Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Hypnotic Poison Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior

Total Reviews: 18
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.
16th June, 2019
A sweet and chewy balsamic version which is still recognisable by the distinctive top note, but here - with the brilliant audacity of the original toned down - Hypnotic becomes less Poison and more of a gourmand 'sent bon.' Some will no doubt think that's a good thing...

13th March, 2018 (last edited: 27th March, 2018)
Almond and deep vanilla. The reformulation isn't horrible but it lacks the spicy, interesting punch of the original. Better than most of the candy vanillas on the market today, but not full bottle worthy at full price.

Lasts for hours, but on me, becomes a skin scent in about 45 minutes.
18th March, 2017
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I was excited to try this fragrance in the line of Poisons. I saw many positive reviews, but for me it was too deep in the almond and woody notes, after wearing it for awhile I really became really annoyed with the smell and scrubbed it off. I love, love, love, Pure Poison though, which is more floral and tangy with a hint of warmth.
I can see how others might like the of the warm, almond(ness) of the fragrance, just not my style. Definitely sample it first, I read it was supposed to have a heavy jasmine fragrance and I love jasmine, however I didn't smell much.
My mom liked the fragrance and my husband thought it was o.k.
26th January, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Almond and vanilla

Almond is the main top note on my skin, with caraway a nice counterbalance. Jasmine,

musk and vanilla are the core of the drydown that gives it a nigh oriental character. Three hours of longevity. Not uninteresting and not too heavy or loud.

24th September, 2013
Try before you buy!

After all the talk about Hypnotic Poison, I had to try it. I am not a huge fan of the Poison line - it's not an impressive mix with my chemistry - but I love Orientals, vanillas, and most gourmand scents, so I ordered a sample. It lasted approximately 5 minutes before I couldn't smell it. So disappointing! It is also not "deep" enough to satisfy my taste, although I can see how it would be a popular scent. This would be a safe blind buy for a friend or relative who loves vanilla but already has everything; for the price, they'll appreciate it even if they already have some. Personally I wouldn't spend the money; there are many better perfumes with staying power and sillage (this has none). After 15 minutes, there is nothing left. Glad I didn't buy a whole bottle!

Pros: Decent vanilla scent
Cons: Lasts about 5 minutes, there are better perfumes for less $$"

16th September, 2013
Julie Andrews

In 1980 I was asked by a colleague not to wear Opium to work. Poison and its flankers were a 'no fly zone' as a result. Recently I asked my gorgeous 30 something hairdresser what her favourite perfume was and she said it was Hypnotic Poison. It features massively in the Basenotes thread that goes something along the lines of 'most complimented fragrance' for women. In my recent travels I have availed myself of HP at every duty free and department store counter that I sashayed up to. I can only salivate as to what the pre-reformulation brew must have smelt like, the existing nectar left me wanting more depth, more punch. It is nice though and would make a lovely gift. Not bottle worthy in my estimation, but I'm an old chypre sister. I would rather wear Lolita Lempicka, another Menardo creation, if I had to choose.

Pros: Sweet, inoffensive, girl/boy from next door
Cons: No staying power

30th June, 2013
not absolutely horrid - but smells too much like root beer for my liking
28th April, 2013
(Golden rim version)
Vanilla strikes immediately. I can't detect any fruitiness or bitter almond, but the caraway note is distinct. HP has an interesting character but it is on the heavy side and on the verge of giving me a headache. I like the warm wood note (apparently sandalwood) at the base, it kind of reminds the smell of a sauna.
12th February, 2013
Sweeeeeeeeet vanilla pudding, with perhaps a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, & a little burnt sugar. This is much too sweet even for me; l prefer Dior Addict for a sweet-spicy kick with a dark side.
21st January, 2012
I'm not usually a fan of sweet scents but this one was balanced with just the right amount of bitterness, making it not overwhelmingly sticky/nauseating. It is a tasty wintry treat of a scent, at least in the beginning. However, I find this scent to fade in an unpleasant way. Once the bitter almond fades, what is left is an overly sticky, vanilla-y mess.

Love the beginning, hate the end.
03rd July, 2010
Almond cookies frosted with coconut-scented sunscreen. Not horrible, but a bland, linear, and very banal gourmand riding on a vanillic tide.

What does this have to do with the original Poison!? That's only thing mysterious about this fragrance
25th April, 2009
Spiced almond woods. Interestingly gourmand but really not that special to me. Slightly resinous and has the same wet textures as foudn in the other perfumes Annick Menardo has done namely Lolita Lempicka and Body Kouros. Just a tad too nutty to really like a lot but would be great for a lady that like the warm scents for the cool wheater days.
19th April, 2009
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I'm really not sure about this. My first thought was that I have dryer sheets that smell very similar, although not as strong. My second thought was that it was stomach turningly sweet. I am sitting here a little sick while it swirls around me in such a cloying way. That was two little squirts from a sample vial! I know so many people love this and I think I could see this working well for some one else. I can see how it could be viewed as yummy-it is very gourmand with the powdery almonds, vanilla and all. I'm sure after it drys down a little bit I will enjoy it more. But right now I am fighting the urge to go jump in the shower.
01st April, 2009
This was my first fragrance that I purchased mainly because I fell in love with the bottle and thought that I fell in love with the fragrance. Alas, I wore this for a week and then was forbidden to wear it again by friends and family. It was just too synthetic and overpowering even with one spray. It makes me think of the witch from Snow White. She would wear something like this. Something rich, enchanting and evil.
15th October, 2008
Smells like almond cookies dusted with sugar on some; smells like Play-Dough on others. Love the rubbery bottle.
14th August, 2008
How I *wish* I got all of the wonderful things out of Hypnotic Poison as the rest of you! I really want to love this, but on my skin, it's all root beer and some strange plastic-y note. Sigh. Every time I see it, I try it again in the hopes that one day it will work for far, no good. Oh well, at least I have my Jungle L'Elephant by Kenzo!
03rd November, 2007
moondeva Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Top: Bitter Almond, Caraway
Heart: Sambac Jasmine, Moss
Base: Jacarander Wood, Vanilla, Musk

Resampling Dior Hypnotic Poison on this bright but chilly day and am rather surprised at what I am smelling here. Instead of the cloying woody gourmand floral mess I remember from past samplings, I am getting a rather pleasant, unremarkable watered down sweet men's cologne!!!

Hypnotic Poison reminds me of vanillic woody men's scents like Givenchy Pi (nowhere near as toothachingly sweet), Mont Blanc Présence pour homme, JPG Le Male YSL Body Kouros and the final drydown of Bulgari Black.

Where is the suffocating sambac Jasmine and the sickly gourmand almond, over the unrelenting base notes of headache inducing, cheap sickly woody vanilla musk??

There is none of that horror to be found here, only the softly sensual scent of a sweet man's cologne at the end of a long day.

This to me is not a sexy scent and as before I am left bemused by how others find it so rapturously seductive.

This could easily be worn by a man, specially one who likes jasmine and any of those male EDTs I have mentioned above. I can imagine he would receive many compliments because it is so sensual.

A surprisingly pleasant revisiting but(on my chemistry at least) Hypnotic Poison is still not worth the hype.

02nd November, 2006