Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christian Dior Poison


Poison...so many people know this fragrance very well, so I'm not going to go into great depth in describing it except to say it's one helluva bombshell '80s Floral Oriental with plum, berries, tuberose, rose, amber, labdanum and opopanax (sweet myrrh) among many other notes, all working together giving it a robust, sweet and seductive aroma. It's highly recognizable because it's such a unique scent, and never has it been successfully duplicated by another even if the scent has been copied. I used to wear a drop of the Esprit de Parfum each day until I emptied that beautiful purple bottle in a serpentine-poison apple theme. Everything about the marketing was sinister and powerful, but the scent itself, although strong (highly concentrated), was actually sweet, with subtle spices (cinnamon, coriander) and a touch of dark fruit. I thought the ad was nicely done, too, featuring a woman but not going overboard with overt sexuality, and instead letting the mysterious character of the perfume be the star of it all.

Like a true star, it has its adoring fans and also the opposite--no other perfume (except Giorgio) has ever been so controversial as to be actually banned from certain French restaurants in the '80s (thanks to those perfume sprays that made it so easy for people to overapply). It continues to be maligned even by those who claim to occasionally wear it. Through it all, opposers of this untraditional, unconventional scent couldn't quiet Poison down nor intimidate it into oblivion, and 20 years later, it's still here. It told a story as riveting as any classic folktale, and now it's a classic itself. Well done, Dior!

Jan Moran's notes:
Christian Dior Poison (1985 Floral-Ambery)
Top Notes: Coriander, plum, pimento, anise, rosewood
Heart Notes: Rose, tuberose, orange blossom, honey, cinnamon, wild berries, cistus labdanum, carnation, jasmine
Base Notes: Sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, musk, vanilla, heliotrope, opopanax


Michael Edwards' Notes:
Head Notes: Orange blossom, honey, wild berries
Heart Notes: Cinnamon, coriander, pepper
Soul Notes: Ambergris, cistus-labdanum, opopanax

(Image: Christian Dior Poison Esprit de Parfum miniature, www.miniature-parfum.fr)