When Petit Fracas was launched last year as part of Robert Piguet Nouvelle Collection I was rolling my eyes so hard I could see my amygdala. Because, clearly, the world needed a "My First Fracas" kind of a flanker. But I got over myself: after all, I own several Shalimar spawns, a bottle of Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere, and I'm still kicking myself repeatedly for not buying Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus. So who am I to snark?
Fracas is the one of the biggest perfume divas ever created. It's reputation is as big as its sillage, and it's as polarizing as it is sexy. When the Powers That Be at Piguet decided that in order to bring Fracas to the masses it needed a serious attitude adjustment they were astute enough not to mess with the grand dame and its devoted wearers, but to create a new perfume for the younger generation who wants the mystique, just not to actually wear it. The answer was in a form of a fruity-floral.
As far as fruity-floral perfumes go, Petit Fracas is one of the finest ones I know. It's miles above Annick Goutal Petite Cherie in terms of charm and sexiness, probably because underneath the pear compote with candied nut garnish and dollop of cocoa-dusted creme fraiche there is a strong heart of tuberose-gardenia-jasmine related to the real Fracas. It's there and I can smell it struggling to emerge from the dessert plate and start dancing on tables; but in the end of the day this perfume is a mega serving of poire belle Hélène, and we're much more likely to smell it on the street than the original Fracas.
It could have been worse.
Notes: bergamot, mandarin, pear, tuberose, jasmine, gardenia, cocoa, musk, and sandalwood.
Oddly enough, Robert Piguet Petite Fracas seems to have vanished from Piguet's website as well as from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. It's still available from various online discounters, but I'd really like to know why it was discontinued so quickly.
Art: Three Pears, Grapes, and White Flowers by Marsden Hartley, 1936.