Joe Garces, CEO of Robert Piguet Parfums, spoke to Basenotes at Pitti about the latest products from the company – a collaboration with actress, Isabelle Huppert; the new Pacific Collection; reformulation of Bandit; and new fragrance Petit Fracas.
Isabelle Huppert - Fracas collaboration
Robert Piguet Parfums has unveiled a new limited edition of ‘Fracas’, in a campaign fronted by the celebrated French actress, Isabelle Huppert. The bottle, designed by Pierre Dinand, was produced to coincide with the 160th anniversary of the upmarket Paris store, Le Bon Marché, located on the Left Bank.
Garces said the company had approached the actress after she had publicly said how much she liked the fragrance. The September issue of French Vogue carries a front page story about her relationship to Fracas, saying how much she relies on the perfume to give her a sense of self.
Each bottle in the limited release of 800 will be etched with the initials ‘IH’ on the back and individually numbered.
“In the Middle East they like wood, they don’t like flowers so much. Think about it - it’s full of a lot of dried trees," he jokes, "you don’t see too many flowers around! You can’t shove things down people’s throat. We’re about respecting people’s traditions.”
Garces says he carefully researches local tastes and listens to what people have to say. “Look at our oud: it’s just a traditional oud - not a strawberry oud or an amber oud. It’s oud, because that’s what people want. When I was trying oud on for the first time, it didn’t smell good to me – I’m an American! But after a couple of hours I rubbed my ear and then I thought ‘this is phenomenal’. The next day my suit felt like an amazing thing, the smell was so good. I asked the person helping me: ‘Do you know when it changes? When it becomes so good? That’s what I want!”
“Aurelian Guichard, (Piguet’s in-house perfumer) spent six months there studying oud.”
The perfume tastes of customers in the Far East are different yet again, says Garces:
“Asian people are very delicate and they are into things that are very light. The brand names work for them, but the perfumes don’t. They prefer perfumes to be more diluted. What we’ve created with these new perfumes still shares the Piguet DNA, but with ingredients that are more subtle.”
The new fragrances are Blossom, Jeunesse and Chai – and you can see Garces talk about these fragrances in the video below:
The company is about to review the formulation of another classic by perfumer Germaine Cellier, ‘Bandit’. The current formulation was praised by Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez in their perfume guide, but with changing regulation the company says it needs to address the issue: “The IFRA regulations on oakmoss make things so difficult for that perfume” says Garces “If you keep changing and keep tweaking things you could end up with a different thing. I don’t want to spoil it so I’ve asked Aurelian to look at the whole thing again, to go back to the very original formula and take it from there.”
Holiday Gift Box
Also on show at the fair was a new Christmas gift box that contains the perfume, body lotion and illustrated booklet for the same price as the perfume.
Garces talks about Petit Fracas in the video below. The scent is for women who are not yet 'ready' for Fracas, and as well as Fracas's signature tuberose contains notes of bergamot, mandarin, pear, jasmine, gardenia, cocoa, musk and sandalwood.