30 Days of Scent, Day 14: Madonna Truth or Dare

truth or dare

I’m not typically a fan of big white florals, but when I found Truth or Dare on clearance at TJMaxx for under $10, I figured it was worth a shot. Madonna released this in 2012 in collaboration with Coty and perfumer Stephen Nilsen of Givaudan, and while it’s a good time for a celebrity to be getting into the fragrance game, the best time for Madonna herself to have done it would have been about 10 years ago, when she still had the market for it. It’s an excellent example of its style, well executed for a good price, but it’s already discontinued, because Madonna just doesn’t have the star power anymore to market her own fragrance.

Truth or Dare starts out with a big burst of creamy, buttery tuberose and sweet gardenia, with a hint of neroli. That tuberose stays with it all the way down and has led some reviewers to compare it to Robert Piguet’s classic Fracas, but I disagree. I feel like Truth or Dare is a lot sweeter and more innocent than the bold, sensual Fracas. As it wears on, a heart of jasmine and benzoin enters the mix, with faint wisps of lily here and there. The base is mostly vanilla, with some amber and supposedly some undetectable-to-me musk.

It’s rather rare for me to wear something that’s unapologetically white floral without a headache, but this is actually rather pleasant, if outside my comfort zone. As I’ve said, the projection is rather loud, but longevity wise, it’s fairly standard, about 6 hours or so in cold weather. I’d be terrified to wear this in spring or summer, though–I think it would choke me. All in all, it’s a good choice for the price, but I can usually scrounge up a little extra money to do better.

The technical stuff:

Released: 2012

Availability: Discontinued 2014, mostly at discounters now

Perfumer: Stephen Nilsen (Givaudan)

Overall rating: 5.5/10

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