Scentzilla! » Dior ~ Poison

Dior ~ Poison

By Scentzilla!

The Sisters of Mercy were one of the million or so bands I favored during my teen years. Their song “Temple of Love” was a particular fave, especially on the dance floor.
Download Temple of Love clip.mp3

This was during my “dark and interesting” phase, of which I succeeded at being neither. Like so many other laughably disaffected Portland teenagers of the era, I’d hang out with my friends in the cheap cafes, drink refillable coffees and smoke clove cigarettes. We were far too cool, too deep, to be understood by our peers. *groans in embarssment*

Dior Poison ad from Parfum de PubNow had I the money or sophistication, I would have eschewed my goofy striped leggings and black vintage jackets, instead wearing Poison, the one fragrance guaranteed to alienate nearly everybody around you. It is a sloppy hangover of a kiss to the 80s. When I got older it was the one fragrance my coworkers begged me not to wear. One explained, “Sweetie, I’m sorry, but that smells like nausea.”

No real discussion of 80s fragrances can happen without mention of this heady 1985 Dior creation by Jean Guichard.

Poison doesn’t gild the lily, it coats it in thick syrup. Everything here plays out as intrusively sweet - the viscous lily, tuberose, berry pulp, ambery woods, myrrh, vanilla, and even the smoke, too. But I’d never call it sugary, that’s for sure.

Some perfumes wear the person rather than vice versa. Not so with Poison. No, Poison climbs all up on you, then dry humps your leg while panting its wet breath onto your face.

And yet I love it. Without repentance. Sounds irrational, I suppose. When I dab it on, I choose it selfishly for myself, and to hell with what anyone else things. Because damn… it smells gooooood. What a beautiful dirty creature it is.

Poison taps into some hidden knurl of the brain that appreciates the dark and interesting, but nevertheless requires excess to fully gratify the ancient survival instinct within our animal selves. Poison is way too much, which smells like precisely the correct amount.

Whilst looking for the old Poison commercials, I found something just a smidge better on YouTube: an accordian fueled cover of Alice Cooper’s Poison. (To see a video of the original in all its 80s hair metal glory, click here.) It has nothing to do whatsoever with the perfume, but was too funny to let go unnoticed. However, I did find a wee ad for Dior Poison, if blistering accordian rock just isn’t your thing.

Image from, where you can view a variety of Parfums Dior ads.

Temple of Love was released in 1983 as a single, but the extened version that provides the clip here can found on their later Some Girls Wander by Mistake album. It is still available as a used CD at Djangos.

14 Responses to this post

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14 Responses to this post
  1. chayaruchama Said:
    October 5th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    You SOO bad, Miss R.-
    I wore it for awhile myself, but gradually you OD on it like Kurt Cobain on the hard stuff…
    Did you say “vicious” lily [sic]?

    Eventually, I grew up and wore Must de Cartier instead.

  2. Scentzilla! Said:
    October 5th, 2006 at 3:50 pm

    chayaruchama: It’s actually Miss “K” - Ms. Katie if you’re nasty :P

    Oh dear, no I don’t feel like the lily is vicious, no, but I can see how you would feel that way. Jeez, I haven’t worn MdC in forever, I should dig around and see if I’ve got a sample or a decant of it tucked away somewhere.

  3. flor Said:
    October 6th, 2006 at 5:46 am

    I love Poison. I have a bottle with a stopper (not a spray) so it’s much easier to control the amount I put on. It mixes so well with my body chemistry. I get all the wonderful rich spicy goodness and none of the “nausea”. I didn’t like the original ad very much - boring. I like the ad for Pure Poison - in the words of Tyra, “It’s fierce”.

  4. Marina Said:
    October 6th, 2006 at 7:05 am

    Laughing hard at ‘“dark and interesting” phase’. Yep, I went through that too, and that’s when Poison was the most beloved scent of all. In fact I believe I was actually somewhat of a goth, without knowing, in my post-Soviet ignorance what a goth actually was. :-) Poison as a goth scent, how about that.
    I still love Poison with all heart.

  5. Robin Said:
    October 6th, 2006 at 9:08 am

    K, as an actual Poison fan (which I am not), wondering what you think of all the Poison flankers?

  6. Patty Said:
    October 6th, 2006 at 9:49 am

    Poison is about the only scent i didn’t wear in the ’80s. I was too busy with Cinnabar and K de Krizia and even the horrific, albeit brief, affair with Giorgio.

    I’m still waiting to go through my dark and interesting time. :)

  7. greeneyes Said:
    October 6th, 2006 at 9:50 am

    I’m at work, yet had to laugh way out loud at this: “No, Poison climbs all up on you, then dry humps your leg while panting its wet breath onto your face.”

    My college roommate wore Poison (with her Creepers, black leather jacket, and fuschia hair), and I loved it. I’d borrow it from her sometimes (with her knowledge), but it was never the same as just smelling it in the air. It is Waaaay over the top, but perfect for times when that’s what you need.

  8. Amy K Said:
    October 7th, 2006 at 12:49 am

    My grandmother presented me with a bottle of Poison when I was 10 or so, and I actually wore it throughout middle school in the late 80s. YIKES! At least I had the bottle without a sprayer, so hopefully I didn’t go too far overboard.

  9. kuri Said:
    October 7th, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    LOL! Great review as always. I imagine a little bottle humping your leg, hee.

  10. Leopoldo Said:
    October 8th, 2006 at 4:41 am

    One of my girlfriends (in my straight stage - we’ve all gotta have em I guess. It was a phase I was going through) used to overdose on Poison and if I ever get a whiff of it (so rare these days) I’m always taken back to my elicit makeouts with her in her bedroom, surrounded by teen paraphernalia and my insistence on listening to the Smiths whilst we, aherm, got down. I’m not sure Morrissey really helped out at all. If we’d have been playing Luther Vandross, my life might have turned out so differently…

  11. ayala Said:
    October 9th, 2006 at 9:00 am

    Poison was what all the girls that alreayd had a boyfriend wore in middle-school, and it’s hard for me to not associate it with them. It is so 80’s it’s not even funny!

    I never got around to actually wearing poison. The mini bottle of pure parfum was snatched by Canada Post official before ever making it to my hands, as it was “real hazardeous stuff”. Maybe they were right. The envelope smelled strongly of poison, and that kind of helped to go faster through the 5 Stages of Grief.

  12. sybil Said:
    October 11th, 2006 at 8:10 am

    Wow…Sisters of Mercy! I was so overcome by a blast of 80s rememberances, I could barely move. It inspired me to go dig out my Shriekback tape and torture my kids w/ Nemesis! Oh, and Poison…never wore it. Not enough cash, at that point….

  13. Zz Said:
    October 11th, 2006 at 1:28 pm

    I can’t remember who it was, a stepchild most likely. But I was given a bottle of Poison (or Raid as it was so lovingly called at the time)) for Christmas once years ago. I could never wear it myself, but because it was a gift, and I am a proper bred southern girl, my good manners would not let me give it away or toss it. So it sat in my basket of perfumes for years. Years mind you….. Last summer I decided that some of those old perfumes in the basket had to go. I was taking off the lids and giving some of them a final sniff. When I got to the bottle of poision the lid had fused itself to the bottle, Basically melting around it. I could not budge that lid. So, I sent it on it’s merry way along wtih a couple of other gifted scents. Oscar and LuLu.

  14. Scentzilla! Said:
    October 12th, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    flor, I prefer to dab Poison rather than spray it, as well. One of the few that seems to be better applied that way, yeah? I don\’t get a lot for spiciness on my skin with Poison - so much thick florally myrrh there on me that it kind of overpowers any spice. Lucky you! I bet you\’re one of those rare souls who carry of Poison like gangbusters.

    Marina, Heh. I wasn\’t even really goth. I could never manage to wear enough black - and I tended to be a bit too upbeat and energetic to manage the apparently requisite moping. Poison is probably dark enough to count as a \”gothic\” scent, surely :)
    I still want to someday sniff the Poison knock-off by Arthes you mentioned forever ago. Just out of curiosity!

    Robin, Hypnotic Poison is the only flanker that ever moved me enough to buy it. I just didn\’t personally care for Tendre, there was something about it\’s greeny nature that put me right off. And I\’ve completey forgotten what on earth the Pure smells like, so I guess it didn\’t make much of an impression.

    Patty, ah there\’s always time for that later. I love K de Krizia - still. It wears in such good taste, don\’t you think?

    greeneyes, heh heh - furtive Poison use. Creepers! AH!! I forgot all about those! Crazy - I was (and still am) a Doc Marten kind of gal, but I kind of miss Creepers. Hee!

    Amy K, what a cool grandma! That is an awesome memory to have of it. Yeah, I think Poison on a sprayer almost automatically makes it too much on the skin. Dabbing is totally the way to have gone with it :)

    kuri , thanks :)

    Leopoldo, I\’m still in love with Morissey, despite the utter hopelessness of it. Do you still listen to The Smiths? I find I appreciate them even more now that I\’m older for some reason… And yeah, a straight phase does seem to happen to pretty much every gay guy I\’ve ever known - so good that you have a sense of humor about it :)
    ayala, I used to be so envious of all the girls in middle-school whose parents could afford Poison. It was like THE thing to have. Well, one of THE things. Along with having the \”right\” hair, and the real Keds with the blue tab on the back, not the knock-off versions.

    sybil, every so often I think we all gotta seek out some of those old tunes we used to listen to way back when. I almost used The Church\’s \”Under the Milky Way\” because I\’d heard some cover version of it in the background of Grey\’s Anatomy the other day, and the cover had sucked the melody of it out. But this is why I could have never succeeded at being dark and interesting - I was also listening to The Church!

    Zz, well whoever you sent them off to sure was lucky! I still like Oscar, actually! I only have fuzzy memories of Lou Lou, though. I wonder what you would have thought of it nowadays had the top of it not been stuck… I sympathize with not being able to get rid of or give away gifts - it just seems so \”ungrateful\” for some reason, no?

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