Madonna : Truth or Dare

Created by : Stephen Nilsen

Date : 2012

Genre : White floral (tuberose)

Concentration : eau de parfum

I couldn’t wait to go to work Friday morning because I wanted to wear Truth or Dare by Madonna.  I’m not sure why I had such a reaction to this perfume… I think it’s because I’d been looking for a wearable (and affordable) tuberose for many years now and the current offerings out there are either over-the-top tuberose or over-the-top expensive!  Fracas is too buttery.  Tubéreuse Criminelle and Dior’s Poison have too much menthol.  Carnal Flower is about the best out there (although I haven’t tested it on my skin yet) but as an everyday scent, it’s expensive.  And so when I heard that the material girl had come up with a tuberose-gardenia accord dedicated to her mother, well… I just wanted it.

It intrigued me that Madonna chose a tuberose note for her first fragrance.   I know about her mother wearing tuberose and gardenia scents and all that but let’s face it… young women are not wearing tuberose perfumes.  Celebrities are still doing basic fruity florals which are big sellers because they’re easy to like.  But tuberose?  (Read this great article in The Guardian for an interview with the perfumer.)

In short, Truth or Dare is a well-constructed, synthetic tuberose with a woody/ambery base.  The vanilla notes keep it from getting too dry (such as Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Fragile) and some fruit (red berry?) kept it mouth-watering for me… but there are no berry notes listed anywhere so that’s just me.  In the middle notes, I had the impression of a raspy nutty/tobacco note but as soon as I identified it, it disappeared.  Truth or Dare is lush and it’s fun to wear but because of its synthetic makeup, it didn’t evolve much after the first hour… however, on the bright side, the longevity is impressive!

I’ll wear Truth or Dare again and again and I look forward to wearing it in sweltering, humid Montreal nights.  If you like tuberose scents, give it a try.  Somehow I suspect that the quality of this one could sink over the coming years and I also predict a glut of mediocre-tuberose-celebrity scents so… I would buy this one now if you are the least bit interested.

To resume, Truth or Dare is a beautiful, wearable and affordable tuberose and so thank you, Madonna, for giving us a tuberose option.

Here is a glimpse of the launch at Macy’s in New York…

Have a nice week everyone!

Addendum : After publishing my post, I read on another blog that Madonna’s Truth or Dare was more truth than dare… and that disappointed the blogger.  This is true.  This fragrance is not her trashy, crotch-in-your-face, stage persona… it’s her off-stage persona that always takes my breath away… great hair, great make-up, great clothes… classy, ultra-feminine Madonna.  Well… Truth or Dare is just that… classy and feminine.  I wore it again today… very nice.

Top image : Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Clairin (1843-1919)

Leave a comment


  1. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  May 14, 2012

    I like the angle of reviewing Truth or Dare in relation to its suitability for men, especially as tuberose is such a heady over-the-top flower. I have not smelled it yet but it’s on my sniff-list.

    • Hi!

      I’ve kept a sample for you. And although I was told at the department store that it was exclusive to them… I noticed huge displays in several drugstores recently. I guess they’re expecting it to be a big seller. Time will tell.


  2. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  May 14, 2012

    Thank you, Normand. Have fun wearing TOD to work! It’s great to work in a perfume-friendly place.

  3. I’m not a BWF girl myself, I lean more towards iris and incense, but I found this very wearable when I sprayed it recently. And if it means more people are exposed to something mainstream that’s not sugar cookies or strawberries, that’s wonderful. My only critique is the bottle – I don’t like the look of it at all.

    • That bottle is strange! Some people just absolutely ADORE it… and other people hate it! I’m not into bottles much so even the ultra-simple Serge Lutens bottles are fine with me. Iris and incense? Nice combination!

      Thanks for the comment!


  4. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  May 14, 2012

    To me the Truth or Dare bottle looks like a holy water bottle.

    I love the elegant simplicity of the Serge Lutens bottles.

  5. Very weird bottle to say the least…Great post by the way!

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