Cheap Fracas rip off by the Queen bitch herself. The perfumer, Stephen Nilsen, said she was the most difficult person to work with. Refused to remove her sunglasses indoors and demanded over 200 different attempts till she was satisfied. ****UPDATE**** OK, I have to come clean and say on trying the fragrance again at home the tuberose melted into a creamy floral sweetened woods. I now ADORE IT! I admit I was way off the mark! Been through 4 bottles already. The 'narcotic' description of this scent is very accurate. No matter how hard I tried to hate this, the expertise of Mr Nilsen shone through. Madonna confirms that her perfume is indeed inspired by Robert Piguet Fracas at the Launch of this. http://youtu.be/Zm5YoSF0qj4
Truth Or Dare by Madonna, 2012
Wow, this one has generated some really long reviews here! l am not here to discuss the merits or otherwise of Madonna & her influence, but simply to describe how this fragrance smells to me. l certainly do smell Fracas in this, albeit a lightened-up version with less complexity & less of the heavily buttery quality. Tuberose is the most prominent note to my nose, with jasmine close behind, & a creamy tiare gardenia in the heart. As it dries down, l sense a caramel-like, not-too-sweet vanilla, which takes over in the base after four-five hours. The sillage is good without becoming overpowering. l agree with another reviewer here that depending on how much you spray, this could work both for the office & on a night out. l didn't get any leather, rubber or animalic notes from this. What l did get is a classic style of fragrance re-interpreted very successfully for the modern age, & one l would consider buying. lt's very high quality for a "celebuscent", & for such a low price point. As for the bottle, l neither love nor hate it, but as it's so narrow from front to back, it would be very easy to knock over!
Truth or Dare: Fragrance Review Throughout Madonnas 30+ year career, much has been accomplished. It is very likely that no other female artist will ever reach her level of success. With the undisputed title of being the Queen of Pop, she has often faced a lot of criticism, hatred, and immeasurable expectations from the masses. With each project she takes on, she aims to exceed all expectations. Granted, she is not perfect (no one is), but she is one of the hardest working women Ive ever known to exist. She goes out and gets whatever she wants, and that I admire. In 1984 (while I was on Earth for only a year) when Dick Clark of American Bandstand asked her about her hopes and dreams for her career she said she wanted to rule the world, which she has done more than once. Despite all of her achievements and ventures, there is one thing that has eluded her, and that is the world of fragrance. This arena is near and dear to her heart because this is one of the few memories she has of her mother as she passed when Madonna was very young. She has often stated that she remembers how her mother wore a scent that consisted of tuberose and gardenia, two white floral notes that leave a lasting impression on the senses. Throughout her life she has reportedly worn various perfumes to remind her of her mother, have a piece of her with her always. Fragrances like Robert Piguets Fracas, Tubereuse of LArtisan Parfumeur or even Tubereuse Indiana by Creed have all been a part of her adult life. Though they may remind her of what her mother once wore, they are not personal as the fragrance is not her own and certainly not her mothers scent. Fragrance is special in that it can be a lot of different things, with memories being one in particular. Madonna could have made a fragrance a long time ago. During the Blonde Ambition era or fast forward to the Ray of Light era, Madonna had the world in the palm of her hand. These (and many other times) were great periods for her to release a perfume. A lot of celebrities release fragrances that are devoid of substance. Rather than following the common path of many, Madonna chose to be patient and wait for the perfect time to create a fragrance of her own. As with anything she does, she had a hand in everything involving the creation of Truth or Dare, which was released in April 2012. Being that I am the epitome of a Cancer, I am obsessed with fragrance, so I have a substantial collection. Once I discovered that Madonnas fragrance was out, I began to read an assortment of reviews. As expected, a lot of reviews were about ones personal feelings about Madonna the celebrity and not the fragrance; fascinating isnt it? Though I am one of Madonnas biggest fans, I wanted to be completely unbiased. I did not let my love and adoration for her influence my opinion. So now, on to my first experience with Truth or Dare, a perfume for women or men not bound by societal norms. I decided to pick up a sample because I never buy a fragrance blindly. I feel that fragrance must be worn on your skin and settle for some time before you can truly invest in it as you may not like and thus have buyers remorse. Initially I sprayed my left wrist, requested a sample and headed home. While in my car, the fragrance enveloped me; it was as if I had sprayed much more than one part of my body. The fragrance comes off as being very feminine, intoxicating and smart. It was immediately evident to me that the top notes had to be white flowers: you can pick up tuberose, a hint of neroli and gardenia. I personally love gardenia (Chantecailles Pétales is a personal favorite of mine), so this was a pleasure to pick up in this scent. At the same time I felt a blast of jasmine hit me in the proboscis. This is said to be a middle note, but it is very intense at the beginning. Though it is rather bold upon your first whiff, the other white flowers blend well to make it enjoyable. I have never been a huge fan of jasmine (which is why I cannot wear Tom Fords Jasmine Rouge), so this was very important to me. With the combination of these particular notes, I was immediately reminded of Thierry Muglers masterpiece Alien; you can think of Truth or Dare as similar but much more soft when it comes to the jasmine. They are still very different fragrances so you can rest any possible worries you may have. As a few hours went by, the jasmine was still with me, feeling almost as if someone was spritzing it in the air amongst the other notes; it was so beautiful. You can also pick up benzoin and I wasnt able to pick up the lily that is reported to be a part of the heart notes. What I found very interesting was as the jasmine started to get more intense on my skin, I smelled leather. I kept putting my wrist to my nose because I love the smell of leather (so naturally I like John Varvatos or even Dzing! By LArtisan Parfumeur). A group of white flowers and benzoin lead me to smell leather; brilliant. Once I hit the five hour mark, the fragrance took me for another ride. At this point, the volume was turned up; all the way up. Truth or Dare was leaning more towards dare; it was so sexy I would have done anything at that moment. With the smell of leather on me, I began to pick up an animalic hint of musk. I also picked up vanilla and caramel, two gorgeous gourmands. I discovered the amber is caramelized amber, which made it even better. I cannot truly put into words how hot it smelled so deep into having it on me. The caramelized amber made me want to take a bite out of my wrist and deal with the consequences later. No dare was required for it was my truth. After approximately eight or nine hours, the jasmine calms, the other white flowers disappear, a smidge of benzoin is there and we are left with the base notes that linger; they come in waves of sorts. I continued to smell vanilla, amber and musk well into 14 hours of wearing this fragrance. It was like dessert; saving the best for last. I should also note that I actually took a shower and still could smell it on my wrist afterwards; I was very impressed. Overall, I am very pleased with this fragrance and do plan to buy it in the largest size offered. I am not one to purchase ancillaries so the fragrance itself will suffice. This fragrance has depth and dimension. It is very clear that Madonna put a lot into forming this fragrance. It is not a cliché celebrity fragrance that reeks of sugary sweet notes or poorly blended florals. I would also like to add that I did not smell Fracas in this fragrance; some notes perhaps but no, this is not Fracas; they are very different. This fragrance is more of a fall/winter scent in my mind, but due to its sex appeal, it could be worn any time you want to be romantic or simply have someone devour you. Kudos Madge. I highly recommend you give this one a try. -sP
Truth or Dare pays homage to Madonna's mother, and is an obvious reference to the heavy hitting tuberose-laden Fracas by Robert Piguet, the fragrance her mother wore. It incorporates another favourite scent- gardenia. Madonna wanted to recreate the memory of how her mother smelled to her, and with the help of perfumer Stephen Nilsson, she's done a good job of translating this olfactive memory into a modern day fragrance. It plays up the religious influence of her name and Catholic upbringing, with a bottle designed to resemble a flacon of Holy Water and the resinous aspects of church incense. Truth Like an opening night performance, she starts off with a blast- in this case tuberose and white florals that are bold and emblazoned, but not suffocating. The tuberose misses the mark to create the well rounded buttery quality that replicates Fracas, feeling somewhat thin and engineered. While 'thin' usually signals 'cheap', like almost anything Madonna touches, it has managed to translate into shiny and new. Much like taking scraps of raggy lace and rubber typewriter bands and turning them into fashion statements and tools of empowerment. You don't feel cheated, but you're aware that we are indeed living in a material world and money inevitably has the last say when it comes to accessibility. Madonna even admitted this is what kept her from arriving earlier in the fragrance realm, emphasizing that there were issues around creating something that was quality enough to bear her name, yet affordable in the mass market that she could stand behind. The gardenia appears green and waxy, spread a bit too thin to be lush- but there's so much going on, that you're still entertained. Like the entertainer, she may be a bit thin on vocal ability, but she sure knows how to put on a hell of a show and make it work. Orange Blossom lends its fullness, and spicy lily nips at your nose unexpectedly, imparting a kick of peppery heat to keep the florals from becoming too heady. It reins in the tuberose and tries to tame the indolic jasmine that seems to take center stage- much like the 10yr old Madonna wearing a swimsuit and neon paint, go-go dancing at a school recital under a black light. Parents were horrified, and anyone who doesn't know what real jasmine is will be too. Indolic jasmine can smell like mothballs and in this fragrance, it acts as a conductor, sending vapours out in exhausted, forceful pants like the last vocals of Love Don't Live Here Anymore. This is where the fragrance seems to linger most, in a stage of suspended animation while the crowd screams for more, then hushes in anticipation of the spoken message. Dare Without darkness there can be no light, and Truth or Dare creates a tangible example. Resinous amber and benzoin lurk beneath the florals, giving it a dusty, (easily interpreted as powdery) vintage and austere feel to it. If you let your imagination go, you can almost feel the heavy, hard uncomfortable pews in church, designed to keep you upright and reminded that Christ endured and so must you. Yet, like a well-delivered sermon, its heavy and weightless all at once, sunken and concealed beneath the florals giving a dimension of depth, yet buoyant to keep them uplifted towards the light. The two opposites of light and dark, fluid and unmoving, create an intriguing duality that validates the seemingly corny name, rendering it wholly apt. Synthetic skin musks and vanilla absolute buffer the zone between the two, never becoming individually obvious, instead interacting as necessary shepherds throughout the transitioning of the two extremes. As the fragrance dries down, the benzoin and amber become more prominent and linger like the last wisps of smoke from a censer, somewhat textured and scratchy. Sillage and longevity are reasonable. Despite being loud at first unleashing, it smooths out within minutes and unless you douse yourself in it, it should be easy enough to wear without offending. Truth or Dare is a well crafted fragrance that isn't dumbed down for the masses. In fact, many of the masses can be heard with their protests of "old lady smell" which translates into "mature". It has the facets of a classic with a fresh and modern interpretation that should enjoy a long shelf life, providing an alternative to the sugar laden nose candy offered up by other celebs. Madonna can take a bow for a job well done, she has managed to convey the sentiment for which she strove and balanced it perfectly with her strong, persuasive, brashy-to-classy style.
When I told the sales associate at Macys that I had come for the Madonna perfume, she didnt question for even a second the fact that I was a man or inquire whether I was buying it for a female relative. She knew it was for me and was totally unfazed, an indication that a lot of gay men must be buying Truth or Dare regardless (or perhaps because of) its Jungle Gardenia aspirations. The placement of the fragrance in the store could not have been an accident: it was not obviously situated at the mens or womens counters, but in between. Truth or Dares unisex intent is further established by its wonderful television ad that visually recalls Madonnas Erotica phase (reviled at the time but now the hottest and most imitated aesthetic reference around) and the noticeable absence of the usually front-and-center gendered marketing terminology: the female announcer merely says, Truth or Dare, the new fragrance by Madonna. Not perfume. Not for her. Fragrance. Nor is it printed anywhere on the box that it is for women. Very clever. To begin with, nothing you have heard about this fragrance is true, and the general puzzlement and overqualified, reluctant, tight-lipped simultaneous approval /condemnation of it in the perfume blogosphere reflects this. All the reviews thus far go something like this: the reviewer will begin with a disclaimer that she has admittedly never been a huge fan of Madonna, a sentiment that I hear every day from every single person every single time Madonna is mentioned that mysteriously belies that fact that Madonnas tour dates sell out within seconds at astronomical prices and that she is still probably the most famous woman in the world. The reviewer will then marvel at how Madonna is so late to the celebrity fragrance game, insert an unfunny, irrelevant jab about her age, after which will be placed in block quotation the PR copy about the perfume. The reviewer will say that the fragrance smells surprisingly good, surprisingly old lady in that it has an extremely noticeable floral component, but will conclude that Truth or Dare is nothing to write home about because who has time for this when you can wear perennial snob favorite Carnal Flower or some other Edgy Cool Indie White Floral thats not EMBARRASSING like the Madonna perfume! One reviewer cynically and prematurely bashes anyone who might be tempted to applaud it simply because it is not a predictable cotton candy ditz department store fragrance. All of this goes to show that Madonna is still a heated, relevant, and above all HIGHLY stigmatized cultural property, as much as she was in the 80s and 90s- everyone is fascinated with everything she does, and everyone is still too frightened to immediately embrace any of it until a few years have passed and a bolder critic has stated that its okay to like it. I digress. Wait, no I dont, because this is a celebrity perfume, and the public perception of the famous name affixed is as integral to the identity of the product as Bruce Webers cold, explicit images of Kate Moss were to Calvin Kleins Obsession, or Victor Skrebneskis spacious WASP mansion panoramas were to Estee Lauder . Any discussion of Truth or Dare must by necessity include a discussion of Madonna and the fragrances marketing. While Truth or Dare is stated to be retro tuberose gardenia florala tribute to Madonnas mothers unnamed signature scent assumed by everyone to be Fracasit is in actuality an unexpected, complex, unusual, firmly unisex musk scent with floral, oriental, and gourmand elements in equal measure. It simply smells undeniably terrific: streamlined, sexy, sweet but not too sweet, floral but not too floral, rich but pleasantly cheap, but sniff closer and its shocking character is readily apparent: this is an indole, rubber, and musk fragrance! It is as if a creamy, proudly synthetic white floral accord that smells ambiguously of tuberose, gardenia, and jasmine is underlined by a fierce cocktail of every weird off note that goes along with those smells: big burnt rubber , big fecal indole (to rival Brent Leonesios Untitled #8). How is no one noticing how dirty this fragrance is? I have NEVER smelled such proudly displayed skank notes in any mid-range department store celebrity scent! Perhaps it is because the off notes are married so perfectly to a hippie-ish androgynous salty ambery oriental musk base with a beautifully executed burnt sugar note. Truth or Dares closest relatives are, I would say, Angel for its two-sided vulgar structure, Juicy Couture for its salty gourmand florals, and Jovan Musk for its loud, ungendered statement of cheap and fun sexuality. Any complaints? It should probably be labeled an EDT rather than an EDP if only to encourage people to spray it on in great quantities. It is assertive but always pleasant and its ambery musk sticks around a shockingly long time. Depending on how much you wear, it can be a good-time clubbing scent or something more polite for the office. Totally versatile. If it were approached without prior knowledge of the PR material or that it is endorsed by Madonna, Truth or Dare would undoubtedly be embraced for its originality, defiance of easy categorization, unisex potential, and unique, humorous bottle design that looks like nothing else currently in department stores except that wonderfully kitschy teal opaque Youth-Dew bottle. When was the last time I had this much FUN with a mainstream department store release? I love it to death.
Tried this on myself in the store just to see how the longevity and sillage were. I can tell you this thing will last thru just about anything! I used hand sanitizer 4 times and rubbing alcohol 3 times and it was still very prominent. The fragrance was not what I expected, it seemed rather old to my nose. In fact the first thought in my mind was if someone came into the store looking for an newer version of Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, this is it! Later another associate and I figured out Truth or Dare smells like the love child of White Diamonds and Hanae Mori Butterfly. Someone did point out that Madonna is not a spring chicken anymore, so this makes sense. I still think it's 1984 and "Like a Virgin" just came out. That being said, it is not an offensive fragrance. The main reason I wanted it off my skin was because there were several new men's frags that were just unpacked and I couldn't give them a good test since ToD was so powerful. For an EDP it is very reasonably priced $55 for the 1.7 oz and $68 for the 2.5 oz. The bottle design to me is a bit cheap, kind of wanting to be a throw back to a luxury bottle from 50-100 years ago, but just comes off looking like a cheap chinese knock off bottle.
Truth Or Dare by Madonna, 2012
|Top Notes||gardenia, tuberose, neroli|
|Middle Notes||jasmine, benzoin tears, white lily petals|
|Base Notes||vanilla absolute, caramelized amber, sensual musk aura|
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