How involved was Madonna in her first fragrance, Truth or Dare? Um, have you been lost in your walk-in closet? The 53-year-old icon brought the same hands-on dedication to her premiere fragrance that’s reigned throughout her eclectic career. After meeting with a serene and thoughtful Madonna in a Macy’s conference chamber, scattered with white gardenia petals and lit by Truth or Dare candles to create an atmosphere closer to a séance than a roundtable interview, we noticed these parallels between the ultimate trendsetter and her first fragrance.
1. Forget Hydrangeas: This Woman LOVES Gardenias: The top note of the fragrance is gardenias—a scent Madonna has long surrounded herself with. “In Los Angeles and in Miami, I’ve always had gardenia plants around the house,” she says. “The smell of gardenia has always been a big part of my life.”
2. Girl Gone Wild: A floral just wouldn’t be Madonna without a subversive twist. The gardenia note is undercut with provocatively sweet wood and musk notes. “She’s not shy,” says perfumer Stephen Nilsen, who worked with Madonna on the fragrance. “She’s this gorgeous woman. And this musk piece has a very skin-like sensuality.” So what would Madonna wear with this? “A black corset and a pair of fishnet stockings,” she says with a smirk.
3. Mother Of Invention: Madonna isn’t the only one in her family who loves gardenias—the scent is a tribute to her late mother, who passed away when Madonna was five years old. “She was very feminine,” Madonna recalls. “Funny. Very musical. Very nurturing. A real mama.”
4. Genius In A Bottle: The fragrance bottle was inspired by the actual box that Madonna carried during the process of creating Truth or Dare. “It was a small silver box she was using to carry her [fragrance] samples in,” Nilsen says.
5. Moment of Truth: The careful balance between the purity of the gardenias and the sensual notes such as musk is a duality Madonna is fond of. After all, she’s blurred the lines between virtuous and risqué throughout her career. “I think they show up in equal measures,” she says. “And have my whole life.”
Truth or Dare will be available in Canada in May.
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