Madonna Truth or Dare EDP Perfume Review

Madonna Truth or Dare

Mainstream Monday: Sniffing a Popular Perfume

I’m sure by now, you all know the story behind Madonna’s Truth or Dare. It’s a tuberose perfume based on her mother’s signature scent, Piguet Fracas. I wasn’t bothered by Madonna’s launching of a fragrance now of all times to launch a fragrance. But, I was bothered by it being “inspired by” Fracas. If you want to smell like Fracas, then just buy Fracas. Also, why do I want to smell like Madonna’s mother? Why does any fan of Madonna want to smell like her mother? If her mother isn’t Greta Garbo then I’m not interested.

I get an indolic jasmine blast and verging-on-mothballs tuberose in the opening of Truth or Dare. This is a white floral and there is nothing subtle about it. The gardenia is slightly fruity. The white florals are “thick” like Fracas. This isn’t sheer. This isn’t subtle. The scent goes mothball gardenia. I guess this is supposed to be surprising for a celeb fragrance. Eventually the scent becomes a peach-tuberose-hard candy on me. And at this stage, I’m like “this is all OK…and I don’t hate it”. And then the base goes industrial glue on my skin. This base ruins the entire fragrance for me. It makes it unbearable to wear. No benzoin. No caramel. No amber. All glue. When I sample this, people ask for me to take a shower. I’m also not allowed in the car with them. Seriously. So yeah, it dries down to glue and vanilla plastic rolled around in powdered sugar. If I only paid attention to the top and mid, it’s possible that I would have fallen for it.

On skin, Truth or Dare is a huge disappointment for me. It’s very chemical, thick, heavy and a scrubber of all scrubbers for me. As a material girl in a material world, this breaks my heart. I tried so hard to love Truth or Dare, but I’ll stick to listening to Madonna remixes and wearing Fracas whenever I want to smell like a heavy, old-fashioned tuberose and want to think of Madonna. Now you can find a list of links below of other reviews. Many people are loving this fragrance. I don’t.


Notes listed include gardenia, creamy tuberose, neroli, jasmine, benzoin, white lily, vanilla, caramelized amber and sensual musk. Launch date 2012. PERFUMER – Stephen Nilsen

Give Truth or Dare a try if you like white florals. Or if you like perfumes like the original Michael Kors, the original Juicy Couture, original Marc Jacobs, Piguet Fracas, Heeley Bubblegum Chic and/or Montale Jasmin Full. It’s a bit ‘ole white floral so many will associate this with the feminine.

Truth or Dare has above average projections and above average longevity. But, all of my scrubbers have above average longevity…

It appears that just a year after its launch that it’s already pulled from department stores and hit the big box/drugstore scene. The 2.5 oz bottle retails for $52 at

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONIndustrial white floral. It traumatized me. I guess what bothers me (other than it’s a headache to wear) is that I can get excellent tuberose perfumes. They exist…in abundance. Why should I settle? AND even at this price point, Juicy Couture is a better choice for those wanting a cavity from their tuberose (geez, I love that perfume). But, here’s my thoughts with white florals, I’m willing to splurge on them because it seems that usually more expensive is actually better in this case (example, Malle Carnal Flower).

Want more reviews? Try…

Now Smell This

Bois de Jasmin

The Candy Perfume Boy

Perfume Shrine

This Blog Really Stinks

Australian Perfume Junkies

*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Madonna pic from Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!

9 thoughts on “Madonna Truth or Dare EDP Perfume Review

    1. I think Juicy Couture is an excellent perfume, very well done. And ignored by perfumistas because HELLO it’s Juicy Couture 😉

      Truth or Dare actually makes my stomach turn. I get nauseous while wearing it.

  1. I think the jasmine may be to blame for the mothball effect. I have Lust by Lush and the dominant note there is pure jasmine. Ive smelled the real deal (not sure which variety, most are nightbloomers right?) …anyway all I get w/ Lust is straight up “grannie’s closet of mothball madness!” That is until it’s on me, then it develops nicely. If you should ever want a real deal gardenia scent, Caswell Massey makes a beautiful one…not sure if it is disco though.

    1. I expect some mothballs in my white florals and oddly I love Lust (when I bring up mothball jasmine and people don’t know what I’m talking about, I tell them to try Lust). I have a soft spot for jasmine. That’s a white floral that I can fully endorse 😉

      Now gardenias are more difficult for me. I keep trying them. I think “OK” but never fall in love. I do like Kai because it’s simple. I have never tried the Caswell Massey but I often see them on online discounters for crazy cheap. Next time I make an order, I need to see if they still have that one!

  2. I tried to like it too. Madonna herself is likely the most disappointed of all. She is a master creatress and no doubt could have mixed it better on her own, given the right materials. It’s sad that celebrities have little to do with creating the perfumes that bear their names, it’s all just agents with spreadsheets and licensing agreements. That gluish note is kephalis, a popular base note for floral perfumes, but there is way too much of it in there and with no natural floral notes to soften it out (only synthetic reconstructions) it just doesn’t work.

    1. Wow, interesting. I have sniffed kephalis on its own and didn’t put it together that it was in here because all I got was model airplane glue 😉

      You know that Madonna doesn’t wear this stuff. She has great tastes in perfume and has had some wonderful perfumers make her some bespoke items.

    1. It is. One can say whatever they want to about the brand but there’s no denying that “that look” is popular with today’s young women. That’s fashion. Now saying that, the perfume does fit the brand. Feminine and sweet. Sexy but cute.

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