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I received Robert Piguet's Fracas eau de parfum as a sample, alongside two other Robert Piguet samples. I will admit to never having heard the name and I really didn't know what to expect from either the scent or the brand.
The description of Fracas, from the card that came with it, is 'Tuberose combines with jasmine, gardenia, lily of the valley and iris in a lavish profusion of fragile white flowers.' To be completely truthful, that description does not really appeal to me all that much. I prefer fruity scents, so I would never have been tempted to try this based on the description alone.
Although I do not have the full size, only a sample vial, I should give the bottle a mention. Again, this is not something which would have caught my attention or tempted me to try the fragrance. It is housed in a black bottle with crystal lid and the overall look to me is rather masculine. I prefer something a little more feminine and this bottle is not really my taste.
Top notes of Fracas are bergamot and mandarin. On application I noticed that there was a rather sharp alcohol fragrance which took a little while to dissipate. The initial fragrance reminded me a lot of the Lush Orange Blossom perfume, although more muted. As well as orange blossom there is a sort of grassiness to the scent. I could not really smell mandarin in it at all. My initial thoughts when I first applied this were that it was too floral and I simply didn't like it. It wasn't the sort of thing I would choose to wear myself and it felt rather old fashioned.
The middle (or heart) notes of the fragrance are jasmine, tuberose and gardenia. Once the perfume has settled on my skin, I find the fragrance so much more favourable. The tuberose comes out the most, but there is a faint spiciness to it which I think comes from the jasmine. It's quite feminine and a world away from the overpowering floral fragrance you are met with when the perfume is first applied.
Base notes of Fracas are musk and sandalwood. I don't find this scent to smell musky in the least, but I do notice once the scent is fading there is a rather creamy woodiness about it, yet that hint of tuberose lingers right up until the end, so the fragrance never loses its femininity.
On the whole, I think Fracas is a nice enough scent, but it's certainly not a favourite of mine - although that could just be because I'm not a huge fan of floral fragrances. I have worn this perfume a few times now and my fiancé has commented that he didn't like it, (which is something he normally never dares to do!) so it apparently doesn't get the male vote.
In terms of which age group this would suit, I'm 27 and think this would perhaps be suited to someone older. I feel like it's something my grandmother would like, but I feel it's a bit too floral for me. My mother and aunts are in their fifties and I couldn't imagine them wearing it either. That said, fragrance is a personal thing - if you like it, wear it, don't let my opinion put you off!
I've only ever worn this in the house or to the local shops for a loaf of bread or whatever, it's not one I would consider wearing for work as it's reasonably strong and certainly not one I'd choose on special occasions. I think it's one I'd prefer to wear in the evenings and the floral notes make it quite summery rather than one for colder weather.
The staying power of the fragrance is rather good and it's one that I can actually smell on my skin when I'm wearing. There are so many fragrances that don't seem to last, so this is definitely a positive thing in my opinion.
**Price and Availability**
It seems the fragrance is available in 50ml and 100ml sizes. It does not appear to be very widely available - even online there are limited stockists. In the shops, Selfridges stock it, but I haven't found anywhere else that does. Prices vary depending on where you shop, but some I have found online are below:
50ml - £45.21 FragranceX.com
100ml - £58.13 FragranceX.com / £95.00 Selfridges
As you can see, quite a variation in price there.
If you're a fan of floral fragrance, then you may like this, particularly if you like tuberose and jasmine. Personally, whilst I find this scent to be nice, it's certainly not a favourite and I would not be tempted to buy it in full size as it's not my taste. So, if you like floral fragrances then by all means give this a try, but if you're like me and not keen, then go for something else.
HISTORY: Launched in 1948 by master prefumer Germaine Cellier, Fracas was - and continues to be - the benchmark by which all other tuberose-based scents are judged. It disappeared for a while but was reformulated in 1996 by Pierre Negrin and then relaunched.
ANOTE ABOUT TUBEROSE: Apparently tuberose (a night-blooming plant, native to Mexico) is quite a bugger for perfumers to master. Generally used as a middle note in perfumes, it's a STRONG scent with nothing subtle about it. Personally, I love the scent but I will also acknowledge that in the wrong hands, it can be overpowering. And, even when delivered with the panache of Fracas, some people just won't like it. If you're into very light scents - soft floral or citrus notes - then Fracas won't be for you. However, if you love a perfume with a bit of oomph to it - a deep, sexy, feminine, sophisticated scent - this is worth a go.
It's difficult to compare it to any other fragrance but if you're fond of scents such as Estee Lauder Private Collection (Tuberose); Dior Poison; Giorgio; Gio; Tuberose by Floris; Givenchy Amarige etc, then you could well love this. Note, it's not at all like any of the above fragrances (any more than Amarige smells the same as Private Collection) - but all of them are, admittedly, deep, powerful scents.
THE COMPONENTS OF FRACAS: 'Top Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Hyacinth, Green notes
Middle Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Orange Flower, Lily of the valley, White iris, Violet, Jonquil, Carnation,Coriander, Peach, Osmanthus, Pink geranium
Base Notes: Musk, Cedar, Moss, Sandalwood, Orris, Vetiver, Tolu balsam'.
PRICE: It's not cheap at around £82 for 100ml or £65 for 50ml. However, a little goes a long way. It's worth shopping around online because good deals do come up. If you're wondering whether this perfume is for you and don't want to invest so much into something you may not like, the body lotion is considerably cheaper and a very good representation of the perfume. I say this, because you're unlikely to get a chance to spray a little on you next time you're in Boots or even a department store - as far as I'm aware, it's not available in the shops. I think Harrods may stock it, but that's about it.
PACKAGING: The packaging itself is totally underwhelming. It's a rectangular black bottle with a black top and a black label with white font and a pink border. Honestly, nothing to get excited about. But perhaps a perfume that is so intriguing and sexy doesn't need the bells and whistles of fancy packaging. It sits there, dark and mysterious - confident of its own power. It's the type of bottle, if you were browsing in a perfumery, that you could easily overlook - but then again, can't that also be said of many things that have hidden depths that aren't immediately apparent!
MY VIEW: Fracas first came to my attention when I read that Kelly Brook had complimented Madonna on the scent she was wearing. It was Fracas. Kelly loved it so much that she instantly went out and bought some. Now, the fact Kelly Brook and Madonna wear this fragrance might put some people off immediately. My view, however, was that if it was unique enough and good enough for Madge, then it was worth investigatin. When I read up on it, and discovered it was a tuberose-based scent, I actually bought it blind (a body lotion and perfume gift set). I wasn't disappointed. From the first spray I fell in love with Fracas. And I also enjoyed the fact that it's not a perfume everyone else will be wearing. It's still a sort of well-kept secret (even if Kelly Brook let the cat out of the bag a bit!). However, I have never smelled this perfume on anyone else.
Yes, it is most definitely a tuberose-based scent! And, for me, it totally delivers in that respect. But it's not a cloying, heady tuberose (as many can be). Underneath the sophisticated middle notes, there's a lighter, fresher tone - a burst of peach and orange blossom which lingers and is never beaten into submission by the tuberose. This, to my mind, is the genius of Fracas - what could be a very sickly, overwhelming scent is saved from being so by a surprising lightness. It's a perfume I never get bored of because, as you move, different notes hit you. Occasionally I get a whiff of what I can only describe as a grape-like scent - totally scrumptious and delicious. Sometimes I forget I'm wearing it and I'll suddenly get a fresh blast of it and, for a moment, think, 'What a fantastic smell' - until I remember it's the Fracas!
CONCLUSION: for me, it was worth the expense of buying Fraces blind. But perfume is such a subjective thing it's always difficult to endorse 100%, just in case it's another person's idea of Hell (I can't stand Estee Lauder's Youth Dew for example). All I will say is that if you do give Fracas a try, I very much doubt anyone would think you smelled bad - on the contrary, you're far more likely to receive compliments and questions about what you're wearing. Just like Madge did!
Launched: 1948, reissued in 1998
~ INTRODUCTION ~
Due to buying quite a lot of fragrances online, I often receive complimentary fragrance samples within the package. One of these samples was Fracas by Robert Piguet I received over a year ago.
~ THE FASHION HOUSE ~
Founded in 1933 by Robert Piguet in Paris, the fashion house became famous for its flamboyant but uncluttered designs, mostly evening gowns and stage costumes often made by hiring designers such as Christian Dior or Hubert Givenchy. Fracas was the first perfume ever launched by the house that went on to produce seven fragrances that got discontinued in the seventies but got reformulated and brought back starting with Fracas to mark the f50th anniversary of its creation.
~ THE PACKAGING ~
Fracas is housed in a tallish, square glass bottle that is pitch black apart from the white lettering and clear or equally black cap depending on the size. The design looks very exclusive, expensive and luxurious-looking, even more luxurious than the well-known and similar Chanel designs.
~ THE FRAGRANCE ~
Top notes: neroli, orange blossom, green leaves, peach, hyacinth, bergamot
The second I spray Fracas on, I get a powerful blast of hyacinth, a white floral note that has an underlying greenness and dampness to it. It's so instant that even the alcohol that normally appears first in fragrances doesn't get the chance to do so here. The greenness is the slightly bitter and not the fresh type. As the hyacinth warms up gradually, I do get a peach note too, though it is mostly buried within the florals.
Heart notes: coriander, carnation, tuberose, violet, geranium, osmanthus, jasmine, lily of the valley, iris, rose, narcissus
Fracas shifts into its middle phase almost imperceptibly due to the presence of the powerful white floral notes that are blended so well together. In less than half an hour it's become a fully-blown, spicy, lush, moist white floral, undoubtedly the alluring and sexy type that probably made its reputation as possibly not being the best choice for office use.
Apart from the powerful tuberose note that's defining most of the heart, there's also carnation that gives that spicy, nutmeg-like feel, osmanthus with its apricot jam facet and musky jasmine to my nose. Overall, a lovely, strong composition that doesn't only stay on the skin but gives away a great projection around too. The heart notes stay on for about 6 hours without fading.
Base notes: sandalwood, amber, musk, cedar
The fragrance died down to a subtle, clean and slightly bitter musk scent that was accentuated with a gentle, powdery woody scent I associated with iris as the woods weren't pronounced or recogniseable. They didn't show up later either in the drydown they only seem to be pinning up the composition on the whole. The base notes lasted for about three hours and stayed close to the skin without any noticeable sillage.
I was quite surprised to see Fracas so light and inoffensive, almost demure which would have never happened to a real vintage scent so must be due to the reformulation. The original composition contained oakmoss, a powerful bitter, earthy and mossy (some might say pungent) ingredient that's now missing from modern interpretations due to the EU oakmoss ban.
I don't mind the lack of oakmoss, it certainly makes the fragrance more wearable and modern, though I would have preferred a more marked ending with more woods and that just hint of bitterness that I associate with classic florals. It would have made a perfect ending of the perfect 'killer' tuberose scent ever created.
~ CONCLUSION ~
Certainly true to its name that's 'crash' or 'shatter' in English, Fracas packs a punch and it is meant to be. It isn't vile or overpowering though. It's rich, creamy and buttery but also very, very floral. The composition, this lush, spicy, exotic and plush tuberose that's masterfully blended is just like in real life. Try making a bouquet of flowers with tuberose in it; it will overpower everything else in its vicinity assigning only a supporting role to the other elements.
When applied sparingly, tuberose can be tolerated and it is beautiful. I've tried a number of tuberose scents and out of all I like Fracas best and I'm not even into floral scents. It captivated me. I can compare it in nature to Guerlain's now discontinued tropical and honey tuberose Mahora or to Dior Poison, a darker, spicier tuberose number. While, Armani's Gio turned messy on me and LouLou's tuberose felt too harsh, Fracas is the perfect evening wear for serious white floral lovers with a modern classic appeal.
~ PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ~
£44 - £65 / 50ml Eau de Parfum at department stores and online.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk
Blending top notes of jasmine, jonquil, gardenia, Bulgarian rose and orange flower with a base of sandalwood and musk, Robert Piguet's Fracas eau de parfum is a classically feminine floral scent with a seductive edge. Acknowledged by his peers as 'the most Parisian of fashion designers', Robert Piguet's perfumes are characteristically luxurious, chic and timeless.