Fracas' reputation precedes its character. The reality of this perfume whose name means "noisy brawl" is one of depth, comfort, and owning the room but with elegance. No, this is not a quiet perfume, but what does one expect? No need for a noisy brawl, Fracas wins a fight with a dismissive one liner. "There's the door, what's your hurry?"
Fracas is the spirit of wit and a certain air quotes femininity of the woman who wears bright lipstick during a "natural look" season. She knows better than to let anyone dictate her pleasure or mess with her irrepressable self-made beauty. Fracas is a rumored favorite of many complicated, uniquely beautiful, and stylish people, not to name-drop, but these give an idea of the this perfume's personality--uncompromising: Iman, Stevie Nicks, Courtney Love, Martha Stewart, Madonna, Edie Sedgwick, Isabella Blow, rebellious debutantes, and some perfumista men (shoutout to the late, great Robert White <3).
The current version is blended into a single entity, sui generis--you'll smell only of Fracas: butter-rich, kinetic, self-assured. Some say a tuberose soliflore, but the jasmine, amber, greens, and other florals are remarkable too.
Upon falling for Fracas I thought that meant tuberose feeding frenzy. It turns out Fracas' tuberose is one of the most refined and least assaultive out there. And though loud fragrances are too often wrongly dismissed, many tuberose bombs wear the wearer out, great perfumes all but hard to get right: Poison, Amarige, Byzance, Carnal Flower, yes even Giorgio and the prank of the bunch: Tubereuse Criminelle ... these aren't as forgiving as Fracas.
Fracas is not just a sprayed out bit of alcohol settling into your skin; it's a song or movie playing out all around you and drawing you in. The concept of Germaine Cellier's original creation retained in today's version is a distillation of what a woman knows other women might like to be: present but alluring, complicated but unfussy, elegant but unapologetic.
Fracas does last, but more into undulation and trajectory than a correlate of time. Some days it's only strong enough for two hours, other times it graces me with its presence all day. The most striking thing about Fracas is how much the fragrance moves: its sillage is a sort of veil dance. The name would suggest getting picked up (cops, John, cab at 4 AM), but really this is an anytime pick-me-up.