boundaries of typical feminine scents anyway, making this a power play from the moment you spray this on your skin. Carlos Benaim is the sole nose and perfumer that managed to create the clever intertwine between the accords in this fragrance.

How many sprays are required?

To really get the best of this fragrance, it is advised to spray the Eau de Parfum on the major pulse points of the skin: The neck, behind the ears, wrists and elbows.


Top Notes- Lavender, Mandarin Orange, Black Currant, Petitgrain

Heart Notes-Moroccan Orange Blossom, Jasmine

Base Notes-Madagascar Vanilla, Musk, Cedar, Ambergris 



The silage of this smell comes with enormous scent trails and credibility. The fragrance is extremely aromatic, citrus-like and sweet, and despite the soft combination of light elements, the accords combined ensure that the sample is noticeable to your nose and others within close proximity.


This fragrance can be considered as eternal in terms of its longevity. The floral citrus mix, with lavender, orange blossom and vanilla notes make this fragrance one you do not need to reapply after you spray it.


Similar to the silage, the projection of the scent can be smelled by all those in intimate and far proximity. The strong scented oils within the YSL Libre ensure that the perfume is not shy in getting you noticed.

Target Market

The target market of this fragrance isn’t constrictive or limiting at all. The whole narrative of YSL Libre is that the perfume was created to push past gender boundaries and open the possibilities of any woman and man into wearing this fragrance. The review of this perfume from the creative process during its inception, made gender bending and fluidity a complete must.

When to Wear

Due to the strong projection of the YSL Libre perfume, it would be suitable to wear this scent at any time of the day. Due to the strong accords, you will be promised long wear and it would be perfect company for social gatherings that take you deep into the night, as it is not a high maintenance perfume.


YSL Libre fragrances commands great respect for its smell, and clever combination of warm and light accords. The balance of the elements ensure the smell is not overly sweet, floral, or strong, making it very unique for the market. There are no similarities in perfume taste created amongst other renowned perfumeries.

Value For Money

In comparison to other major perfume houses of today, such as Chanel, Dior, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, YSL Libre Eau de Parfum has good value for money, especially if you purchase the larger bottles. The length of wear per spray is phenomenal, meaning it can be very likely that the scent lasts for many months, and even a year. Therefore cost for wear is very minimal when accounted for across the period of time.


  • The scent offers a very fresh, and long lasting infusion of accords, making it a very low maintenance perfume to upkeep within the day.
  • The scent itself smells very expensive, in comparison to the prices you pay for the bottles of perfume.


  • Due to the affordability of the fragrance, it wouldn’t be completely unique with the popularity it commands.

Similar Perfumes

Within the collective fragrance community, many have noted similarities between the Valentino Voce Viva, which uses similar notes within the perfume makeup. The orange blossom, musk and vanilla overlap massively, despite the key lavender and ambergris being missing.

Our Verdict

To summarise the YSL Libre perfume review, we think that this scent from YSL is the perfect accessory for fragrances lovers that enjoy not being too restricted when it comes to perfume. The dominating top notes, with elegant aromatics, make this fragrance the perfect perfume for those that want to be noticed in a good way. It isn’t a high maintenance perfume either, meaning you can literally just spray and go!

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0/5 Sillage
0/5 Longevity
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