Initially composed for newspaper publication and inspired by Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater, Baudelaire's musings on wine and hashish provide acute – and fascinating – psychological insight into the mind of the addict.

On Wine and Hashish asserts the ambivalence of memory, urging a union of willpower and sensual pleasure as Baudelaire claims that wine and hashish bring about an escape of narrative time. This characteristic theme anticipates his famous prose poems, ‘Le Spleen de Paris', in which drunkenness – as provided by wine, poetry, or virtue – is celebrated in remarkable style.