The original Poison rocked the fragrance world when it was introduced by Christian Dior  in 1986. Its controversial name, powerful aroma and monster sillage all added up to it becoming an instant best-seller. Dior grew the Poison franchise to include 5 other fragrances with the theme of deadly perfumes.

Launched in 1998, Hypnotic Poison eau de toilette was the third perfume in the Poison series and  is my personal favorite of the spin-offs. The nose behind the fragrance is Annick Menardo, who is known for including an unconventional note in her successful creations. In Lolita Lempicka, it was licorice and in Patchuoli 24 it was dirty leather; in Hypnotic Poison she snuck in some bitter almond to do the trick.

It’s a softer, more subtle version of the pillar fragrance and contains a captivating blend of licorice, almonds, coconut and an almost carmelized vanilla. You would have to call it a gourmand fragrance but the lovely jasmine and orange blossom notes keep it from becoming just another toothache sweet perfume. The bitter almond accord adds to the creamy vanilla, reminding me a little of the scent of marzipan. Sweet and bitter perfection. ?

What makes Hypnotic Poison so unique is that it manages to smell alluring and dangerous at the same time. It’s like having a gorgeous stranger coming up to you with a seductive look in their eye which says “Your place or mine?” I could easily see a guy wearing this, the same type who might adore Shalimar or Tabu, so rest your worries if you are afraid of smelling “too feminine”.

Voluptuous and provocative, Hypnotic Poison is a scent that evokes a brilliant contradiction between and the delicious and the perilous. A little goes a long way so don’t get trigger-happy when applying. More than two spritzes would be overkill. It lasts forever on your skin and even longer  on clothing.

A 3.4 oz. bottle is around $85.