Dior’s Poison came out the year I graduated from college and got my first full-time job. I went from broke college student to less-broke working gal and started playing around with new looks. For me, Poison was love at first sniff. Over the next couple of years I worked my way through a large stoppered flacon, feeling all edgy and dangerous in my giant-shouldered suits and spiral perm. Then the 90s came along and ruined everything with CKOne and its minimalist greige good taste. Me? I’m more of a maximalist.
I’d be a liar if I said my initial devotion to Poison had nothing to do with its name or image; I’m sure if Liz Taylor had bottled it in one of her frosted glass flacons and called it Sparkling Pink Rubies I’d never have given it a first glance, much less a second. I’m glad Poison went on to be heralded as a classic by the likes of Luca Turin, but it could just as easily have all the prestige of Bijan or Giorgio. At this point, I’d still love it. It’s a long term relationship.
So when I was tempted to violate my no-snarky-reviews-of-indie-scents personal code of honor recently, I reminded myself of the whole Poison thing, and how of course the name and the image are part of the game.
Paris house Ex Nihilo (“out of nothing”) brings us, and I quote from their website,
“SWEET MORPHINE, the embodiment of a self assumed but ambivalent femininity, at once delicate yet lascivious.
Its floral bloom metls (sic) on the skin with a dark and addictive woody vanilla background.
A subtle bouquet tenderly perverted by a very captivating carnal lightness.”
The juice is more vivid than that photo, closer to the hue of the generic-fruit-flavor cough suppressant I used to buy the twins, with roughly the same visual appeal to me.
The scent itself? An almond-cherry-vanilla that brings to mind Jergens original, which I happen to like, and about which none of the following words would apply: lascivious, dark, tenderly perverted (!), or carnal. Delicate? Possibly. Addictive? Sure. But addictive like eating Froot Loops in your snuggie, not addictive like morphine, I don’t think. Smelling this, I am indeed the embodiment of a self assumed but ambivalent femininity, in that I’m going to spritz on something else now.