eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, November 30, 2012

Ladies with an attitude... [a group blog]

Thankfully, I have been alive long enough to see each and every incarnation of Madonna's propensity and talent for reinvention, and I remember each one vividly. When has Madonna not been pretty much the coolest person in pop music? Even now, Lady Gaga with her hybridization of Marilyn Manson and Madonna, cannot hold a candle to the extremes Madonna has explored and conquered. Madonna is the Mother of Re-Invention, and she has flags planted in practically every arena-- including a bullfighting one.

So goes the theme of our group blog chosen this time around by Persolaise. Please take a few moments to check out the posts of my peers as well:

Candy Perfume Boy (our special guest)
Fragrant Moments

(Yep, just me and the boys this time-- just as Madge herself would have it)

I sort of thrive off of different arts coming together for any purpose, but music, fashion and perfume? That's the mother-lode. I'm going to share two of my favorite Madonna eras and pair them with what I consider to be the ideal perfume for that era.


Not many of us knew anything about the real Vogueing scene happening in NYC when this song and video came out, so Madonna's ultra-stylized version in her video gave us a taste of something new (to us, anyway). The best part about the statement that Vogue made at the time was Madonna's homage to the most fabulous women and men of the past, mostly in the Golden Age of Hollywood. When Madonna sings "Greta Garbo gave good face", no one could argue with that. Madonna shows love for those style mavens who came before her, and it's every bit as delicious as the dapper minimalist suits worn in the video.

All these classic references deserve a classic perfume, and to my mind, it must be a Guerlain-- more specifically, Mitsouko, an exemplary chypre created in 1919 by Jaques Guerlain.

The delicate but persistent anisic note in the classic Mousse de Saxe accord is my favorite part of the Mitsouko experience. Brightly aromatic and rich, spicy and overtly sexual, this is a fragrance for grown-ups. Even though the heart boasts a punch of peach, I think it suits men and women equally. If you're lucky enough to possess even a few drops of the vintage extrait, you understand the earthy power of natural oak moss. 


Like most people fond of Madonna's particular brand of pop, I have a soft spot for her early days. Desperately Seeking Susan first hit theaters in 1985, and as we all know, the plot leaves something to be desired, but Madonna's sexy urban nonchalance as Susan made a lot of sense to me. Everybody tried to dance like her, look like her, and display the level of confidence she innately had. She made even the most questionable wardrobe pieces seem like she was born to wear them, which leads me to the song...

Into the Groove

Nobody does a healthy combination of the sacred AND profane like Etat Libre d'Orange, and Antoine Maisondieu's Encens et Bubblegum is the perfect example. Even the perfumer's surname fits right in.

Okay, so I can't ever recall a time when Madonna projected innocence exactly, but her music heavily leaned towards bubblegum in the early days. The incense represents the consistent use of religious symbols (whether they are subtle or meant to be obvious) in practically everything she's ever done. I mean, nothing says "I'm a reformed Catholic!" quite like sugary-sweet, hot pink bubblegum paired with the intoxicating, ecclesiastical cool of frankincense, right?

Have any of you tried Madonna's perfume Truth Or Dare? I love the visual aesthetic of the bottle and graphic on it, but I've not sampled it yet. I'm tempted to, though. The power of pop compels me!


  1. Thumbs up for the Vogue reference :-D

    I'm intrigued by the idea of linking the song and the video with Mitsouko. Very, very clever, if you don't mind my saying so.

  2. The first time I experienced Madonna, it awed me that she didn't give a fig about what people thought of her. She was going to be who SHE wanted to. It inspired a pre-teen girl from rural Iowa to get that pair of Fire Engine red hi-tops and wear them with flair ;)


  3. I was excited about Truth or Dare but didn't end up liking it at all. It smelled both lactonic and buttery. I.e., Gross. Ah well.

  4. "..just me and the boys this time...just as Madge would have it," that made me smile Carrie. I'm digging his post. When Vogue came out, the dance music scene in New York was heavy. I loved how she plucked dancers out of the club to be in the video. She kept it very real and I loved that about her. Great scent choices as well. Bravo.

  5. I like group projects :)

    Truth or Dare isn't for me - I do not like tuberose (and the bottle visoally reminds me a coffin), but it smelled nice on my co-worker.