Age: 45 to 54
Skin type: Dry
A truly wearable Chypre
This is my third JHAG fragrance and by far my favorite, although I love Lady Vengeance for different reasons. To me, Mad Madame comes closest to the promise of the brand's edgy marketing, but takes it up a notch for a more mature audience (note: I am not calling this 'stinky old lady grandma perfume,' I'm only saying it's more complex and sophisticated than some of the other offerings). Mad Madame has JHAG's signature rose, but it's coated with a blast of bright and mineral-y ambroxan that announces in no uncertain terms this is no sweet and gentle flower. The rose quickly opens to a rich, woody, slightly skanky Chypre with a hint of overripe fruit and indoles (jasmine?)—truly gorgeous. The animalic note isn't overdone, but there's a definite dirty side here. To me, this scent conjures up an exotic gypsy with masses of black hair, heavily kohled eyes, gauzy skirts, and rows of twinkling gold bracelets. Now I, personally, am nothing like that person in real life, but I absolutely love the way she smells and her sense of freedom and mystery. Some reviewers have mentioned this is a heavy fragrance, but I don't perceive it that way. It's a substantial scent, yes, but nothing about it is obnoxious or overbearing. And the musky, woody dry down has a tender side to it that's definitely worth the wait. While it's totally appropriate as a date-night scent, I would definitely wear this during the day in rotation with some of my other signature perfumes. I give it a 6.5/10 sillage, 8/10 longevity (this is no Montale rose, but it still has lasting power), and 9/10 "wow" factor.
excellent review! thanx for all the details