This Pleasure, It Feels Guilty: Truth or Dare

Not the slumber party game — the new fragrance from Madonna.

I know: what?!?!

I was in Boots a couple weeks ago, and as I was leaving the store, I passed a fragrance display and I thought, Ooh, I like that shiny crown-y bit that served as the top of the perfume bottle that caught my eye, and I picked it up and sniffed at it and thought two things: Me likey and I wish I knew what it is about this smell that I like so much.

Then I — I realised what I had just picked up and almost dropped it like it was a snake. I mean, I was around for the very first incarnation of the Madonna brand, the Original, so I am very much done with all that, with all the subsequent manifestations of Madonna-ism, but there’s something about this that really appeals to me.

When the sample came in with a bunch of other perfumes to test for the Herald, I reckoned it was fate.

I really do wish I knew how to talk about what I am smelling. I can read the ingredients like any normal person: it’s made up of gardenia, tuberose and neroli, jasmine, benzoin tears, white lily petals, vanilla absolute, caramelized amber, and musk. It is the musk? I like musk. Is it the gardenia? I think that is the first thing that I smell when I smell this, and it is pretty. I like vanilla, too…

Does it smell like the 80s? Is that what I’m responding too? Does this smell like my youth????

Whatever. I think it’s good. It has presence, but it’s not overwhelming, and its staying power is impressive. It ‘drys down’ nicely, as they say in the perfume biz, and I still like the shiny crown-y cap.

So: fair play to ya, missus, you’ve leant your name to a lovely fragrance, and one that I will be spritzing on my bod for the next wee while.

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