Fracas is a 1948 perfume composed by Germaine Cellier, one of the first very successful female perfumers (and with a personality to match her talent). She is known for her ability to impart her fragrances with bold strokes: in her impeccably polished compositions few selected notes are *overdosed* and as a result her perfumes have as much elegance as they have attitude and personality. All her fragrances are distinctive and very much love or hate affairs. Fracas is a great example to prove the point.
Despite its tuberose-centric reputation, Fracas is just about orange blossom as it is about tuberose thanks to an unheard-of-before overdose of both notes, which shine and reign over armfuls of other flowers (narcissus, jonquil, rose, jasmine…). Fracas is not heavy, it is actually bright and luminous, but it’s aldehydic top imparts an impressive sillage. Fracas starts off with an expanding aldehydic cloud, with the recognizable joyful brightness from the orange blossoms and a cooler, almost sinister nuance from the tuberose. The tuberose becomes buttery and more seductive over time, while the candy-like sweetness of orange flowers recedes after the early stages. As the fragrance develops, darker, earthier notes cast their shadows – and at the very end I am left with the olfactory impression of warm, soft skin.
Few notes on concentrations and application:
1) The edp is the brightest and the sweetest of the three Fracas versions (edp, extrait, solid). The edp has also more development, nuances and “presence”: it packs at least 10x the sillage of the others when sprayed from the bottle. One spray is all you need. The solid, while smelling “like Fracas”, does not develop much, it is quiet and, IMO, the least interesting iteration. The pure parfum smells more “contracted”, as it usually happens with higher perfume concentrations, and feels darker and earthier from the very beginning. Less candy-sweet, less sinister, less diffusive - but also less luminous and nuanced.
2) Despite the hefty markup, the extrait is not “objectively” better than the edp: it doesn’t smell like there is an obvious leap in the quality of the ingredients or overall composition (in Chanel and Guerlain extraits I promise you can smell and feel the money that went into every single aspect of the final product). The packaging reflects the lack of added value: while I adore the design of the bottle, the cap is made of cheap plastic (as opposed to glass, which is “de riguer” for the price point). The cap I own has not been properly smoothed, it has a nasty peak from the mold that stings the skin. Go for the parfum if you don’t appreciate the edp’s sweetness or its sillage and/or the corresponding effects (headache, people complaining, self awareness, …). Buy it only if the differences are worth-while for you. I did, and am happy with my pruchase, though I feel a bit cheated by the price.
3) Not everyone loves the same things, and that’s fine. But aldehydic fragrances can really put off a great percentage of people who would adooooore them, just because when sprayed these perfumes may be perceived as too “perfumey”, too diffusive, too insistent. Hey, I am just one of those poeple. My cry to Fracas lovers and haters alike: TRY A DAB FRACAS EDP. Just…try it. Dabbing a diffusive fragrance is going to change its volume dramatically. You are going to experience it in a very different way. Fracas edp dabbed is the most friendly and beautiful tuberose perfume I know (the manufacturer samples are dab vials, perfect for the test). If you still hate it, it's ok! But if and when you get Fracas in the right incarnation for you, you will be floored by its amazing beauty and timeless elegance.
Fracas has an irresistible happy and glamorous quality about it... now who would pass on that?!? ;)
I'm in the minority here, and this is strictly based on my body chemistry, but I absolutely despise this perfume. After reading all the raving reviews, I so wanted to love it. I tried it twice but couldn't handle any more. I ordered this through Fragrancenet.com, so I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle, however, I've ordered numerous times from them before and had no issues. Simply put, this fragrance made me sick to my stomach, something that has never happened to me by smelling a perfume. It smelled like someone using deodorant to cover already bad BO, where, in this case, they used tuberose & gardenia to hide the mustiness. I won't say this is an "old lady" perfume because I don't judge scents that way, but it just wasn't for me. I'm not sure I'll ever smell another perfume with tuberose in it again. Now I have a full bottle of this stuff and have no idea what to do with it.
Fracas= my perfume for life. I've been wearing this exclusively for about 10 years now. I knew this was the scent for me from my first spray. This is a strong tuberose fragrance; it's and sexy. Luckily for me, it sets very well on my skin. This is not for everyone- it is far from subtle. I have received countless compliments on my perfume and comments recognizing my presence due to this fragrance. I'd suggest wearing this only if you love making an impact.
Personally, I do not smell the "sweetness" of this perfume. For me, there is a strange freshness about this scent in which I smell the tuberose (heavily), some jasmine, gardenia, and a bit of orange blossom.
I don't find this a "club night" type of perfume-think more maturely mysterious. Whether you use this occasionally for a special occasion or as an everyday perfume, this will make you feel womanly and confident, ready to seduce and be remembered. Independence in a bottle.
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.