Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tried and Tested : Midnight Poison by Dior

As was announced in the beginning of this month, Tried and Tested is one of the new monthly features of Fragrance Bouquet. I knew the first perfume I was going to test-drive was Midnight Poison by Dior, not only because it’s new, but also because it made such an impression on me: It was completely opposite of what I expected it to be. I was expecting it to be seductive, mysterious and most of all feminine. To my surprise it was intensely citrusy (definitely not the note I associate with midnight) and not at all feminine. In fact, I found it very masculine. Was it just me? I had to find out what others thought. Equipped with my camera and a notepad, I took to the streets to find out.

Note: In order to avoid bias, subjects were not told which fragrance they were testing.

Sara, 23 years old, student

Would you say this is a feminine or masculine perfume?
- I’d say feminine
Would you wear this fragrance yourself?
- No, it’s too strong - I don’t like it! Personally, I go for lighter scents.
How would you describe it?
- Hmm, as I said, it is very strong. It’s a powerful, intense scent. It seems like something that would be mostly worn by older women.

Hans, 53 years old, Gallery Owner & Freelancer

Would you say this is a feminine or masculine fragrance?
- Masculine, definitely masculine. Wait... there must be a catch, right? If you are asking this question, it must mean it’s actually feminine!
- I am afraid I cannot tell!
Alright, would you wear this perfume yourself?
- No, it is too heavy. This is a fragrance you can smell from a mile away! You know, I believe fragrance is something you should only smell when you get close to someone, when you’re allowed to come close to someone. When you are attracted to someone and you approach them...and then you smell this...Let me just say, if a woman was wearing this, it would definitely be a minus point.
- Ouch!
How would you describe it?
- It is heavy, overwhelming. It is sweet, but very citrusy too. I smell musk; perhaps there is some leather in there as well. In some ways it reminds me of the way the core of a tree trunk smells like...

Jeroen, 27 years old, Carpet Installer

Would you say this is a feminine or masculine fragrance?
- It is a masculine fragrance. Mmm...well...it could go both ways actually, like a unisex fragrance. But I am leaning towards masculine.
Would you wear this perfume yourself?
- Yeah, I really like it! I would buy it.
How would you describe it?
- It is soft... Soft and seductive.

A big thank you is due to Sara, Hans and Jeroen, who agreed to be interviewed and photographed by a total stranger: Thank you for giving me some of your precious time. Doing this was definitely daunting at times: Not everyone has the time or inclination to participate is such a project. At the same time it was great fun! I love hearing people’s opinions and whether these echoed my own, or took me by complete surprise by being completely different was really exciting. We laughed a lot together with the people that participated and they all had questions to ask me in turn after I had finished asking my own. One even surprised me by producing a camera and taking my own picture afterwards! They made my day brighter – seeing them engage their senses and allowing me a glimpse of how they perceive this scent was most rewarding. I am really looking forward to doing this again next month. I hope you are too!

Images: Author's own.


PinstripedZebra said...

Wow, I like this idea a lot! Instant reviews of a fragrance is a very nice addition to your blog.

I hope you had a good time doing the interviews, maybe for a next time it would be cool to ask the people you interview what they normally wear for themselves.


Divina said...

Thank you, I'm glad you like it! I really like this feature too, so much so that I might make it bimonthly once I get the hang of it. I am already thinking of improvements for next time. I like your idea of asking people what they use themselves - I'll definitely use it.

helg said...

Ouch for the Midnight Poison (seriously panned!), but I bet you had fun!! Thanks!

Divina said...

Yep, ouch indeed. The campaign and the name deserved better - in my eyes at least. Let me know what you think once you smell it!

Dust Glitter and Vapor said...

What a fun feature! You are very brave to do this! Did you test it on paper strips, on you, or on them?
The comments were so interesting. I definitely will be looking forward to more of these!


Divina said...

Hello :)
Thank you for asking this - I was actually considering writing a methodology section, but then I thought it might make it too serious, and indeed as you say, it is such a fun feature - I did not want to take away from that.

In anticipation of the fact that not everyone would want to have their fragrance applied on their own skin, (due to apprehension, already wearing perfume or for whatever other reason) I carried an unlabeled decant with me, filled with Midnight Poison. Subjects had the choice of having the fragrance applied on their own skin or smelling it on mine. Two of them chose to smell it on my own skin and one was brave enough to have it applied on their own :)

Anita said...

Thanks so much for being brave and doing this! Very fun to read. I haven't had a chance to try MP yet but it's high on my list.

Anya said...

Lots of fun reading this, and I look forward to the next "sniff on the street".

Jenavira13 said...

Great feature! I smelled this on the test strip and really had no desire to try it which saddened me because the campaign is gorgeous and so is the bottle. High pitched citrus and patchouli.

Divina said...

Anita, thanks for commenting :) It indeed took quite a bit of bravery to do, I must confess my palms were sweating in the beginning. Even after having given so many public speaches in the last few years, nothing could have prepared me for how acutely aware I became of interrupting people's schedulles as they were rushing towards work, classes, appointments etc. But you know, it was also so rewarding and fun. I love meeting new people and talking about one of my favorite subjects is a huge plus :)

Divina said...

Anya, so good to see you again! I am glad you like the feature. Still pondering on which perfume to 'do' next month and what questions to ask this time. I am really looking forward to it as well.

Divina said...

Hi Jenavira :) High pitched is the right way to describe it.. The patchouli did not bother me as much as the screaming citrus did, but I agree, both were overdone.

leopoldo said...

I looooooooooooooooooove this feature!

ooterrie said...

We tried this scent in an airport duty free last week, and tried to buy it, but weren't traveling internationally. The scent improved as it merged with my skin, and by the time we were home, we really liked it. The trick here is to put it on early and let it blend. It may come on strong at the start, but mellows to something lovely and mysterious.