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Magnan's absinthism experiments were conducted on guinea pigs that were given concentrated wormwood in sealed glass jars, making the results virtually inapplicable to human drinkers.
In part because a grape bug ravaged many of the vineyards in France, creating a wine shortage and driving up wine prices, the readily available absinthe became a rage in France in the 1880s and 1890s - so much so that the 5 o'clock bell at cafes and cabarets throughout the country became known as l'heure verte (the green hour) and absinthism became its own sub-category of alcoholism.