Gaultier also explained he loves the bright pink of highlighters and attempted thus to bottle the imagined "scent" of one of his favourite shades. “It’s almost electric,” Gaultier says to Elle magazine. “The perfect color to make into a fragrance.“ Liking the highlighting almost fuschia shade is nothing ground-breaking, as press releases would like you to think; so do I, as I use it to highlight much more "agressive" art listings that depict ancient warriors and cthonian deities and my tastes run a more conservative gamut than dear Jean Paul's. “I didn’t fit in well with the kids in school,” Gaultier continues the confession to Elle. “While the other boys were playing sports, I was busy sketching!” At this point I am beginning to think that Gaultier and I share some degrees of Kevin Bacon! (something that would have my father in stiches)
The commercial for Ma Dame directed by Jean Baptist Mondino has supermodel du jour Agyness Deyn (also seen in Burberry The Beat commercials) literally tearing up the scene, snipping a long platinum wig, ripping off her sleeves, cutting her pant legs with a scissor (an allusion to the ripping that needs to be done in order to access the bottle inside the carton), all the while dancing to the beat of dj.Miss Kittin ~in a remix of "3rd Sex" by French group Indochine. She ends this on the sweet side with a kiss on the cheek of Gaultier himself.
Supposedly the aim of Ma Dame is to shed the cumbersome ideals of femininity for a rebellious, modern, cutting-edge interpretation. The French catch phrase is: ‘Interdit aux dames’ (NOT for ladies), but they changed it to “For the woman who is unique, unconventional, different” in English. Tag anything with a prohibition and you create intrigue. The rectangular bottle that features in its heart the torso bottle of Gaultier's best-selling Classique (by perfumer Jacques Cavallier) set in relief gives the game away though: we're far off the land of controversy or rebeliousness and the only thing that is ambivalent about this fragrance is the decision quota of its intended clientelle. Seeing the street credence of punky (but perfectly angelically-featured) Agyness Deyn makes one think they're buying into a slice of the wild side and the brand is obviously aware of the public being in the know about Gaultier's edgy reputation (how ironic that it is his jackets cut with scalpel-precision that are the best hidden thing about his line)
Sniffing or spraying Ma Dame is a violent surprise at first: an intense, eye-searing blast of citrusy sweet shampoo latheriness jolts you like the lightsabers used in Star Wars, this time hued Bright Fuschia for the person who teeters between Luke Skywalker and Prince Leia (this is the 00s!). The shade and feel has been described as "lurid pink" by Mrs.Veneering on POL and I couldn't find a more perfect description. The composition by talented, almost in-house* nose Francis Kurkdjian (from the Takasago team) revisits the canned peach-candy orange-pink lotus in hysterics of Classique smothered in vats of vanillic powder and a prolonged white musk drydown that is anodyne more than androgyne; in fact the more they dry-down the more they're indistinguishable to me. Thankfully Ma Dame is not cloying like Classique can be, mostly thanks to a very fresh treatment of alleged cedar which veers on aquatic: it's utterly synthetic-smelling and sanitised like being dressed in futuristic tinfoil which is a new direction that Gaultier ommited to include in his amazingly wonderful costumes for the "Fifth Element". Ma Dame is mischievous and diabolical enough in that it will make you wonder whether this is good or bad which I hope reveals humour behind its creation. To take you out of the dilemma I have one admission to make: it's nothing I would wear myself. Consider yourselves accordingly advised.
Nota bene the creative prowess behind the bottle design: the transparent spray mechanism is invisible!
Official notes for Ma Dame
Top: Orange Zest, Grenadine
Heart: Fresh Rose velvet, floral Notes
Base: Cedar, Musk
Available at major department stores since September, 50ml/1.7oz for $95 of Eau de toilette (also available at 100ml/3.4oz). Matching body products as well.
*taking into consideration he's responsible for Gaultier's Fragile, Gaultier 2, Le Male and Fleur du Male.
Pic of Agyness Deyn and Jean Paul Gaultier via zimbio.com Pic of bottle via Vogue.com