A Tuberose Confession – Robert Piguet Fracas Perfume Review

Vogue

“Ladies with an attitude, fellas that were in the mood…”

This review has been a long time coming. I have mentioned Fracas on this blog many a time, even going as far as to include it as one of my ‘reference tuberoses’ in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose, and seeing as I’m a major tuberose fanatic it is almost criminal not to have written a full review.

What’s worse is that I have a confession to make, one that I am deeply ashamed of. Up until a week ago I didn’t actually own a bottle of Fracas. I know, it’s disgusting isn’t it? A tuberose nut like me not owning a bottle of THE most classic tuberose fragrance of all time. I hope that you will able to forgive me.

In my defence, I have owned a small bottle of the Parfum but it got on my nerves because I am not a huge fan of the dabbing…. But you’ll be glad to know that I have seen the error of my ways and there is now a brand new bottle of Fracas taking pride of place on the perfume shelf at The Candy Perfume Towers.

Fracas, released in 1948, was the third perfume to be released by French Couturier Robert Piguet. Like the two fragrances to proceed it, Bandit and Visa, it was created by Germaine Cellier and is considered by many to be the reference tuberose fragrance, the one that all others attempt to be in someway or another. But none, I repeat none can ever live up to Fracas – the diva of the tuberose world.

Fracas

The Notes

Top: Bergamot, Orange Blossom and Green Notes
Heart: Tuberose, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Iris and Carnation
Base: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedar, Musk and Mosse [1]

How Does it Smell?

Never before has there been a more apt name for a fragrance. The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Fracas’ as; “a noisy disturbance or quarrel” [2] and that pretty much sums up this fragrance to a T. Fracas is an assault on the senses, she charges into the room, announcing her arrival, ensuring that all eyes are on her and letting everyone know that she is the centre of attention. No-one else is worth watching.

Fracas opens with dazzling bergamot and wonderfully indolic, luminous orange blossom. As much as Fracas may be known for being the Queen of Tuberoses, she could also be considered as an orange blossom too. It’s this coalition of tuberose and orange blossom that sets Fracas apart from the crowd. Yes she’s the Queen of Tuberoses but I think she would also stand a good chance of being crowned Queen of Florals too.

The tuberose at the heart of Fracas is hot, fleshy, green, sweet and buttery. It doesn’t quite feel as tropical as the stiflingly hot tuberose of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Nuit de Tubéreuse or as green and stem-like as Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower or By Kilian’s Beyond Love. The tuberose here is chic, Parisian and beautifully outlandish, it is almost so evocative of nature’s most visceral and erotic white flower that it feels like a parody of itself.

That wonderful butteriness is amped up creamy sandalwood and tolu balsam in the base. What starts out as a diva tuberose entering the party, ends with a silky caress of soft balms and woods that show a softer side and suggest that the diva is more vulnerable than you first thought.

Fracas, The Queen of Tuberoses, is the signature scent of Madonna, The Queen of Pop. When thinking of an image to go with this post there was only one that stuck in my mind and that is the image of Madonna from her 1990 music video for Vogue.  She’s never looked better and like Fracas, the video for Vogue is a mashup of the classic and the modern. Vogue name-checks the stars of the golden age of cinema in a contemporary setting, all held together seamlessly by the Queen of Pop at the height of her fame.

Both Queens have stood the test of time and sit on their thrones, basking in the glory of being the absolute best.

Availability

Fracas is available in 50ml & 100ml Eau de Parfum and 7.5ml & 30ml Parfum, prices range from £75-£195. Matching body products and a solid perfume are also available.

Disclaimer

This review is based on a bottle of Fracas Eau de Parfum from my own personal collection.

[1] osmoz.com
[2] Oxford English Dictionary

Image 1 msq-photogallery.blogspot.com
Image 2 mimifroufrou.com

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50 thoughts on “A Tuberose Confession – Robert Piguet Fracas Perfume Review

  1. Pingback: The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose | The Candy Perfume Boy

  2. I’ve always loved Fracas, despite not owning a great many florals. My mother’s best friend used to wear it as her signature scent it when I was a child and I forever associate it with her. In some ways it reminds me a little of Goutal’s Gardenia Passion, a floral I did own and cherish once.

    I was given a bottle of Visa for Christmas last year. I find that some of Piguet’s scents really are not for me, but Fracas and Visa are my secret exceptions.

    Wishing you a wonderful romance with Fracas :)

    • The Piguet scents each have a very strong identity and I imagine it would be difficult to identify with them all. So far I’ve only found love for Bandit and Fracas.

      It’s lovely that you have that association with Fracas and your mother’s best friend.

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  8. Very sensual soliflore, artistic and absolutely wonderful; it’s my second favourite tuberouse after Lutens’ masterpiece. Fracas is definitionally the new sexy.

  9. Ohh I love this review!
    Don’t worry we forgive you, its an expensive fragrance, worth the savings.
    Fracas is exactly that to me too, the center of attention xx

  10. Madonna and Vogue are perfect for Fracas! I was obsessed by Madonna in my teens and saw her around 1990 at Wembley Stadium for the Blond Ambition tour.

    So did you buy a bottle of the EDP or the Parfum? If the latter, are you considering decanting into an atomiser? Dabbing is getting me down too.

    • YOU SAW MADONNA ON THE BLOND AMBITION TOUR? Sorry I whipped myself up into a little gay-frenzy there. I am very jealous!! I have seen her four times but I would have killed to see her on the BA Tour!

      I bought the Eau de Parfum, I had the Parfum and I did decant it into an atomiser which meant that I used it far too quickly. Dabbing sucks doesn’t it?

  11. I love that review. Now the Candy Perfume Boy’s tuberose queen has the space she deserves.
    Madonna is a very fitting image for Fracas, but so are you! :)

    P.S. Do I need to mention that I am afraid of Fracas? I think not. But I really like the smell of it, even if I won’t wear it (yet).

  12. Fracas is so huge! Unlike you, I enjoy dabbing (echoes of my mom when I was a little kid, standing at her dresser dabbing No. 5… ahh), and that’s about the only way I can wear Fracas. Like you, I get BIG orange blossom out of it. It’s so ornate.

  13. I love Fracas and am recently discovering the joys of tuberose! Ornate, opulant and obstreperous do discribe Fracas..

  14. ….demands to be center of attention…assault on the senses….yup, that’s a perfect scent for Madge! I need to smell this again because the first time I smelled it was about ten years ago or so when I found out that this was her signature scent. It did assault my olfactory system and I was scared away. But now that I’ve made peace with tuberose maybe I’ll give this a go.

  15. Loved this review, and was surprised to see that you hadn’t reviewed Fracas before. I actually do like it, although I don’t wear it often. It requires just the right mood, occasion, and outfit for me to feel like it is the right choice. Although I know some people can, I can’t run down to the shops in jeans and a tee shirt, wearing Fracas. :)

    • I’m ashamed to have not reviewed it sooner to be honest with you.

      I tend to wear whatever I like whenever I feel like it, regardless of occasion. That said, I can completely understand why Fracas requires the right mood, occasion and outfit for you, it certainly is full on.

      Although I reckon you’d be the most fabulous smelling person in jeans and a tee shirt the people in the shops ever did see!

  16. I do agree that Fracas is almost a parody of itself, but it is buttery and luminous and all the things you say! I bought a bottle for my friend’s upcoming 40th, and I hope she likes it – it was top of her wish list last time I checked… ; – )

  17. I’m always fascinated by the people who are repelled by Fracas and who are drawn to it. One of my BFFs who is otherwise a total diva loathes it with the fire of a thousand white-hot suns, calling it “musty” and “old lady” while another friend who is otherwise a good Mormon girl adores it and wear the barest touch of it to work, leaving little sinful puffs as she walks around. I love it and think it’s interesting that Madge, Joan Crawford and and the (semi-fictional) murderous anti-heroine of “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles” were all noted wearers.

  18. Fracas is probably my favorite perfume if we’re talking only about the scent itself. I find it hard to wear though.

    Confession: I spray it in my lingerie drawer.

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  26. A little postscript:

    We (my wife and I) just gave ourselves a dose of Fracas, having never smelled it before and not even knowing what to expect — although I knew of it from its name, somehow. POW! Pink, pink, pink, then jasmine and jasmine, then deep powerful all-encompassing tuberose that feels like it will never end… but still more pink.

    It’s strangely reminiscent of both 40s Hollywood and 70s Cote d’Azur at the same time. Weird; borderline unwearable; but astonishing and wonderful too. I’m about half an hour in, wondering what happens next, and stumbling across this review via Google (Hi Candyperfumeboy, love your work). And all because an eBay vendor shipped me the wrong scent!

    Yours, a 42-year-old English father-of-one, who normally wears Ralph Lauren Romance x

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  28. Pingback: Fracas by Germaine Cellier for Robert Piguet 1948 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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