More Than Just a Little Brouhaha – Robert Piguet Petit Fracas Perfume Review

Petit Fracas
Fracas With a Kiss

The sheer thought of a Fracas flanker is enough to send most fumenerds in to fits of fear-induced hysterics. Such is always the case when a classic is reinterpreted for the modern generation, just take Shalimar Parfum Initial for example, the blogosphere practically imploded upon hearing the news of a pink-ified Shalimar (more on that one later), so it would not be un-wise to expect the same reaction for the arrival of Petit Fracas.

Yes that’s right, I said “Petit Fracas” as in “Little Fracas”. But fear ye not, the people over at  Fashion Fragrances and Cosmetics Ltd (who own the licence for Piguet Parfums) have taken great care in the re-launch of Piguet’s classics and they have applied the very same amount of care to this reinterpretation of the original.

“Play the game of love with Petit Fracas de Robert Piguet. The scent has an audacious air, inspired by our iconic Fracas. Petit is fresh, youthful and feminine, with a playful innocence. Flirtatious and charming […] elegant and enchanting, but not too serious, Petit Fracas is a chic floral bouquet, perfect for flirty fashionistas or fashionistas at heart.”

Aiming for a younger woman who is not quite ready to step into the 9 inch stilettos of the original, Petit Fracas (created by Aurelien Guichard who has been responsible for all of the Piguet relaunches and new scents) mashes modern tastes with the haute couture style of one of perfumery’s most infamous characters. She’s the wild child of an even wilder parent; living, loving and vying for attention.

Petit Fracas
Petit Fracas de Robert Piguet

The Notes

Top: Bergamot, Mandarin and Pear
Heart: Jasmine, Tuberose and Gardenia
Base: Musk, Sandalwood and Cocoa

How Does it Smell?

I am a faithful and adoring wearer of Fracas, a fragrance that is as vamp as they come. In a world where fragrances aim to please Fracas does the exact opposite; she wants to cause a riot, drink and dance all night and she doesn’t care who she upsets in the process. She is a 1940s glamour puss dressed in hot pink and wearing blood red lipstick.

Petit Fracas isn’t entirely different, she still likes to get glammed up and paint the town pink on a friday night, however she is more likely to leave the boys wanting more after a quick kiss than she is to be seen doing the walk of shame (or stride of pride) the next morning. She knows how to have fun, and a lot of it at that, but she chooses to flirt rather than give herself away at the end of the night. To put it simply: she’s a real heartbreaker.

But how does all of this translate into smell? Well, Petit Fracas is much fresher from the outset, replacing the original’s ripe, peachy top notes for dewy, sparkling pear. This fruitier top section is very much in line with more modern sensibilities but it never feels dumbed down or out of place, in fact it acts as a palatable contrast for the heaviness for which it precedes.

Fracas is infamous for her huge buttery blast of sweet tuberose and Petit Fracas very much keeps the spirit of the original’s killer-floral well and truly alive, however the flowers are more refined and less likely to send people running for the hills. Don’t get me wrong, Petit Fracas remains unmistakably Fracas, however she doesn’t scream “tuberose” at the top of her lungs, instead leaning more towards an intensely sweet floral blend than a tube-fest. Think of the florals here as more vixen than vamp and you’re on the right track.

The biggest difference between mother and daughter is that where Fracas became a bit of a skank with indole and civet, hinting at the tousled bedsheets of the night before, Petit Fracas turns decidedly gourmand with a wonderful, and entirely delicious blend of dark chocolate ganache and heavy-hitting musk. This gourmand facet really is wonderful, it gives Petit Fracas the darkness and bitterness required to stop her from being just a Bubblegum Princess (with Fracas being the Bubblegum Queen) whilst at the same time adding a contemporary twist on a classic floral style.

Sometimes people question whether these demi-classics justify their own existence and they are right to ask. My personal view is that when done right, a la Shalimar Parfum Initial, N°5 Eau Premiere and in this case Petit Fracas, these modern remixes can offer an entirely new fragrance that remains respectful of the original whilst having the confidence and quality to stand alone in their own right. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a world where these fragrances didn’t exist.

If Fracas was always a little bit too much for you then I would highly recommend that you seek out Petit Fracas, you may find her to be much less of a diva and who knows she may just surprise you. If however, you loved the original then you cannot miss Petit Fracas, she may be less of a diva but she has more than enough minx-like attitude to keep you satisfied.

For those of you who like your cutesy sweet scents, don’t head into your department stores looking for the latest celebrity scent, Petit Fracas puts all those other Bubblegum Princesses to shame, and anyway she’s the daughter of one of the most famous fragrances in the world, she demands to be noticed.


Petit Fracas is part of Robert Piguet’s Classic Collection and is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £130. It is currently exclusive to Selfridges in the UK.*

Sample, notes, quotes and Image 1 via Robert Piguet. Image 2 via * Update: 06 Dec 12.