Poison (Christian Dior, 1985)
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  • Be it as it may, Poison - which in the 1990s spawned further scents, all based on the main distinctive accord of the original - not only reflected the fashion values of the late 1980s, but also definitely left its own mark on the lifestyle and pop culture of the period

    • by Pretty Polly
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      Try to picture an evening in any “fancy” drinking hole, in any Western city, at any time between 1985 and 1988 (or even later), without the smell of Poison wafting through the air… You can’t. In those years, Poison was EVERYWHERE.

      And no wonder, because it so pervasive - and long-lived - that very little would have been enough to almost perfume an entire street.

      It epitomises the 1980s: spicy, heady, warm to the point of being “hot”, the opposite of subtlety and discretion. Poison was - still is - a perfume that you either love or hate, both with equal passion.

      But whether you like it or not, one thing is true about Poison: it is distinctive.


      There is no chance of ever confusing it with some other fragrance; it is definitely one of the top five distinctive perfumes of all time.

      Its launch, in 1985, came as a considerable a shock to most Dior scent lovers; and it was certainly a major departure from the Dior tradition. Lily-of-the-valley, Dior’s signature floral scent - while still present in the composition - was not the prevalent note anymore; in fact, it was barely perceptible - if at all.

      The specific “peppery”-cloying-sweet overture, in case you were wondering (I was), is composed of coriander, pimento, plum, anise, mace, rosewood, and carnation. At the heart are rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, carnation (again?), cinnamon, jasmine, lily of the valley. The base ...


      • notes, on which the drydown relies, is made up with cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, heliotrope, vanilla, and opoponax.

        So, with the exception of some of the top notes (which evaporate first), Poison is one big symphony of heady sweetness, courtesy of the sweetest smelling flowers; heliotrope has made it even deep down, into the base notes, which doesn’t happen very often with flower notes!

        It is a rather unlinear fragrance: what you smell at the beginning remains basically the same, with the drydown setting - on me - into a soapy/powdery but not shallow, still slightly spicy aroma.

        Its longevity is legendary. I have smelled it, clearly and ummistakably, in a semi-open courtyard more than two hours after the

        person (a friend of mine) who was wearing Poison had crossed it, on her way to a party.

        Or to borrow someone else’s hilarious (because it is so accurate!) description: “Spray this in Mumbai and it will climb Mount Everest.”

        Be it as it may, Poison - which in the 1990s spawned further scents, all based on the main distinctive accord of the original - not only reflected the fashion values of the late 1980s, but also definitely left its own mark on the lifestyle and pop culture of the period.

        For that alone, I suppose - for its distinctiveness and its place in pop history - it deserves a high mark, even though I could not and would not wear it myself.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 563061123720630/k2311a063/6.3.10
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