Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Robert Piguet Fracas

Fracas is a scent I’ve been familiar with for quite some time but never wanted to try. I remember seeing it probably ten or more years ago in InStyle magazine (I was unfamiliar with it before that, sadly) and being intrigued by the bottle. I loved the black and pink, the clean lines, and I loved the font. But a cool font is not a reason to buy a perfume. And to be honest, I’m not sure if they listed notes, or if I read them if they were there, because I was instantly turned off by the fact that this was supposedly, at the time, Madonna’s favorite fragrance.

It’s not that I have any problem with Madonna per se. Although at the time of said InStyle tidbit, I believe she had just adopted her new British accent. That might have been a slight turn off. But that wasn’t the only thing…months hence, Fracas was listed as the favorite perfume of many other larger-than-life celebrities. For some reason, this was a serious turn off for me, and by the time it became widely available, I refused to sniff it.

Nothing does less to sell me an item than to tell me a celebrity likes it. (Yes, yes, I know…then why read InStyle? Because I like to look at stuff, people!) In the first place, I tend not to believe it. I believe beauty editors put together “makeup bags” and product-of-the-moment choices that would seem likely for the celebrity du jour. Does anyone remember in the late 90s when all the celebrities were apparently using Yon Ka and MAC StudioFix? And then the big deal was Kinerase. And of course Creme de la Mer. And Stila Kitten eye shadow. And NARS Orgasm blush. And NARS Masai lipstick. I remember all this because it sticks in my craw, for some reason, that I’m only supposed to believe it’s great because a celebrity’s using it. They’ve taken the whole high school fear of inadequacy thing to a whole new level. All the cool kids are using it! Come on!

And some of these items are great products…but they are placed by beauty editors. With all the free stuff celebrities receive, and considering they probably rarely do their own makeup, I seriously doubt they know what’s on their face or in their drawers at any given time.

Okay, enough ranting. I had to say something because this perfume has been reviewed (so much better) by many others (Aromascope, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, Bois de Jasmin, Now Smell This, to name a few), and what can I really add? As a reminder, the notes in Fracas EDP are as follows:
Top: bergamot, orange blossom, leafy green essence, peach blossom, pink geranium
Heart: tuberose, jasmine, lily of the valley, white iris, carnation
Base: sandalwood, musk oakmoss, vetiver, cedar

Holy gorgeous fragrance Batman! For what it’s worth, I can see why someone who’s trying to change her life, maybe growing up a bit, trying to pull herself together, would choose to wear this fragrance. It’s the ultimate aromatherapy that says I’m a LADY. It makes me want to sit up a little straighter, cross my legs at the ankle instead of the knee, wear my pearls. I expected the opening to be all about the tuberose, but instead it’s all about the bergamot and orange blossom, softly cut with green, that float along on the top. Eventually the scent becomes sweeter, and the carnation makes the floral heart drier than some other white florals I’ve tried. The sandalwood and cedar break through clearly, lending a subtle spicy woods to the sweetness. Honestly I don’t detect any vetiver, but my nose is still developing (makes me sound like Pinicchio). Just after wearing this for one day, I’m not sure how any perfume wardrobe could go without it. I suppose if you just absolutely HATE floral scents, or if you had some severe allergy to beauty (or celebrities), you could skip it. But I cannot imagine going too long without a full bottle of this amazing scent.

*photo from LusciousCargo