I adore Hypnotic Poison and find it addictive and irresistible. Reminds me of a dark, lightly spiced, and very sweet root beer. One of my favorite sweeter, foodier scents which is not normally my go-to type of scent. Feels heavy like a rich dessert after a big meal satisfying for relaxing and languishing, not a daytime/workday scent in my opinion. Not as heavy and heady as Addict. Absolutely delectable!! Very long lasting as well. Can smell it on my throw pillow after sampling it last night. Have wanted a full bottle for awhile now. Awesome, beautiful bottle, too. Yum!!!!
Hypnotic Poison - Dior
A perfume wrapped in an ultra-soft and smooth-velvety plucheness, round, thick and so smooth, you actually wanna stroke and hug it- extremely comfortable as it is. It delivers straight off the bat with a fresh not-sour 'blackberry on cocosnut' tonality that quickly blows up big and soft like an aircushion. Violet-leaf, helitrope, lactonic-vanilla, indolic-jasmine on musk, and a slight smoky, clean (ceder)wood with hot-rubbery and camphorous undertones of burlap, create a very harmonious and very recognizable scent-profile full of personality and character. Extremely well blended, it feels like the accelerarion of a Bentley, effortless but very high performance at the same time. A classic.
Hypnotic Poison (1998) was almost like an omen with the way it was released 13 years after the original controversial Dior Poison (1985), and sufficiently "cleaned up" the primary accord of the original to be something mass-appealing. Hypnotic Poison isn't the first flanker of the iconic original, as that honor goes to Tendre Poison (1994), but that green-focused variant didn't survive the changing times quite like the first version or this iteration, so a lot of people don't remember it. If the Jean Guichard-penned original seemed way too aggressive and out of place in a late 90's perfume market full of beige masculine freshies and sweet gourmand feminines, this new Annick Menardo-composed creation was just the fix Dior needed to keep relevant, furthered by the fact that the animalics and indolic florals in the recent new pillar Dune (1991) were almost seen like dinosaurs in an emerging synthetic era of perfumery. I'm not particularly a fan of what's going on under the hood of Hypnotic Poison, but I can understand why this equaled, then surpassed the popularity of its namesake pillar. Hypnotic Poison presents itself as a sort of bready gourmand floral with sweet bakery elements on top of a scrubbed and pared-down version of the original Poison's core.
Hypnotic Poison is nowhere near as complex of a perfume compared to the original, but it neither does it try to be as serious. A smell almost like almond flour opens Hypnotic Poison, joined by caraway and lemon, creating an accord similar to the Dutch sugar cookies we sometimes get around Christmas time. From this very confectionery-like introduction comes sweet jasmine sambac mostly scrubbed of the indole, and a hit of an oakmoss/tonka tandem, giving Hypnotic Poison almost a Fougère-like interpretation of the signature Poison aesthetic, freed from the dark macerated fruit elements. There is something of an inferred cherry accord thanks to the almond, but once the rich base comes into the picture, the fougère comparisons fade while vanilla, white patchouli. musk, amber, and rosewood form an oriental base. Hypnotic Poison stays mostly in its gourmand lane from there on out, with the oriental riff underneath preventing the final skin scent from being too sickeningly sweet but still a bit too warm and wholesome for my comfort. I see why Hypnotic Poison was a breakout hit in the 90's, as it tapped perfectly into that bubbly "valley girl" feigned naivety that was popular at the time, and parodied by films like Clueless. Wear time is all day and although this doesn't have the frighteningly never-ending sillage of "OG" Poison, it can actually get cloying more quickly if you're within its field of effect.
If you like almond fragrances, sweet creamy gourmands, or anything that is generally pleasant and inviting, Hypnotic Poison is your perfume. Almost at the opposite end of the spectrum from Poison, this flanker seems to be more of the deceptively disarming type of succubus versus the dark, terrifying-yet-beautiful she-demon that is the original. The person who wears Poison wants you to know they mean business, but someone using Hypnotic Poison would rather sneak up on you after setting you at ease. It's just not a vibe I like because if you had given me a sample of this without showing me the bottle or the name, I'd just assume I was smelling another late 90's or early 2000's gourmand and would just wave it on, but this thing carries the Poison mantle for crying out loud! Still, Hypnotic Poison can obviously go places that regular Poison cannot, like to work or to casual events, but I'd still avoid warmer weather, even more with this one than the first due to the baked cookie opening. Give this a test if the old grande dame that is Poison just comes across as too much to take, although you're not getting a whole lot of what made that scent so unique here, but rather just a slightly-spicy toasted almond gourmand riding on the back of something else's reputation. It's not bad, but once again, I can't really get behind it. Solid neutral.
I compared Hypnotic Poison and Kenzo Amour wrist by wrist. Yes, the openings of both do share some similarity. I feel adding some rice and a little spice, the vanilla and coconut opening of HP can pass like Amour.
Then they evolve differently. HP does remind me strongly of Play-Doh. I was almost shocked to find it realisitic to that point. Might be the vanilla-almond-coconut combo? It's a little funny to my nose, though I don't think it's the right emotional response to be expected.
Then come jasmine and tuberose. At this stage, I can feel the feminity and the romance throughout the fragrance. However, I really should have put only one spritz. Two are already too much. For the subtlety of the flowers, I have to stick my wrist to my nose, while the strong powdery and sweet vanilla is still dominant and floating in the air.
The longevity is excellent and the sillage can reach far even with two spritzes. I can feel the coziness when it's calmed down. It's really a pity that I should have been more careful while spraying. And don't forget it's a very sweet vanilla scent. Just don't make the same mistake as me.
The distinctive top note is still there, but this sweet and chewy balsamic version - which doesn't have the audacity of the original, is less Poison and more of a gourmand 'sent bon'. Some will no doubt think that's a good thing...