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Fragrance Review: Truth or Dare

January 23, 2013
Ah, the '80s.

Ah, the ’80s. Today I tell the story of how Madonna- the ’80s rebel, cone-bra-wearing and licentious-lyric’d bad girl- is intricately linked to one of the most aristocratic fragrances on earth and I share with you my rapt anticipation and review of her modern encore, Truth or Dare

As a girl who grew up in the eighties, early Borderline Madonna is part of the soundtrack to my life. I was in Grade 6, when the “Like A Prayer” video came out. I remember it was a Big Deal and I couldn’t wait to see it. There was a media frenzy over the video and my mom insisted on watching it with me because, you know, interracial romance, fiery crosses, and stigmata, oh my! I didn’t really get what was bad about it, I mean I thought the bloody tears were creepy, but then it was all “Let the choir sing!” and I love to clap along.

Believe it or not, that was TWENTY FOUR YEARS ago. Madonna’s ability to make a stir and stay relevant is impressive. Like her or loathe her, the woman has built an empire and now she has a perfume. (Actually she has 2.)

The very first niche perfume I ever fell in love with was Tubereuse Indiana by Creed. This fragrance is a magical, heady white floral with notes of sexy ambergris and vanilla underneath. It’s a creamy, soft tuberose scent, expertly crafted by one of the old-school luxury fragrance houses.

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1956-crafted Fleurissimo by Creed still has cred

It was my first foray into fancy perfume and I quickly became obsessed with it. The Creed brand has been churning out “the good stuff” since the 18th century and regularly blend scents for royals. The brand is synonymous with superior ingredients and traditional methods of production.

Prince Ranier of Monaco famously commissioned a perfume for his bride Grace Kelly to wear on her wedding day. Fifty seven years later, Fleurissimo remains one of their most popular fragrances. The whole Creed vibe is quietly expensive and delightfully old fashioned. Many famous people have worn and wear their scents, yet one would not imagine someone as bold as Madonna, wanting something so old moneyed and demure. But she did. Just like me!

Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly's wedding photo- and we know what she smelled like

Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding photo- and we know what she smelled like

I guess I’m not the only one with good taste, and to be fair, she wore it first. When I heard Madonna was going to be launching a tuberose perfume, I was indeed very curious. The story goes that she was inspired by the scent memory of her own mother. The main notes are the tropical white flowers tuberose and gardenia. Two of the most beautiful scents in nature, that are so often bastardized in cheap perfume.

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Tuberoses

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Gardenias

On fist spritz, Truth or Dare does share some notes with the fancy French fragrance that may or may not have inspired her Madgesty.

Truth or Dare fragrance by her Madgesty

Truth or Dare fragrance by her Madgesty

A potentially dangerously over powering combination, Truth or Dare is heavily floral on the gardenia, and musky on the tuberose, and almost, almost cloying. Truth or Dare is on the sweet side of vanilla for my taste, but once its settled its quite soft. If you ever get your nose into a real tuberose blossom, you smell the sweetness and at the same time there is the tiniest hint of decay underneath it. Its probably best left in nature. Overall, Truth or Dare not terrible but its not brilliant. For me, this fragrance lacks the true complex sensuality of the real flower. And unlike its creator, it just doesn’t last long enough.

Gread ad, too bad

Gread ad, too bad

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