Created in 1948, Fracas is for me the ultimate tuberose fragrance. Very tart, very heady, with a hit of buttery, over-ripe indolic fleshiness and a shock of wet green-ness that references a big bunch of moist, live flowers. There is a brightness and a joyful strength to the scent, combined with a voluptuousness and a hint of animal. But it's also timeless and clean at the same time.
The current bottles are reformulations due to many original ingredients being banned, and I hear the animalic pungency has been muted a bit, but it's still eminently beautiful. It doesn't change much as it dries down on me other than to get a little warmer and less tart, which is fine because I want that beautifully complex holograph of a tuberose from start to end.
Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Hyacinth, Green Notes
Heart notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lily of the Valley, White Iris, Violet, Jonquil, Carnation, Coriander, Peach, Osmanthus, Pink Geranium
Base notes: Musk, Cedar, Oak Moss, Sandalwood, Orris, Vetiver, Tolu Balsam
I reserve this for days when I feel like a (happy) diva, and I haven't met a man - including my husband - who didn't think it smelt beautiful. Just use a light hand because it has fantastic sillage and lasting power. Don't give Fracas a bad reputation by overdoing it. I find 1 (2 squirts max) of the EDP to be more than enough for the day.
That said, not everyone likes big white florals and this is the quintessential big white floral perfume, so you've been warned!
To my nose, Fracas smells like marzipan & coconut. It is pleasant and I've only had positive feed back. This is one for special evenings. I read that Fracas is one of Madonna's favourites.
yummy, love this fragrance! really smells amazing and lasts! I love fragrances that are quite strong and creamy with a good hit of musk and this is it! between this and Chanel No.5 I have my fragrance wardrobe!! HG for me!!
At first I hated the smell but after two hours it was way better and I love it. I always mix perfumes so I added a spritz of "blush" by VS and omg amazing. It really doessmelk buttery and lasts all day long. Really subtle and unnoticeable unless im close to someone. I would buy this again when I run out.
Last night, I was watching actress Andie MacDowell (who is now 55 years old) on Hallmark Channel's "Cedar Cove" series -- and I wondered what perfume Andie wears (I've always LOVED her, and I still watch my Groundhog Day DVD every February) -- so I googled "Andie MacDowell perfume", and I found this article from Allure.com -- dated 3/28/13 -- so it's very recent.
It talks about Andie and her (26-yr-old son Justin and) 2 daughters -- Rainey 24, and Margaret 19 (photo of all 3 women is in article linked above) -- and here's an excerpt from this article -- Rainey talking about her mother Andie's perfume:
"I always like stealing squirts of her perfume," said Rainey. "I love the way she smells." Added Andie, "That perfume is Fracas [by Robert Piguet]. There's another one I love to get in Paris, Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal."
So I pulled my Fracas out and wore it while I was watching Cedar Cove -- knowing it was what Andie smelled like and what her costars were smelling on her, as they performed their scenes together on Cedar Cove. And I'm wearing it again today. My husband, who loves florals, gave it his seal of approval, and said he didn't think it was strong at all -- he even had trouble smelling it on me.
Honestly, my favorite perfumes contain vanilla/sandalwood/musk -- so bouquets of white florals aren't really my thing, but Fracas is very nice -- although too dramatic/diva-ish for me -- and it (like most white florals) gives me a wee headache.
Launched in 1948, it's quite complex, really -- here are notes from parfumo.net:
Top Notes: Bergamot, Green notes, Hyacinth, Mandarin
Heart Notes: Carnation, Geranium, Iris, Jasmine, Coriander, Lily-of-the-valley, Narcissus, Orange blossom, Osmanthus, Peach, Tuberose, Violet
Base Notes: Orris root, Moss, Musk, Sandalwood, Tolu balsam, Vetiver, Cedar
I read in an article years ago that actress Kerry Washington loved Fracas -- and of course it's fairly well known that Madonna (and her mother) loved/wore it, and it inspired her own Truth or Dare, which is very similar. I also once read (long ago) that it was the favorite of Martha Stewart (she didn't leave home without it, I believe the article said), and I've read in the past that Courtney Love wears/wore it and also (per link below) actresses Morgan Fairchild, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kim Basinger, Marlene Dietrich -- plus Princess Caroline of Monoco and model Naomi Campbell.
The bottle is a solid black block, and there's no way to see how much you have left -- but this bottle probably does protect the scent from light damage.
So cute. I've been eyeing this for a while but didn't want to get a large size. I found a promotional box on the Bergdorf Website. A cute little 1oz in the original packaging and a roller ball for travel. Including tax and shipping it was 88. Would have liked to pick it up in the store to avoid the extra fees, but so glad I got it anyway.
Fracas is undoubtedly a great perfume, in the sense that it "creates the taste by which it is to be relished." As everyone knows, it is THE reference tuberose. And for that reason, very much a matter of personal taste. A few years ago I developed a fascination for this opulent, buttery tropical scent. It is redolent of sex as almost no other perfume is. I don't get a refined soliflore, or a cosy skin scent, as some other reviewers have. For me, Fracas has something almost indecently fleshy about it. I find butteriness, yes, but also rubber, in a fetish sense. Think large fleshy petals. This perfume reminds me that flowers are the sexual organs of plants.
My love affair with Fracas has paled somewhat, probably because as I get older, I find myself craving subtler and more complex scents - Chanel Bois des Iles, Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan, Ormonde Jayne's Woman for day, or spicy orientals for evenings out (Guerlain's Attrape Coeur or Vol de Nuit; or my bizarre addiction to Prada's dirty patchouli and amber). Fracas is an obvious sex bomb; a knockout scent for making an impact on a swanky night out. I don't go to that kind of party anymore.
Another HG fragrance for me, I need to try the eau de parfum version of this as i've only ever had the parfum. Sooooo this is definitly what everyone claim's it to be, it's iconic in it's own right, powerful, strong and very much out there, the parfum is quite creamy, very strong yet soft, literally 3 dabs will do me and as much as i hate to say it i am the type of person who sprays perfume like its there's no tomorrow (slap me) but this is there till you have a shower, and even then you need to scrub this sent away it just will not budge! i'm definitly gunna order the eau de parfum when i get round to it, but personally i think everyone has to try this in parfum form, it really is the most beautiful scent, try it! i'm on my third bottle!
I finally tried Fracas, and although it isn’t the type of fragrance that I typically wear, it was everything I hoped it would be: intense and visceral. There are already several fantastic reviews describing Fracas, so I really do not have anything to add, except I can only imagine what it was like to sniff this in 1948. It must have been mind blowing, like hearing the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” for the first time in 1969, although Fracas doesn’t evoke same sense of self-loathing. Today, contemporary music uses new technology unavailable to Brian Eno during the 1960s and 70s. In perfumery, we have Carnal Flower, an excellent tuberose update; however, the 2005 iteration can only aspire to evoke the same magic (cultural relevance) created by the initial composition.
I've been wearing Fracas for a week, and every day I seem to register something different. For a long time, all I got was Smarties candies. Then on a hot day, it suddenly blossomed into a giant bouquet of tuberose, narcissus, gardenia, every white flower you could think of, and a touch of dirty musk. Tonight I got a weird gasoline-like edge, and it feels kind of thin. I think I would like to own it, but I don't know if I could wear it on the regular.
*edit* after trying an armload of big white flower perfumes, I keep coming back to this one. It doesn't tip too far into skanky, honey-urine territory, it doesn't get the shrill, sharp note I get with less-expensive gardenia and tuberose perfumes. It's balanced, rounded and radiant.