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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Madness by Chopard

Madness is a discontinued gem by Christine Nagel, which, were it to be born into a different brand and market, could have thrived as a niche favorite. It has all the markings of one.

A woody oriental with an interesting, oddly sweaty yet dry, fruity top and a sueded rose woven throughout the composition, it has a beautiful incense accord that lends the blend an atmosphere of darkness, which is neither sensual nor sinister. Rather, the presence of the smooth, polished, warm rosewood note and the crystalline, musky hibiscus makes the fragrance serene.

Serene doesn't seem like the right description for a perfume called Madness, but the only crazy thing about the scent is its name, the ugly color scheme of its packaging and its fate, which treated it so badly by placing in where it had. Simultaneously very "human" (what with that sweaty lychee note and a leathery feel) and thus familiar, yet comfortingly detached, this is a great contemplative fragrance, which to me inhabits the same realm of softer incensey/woody comfort scents as Costes, 10 Corso Como and Eau Egyptienne.

Madness can be found fairly easily online. I see it for as little as $18.64 for 2.5oz on Amazon.

Image, Jiang Guo Fang's Palace Gate, is from



Blogger Maggie O'Boyle said...

I'm also a Madness fan but I'm surprised you didn't comment on the very noticeable pepper note that actually makes me sneeze right after I put it on. I find it extremely sophisticated and well made but I would use words like "energetic" more than "contemplative". Reformulation or body chemistry?

12:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marko said...

I gave this to a friend a few years ago for just "fit" her somehow. She calls it her "Opera" scent, claiming that it "smells like the lobby of a theater, full of women sipping champagne cocktails". I don't know if I get ALL of that, but I do think it is a gorgeous scent (on me AND her...)

1:25 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

YESSSS!!!!! Finally some love for the incomparable Madness! Thank you! I remember the day I went to sample the new perfume arrivals. I liked YSL "Nu", but it paled before Madness. I love the way that skanky, spicy note cuts through the opulent rose. Madness is my go-to scent. I find it ... centered. A quiet place from which you can go forth and relax or become active, whichever you need at the moment.

5:29 AM EDT  
Anonymous Danielle said...

I'm finishing my first bottle of Madness. I think it's a great winter perfume (night at the opera is a good description). I don't get rose, I'm afraid. Pepper and woods done smooth and opulent is what my nose gets. Too peppery for the first few seconds but a great rich yet refreshing wood perfume I love when it settles. I almost think I smell a hint of spruce! Thanks for reviewing it.

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Was this inspired by Victoria's recent discussion? Because I totally ordered a bottle unsniffed. It hasn't arrived (hmmm...really should be here by now) but I'm looking forward to it even more now. Hope mine has that peppery top--love that kind of thing in Nuit de Tubereuse and Ta'if.

10:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Elisa said...

I love the name. Sounds intriguing, though I can be sensitive to pepper in fragrances (Parfum Sacre was too peppery for me) so I'll have to resist the unsniffed purchase!

3:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it, that peppery top note paired with the dark chocolate and cardamom is simply delicious!

5:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I have always tuned out to Chopard in the past, probably because I associate the line with remaindered bottles of Wish in T K Maxx, but I am a big fan of woody orientals, and a sueded rose sounds just up my street, if not the "oddly sweaty" aspect. Sounds like it is well worth a shot regardless!

: - )

7:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think had a reason or time to reformulate it. Must be body chemistry or difference in perception :)

7:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love the way your friend describes it! Makes me want to be in a theater lobby sipping champagne :)

8:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Centered is such a great way to describe it!!

8:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Now I need to look for more spruce in it. And more pepper!

8:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Which one? Link me up! :) You and your Nuit de Tubereise! :)

8:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't get that much pepper in PS either, my skin must gobble it up or something. Just like food is often not spicy enough for me :)

8:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Why am I under-served on pepper then? :)

Word verification- golowag :) Sometimes I feel it speaks a language of its own.

8:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Welcome back from your travels!
You now, I used to wear Wish for a couple of years. It is an Angel wannabe that I like more than Angel itself :)

8:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Do you hate NdT? I guess I do talk about it a lot. It's not so much that I think it's the greatest thing of all time, it's just that I can't seem to stop wearing it. ;)

You know, I went to try and check on my order after I posted my comment and though I have a distinct memory of pulling the trigger I can find no record of doing so anywhere. So we will just have to wait. I suspect it was from one of those shady sellers on Amazon.

9:17 PM EDT  

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