Perfume Directory

Intoxication (1938)
by D'Orsay


Intoxication information

Year of Launch1938
Average Rating
(based on 12 votes)

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About Intoxication

Intoxication is a feminine perfume by D'Orsay. The scent was launched in 1938

Intoxication fragrance notes

Reviews of Intoxication

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The Eau de Toilette:
The opening blast starts on a fresh mandarine-lemon citrus base, with bergamot rounding off the refreshing start. The drydown very much takes a floral turn, with a dark, rich and velvety rose impression mixed with a gorgeous jasmine; a hint of lily-of-the-valley provided a more light-hearted touch at times. Gorgeous all the way.

The base keeps up the high standard set so far: it is sweeter, with a great natural tonka joining a dark and brooding patchouli and a faecaloid musk note for a distinct animalistic twist.

The star performer in the base, however, is an amazing oak moss; of a raw, at times waxy, natural, pungently refreshing clarity, it reigns supreme until the finale, with only the occasional additional whiff of sandalwood present towards the end.

The performance is sheer brilliance, with strong sillage, great projection and a stunning thirteen hours of longevity on my skin. Beautiful in autumn and winter, the quality of the ingredients is nothing short of amazing and the whole composition is superbly blended. One of D'Orsays masterpiece chypres, showing the heights this house was able to achieve in its time. 4/5.
14th December, 2015
KLRich Show all reviews
United States
I had a bottle of what I assume was Intoxication nearly 35 years ago. I have dreamt of it often, tried to find it and have always come up short. For many years I had a severe sensitivity to all fragrances. Now that I have recovered from that I am once again dreaming of finding that elusive frag.
I searched ebay and bought a small bottle....hope springs eternal. I will let you all know how the quest goes!
05th June, 2015 (last edited: 15th June, 2015)

My initial review on Basenotes from April, 2014, was a neutral one. I found Intoxication “a spicy floral of no particular distinction.” Barbara Herman reviewed it as “a bright, sharp, sexy floral.”

It turns out I was not experiencing the original, but a re-formulation from 2006, minus the neroli, amber, oak moss and styrax. It was sold in upscale department stores in a replica of the original bottle in eau de parfum concentration.

This was after a failed attempt to create a flanker, Intoxication d’Amour, in 1997, also in a replica of the original bottle and sold in both eau de parfum and eau de toilette concentrations. The composition bore no relation to the original.

The original composition follows:

Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin
Heart notes: Rose, Neroli, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Muguet, Orange Blossom, Nutmeg
Base notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Tonka, Musk, Benzoin, Amber, Oak Moss, Styrax

Intoxication has been called one of D’Orsay’s great chypres.

For my nose the citrus opening has not survived the years. I am immediately plunged into the rose and jasmine, “dark, rich and velvety” as R. Baker notes in the review here.

The tonka, vanilla and amber are given an animalic musk and depth from the styrax, which makes all the difference in this original composition. There is a spiciness, which emerges to float above the florals, which must derive from the nutmeg. It is big, dense and powerful.

The dry down is very warm and rich, a truly gorgeous chypre. I am not aware of any obvious oak moss, the blending is so truly masterful, but don’t doubt it is there. The name fits, as it is truly a wrist sniffer, and I look forward to splashing it on other body parts in the near future. Great projection and sillage.

Very available on the internet, but certainty vintage can probably only be ascertained by the absence of any zip code on the packaging or bottle, since the re-formulation uses an identical bottle design.
Worth seeking out for vintage chypre lovers.

09th April, 2014 (last edited: 09th September, 2017)
Standard French-style perfume

I acquired a tube of vintage nips. Intoxication was among the 4 scents included. The great thing about testing vintage scents from nips is that the scent inside is pretty much as fresh as the day it was inserted into the nip, since they're completely sealed, which means no air can get in.

My impression of Intoxication is that it's an aldehydic floral in the vein of Arpege. It opens with aldehydes and rose. There's also jasmine, citrus, sandalwood, vetiver and musk. There's a very slight powdery quality, but it's not enough to deter anyone who is not fond of powdery scents. It would be a nice find if you came across it in a thrift store, antiques mall or flea market, but there's more than enough Arpege available on the internet that you won't need to exhaust yourself trying to score some Intoxication.

Pros: a safe bet
Cons: no surprises here

07th June, 2013
I received this with some others, it was a very old bottle with brown resin (mmmm....) at the bottom, not very much. Unfortunately, it leaked into the plastic baggy it was packed in. I thought it smelled heavenly. My husband pronounced it urinal cake. So I just left the baggy open slightly and put it in the bathroom to scent the air! It finally lost that ability, so today after my shower I put the few remaining drops on. I had been feeling not so good, had a different perfume give me a wowzer headache in the morning, but felt better after my shower. I find resinous goopy vintages very comforting, and this proved so. I looked up the notes elsewhere, but I see Tessara did a good job of listing them. I can see how my syrup had those beginnings, because as thick as it is, it is still a beautiful light fragrance. The ampule Tessara had would be so much truer to the original scent, and I would not have guessed L'Aimant, but sandalwood, you bet. I LOVE sandalwood. I think if you love vintages, you could successfully try it whether it is light or dark. Oh, and hubby quite liked it on me!
28th July, 2012 (last edited: 30th July, 2012)
I tried this out of a vintage ampule. It is a lovely light orangey floral, very reminiscent of L'Aimant on my skin. L'Aimant was my first perfume, so unfortunately this also reminds me of being about 9 years old, and while that's not a bad thing, the scent is a little young for me now. Fragrance notes are reported as: Citron, Mandarain, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Rose. There is probably also sandalwood and a light vanilla in the base, which generally turns powdery on me.

Worth a try if you like the older Cotys and can find it.
22nd May, 2007

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