Dior Addict by Christian Dior ~ perfume review

Christian Dior Addict fragrance

Christian Dior launched Addict in 2002. They were hoping the name — and the tag line, "Admit it" — would get attention, and they got their wish; although it had been preceded by a lipstick and nail color range under the same name, it was the perfume that got people riled up. "The advertising industry has long been drawn to the low-life look, but the French fashion house Christian Dior has taken it to new depths", noted NPR's Weekend Edition*. After months of pressure from anti-drug abuse advocacy groups, Dior dropped the tag line and replaced the early ad images that had appeared to glamorize illegal drug use.

Whatever punch the name Addict had in 2002 has been largely diluted by the subsequent flankers — Dior Addict 2 Summer Litchi, anyone? But the Addict juice, a floriental developed by perfumer Thierry Wasser, still packs a wallop. The opening is orangey citrus plus sweet (make that very sweet) vanilla, and while it announces from the outset that it is not going to be my sort of thing, I do think the top notes have their charm, especially when applied in moderation. The opening is sweet, heavy vanilla, yes, but it's also got a sort of dark, smoky-spicy thread running through it that I find attractive and that seems appropriate to its name; about the last thing on earth it makes me think of is sugar candy.

After that, everything goes wrong. I've never smelled the Queen of the Night Flower (aka vanilla cactus) that is featured in the heart notes (other notes: mandarin leaf, silk tree flower, rose, jasmine, orange blossom, bourbon vanilla, sandalwood and tonka bean), and the dry down of Addict reminds me that perhaps I'd just as soon not. The floral notes in Addict's heart are loud, and while I don't always mind sweet vanilla plus loud florals (Tom Ford Black Orchid, for instance), Addict seems to screech unremittently for the next couple hours before settling down to the dark, smoky-spicy fragrance foreshadowed by the top notes.

Addict is often compared to an earlier Dior fragrance (and another vanillic oriental), 1998's Hypnotic Poison. Hypnotic Poison sounds on paper like something I'd hate, but I actually like it very much. According to Wasser, the brief for Addict called for a "fragrance both sensual and full of energy"**, but it could just as well have been "bring me the trashy, loud-mouthed younger sister of Hypnotic Poison".

Dior Addict fans, please feel free to flame me in the comments.

Christian Dior Addict is available in Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

* NPR broadcast, 11/10/2002.

** Cosmetics International, 8/15/2002.

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85 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have never sniffed this, as the trashy (as someone put it on Perfume Smellin' Things) 'Dior is my gyno' look really puts me off. I wanted to shove my oar in though – from Diorissimo to Addict: the whole sorry spectacle is a metaphor for the decline of western civilization, if you ask me.

    A propos of Angela's piece yesterday – what kind of a gal aspires to Dior Addict?

    *shudders*

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would thank people for not comparing Dior Addict to Hypnotic Poison.

    That being said, I had the pleasure and surprise to test Dior Addict produced for the Arabic market and it is much, much different, less vanilla, more spice, more personality. I would wear that one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dior is my gyno — LOL!!

    It is hard *not* to see recent developments in perfume as a metaphor for the decline of western civilization, esp. as we approach 1000 launches a year.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a shame — that sounds like an Addict I might like.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Addict smells like plastic on fire.

  6. Anonymous says:

    LOL!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dior Addict … is a kind of perfume where image and package are far more important than the juice.
    Even if it is not the policy of this blog, it is really difficult to separate the juice from the marketing. I have one brain, and Dior Addict is the ultimate perfume for a “Pouf Dior”
    What is a “Pouf Dior”, for non french reader it is a young woman suit like a ….., often with an old man. You have an idea.
    From Cristian Dior to John Galliano, from “New Look” to “hard-core glamour”, from “Miss Dior” to “Dior Addict” …
    Dior Addict … strong in vulgar note, good in the product choice but no “elegance” and no creation and that's the problem.
    You can love it, it is done to seduce every nose.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Which is kind of sexy, non?

    To me it will always be my 19 year old friend Amanda modeling and trying to sell her vintage knee high snakeskin boots on ebay, livid that they would not accept “Hot 70's Hooker Boots” as the title of the listing.

    It has the young urban sexyness/trashyness of teen girls picking out costume jewelry at a garage sale. I still find it a little fabulous.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I can agree with “young urban sexyness/trashyness”, and with “a little fabulous”, and there is absolutely a place for that. Just not on my dresser, LOL…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to see all the comparisons to Hypnotic Poison. I always think of Addict as a version (inferior, IMO) of Gucci's Rush: the creamy lactones, the loud vanilla, all overlayed with noise. Even the ad seems derivative. Rush is one of my faves, but is just on the borderline of the amount of volume and fuzz I can handle – personally, I find Addict to be the olfactory equivalent of feedback.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the image & package are far more important than the juice in most cases, no?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ah, good point, I'll have to try them together (some much, much later time). The “olfactory equivalent of feedback” is exactly right.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, Dior Addict was not a success like J'Adore. Addict is a kind of modern Shalimar where the crisp start of citrus is replaced with sharp green notes. BTW, Addict is gorgeous on black women.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It's funny, but Addict smells wonderful on me – it doesn't have the citrus and the vanilla-smoky-spicy is prevalent throughout, with some jasmine/rose. Then again, my skin chemistry is odd – Shalimar smells like baby powder on me.

    • scents4me says:

      I think my body chemistry is the same…I could repeat what you just said.

      • Jill says:

        I have to say that most perfumes get alot of positive and alot of negative reviews because everyones skin chemistry is totally different. I have been searching for a perfume that will last and smell sexy all at the same time. This is it!!! I love it! I totally agree with the shalimar/opium/dune…..they smell like straight up baby powder on me as well.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Or fortunately, as the case may be :-)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, and you're the first real Addict fan to show up to defend it, thanks!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I believe you! I have a friend who smells just this way in it. Yet another one of those moments when I lean in to ask — what are you wearing? — and have my snobbery smacked upside the head.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I'll be the second to defend it! I thought it smelled great on me, although it's very easy to overapply. Although remember you are talking to a woman who likes Versace Dark Crystal and Poison (original and Hypnotic).
    Part of me was just relieved to discover it wasn't all fruital. I think it's sexy, in a trashy way, and I concur with Erin's point about Rush, although to me Rush has more of a sense of humor about it. And more hairspray. ;-P

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is very easy to overapply – I just barely spritz once with Addict and I can smell it all day.

    I have odd chemistry, my skin seems to “eat” certain notes, so that a gorgeous, complex scent can end up smelling pretty boring on me. I really never know what something's going to smell like on my skin until I try it. Thank goodness for decants!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    See now, 10 minutes earlier and you would have won a prize ;-)

    Dark Crystal! Get thee behind me. Versace sort of amazes me — their whole aesthetic is so entirely unappealing to me. The best thing they ever did was The Dreamer, and so I always sort of assume that was some kind of accident. HA.

    Do agree Rush has more humor to it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yep — Addict is the sort of scent that justifies the “spray and walk” approach!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh I just love Dior Addict. It smelled so bizarre on me that I HAD to have it. And despite its popularity, people would say, “What are you wearing? It's so… hot.” I think it might be a morpher; different on different people. The name turned me off, I admit. No: It offended me. But I think it's a great juice. Can't explain why right now cause I'm off to work, but I'm a fan. And I'll defend it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Addict was one of those recoil-from-bottle scents for me, when it first came out, and I still give it a wide berth at counters. It's got that Big Perfume feel; I'm too small and wimpy for it! But I bet it smells superb on the right person. (And I used to work with a young black woman who wore Cinnabar, and I just wanted to stick my nose in her neck and leave it there all day! She smelled like heaven. But on me, Cinnabar is so heavy it can barely crawl out of the bottle; one of my first perfume disappointments.)

  24. Anonymous says:

    I can't believe you like Hypnotic Poison! :-)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I'm probably too small & wimpy too, who knows. But I can pull off Fracas on a good day, so maybe that's not the issue…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see yet another fan, this is a banner day — usually people are more likely to comment on reviews they agree with.

  27. Anonymous says:

    You know, Hypnotic Poison smells good, and Addict smells bad — that's my whole explanation.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I like this perfume, but rarely wear it. I think it's too strong for most occasions and there is something in one of the notes that is a little bit “dirty” to my nose. I still think it's incredibly sexy and great for an intimate encounter or the colder weather.

  29. Anonymous says:

    and what about the perfumista myth … saying that “Only juice is relevant ?”

    I am interested in a poll “Does Bottle Matter ?”

  30. Anonymous says:

    If it were a wee tad dirtier and a wee tad less sweet I think I'd like it better…but then I'd have Hypnotic Poison, LOL…glad you like it :-)

  31. Anonymous says:
  32. Anonymous says:

    I like the scientific approach you take to this.

  33. Anonymous says:

    You know, overall I find it to be well-done, but it is just unwearable. Just like Alien, another fragrance I admire, but would never dare put on my skin.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Why thank you :-)

  35. Anonymous says:

    It's a toss up, but I think that between the 2, I'd take Alien.

  36. Anonymous says:

    This is so funny to me, R, because in October 2007 I attended the opening of Annette Green's perfume museum at our local fashion institute of design. You may recall that Ms. Green founded the Fragrance Foundation and is considered someone of great knowledge and longevity in the perfume industry.

    Well, I had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Green for a few minutes that evening, and, like every good perfumista, my first question to her was, “What fragrance are you wearing this evening?” Can you guess what it was? Yes…Addict! I nearly doubled over in laughter. Here we have the grand dame of the American perfume industry wearing Addict, a fragrance associated with the 20-something clubbing crowd, to the semi-formal opening of a perfume museum bearing her name!

    Gotta love it!!

    Hugs!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I may be confusing her with someone else, but didn't Annette Green say that Dior Addict was the sexiest fragrance for women?

    At first spray, it's okay. But the drydown is nothing but baby powder.

    IMO, It doesn't hold a candle to the magnificent Gucci Rush.

  38. Anonymous says:

    YES!!! I bought a mini unsniffed and after one disturbing squirt, it hasn't left the darkest recesses of my lower (ranked) drawer. I think the end of Amarige smells like plastic on fire too, but without the vanilla. These particular Dior Addicts urgently need rehab, if you ask me.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…plastic with vanilla or without? Hard choice.

  40. Anonymous says:

    R, that is funny…I quoted an article back in February that quote her as saying Addict was one of the sexiest scents for women, but I always assume people make stuff up for those kinds of articles. Glad to hear it is actually something she wears, but you're right, there's a real disconnect there!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Yes, in fact it was recent enough (February) that I still remember it. She also mentions Opium & Bond no. 9 Bryant Park, so obviously her idea of sexy & mine don't entirely mesh :-)

  42. Anonymous says:

    This was the reason for I started to be interested for woman fragrances. To me, Addict is really like a drug, because you get addicted in this powerful sweet sexy scent. For those who think this is too much I recomend the Addict Fraiche, that's more light and more peppery. Addict Fraiche was the scent that when I used I ever got compliments about my fragrance.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I like peppery! I'll check out the Fraiche.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! The Eau Fraiche actually rates higher at MakeupAlley. I think for myself I like the original better, but then, neither are big favorites, obviously.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I love Addict. However I've only worn it once! A friend was given it and I wore it out for a night. That was more than three years ago and it hasn't left my mind since. I can't stop thinking about it but have never gotten round to buying it. Sometimes I will smell it on someone else and the craving will hit harder.
    And then I find there are so many haters! No matter – I shall have it soon!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I'm amazed that you still haven't bought it — do get some before they reformulate it or something!

  47. Anonymous says:

    I don't really like Addict at all but my biggest peeve with this perfume is the fact that most wearers wear about 100x more than they need! This results in a giant mushroom cloud surrounding the wearer which engulfs anyone within a 100 metre radius. GO EASY ON THIS ONE!

  48. Anonymous says:

    So true! As with Angel, too.

  49. Anonymous says:

    No flames from me, Robin: Addict hits me over the head with a two-ton vanilla pod, and continues to do so for about three hours. And the subsequent flankers all smell the same to me, i.e. generic mass market fruity florals.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I also love Dior Addict. I picked it out when I was a sophomore in college, and it was the first thing I bought after years of being a devotee of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea (love the scent, but it doesn't last on me more than a few hours) and Sunflowers. It was my first “grown up” scent, and the more I think about it, the more that is true. Addict is not a beginners scent. It is very complex, and definitely not for everybody. But when you wear it, it is unmistakable. People will notice you. It does come off as very vanilla laden, but it unfolds nicely as you were it. And I kind of like that it isn't very popular here, because I'm not wearing the same thing as everyone else. It is very long-lasting, and when I wake up from a night out, its still lingering, but is softer and lighter. As you wear it, the vanilla fades into the background, and you get some greener, spicier scents. I just love it, and how it changes while I wear it. Thanks for the interesting comments, everyone!

  51. Anonymous says:

    True confessions. I am one of the sheepish girls who likes Addict very much. I wear it prudently. . . I like to think. Now I'm confused (again). I don't understand why there's such disdain for it, and such reverence for Hypnotic Poison, which I also like, but place on the same level qualitatively. Such are the mysteries of the world of perfumistaship. Sigh.

    • scents4me says:

      I like it…I think ;)
      I have not smelled/tried the other Poisons but I do LOVE Miss Dior Cherie, which, yes I know is very different. Addict is a strong scent but I love the creaminess of it…I do love Shalimar and Opium as well. Although I wore those last two many years ago… Now my faves are Coco Chanel, Miss Dior Cherie and DK Cashmere Mist. I also enjoy depending on my mood D&G Rose the One. I have had my eye and nose on Addict and had to give it a try…So far i am okay with it and can go as far as to say I DO like it :)

  52. Anonymous says:

    I'm curious Robin, of what you think of Dior Addict 2. It actually what drew me to this site. I was in Sephora yesterday, and when I first walked to the perfumes, I smelled this rosey citrusy floral, and it did remind me of Dior Addict, and I was really drawn to it. After sniffing and spritzing a variety of perfumes, I decided to hunt down that scent I had initially smelled. I love Dior Addict 2, and would like to know what you all think too. Perhaps someone could write a review?

  53. Anonymous says:

    i'm sad that you dislike versace crystal noir…i was so proud of myself for loving it when i claim to despise gardenia so. i'll have to dig around your site and see if you reviewed it so that i can comprehend your disdain ;)

    as for addict, i wanted to love it. it got high recommendations from a co-worker of mine who swore the guys couldn't keep away from her when she wore it. sadly, i could never get past the introduction…it's so heavy. it's always beating you about the head and shoulders with it's foggy sweet powderiness. what i wish it smelled like stays buried beneath the surface and never emerged. someone gave me a large bottle and i ended up giving it away like they did. i hope it found a good home, and an owner with a light hand!!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Addict fan here! Disclaimer, though… I am a Big Perfume girl (Tom Ford Black Orchid is scent nirvana to me, for example). Sure, I love more subtle and refined fragrances, too, but when the mood makes me reach for a Loud Scent Bomb, Addict fits the bill nicely. I love its smokiness. I'd compare it to Boucheron's Trouble more than Hypnotic Poison, though…I've tried to love HP, but it's just all root beer float on my skin.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I love versace crystal noir. I never hear anyone wearing it – and I don't know why!

    PS: Guys ''really dig'' Dior Addict. I always get compliments at the officie for wearing it.

  56. Anonymous says:

    That's exactly what I think too, CBG!

    I also love Versace Crystal Noir and don't understand the disdain around it, either. Funny; sometimes it seems that the mainstream fragrances that are loathed by many perfumistas are the ones that get the most compliments, and the ones that are revered — certain Serge Lutens, for example — are the ones that have people wondering out loud, “who's left an old take-out box of curry to rot in this room?” (And I DO love lots of Serges, too, believe me. . .)

  57. Anonymous says:

    Sarahn — it is true about the flankers, in fact, I'd probably rather wear the original!

  58. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see another fan! It is true that it is rare enough here that you needn't feel like you're wearing what everyone else is.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Robin, no need to be sheepish, as you know! I wonder if there is really reverence for Hypnotic Poison, I don't think I see it mentioned all that often on the blogs or boards.

  60. Anonymous says:

    I never reviewed Crystal Noir, but check over at Perfume Posse. I'm pretty sure March likes it, although I could be confusing it with another Versace.

  61. Anonymous says:

    CBG, it is true about the root beer float, LOL…

  62. Anonymous says:

    burn, robin, burn ;-) just kidding. well, the flower ou mentiones smells at night very intensively, and it has this full flowery strength (that i find more in TF). but: none of it i found in addict. i have been wearing it 2 years, and then i sold it, it got too much. it is definitely something you recognize on the street, also because it is so “loud”.

    some guy asked me why i smell like x-mas cookies. some other just that i smell nice and sweet – it was always just too loud, even if you used only a little bit. it is not vanilla exactly about it, it is the mixture of vanilla with cinnamon i think.

    i used to like it, but after becoming more into perfumes especially into niche fragrances, i would say it is cheap, heavy and artificial, like a bad dupe of TF black orchid, which is a good comparison…

    i must admit i loved the addict glosses and lipsticks and all of them because of the packaging… and also because of the colours. so ADDICT itself is a success, no question, as a brand with a complete cosmetic line.

  63. Anonymous says:

    …oh, and I remind a few people who got a headache from it *blush* while sitting in the car next to me, also one co-worker… hm.

    men like it, it is true, as they often like sweet powdery vanilla scents I remarked.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Agree Addict is a success — even if the original Addict perfume is not a big seller here. And yes, I can believe men like it, and yes, I will eventually burn for something I said about some perfume or another, won't I, LOL?

  65. Anonymous says:

    Everybody's entitled to their own opinion. Nothing wrong with that! It's fun to read everybody's opinion, there's no danger of going to hell ;0) — I hope!

    I have over 60 bottles of perfume that I've collected since I was about 15. 50% are what I call ''mainstream'', 20% are classics, 30% are less popular more ''refined scents'' – that I now can afford.

    It's olfactive evolution!

    Some people care more about perfume than others. I'd say, generally speaking, people will grab what's popular at the nearest store and not think further.

    I care much about what I wear, I've started making my own fragrances. I don't think I'm the next Annick Goutal though, but it's a great hobby.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I'll bet it is a great hobby, and I sometimes wonder that I have no interest in it myself. You'd think I would, but I don't!

    And totally agree most people put little thought into scent — and why should they :-)

  67. Anonymous says:

    I think Addict absolutely *reeks*. There was a girl who used to live down the corridor from me and she would absolutely marinade herself in the fragrance, and to say that Addict is “loud”, “screeching” and should be “applied in moderation” would be an absolute understatement. I can smell someone who's applied Addict instantly, and it instantly makes me ill. The flankers and Addict 2 are far more tolerable.

    I'm not particularly fond of Hypnotic Poison either – that's a touch sickening for me.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like you dislike Addict a lot more than I do, LOL…but I'll keep my Hypnotic Poison :-)

  69. parisa says:

    Have you tried Jacomo Silences Purple? Addict dupe, even better opening with orange zest..

    • Robin says:

      I haven’t…and Jacomo is hard to find here, not sure I’d be able to find a tester, unfortunately.

  70. fifi3482 says:

    i was walkin through perfumes in a local store the other day and as i saw L’istant from Guerlain i thought that this was one of those i always keep telling myself i have to test on my wrist….so i did….on my way back home i smelled my wrist and thought “damn!..i should have made a mistake and sprayed Addict instead !!!…if possible!!”
    so i went back next day and try it again…..again it hit me like a softer version of Addict ,which i like but cant wear it as much as id like…cause of being so bold! now im thinking replacing it with L’istant…

  71. Robin says:

    Interesting, I’ll have to try them both together!

  72. catlovesdior says:

    4 years ago I told my bf that I liked Dior perfume when asked what the birthday gift would be. He gave me this big huge bottle and said, “We’ll be together as long as this perfume lasts” Boy, was he wrong. We didn’t last as long as the perfume does. I got many compliments on this, but I would spray it on in the living room, then run to the bathroom so I wasn’t overpowering. I liked it very much, but it kind of reminds me of him.

    • Robin says:

      LOL … sorry the perfume outlasted the relationship!

  73. IrcMaidon says:

    I adore Addict and when I wear it, men AND women tell me how wonderful I smell. Guess it just works with my body chemistry. :) :) :) a few years before that I had a bottle of Ultraviolet.

    What I would like to know is how, out of all the thousands of perfumes out there, my two sisters also wear Estee Lauder’s Pleasures, as do I. Apart from good marketing of sample bottles, how can our chemistries – when we are so different in temperament and skin tones and what we eat – adapt to the same perfume?

    • Robin says:

      Hey, but why not? Perfumes are not designed to only work on 1 out of 100 women ;-)

  74. Sophia Marie says:

    I have been wearing Dior Addict for a year and a half now. Everywhere I go I have men and women following me asking what frangrance I am wearing. Some come right up to me and take in a deep breath. It must go well with my body chemistry.

  75. perfumesecrets says:

    It’s still on the market, and I can’t even imagine how many hundreds if not thousands of other perfumes have been discontinued since 2003 when Addict was introduced. I’m also curious how this sells compared to Hypnotic Poison… which smells like Play Doh to my nose, on paper and skin.

  76. Sandi says:

    Goes well with my chemistry too. People always ask what I’m wearing when I have Addict on, usually after taking a deep, slow breath. Good thing we’re all different no? Or we’d all be fighting over the same scent and how boring would that be?

  77. Subhuman says:

    I feel like if Shalimar hopped into a time machine, travelled to 2002, and attempted to “blend in” to the current perfume landscape by dumbing itself down slightly, throwing on flashy, skimpy clothes, and giving its “of an era” elements (civet, animal musk, leather) a quick nip-and-tuck, then dousing itself with hairspray and smoking half a cig on the way to the club, it would smell like Dior Addict. A great deal less respectable than its forerunner, but a fair bit more fun. (Also, the drydown brings to my mind nothing less vaunted than Le Labo’s Patchouli 24. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, niche snobs!)

  78. Mrs.Scents says:

    In honor of the new flankers (Eau Fraiche and Eau Sensuelle) I tried this fragrance out and I absolutely LOVE it. It is so sexy and sensual – the mixture of jasmine and vanilla make it a truly gorgeous floriental!

  79. elsie says:

    I had to chime in here….I looove addict. I bought it originally in prob 2004 , and just re-invested in the .67 oz bottle in Sept. It is my ultimate favorite fall fragrance. I don’t smell any of the citrusy notes on me, either, just a bit of jasmine and spicy, smoky, cozy, warm vanilla. I just love smelling it while I’m cuddled in my sweater next to a bonfire on a chilly autumn evening! I really can’t believe this is marketed towards 20-something skank clubbers lol! Anyway, the things I wanted to comment on…when I bought this back in 04, I spent weeks deciding between it and Boucheron’s Trouble (although in retrospect, I wish I would have settled on that one since it’s no longer readily available). Also, I do own HP as well because I love it and wanted it to smell great on me sooo badly, but it honestly smells like a band aid on me. Seriously. And now I’m in the market for a new winter perfume and am considering either Alien edp or Miss Dior le parfum. :-) Just thought all that seemed highly relevant. Ha! Maybe we Addict lovers do have weird chemistry.

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