Born in Algeria in 1936, at the age of seventeen Yves Saint Laurent left for Paris, and was soon working for Dior. Following Christian Dior’s death, he became chief designer at the age of just twenty-one, and launched his own fashion house in 1962. Amongst other innovations, he made designer ready-to-wear fashion popular through his boutique ‘Rive Gauche’, the name of which would later be used for a fragrance.
The House of Yves Saint Laurent (frequently abbreviated to YSL) began producing perfumes in 1964. Often provocative, Yves Saint Laurent posed nude to advertise Pour Homme in the early seventies, and was responsible for the choice of name for Opium, created for him by Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Jean Amic; probably the most famous of his fragrances, it is regarded as the ultimate ‘eighties powerhouse’ fragrance. The equally striking Kouros, dating from 1981, is effectively its male counterpart; both of these fragrances won Fifi awards on their release.