Saturday, June 06, 2015

Madonna Truth or Dare Perfume-Review

I'd read some interesting comments about Madonna's fragrance, Truth or Dare and I was excited to find a bottle at Marshalls for under ten dollars. Let me get this out of the way before I launch into a review-Truth or Dare does not smell like Fracas. I can understand where it may seem similar given the good dose of tuberose, but only Fracas is Fracas. That said, Truth or Dare is a surprisingly nice fragrance. In an ugly bottle. An ugly bottle that is difficult to hold, as it is wide and flat. I mean, really Madge, you finally get your celebrity fragrance and they stick it in something that looks like the Infant of Prague? All the tiny balls on the cap? The cross?  I mean, why not paint a face on it, and be done?
                                                                     NOT an atomiser.

My first impression of Truth or Dare was that there was something fruity in it. There isn't (at least not according to the listed notes) but the combination of tuberose, benzoin, and vanilla tricks my brain into reading it as fruit-like a plum that is a little too far gone. The sweetness is a bit much initially, but it quickly settles into the white florals and opens into a really lovely fragrance. The neroli is there announcing itself start to finish. The jasmine, which I'm guessing is synthetic indole (because I can smell it) gives the fragrance that bit of dirtiness it needs to keep the tuberose and vanilla from turning it into a too heavy gourmand. That's a polite way of saying, "I like a little shit with my flowers."

Truth or Dare isn't a terribly complex fragrance. There's nothing challenging in there beyond a little musk and subtle amber. Comparing it to Fracas because it has tuberose and white florals doesn't take into account the imaginative base of  vetiver, sandalwood, and oakmoss that makes Fracas so glorious to wear. Truth or Dare would benefit with a bit of green, and I wouldn't hesitate to layer it with something vetiver-ish to bring out a contrast to all that sweetness.

I now have a enormous  bottle of Truth or Dare, which I will probably get through this summer. I can see this as a perfect fragrance for a warm, humid evening. It isn't the most sophisticated fragrance I own, but there's something in it that makes me keep sniffing the bottle, which is always a good sign. Typically, this would not be the sort of scent I'd like, but I do like Truth or Dare-even if I hate the bottle. Unlike most tuberose scents (like Fracas) Truth or Dare doesn't have a gigantic silage-so apply freely! (just kidding, but you can wear more than the tiniest drop of this without overwhelming everyone around you).

Truth or Dare is so far outside my typical fragrance style, I'm still somewhat shocked I enjoy it as much as I do. That's the thing-reading a profile of the notes isn't the same as experiencing them the way they're put together. I'm sure I've dismissed some real gems over the years based on a dislike for one note or another. Sometimes I need to remind myself to keep an open mind, because you may just find a winner where it was least expected.


Bibi said...

2012-"My oldest memory of my mother is her perfume. I carry it with me everywhere. She always smelled like gardenias and tuberose, an intoxicating mixture [that was] feminine and mysterious. I wanted to re-create this scent, but with something fresh and new about it as well. Something honest and yet daring — hence the name Truth or Dare”, said Madonna"
"Madonna was reportedly deeply involved in the process of making her perfume. She has worked with Stephen Nilsen, Givaudan perfumer, to create the composition of white flowers on an intensive gourmand background. The scent is both a light and dark, opening with notes of gardenia, creamy tuberose and neroli. The heart consists of jasmine, benzoin and white lily, based on vanilla absolute, caramelized amber and sensual musk."
The bottle reminds me of Catholic holy water bottles. Catholicism seems to be a recurring theme throughout Madonna's work- along with cliched imitations of Marilyn Monroe & Marlene Dietrich.
I'm not seeing much evidence of an 'intensive gourmand' from your experience with ToD or what's written about it.
Sounds like Fracas done for modern tastes ('modern' in the sense of appeals to 20-30 yr olds, whom are apparently the main buyers of fragrance nowadays). Probably what Madonna was going for since Fracas is reported to be one of her MANY favorite frags- Fracas, IF(orders it in bulk), Hypnotic Poison, Folavril, Youth Dew, Fleurissimo, Perfect Veil, Dirt by Demeter, Eau D'Hadrien, Mat, Nanadaberry Pink, Child, Grand Amour, Nocturnes, Narcisse Noir, Nahema, JP Gaultier, Lorenzo Villoresi-(Sting & Trudy commisioned LV to create a custom musky oriental scent as a birthday gift), Pois De Senteur, Habit Rouge, Tuberose Indiana, Pink Lotus, Kisu, Escentric Molecules Molecule 01, Femme by Rochas, Shocking by Schiaparelli.
So Madonna likes loads of aldehydes, indoles, & white flowers with a little 'dirty' thrown in.
Purportedly this fragrance is popular with gay men also.
I'd buy it to layer also.
Speaking of cheapies for layering- I found a bottle of Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose at our local 'departmental store'. Works brilliantly for goosing up the 'rose' note in my bottle of Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One. Why do these modern perfumes put a note like ROSE in the name then put so little ROSE in the product? Is that the new idea of 'light' or supposed to be the modern abstract interpretation of a perfume note- aka 'barely discernable'. I mean 'Rose the One' should mean rose is the predominant note right? No? Maybe?

Goody said...


I think, "Rose" is getting used for the colour more than the smell these days. Cabotine Rose doesn't smell of roses at all, but cherries. I do like Tea Rose, but layered with anything even slightly lemon gives it the "Turkish Delight" note that some people can't abide. Heaven knows why that would be a problem, but it is the reason Danny isn't fond of Habit Rouge.

I can see Truth or Dare on a guy, gay or straight. To me, it smells extremely sweet, but I suppose I'm used to much drier, greener fragrances.

I'm a little sorry it isn't a splash bottle, as I could play Exorcist when applying it:
"The power of Christ commands you (to smell good)!

Mim said...

Hmm, suddenly this one becomes interesting! I wonder if any of my favourite discounters have it.

Goody said...

I think it would be rather inexpensive even at retail pricing. I continue to be amazed at just how good it is. Next thing, I'll be admitting that the One Direction fragrance isn't half bad (it isn't terrible, but I've only smelled it on others).