Poison (1985) Esprit de Parfum

Poison (Esprit de Parfum) by Dior / Christian Dior
Bottle Design: Véronique Monod
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Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) (Dior / Christian Dior)
Where to buy

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7.9 / 10     397 RatingsRatingsRatings
Poison (Esprit de Parfum) is a popular perfume by Dior / Christian Dior for women and was released in 1985. The scent is oriental-spicy. Projection and longevity are above-average. It was last marketed by LVMH.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesAniseed, Coriander, Orange honey, Plum, Pimento, Rosewood, Wild berries
Heart Notes Heart NotesCarnation, Jasmine, Neroli, Opoponax, Rose, Tuberose, Frankincense, Cinnamon
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Heliotrope, Musk, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver, Cedar



7.9 (397 Ratings)


9.2 (284 Ratings)


9.2 (264 Ratings)


8.1 (283 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 02.11.2018

Interesting Facts

The fragrance won a FiFi Award in 1987 in the category: Women's Fragrance of the Year - Luxe.

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Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Helpful Review    4
Deadly sin
Quintessentially Poison! The richness, the darkness, the plummy liquor one finds in the vintage edt, here it is amplified by the animalic castoreum or civet, or both, to new heights. This is in perfume form (pardon my language) the best f*k you’ll get, leaving you wanting more and more.

I always thought that the edt was enough, and god knows I have enough vintage bottles of it to last me until 2967, but an unexpected surprise came in the form of a cute little 15 ml Esprit and soon I was buying the only 50 ml Esprit that I could find on evilbay. Man this is a stunner. My only fear is running out, or worse, thinking the edt is not good enough. Dumb fears I know, but once you get the thick taste of it, everything else seems inferior. Luckily, the sillage is out of this world potent even when dabbed so I hope it will last long enough to probably outlive me.

If the edt takes the plummiest and booziest tuberose to new heights, the Esprit introduces the heliotrope, which now sings clearly, the ambery resins that stick to skin like molasses, the fiery redhead bestie of Poison, miss carnation, and their pets, most likely a castor named Hulk and a civet named Priscila. If you thought the edt was suffocating enough, which I happen to love, the Esprit is the heavyweight champ.

But the main difference is the 4K definition of notes. Every wearing is different but Poison takes its time to introduce every note to you, sometimes all at once and sometimes one by one. Here you can see the complexity and smell it, see how every note plays out to something greater that the sum, all the while with incredible finesse. Brutal strength, but elegance. I really feel the Esprit is the one every Poison worshipper should own, and at the same time the one that can really show what Poison is all about to anyone interested in this 1985 beauty. The spices never let the tuberose completely take over, while the honey and plums engulf it like the finest Bordeaux.

For all it’s detractors, it’s overuse or abuse in the 80’s, there’s a person that adores her, and there’s no denying that there aren’t beauties like this made today. The quality is obvious in the fact that 30 years later, well cared bottles smell absolutely gorgeous, there are scents directly inspired by Poison (Loretta is one, Tubereuse Animale 3 is another) and even today it elicits strong feelings in people, even if said people are mostly perfumistas. Regular folks have left her behind, along the other beauties of the decade, closing the door to excess and welcoming minimalism. In this context, Poison wouldn’t make it, there’s too much in that deep purple-almost-black bottle that most would feel uncomfortable.

I don’t believe in signature scents, but Poison Esprit is me. And if I’m ever remembered for my scent, I want to be the guy that reeked of Poison, and absolutely rocked it!
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 9.0/10
First day of a new year
January the 1st 2016... I start this new year by wearing my favourite scent which is Poison, I have just just put on poison eau de toilette and poison esprit de parfum( all vintage)..I start the year with the things I really love..and I feel gooooood...
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    12
Deleterious dilettante...
The only thing distinguishing whether any given substance is either a poison or a remedy is the quantity taken. And the only exception to this rule I've met thus far is Dior's purple chem grenade. Warnings like "Beware! I saw Poison in her toiletries!" before visiting some girl's private chambers were not uncommon at all during its reign of terror. And I've seen many a tough guy being on the slave end of a leash as soon as they managed to get on their feet again, after being floored by Poison which had viciously bitch-slapped them to submission a few moments ago. And their mullets didn't save them. On a second thought, I believe that nothing could save them.

Although one of the most desirable traits of poisons is nontraceability, this one had none. It could be traced from two blocks away and linger like forever in the crime scene after the job was done. Had someone splashed it in 1985, it would have probably been there till the early '90s.

Poison fell like a bomb on our unsuspecting world and burned it to a cinder. The aftermath could be described with just one word. Pandemonium. For a couple of years after it entered our reality (bending it beyond repair), my small city was reeking with it 24/7, to the point of rendering almost impossible to recognise a woman's presence by her perfume anymore.
But its huge (and more than often abusive) overuse is not the reason behind considering it the most important perfume of the '80s. No, it's the fact that I can hardly imagine any other perfume from that decade deserving the title of "cornerstone" that much.
And I'm still more than eager to marry any woman who has a vintage bottle of it, along with Loulou and Byzance, on her dressing table. For these three sentinels guarding her inner sanctum would surely be an irrefutable proof that living by her side would be a perpetual roller coaster. And how could it be any different when the triptych of her woomanhood would speak through Loulou's guile innocence, Byzance's despotic dominance and Poison's mesmerising witchery?

There's not even a single thing even remotely reminding of light whenever Poison enters the stage. If you're looking for some bright and sprigthly mooded perfume, spare yourselves the shock and don't bother trying it.
Just try to imagine a tall, lithe woman, with her long raven narcotic hair being the only thing covering her alabaster body. Now put her in front of an altar made of purple marble, uttering strange arcane chants and gesturing fluidly to the void. You don't know what the crimson liquid trickling from the corner of her mouth is...
Still don't get it? Run!

Last year, my mother, who knows that I'm a perfume junkie threefold the way she was in her prime, presented me with a full 50ml splash bottle which she had been keeping for nearly 30 years. The cabochon glass stopper strummed immediately some half-forgotten '80s tune, hidden in the depths of my heart. I guess it was something coming from an era when cheap plastic gimmicks were treated exactly the way they deserved. Like cheap plastic gimmicks. Its sentimental value aside, I was expecting nothing less than it would have turned into something despicable, if not to dust. Well matey, think again! The bloody hellcat smelled as if she was vialled just yesterday! All her stupendous eminence and glory was there, completely unaltered and still hollering for obedience. And who was I to deny it?
Having not experienced Poison for over a decade, I had almost forgot the facts verifying the theory and the actions triggering the mood. Poison, the way I remember it, was never negotiable or forgiving.

Sillage? If you were standing on the Equator having just damped some and you felt a light tap on your back, you shouldn't be worried. It would be Poison having already circled the Earth.
Longevity? You could spray it on the plaque on Pioneer 10 and see how aliens would deal with it after n years.
Smell? No fancy metaphors here. It smells like Poison and that's it. Period.

Given all that, I overlook the fact that its box's malachite pattern and general layout is shamelessly stolen from Jean Couturier's Coriandre from 1973. I love malachite, and for some strange reason, if someone would ask me what colour should a poison have, I'd answer "green". So according to this abstruse linkage, Poison's box fits its content perfectly.

Aye, the '80s were surely a time when "big hair, big shoulders, big perfume" was the newfound Holy Trinity of voguish mods worldwide, but Poison's irreverent mouth was even bigger. Thus swallowing everything coming its way was rather inevitable back then. The only limited thing about it was the diction it used, since two out of three words it usually spat out were "screw" and "you". The third was always something like "sucker", "loser" or "dreg".
But I never really detested its unapologetic egotism, cause when it comes to perfumes, what we all ardently crave is not them screwing around, but screwing with our minds. And for some 30 years now, Poison still brandishes one of the biggest bloody screwdrivers I've ever seen...
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 6.0/10
Helpful Review    3
Powerhouse scent, indeed!
The opening has the same offputting and pungeant sweetness as black licorice & root beer. Luckily, it quickly settles into something a little more spicy and complex. There is almost a 'damp' or dewy quality, like the mustiness of old books or vintage clothing you'd find sitting untouched in the attic after decades - like stumbling on a lost treasure. It's so very '80s, and so very dark, alluring and bold - It could easily be the signature scent of one of Patrick Nagel's white-skinned, red-lipped & dark-haired '80s beauties.
Scent 5.0/10
The Zoo
Stepping through my collection, I have this on my right hand. Initial impression? Smells exactly like the lion and leopard cages at the zoo. Of course, I'm wearing a current formulation. Assumedly, it didn't always smell like this. It settles down a bit as time passes. Enough to ever spray it on again? Nope! That's just me, of course. I can see a woman wanting to smell like a prowling animal.
Scent 9.0/10
Very helpful Review    8
Death by Fruit
Ah, the pleasure of a scent that envelopes you and stays through the night. No need to spray more than twice. No concern arises over layering on lotion: this baby sticks. I just discovered it recently through my mother-in-law and it has quickly captivated me with its addictive personality.

But what does it smell like? It smells exactly like the Cranberry Singapore Sling tea I adore from Teavana. There are pineapple and cranberry pieces with red tea and Poison takes on the languid sticky sweetness to another level. The fruits are stewed and given a full body by the subtle spicy woods.

I love the bottle too: it is just like a vintage perfume bottle, suited to my taste. The deep purple color fits the personality of this perfume perfectly. Even the little plastic top looks like swirled glass to me. I cannot say enough positive things about this perfume. It is not niche quality but is definitely a must-try. I, who am the biggest lover of strong perfumes, never spray more than twice. Beware of overspraying hazards.
Scent 4.0/10
Helpful Review    4
Dangerous legend.
It's a legendary perfume. My parents went to a New Year's Eve party just after it went on sale in the 1980s.
One of the ladies there had clearly received it as a Christmas present and was wearing it that night.
"It was like she'd had a bath in it. She reeked of it." My mother's nose took a while to recover.
I've tried it in Boots once or twice. Sadly there's something in it that gives me a headache so I have to wash it off.
I'm sure it's lovely for some people but my nose says, "No!".
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 8.0/10
Very helpful Review    10
Dangerous Beauty
This likely makes me a hypocrite, but I love this perfume (along with Lou Lou and a few other 80's and 90's sillage monsters) while I can't stand some of the older ones like Tabu and Youth Dew. It's probably because it was popular when I was starting to notice perfumes, cosmetics and fashion because I fell in love with this when I smelled a perfume sample in one of my mother's magazines sometime in the late 80's. (I was ten when this was released, but it might've been later.) It was exactly what I wanted to smell like when I got older.

I know to many people it smells quintessentially 80's, but to me it's timeless. Like MissK, I think it smells medieval, but I also think it smells fresh and current at the same time. It's as if it has always existed, and it smells like nothing else. That's my definition of a classic.

This smells more like the work of an alchemist than a perfumer. It can take me to all sorts of places, and I think this perfume made me fall in love with aniseed notes because I hate eating aniseed or licorice. Like Diane1953, I think the woody, animistic and spicy notes alter the floral and sweet notes mysteriously and dramatically. They no longer smell nectarous, and there's even honey in this!

I also never apply more than a couple of sprays of this, so with that light application, it's not nearly as strong as it would be with normal application (by my definition, about three to five spritzes).

Love it or hate it, this is a true original. Perfumes before this had been sultry, but none had smelled so viperous, beautiful and otherworldly. While I love its "sequel" perfumes, they're Poison light. They kill softly, and this kills swiftly. Sometimes, I prefer my Poison neat.
Helpful Review    6
My Bad
A fetching little spicy jasmine. Certainly not the bulldozer that I don't even remember smelling in the 80s. But then again, I recently thought Lutens's A La Nuit smelled like a mild jasmine for a moment and then like sourdough bread.

Could I have suffered a remapping of the jasmine pathways of the brain?
Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    8
The original and the best
Such an enchanting fragrance! Truly captivating.

Poison is dark, gothic, mysterious and wicked, yet strangely inviting and soothing.

The scent itself is quite dusty, smokey and powdery but with such beautiful intensity. This fragrance is an amazing composition of both spices, florals and sweet vanilla.

At this present time I have been reading Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl", and since Poison reminds me of ancient gothic and medieval times, I can imagine this fragrance suiting such infamous women in history like Anne Boleyn.

Poison is so bold and almost potent, yet strangely and exquisitely beautiful. The scent settles so well on the skin with powdery and spicy bursts of plum, pepper, jasmine, tuberose and smokey incense.

Be wary that this fragrance isn't for the light-hearted. Poison requires its wearer to be strong willed and self-confident. The woman that wears Poison is mysterious, proud, sensuously captivating and intense.
1 Replies


Jazzy76 7 months ago
Bitter, strong like a love potion :this is the character of Poison. My mother wore this scent in winter and I didn't like it. Now I adore It+1
Bottle 8.0
Sillage 8.0
Longevity 9.0
Scent 8.5
Alex1984 15 months ago
Poison quintessence; deeper, richer, smokier, animalic. Not everyone can handle Poison, but the esprit is out of this world stunning!+4
Bottle 10.0
Sillage 10.0
Longevity 10.0
Scent 10.0

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