Until now, I have avoided Madonna's Truth or Dare like I avoid stair railings at our children's hospital. Oh, come on, you just know there are boogers all over it. Truth or Dare was so off my radar that I never even stalked it on Fragrantica, Make-up Alley or Google, and I stalk everything. But then I see it marked down at TJ Maxx for $7. Seven bucks... for 3.4 oz. Kiss it, Inner Farm Girl! Post stalking, when I saw Truth or Dare linked to Fracas, I had to do a side-by-side comparison straight away. That's right, I said 'straight away' in honor of Madonna's phony British accent period.
Here's the deal: they are just alike, except completely different.
Truth or Dare starts out all floral-sweet, like hard tack candy at Christmas. B-man said the top notes smell like the opening of Joop Homme (his 'let's go play' scent, which I absolutely love). Fracas, on the other hand, starts out green and turn-up-my-nose sour, really. Why so serious? Next comes the Truth or Dare lemon and citrus phase. Fracas, on the other hand, takes a totally different direction and smells just like Thumbelina, my childhood doll that peed her pants and landed face down in a cow pie after I dangled her out the backseat car window. She had a permanent 'birthmark' on her cheek after that, but I still loved her. That's what I told my mom then and I can't think of a good reason to tell the truth now. Except that she was Thumbelina Shitface after that.
Next comes the lemon and citrus phase of Truth or Dare. Yeah, I know, I already said that. Just consider it a repeat of the 'Like A Prayer' chorus. Finally, Fracas gets to the dark, inky part that I love. The tuberose here must be black and wilted because it has lost the sweetness that can make tuberose so...precious and squishy. Fracas doesn't play straight tuberose on my skin and it has a decidedly naughty twist.
In the end, both perfumes are unique from each other, but not dramatically so. Truth or Dare is more gardenia/benzoin/butterscotch and Fracas maintains a metallic smear of ink. I wanted Fracas to kick Truth or Dare to the curb so I could tell everyone, 'I knew it ,they are nothing alike - ha ha!' And Fracas had 'er in a headlock there in the heart notes, threatening to graffiti her ass with a fountain pen. But in the final drydown, they are similar enough that I can't honestly say, 'ha ha!' Just, 'huh, look at that.'
For me, there's no clear winner, mostly because it's not an apples to apples comparison. Fracas is the mother of tuberose that commands respect and has a hair trigger bitch slap. Truth or Dare wants to party, and it's making me happy tonight with its sweetness and just enough jasmine to keep it from smelling like the oversize gardenia corsage that we gave Mom every Mother's Day until she worked up the courage to tell us she hated them. We hated them, too, but thought she loved them. I thought I hated Truth or Dare until
Image from fragrantica.com