Pure Poison

Mini bottle with white fade up to the black collar and purple lettering, casting iridescent shadows.

A jasmine bomb with a 2 mile blast radius.
Pull the candy orange peel pin and white flowers go nuclear, a dense gardenia fog with ambery woods fallout underneath, that flattens every other scent in the vicinity.

Brilliant and a little frightening.
Wear in winter with an open carry permit.


Dolce Vita

Ceylon cinnamon and my ancient bottle of Dolce Vita.

I feel a lot of kinship with Dolce Vita.
She tries really hard to be that spicy peach tart who likes a good cinnamon roll (and a little sugar in her bowl…) but can’t quite get the pieces together enough to pull off the whole outfit.

The ingredients are all there–juicy ripe fruits at the beginning, spicy vamp seduction in center, and lingering vanilla woods at the end–but the top is too young, the skirt too brash, the shoes too cute.

I keep trying it, hoping somehow she might have gotten over the awkward stage and come into her own, but in thirty years all that’s changed is that the gold leaf has flaked off the bottle.
Me too, Dolce Vita. Me too.


This song came out 90 years ago and is still one of the filthiest songs ever recorded.

Dior Addict 2

Addict 2 mini bottle and a pink crowned heart necklacepave charms are my latest side obsession.

This one came out in 2005 and wasn’t in production long–my mini came in a vintage lot I found online.

A pink grapefruit with lotus and woodsy musk, Addict 2 is the free-spirited big sister of Versace’s 2006 Bright Crystal.
Watermelon keeps the pomegranate lighthearted, with a hint of sweetness from lily-of-the-valley.
Sheer sandalwood holds the base close to the skin.

I do wonder about the dedication to this scent–full-sized sealed bottles are a hot auction item and can go for niche prices–it’s a bit pale and thin to me.
Eau de Star (2007) has more depth and longevity and is easier to find, if one is looking for a fresh retro watermelon.


Pop songs and perfumes can make addiction seem fashionable but dependency shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The SAMHSA website provides a lot of info on substance abuse and recovery help.

Tendre Poison

Green Poison amphora with clear stopper, in front of other clear minis on a shelf.

Death by pretty flowers.

The beginning is a burst of odd sweet spice and bright citrus, that drowns in honey–with that jarring, almost discordant sweetness that defines the Poison line.
Tuberose fills the middle at arms length and turns the flower nectar to rosy bubble-gum musk, which I love lovelove and wish lasted longer, but sinks into the skin after an hour.
Sugary sandalwood on the bottom with an occasional breath of the orange opening the rest of the afternoon.

(Sigh.) I always fall for the discontinued ones.
I wonder why they stopped production. It still seems fresh and unique, and even 25 years old it would hold its own with any of the new Gucci’s.


A honey sweet song.


Micro bottle of Diorella with a smaller circumference than the penny it’s perching on, and Dior’s iconic hounds-tooth pattern packaging.

The shy little sister of Diorissimo.

Opens with an Earl Grey tea splash that gets lost in a huge green not-quite-blooming-yet flower garden–a bit of jasmine and blushing rosebuds–for an hour.
Big starchy oakmoss dries up the bottom a foot off the skin and stays there most of the day.

It’s nice, but doesn’t say much.

This oddball song was a huge hit in France in 1972, the same year Diorella came out.

Joy by Dior Intense

joy intense
Ad peelie of glass bottle with pink eau. (The store tester did not stain my clothes.)

Soooo much better than the first draft.

The sad Earl Grey sachet is now bright bergamot zest, the pale cream made into sweet vanilla custard, and the rose is a full bouquet of long stemmed high teas.

Sandalwood and tonka add warmth and spice, and if the musk were a little more sheer, I’d buy it by the quart.

(The backup ladies absolutely steal this cover!)


jadore edgesOpens with fresh peaches and jasmine that gets mixed into a fruit salad and white flower arrangement–in an elegant Martha Stewart catered way.

Lasts for three hours at arm’s length, with musk anchoring a bit of rose on the skin for several more.

J’adore was special when it came out in 1999, but it’s kind of everywhere now, so it seems generic.

(In 2011 Christian Dior launched a massive advertising campaign with the iconic video featuring Charlize Theron and this song, to huge success.)

Miss Dior Eau de Parfum

miss dior eau de p
Ad peelie with rectangular bottle of pink eau.

I remember Miss Dior being lovely a long time ago– but this 2017 version not so much. Just opening the magazine peelie makes me feel hungover.
There’s some throat-clenching citrus, a bang on the head of rose, and some nauseating patchouli.
Not one I’m going to chase down in the shops.

Here’s another unnecessary 2017 cover–Rihanna’s song is awesome as is–though this one does it justice, stripped down and acoustic.

Joy by Dior

Ad card featuring photo of pink eau filled bottle, with white spray sample.

Jennifer Lawrence’s bottled tears.

This is department store white musk and Earl Grey tea with cream. She might have a rose in her teeth, but it’s faux silk and plastic.

Joy by Dior has none of J-Law’s fun spirit. The musk is too cheap, the citrus too sharp, the rose too artificial.
I’m sad, too.


Peelie from horribly tone-deaf ad campaign featuring Captain Jack Sparrow Johnny Depp miserably avoiding the camera while lounging in ethnic accoutrements.

So apparently Edward Scissorhands smells like sawdust and lemon meringue pie–or maybe it’s sugared furniture polish?
There’s some old spice cabinet and an amber musk that is apropos to the aging pirate mystique, and a wave of evil English wizard lavender wand.
I like it, even though I don’t want to.

I eventually did test this from a bottle.
Ad peelies have improved greatly over the years, but usually only hold the top and middle notes well. You can get more of the bottom notes if you stick the test strip in your pocket, to warm it up to body temperature.
In person, Sauvage has more of a labdanum campfire-creosote base, which gives confusing burnt pizza gourmand vibes.

sauvage edge
Store tester at the mall. I get the same notes as the peelie, but with more smoke on the bottom.

This song from the same year has some pretty savage guitar.