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Fragrance family: Floral
Gender: For women
Concentration: Eau de Parfum (EDP)
Perfumer: Germaine Cellier

Fracas, the iconic white floral EdP from Robert Piguet, is the diva of the tuberose fragrances.

Tuberose isn’t a rose at all, but a night blooming plant with clusters of fragrant white waxy flowers that belongs to the lily family. Its odour profile is floral and creamy with mentholated and rotten-meat facets. It smells opulent, rich, deep, fleshy and wanton. It’s a pass/fail scent and I think those who pass on it, fail to develop an appreciation for it.

Created in 1948 by perfumer Germaine Cellie it has become the classic reference for tuberose fragrances – a bold, dramatic, animalic scent masterpiece. Tuberose is a difficult raw material to work with, but Cellie wrangled the best out of it in Fracas, balancing its lush creaminess with an herbal top note and a woody base. The vicissitudes of the marketplace meant that Fracas disappeared for a while but was re-introduced in 1996. Over the years, there have been adjustments to the original formula to comply with new regulations and the current Fracas is tamer but very close to the original.

So much has been written about his legendary fragrance that it really comes down to how it smells on you. On me, it smells like I need to buy an industrial drum full of it.

Fracas opens with a note of bright bergamot and sweet mandarin. I smell peach here too, along with a hint of green. And then, because every successful seduction begins with an unexpected move, tuberose, creamy, lush and fleshy, makes a dramatic appearance flanked by jasmine, gardenia and orange blossom, which empahsise the floral facets of tuberose over its menthol aspects. Jonquil and orange blossom extend the green note from the top so that the tuberose doesn’t get too cloying. I smell violet leaf, green and a little sweet, woody iris root, and a whiff of carnation. As it moves to the base, musk gives it an animalic dimension; sandalwood extends the woodiness of the iris root and vetiver echoes that sliver of a green note at the top to the drydown.

Body heat animates Fracas, and enlivens it so that the drydown is lush, creamy, heady, seductive and yet so well-balanced and blended that it’s sophisticated and chic. Well, that explains the magic, the mojo and the beauty behind Fracas, but there a no words to explain the feeling of wearing it.

Notes: bergamot, mandarin, peach, green. tuberose, jasmine, gardenia, orange blossom, jonquil, orange blossom, violet leaf, iris root, carnation, musk, sandalwood and vetiver.

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