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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