October 15, 2012

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By Raphaella Barkley
New Release: Robert Piguet Petit Fracas
“Not A Flanker!”

When I first saw the name of the latest release of Robert Piguets “Petit Fracas”, I must admit, I may have actually groaned. Just a little. Worried that this would be the obligatory flanker in the making, I prepared myself for the worst. To take the iconic Queen Fracas and churn out something similar would not only be sacrilegious, it would be pointless.

Much relieved, I found Petit Fracas to be a fresh nod to the famous Fracas, “Queen of the White Florals” which was created by the celebrated perfumer, Germaine Cellier, in 1948. 

Press from Robert Piguet states that: “The scent has an audacious air, inspired by the original iconic Fracas. Petit Fracas is fresh, youthful and feminine, with a playful innocence. Flirtatious and charming, Petit Fracas opens with notes of fresh citrus and pear. At the heart of the scent is a floral with a vintage edge: tuberose and white flowers. Sophisticated, with a touch of whimsy, the base is underscored by the elegance of musk and sandalwood sprinkled with a touch of chocolate. Elegant and enchanting, but not too serious, Petit Fracas is a chic floral bouquet, perfect for flirty fashionistas or fashionistas at heart.”

The name might be similar, but anyone who labels this a "flanker" has not smelled it and should not make blanket assumptions. These two fragrances are beautiful polar opposites. 

I had the opportunity to smell this exciting new fragrance before the Pitti Fragranze event opened in Italy and I was hesitant as I sprayed Petit Fracas on my wrist for the first time. To my surprise, I was instantly met with a beautiful and unique new feminine fragrance. 

The fragrance was created by the ever astounding and talented perfumer Aurélien Guichard. This perfume stands on its own, not as a copycat flanker, but as a fresh and gorgeous floral composition. A stunning achievement, and as usual, Guichard knocks it out of the park with his new creation. It is not so much of a “classic” white floral fragrance, so to speak, but a rich and whimsical fragrance which is also lighthearted and airy, very stylish and not too young or girlish.  Those of us that love white floral perfumes know that they can either be innocent orange blossoms or the smoking hot steaminess of tuberose. Petit Fracas straddles the line, not going too far on either side.

It’s the musk and sandalwood with that “touch of chocolate” that anchor the gorgeous white flowers, truly making this perfume “vintage chic” for women of all ages. 

This fragrance is what the latest Madonna scent Truth or Dare could have been. Instead, sadly, Perfumer Stephen Nilsen created a copycat of the classic white floral Fracas, most likely at the insistence of superstar Madonna. The resemblance of Truth or Dare to Fracas was unnerving. A tawdry and cheaper version, I find it amazing that Coty did not think anyone would notice. Whereas Fracas screams sex appeal and class, Truth or Dare, with its “in your face vulgarity” in a bottle, does not come close. In my view, Truth or Dare succeeds in being a poor clone, which I find disturbing.  

For this reason, I was so pleased to see Piguet do the exact opposite move in creating Petit Fracas. Bravo to Piguet for giving us a unique and surprising perfume in Petit Fracas; using a similar name in the title as a tribute, but giving it a gorgeous luminous twist in a new composition. This new classic will carry Robert Piguet well into the future with younger generations, who now have the opportunity to appreciate the art of perfumery. 

​Aurélien Guichard
I understand from my conversations with CEO Joe Garces last month, that Robert Piguet will soon be announcing major news about future collaborations and exciting new projects on the horizon. From what I’ve heard, it will be breathtaking news. CEO Joe Graces has made it his personal mission to carry the brand of Robert Piguet forward with innovation and his accomplishments in the industry are becoming nothing short of spectacular. ​The company's re-working of their classic scents has been highly successful and should be applauded. One can only have the highest regard for a company that aims to achieve its goals and still make ever bolder moves as Robert Piguet is preparing to do. 

I predict that Petit Fracas will be a big hit world-wide and may, in the distant future, possibly be more successful than the iconic Fracas.

Notes for Robert Piguet Petit Fracas: Bergamot, mandarin, pear, jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, musk, sandalwood and cocoa. Petit Fracas will be available in Spring 2013.

Other new releases by Robert Piguet that were unveiled Pitti Fragranze 2012 in Florence, Italy include the Pacific Collection, which features 3 fragrances: Blossom, Chai, and Jeunesse

All new scents are currently only available at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and will be launching at Harrods this week. 

​Robert Piguet Parfums

A special thanks to Joe Garces and the Robert Piguet team at Pitti Fragranze: 
Simon Waddell, Christopher Chen, Bayly Ledes and Eleonora Calavalle and Davide Gherardi from Officina Parfum.