Let me tally. At this point, I own I think five - now six, bottles, various formulations. I try to keep track by the packaging but mostly I know by the smell.
This one from the drugstore, probably dating to the early 2000s. It isn't as insistently bright and austere as the latest version. It isn't glorified grape bubblegum like some of the others.
I see Poison out in the world and sometimes I'm overcome and though there are five, now six, bottles back home, home isn't instantaneous enough. I add to the pot. Something about that green shimmery box; it starts before I even get the packaging open, before I even uncap the bottle. What Poison means starts when I see the box and the memory of the smell and what I know it will do to me and my mood kicks into gear. It focuses my thoughts. No small feat on any given day.
There's a list of perfumes from around Poison's time that I obsessed over at the fragrance counter as a teen. Poison heads that list. So getting it, even the sixth or seventh bottle, without thinking much of it, without thinking at all, is a powerful thing. I thought so much as a teen back then - about how I might get a bottle, keep it on hand to smell, even if I couldn't wear it. I thought about it but it was forbidden. I looked forward to the next time I could pass through the mall and pretend I had a girlfriend who wanted it as much as I did. That porn of talking to those sales associates is a vivid memory - inevitable, protracted coos about how special it would be to receive Poison as a gift, as if I didn't know.
So it does something massive to me now, walking in, seeing it, throwing it in the cart, taking it up to the cashier and out to the car. It means some things will always be out of reach, but not this.
When I asked the drugstore associate to unlock the perfume cabinet for me she asked as they always do which bottle I was wanting to see. I said Poison and she laughed. Is that what it's really called, she said. You want Poison? Loads of laughs. It meant nothing to her. She'd never even heard of it.