Now smell this
Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame – perfume review.
Ma Dame is the latest fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier. The fresh floral fragrance…
…aims to celebrate today’s emancipated woman, as personified by muse [Agyness] Deyn, whose androgynous blonde crop and general all-round look embodies what Gaultier calls "style garçonne".
True to the Gaultier ethos, Ma Dame is being positioned as a fragrance for edgy rule-breakers, who overturn established codes and reinvent fashion, unfettered by social and aesthetic taboos. (via moodieport)
Sound like fun? The commercial certainly is (if you missed it, see it here), and I'd say the fragrance, while not what you might expect from the ad copy, qualifies as well.
Ma Dame was developed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, who has been responsible for most of the Jean Paul Gaultier fragrance line (Le Mâle, Fragile, Gaultier2, Fleur du Mâle, Monsieur Eau du Matin). I rather expected that Ma Dame might play with gender expectations, but there's nothing even slightly androgynous about it; instead, as you might deduce from the bottle design, the scent plays on the over-the-top hyper-femininity espoused by Gaultier's fashions and brilliantly translated into fragrance by Jacques Cavallier's Classique.
Ma Dame opens fizzy and bright and fruity-citrusy, it is sweet but not candied, and has the perfect amount of peppery kick to match the images of Agyness Deyn chopping off her excess hair and clothing in the TV spot (see link above). Happily (for me, anyway), there is nothing overtly “fresh” about it. The heart is a powdery floral woods, quieter than the opening but still vibrant and fruity. The notes (acidic orange, velvet rose, grenadine, musk and cedar) don't much matter; it has that hyper-synthetic, nothing-to-do-with-nature feel that characterizes both the Gaultier fragrance line and a good portion of the work of Francis Kurkdjian — I am thinking not only of his work for Gaultier, but also of scents like Lanvin Rumeur and Ungaro by Ungaro. After an hour or so, Ma Dame is softer still, and more about the creamy-powdery woods; there is an obvious (even without the bottle design) nod to Classique, and it could also be a livelier (and pinker) version of Kenzo Amour's rice pudding.
I can't really say I love Ma Dame. It isn't my sort of thing. Still, I've enjoyed wearing it — spraying it on makes me smile, and the bottle very nearly makes me laugh out loud. It isn't at all the "edgy rule-breaker" fragrance it could have been, but at least today's emancipated woman has a sense of humor, I suppose? I should note that there have been very mixed reports on the fragrance board at MakeupAlley. As always, try before you buy.
Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette and in matching body products; it's exclusive to Macy's for the moment.