Sunday, March 29, 2015

...a memory of a perfume and hanging on to the past...

Created by perfumer Edouard Flechier, Poison by Dior came out in 1985. That was 30 years ago and I’m still processing that as I write this post. It was a radical departure from the perfumes that Dior had previously released. Poison was a modern fragrance and wasn’t intended for traditionalist. The female is a dangerous vamp.  Even the name was daring and intriguing at the time. The commercial which I’ve included from 1987 seemed dark. 

Most folks my age have a strong opinion about Poison—they either love it or hate it. Regardless, the perfume was popular in the late 80s.  Poison even won a FiFi award in 1987, and by that point my best friend from middle and high school wore Poison. At the time, Poison was crazy-expensive. I could never afford anything like it. I wore imitation perfumes but my best friend, an only child, was given the perfume by her parents. I remember my parents hating the smell of the perfume and complaining that my friend wore too much of it. To me, she smelled amazing. Poison makes me think of her leather jacket, the goth clubs of our teens, and teenage friendship. The bottle was a cross between a magical purple apple with a touch of alchemy.  

Whenever I smell the perfume while I’m perusing a fragrance counter, I close my eyes and remember her.  Poison is rich, woody, and spicy with plum, tuberose, and musk.
I’ve been thinking about Poison today because I went out to pick up hair dye. I’ve been tired of my usual fragrances and decided that I might need a change. I am terribly drawn to the names of perfumes (and paint color, fabric shades, etc.) I really have to trick myself into selecting the best fragrance. I use the bottle samples to spray on the paper strips. I always mix up the strips on purpose so I don’t recall which perfume has been strayed on which strip. Once I settle on the smell, I then have to go back and figure out which perfume I actually liked (meaning, I have to spray more paper strips and match them). It isn’t the best science but it works for me. One of the perfume samples that I tried today was the newest of the Poison collections called Pure Poison. Introduced in 2004, the perfume includes a blend of orange, jasmine and gardenia with hints of sandalwood, musk and amber. There were actually three perfumers (Carlos Benaim, Dominique Ropion and Olivier Polge) who created this perfume. After I decided to purchase a bottle, I read some of the reviews. One of my favorites reads, “Strange, witchy white floral. Odd and slightly macabre somehow, like the witch from the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe [sic]”.

It rhymes slightly with the original Poison while being lighter and more modern. Pure Poison reminds me of my youth while also revealing that while that girl is still in me, I have grown up; I just haven’t changed *that* much. After taking this picture, I realized that the genie lamp incense burner on the left was purchased when I was 15. Yep, I have a habit of hanging on.

18 comments:

  1. I love the Dior Poison collections , but my favorite has to be the Pure poison; the smell is beautiful as a winter perfume with its intense smell.

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    1. I don't often connect with a perfume so quickly but Pure Poison really drew me in. I'm still smelling my wrist. It seems to lighten a bit with wear.

      As for the seasonal smells, I'm always attracted to fall and winter smells. I even stock up on Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer so that I can smell Halloween scents in June ;D

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    1. I love trying on perfumes at the counter. My tip for anyone interested in buying is to wear the sample for several hours before buying. Yesterday, I spritzed my wrist mid-afternoon and then after confirming that my fella didn't hate it (he isn't really a scent guy but we all have smells we don't care for) I bought it after dinner. By that point the perfume blends with one's natural oils or chemistry.

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  3. I've never been a huge fan of poison, but I guess it is because when I first encountered it, it was worn by someone who put it way too much. Like you could not be in the same room, because there was just too much. But now your description of it sounds so wonderful and now I must go and see (or smell for myself in a local shop! :D

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    1. I think the heavy wear of any perfume by someone can ruin it for others. There's a Hypnotic Poison too but there weren't any sample bottles. From the descriptions Pure Poison is much lighter than the others.

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    2. That is true, especially when it is a perfume instead of an eau de toilette. The worst thing is that many people add more perfume during the day since they themselves can no longer smell it. Well it is not because it has worn out but the person wearing it just gets accustomed with it and no longer can smell it themselves!

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    3. Yep. Remember I'm often around teens who often don't realize that bathing in that stuff gives others a headache.

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  4. My favorite perfume in the 1980s was Kasmir; its base note was chocolate(!) and it always made me feel unique and mysterious. I've kept the bottle for about 30 years, and the perfume has turned a tiny bit, but it's still good! They really made things to last back then. I never tried Poison, but now I think I'll check out Pure Poison, thanks!

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    1. I don't remember Kasmir. I'm going to need to find that. I wore a caramel vanilla body mist from Victoria Secret during my undergrad years. I'm pretty sure I smelled like a cookie :p

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  5. i dont think ive smelled that one yet :-O maybe it could make me want to switch from my chanel noir? (the only known-brand perfume i own)

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    1. Chanel Noir just sounds cool. Maybe that will be next on my list.

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  6. I love Poison and have lots of fab teen memories attached to it. I'm not sure which one it was but it was in a purple bottle.

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    1. I think that's just Poison. That's what my friend wore. I have happy memories of it too. I think the other versions of Poison came much later.

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  7. I remember going through old 80s Vogues and finding the ads for Opium perfume with gorgeous women lying around with their hair flowing around them. I suppose the drug reference was obvious but they were lovely and dark.

    I definitely have a problem of choosing by description, I got some lovely samples from Alkemia but the ones I thought would suit me most didn't suit my body chemistry, luckily one of them did and so I got that one. body chemistry is a weird thing and changes perfumes so dramatically!

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    1. Samples are the best but like you mentioned body chemistry can really alter the smell.

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  8. I'm allergic to most perfumes but my best friend also loved Poison when we were young clubbers. She used to collect lovely fragrance bottles when working in a department store. I think the scent that takes me back the most is White Musk, specifically the Body Shop's which was so popular when at school. Memories!

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    1. I remember White Musk... My mom loved musk perfumes so I was drawn to them because I had access to hers.

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