Yves Saint Laurent: His 50 x Most Memorable Quotes

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who is considered one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. He was known for his revolutionary designs, which challenged traditional notions of femininity and elegance. Saint Laurent also played a major role in popularizing ready-to-wear fashion.

In this article we portray Yves Saint Laurent through his quotes, achievements, perfumes and dresses in two sections:


In this section we look at his 50 x most memorable quotes, grouped under appropriate headings (in no particular order):

  • Perfume Quotes
  • Elegance
  • Fashion
  • Colour
  • Women
  • Shopping
  • Beauty & Happiness
  • Various Quotes

Even today, you will find some of the quotes are wise and inspirational, whereas others are clearly eccentric or ‘past their prime’.

2. History

We provide some historical background in the following paragraphs, to place his quotes into some context:

  • Personal History
  • Achievements
  • Iconic Dresses
  • Iconic Perfumes
  • Legacy
Yves Saint Laurent 5

Famous Quotes by Yves Saint Laurent

Perfume Quotes

  • “A good perfume is like a good memory. It takes you back to a specific time and place.”
  • “Perfume is the most intimate form of jewelry.”
  • “A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.”
  • “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.”
  • “Perfume is the indispensable complement to the personality of women.”
  • “Fashions fade, but a woman’s perfume is eternal.”
  • “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”
Eau De Parfum Person Reflection Sea Salt Sage Amber Woman Boat 1 1


  • “Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”
  • “Elegance is not about being noticed. It’s about being remembered.”
  • “Elegance is the result of good taste, intelligence, and a certain something that can’t be bought.”
  • “Without elegance of the heart, there is no elegance.”
  • “Elegance is a way of moving.”
  • “Simplicity is the essence of elegance.”
  • “Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.”
  • “Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing?”


  • “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
  • “Fashion should be something that makes you feel good, not something that makes you feel self-conscious.”
  • “The best fashion is always simple.”
  • “Fashion is about dressing up, but style is about being yourself.”
  • “I don’t believe in rules. I believe in freedom.”
  • “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
  • “Over the years, I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”
  • “I create so that each and every woman is the most beautiful.”
  • “I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity.”
  • “Fashion is a language. It’s a way of expressing yourself.”
  • “Fashion is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”
  • “I believe that fashion should be accessible to everyone.”


  • “I love color. It’s my friend.”
  • “Color is the language of fashion.”
  • “The right color can change your mood, your outlook on life, and even your personality.”
  • “I believe that color is the most powerful tool we have to express ourselves.”
  • “The most beautiful color in the world is the one that looks good on you.”
  • “Colors are like the emotions of nature.”
  • “Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.”
Pairfum Person Reflection Black Cherry Oolong Tea Eau De Parfum


  • “A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
  • “I design for a woman who is confident and independent.”
  • “A woman should never be afraid to be herself.”
  • “The most important thing is to be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.”
  • “A woman can be over-dressed but never over-elegant.”
  • “I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.”


  • “Shopping is a form of therapy.”
  • “I love to shop. It’s my guilty pleasure.”
  • “There’s nothing like finding the perfect outfit to make you feel confident and beautiful.”
  • “Shopping is a way to express your personality and style.”
  • “I believe that everyone deserves to look and feel their best, and shopping is a great way to do that.”
  • “I don’t like ephemeral things, I like things that last forever.”
  • “I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity.”
  • “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.”

Beauty & Happiness

  • “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
  • “Happiness is the best makeup.”
  • “A smile is the best accessory.”
  • “Confidence is the key to beauty.”
  • “The most beautiful people are those who are kind and compassionate.”
  • “The most beautiful clothes that can dress a woman are the arms of the man she loves.”
  • “Happiness is the secret to all beauty; there is no beauty without happiness.”
  • “To be beautiful, woman enough, intelligent, and to be appreciated, that’s where my passion lies.”

Various Quotes

  • “I believe in the power of clothes to transform a woman.”
  • “Clothes should make you feel good about yourself.”
  • “The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your skin. That’s the best thing you can do.”
  • “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.”
Yves Saint Laurent Fashion Show

Historic Context

Personal History

Yves Saint Laurent was born in Oran, Algeria, in 1936. He showed an early interest in fashion, and by his early teen years, he was designing dresses for his mother and sisters. At the age of 17, Saint Laurent moved to Paris and enrolled at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, where his designs quickly gained notice.

In 1957, Saint Laurent was chosen as head designer of the haute couture fashion house of Christian Dior, at the age of 21. He quickly became one of the most successful designers in the world, and his designs were known for their elegance and sophistication.

In 1960, Saint Laurent was drafted into the French army and fired from Dior. He soon after established his own fashion house with the assistance of his partner, Pierre Berge.


Saint Laurent is considered one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century. He was known for his revolutionary designs, which challenged traditional notions of femininity and elegance. Saint Laurent also played a major role in popularizing ready-to-wear fashion.

Some of Saint Laurent’s most famous designs include the Mondrian dress, the safari jacket, and the smoking jacket.

He also created iconic perfumes such as “YSL Opium” and “YSL Rive Gauche”.

Iconic Dresses

Mondrian Dress:

This dress was inspired by the work of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. It is a simple, geometric dress made of black and white stripes.

1965 Mondrian Dress Yves Saint Laurent Piet Mondrian

Safari Jacket:

This jacket was inspired by the clothing worn by British colonial officers in Africa. It is a loose-fitting jacket with epaulets and patch pockets.

Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Safari Jacket

Smoking Jacket:

This jacket was originally designed for men, but Saint Laurent adapted it for women. It is a long, fitted jacket with a shawl collar.

Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Smoking Evening Suit

Iconic Perfumes

YSL Opium:

This perfume was launched in 1977. It is a strong, oriental fragrance with notes of jasmine, rose, and patchouli.

Yves Saint Laurent Opium Perfume

YSL Rive Gauche:

This perfume was launched in 1971. It is a fresh, floral fragrance with notes of rose, lily of the valley, and jasmine.

Perfume Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche


Yves Saint Laurent retired from fashion design in 2002. He died in 2008 at the age of 71. His legacy is one of innovation and creativity. He challenged the status quo and changed the way we think about fashion. He is considered one of the most important fashion designers of the 20th century.

His work has inspired generations of designers, and his designs are still worn and admired today. He is a true icon of fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent Young 3

More Famous Perfume Quotes

If you enjoyed these inspirational quotes from Yves Saint Laurent, then we invite you to visit these pages on our website with more perfume quotes:

Yves Saint Laurent: A Brief Summary

Yves Saint Laurent, a visionary fashion designer, left an indelible mark on the world of fashion and beauty.

Born in 1936, he rose to prominence as Christian Dior’s protégé before launching his own label in 1961. Known for pioneering women’s empowerment through fashion, he introduced iconic pieces like the tuxedo jacket for women and the Mondrian dress.

Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy also extended to perfumery, with fragrances like “Opium” becoming cultural touchstones.

His commitment to diversity and his bold, artistic approach continue to influence the fashion landscape. Yves Saint Laurent’s quotes reflect his philosophy that fashion is not just about clothing, but a means of expressing identity and culture.

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