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  1. #1

    Question What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    ... and why do some people refuse to enjoy it?

    Yesterday I once again let Fracas define my olfactory surrounding. I love the scent. As I wrote a review (whatever that means) I wondered why people suggest that often to use it light. My personal impression is that some more recent concoctions are at least as potent as Fracas is. For instance BP by Lauder, Missoni (new) by Missoni or even the elder Diorissimo by Dior and Vetyver by Givenchy. To name just a few which I know from occasional use.

    Could it be that Fracas isn't just that easy to read? Perhaps due to the fact that it's basic style is lacking any reference today. And additionally the irony on its ultra feminity, the inner suspense, the cool? Does that still scare people more effectively than Bandit?
    Last edited by WildThingy; 5th August 2010 at 10:04 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I think some people over-apply, which gives many lovely fragrances a bad reputation. Fracas is oten described as a bombshell, but when I used to wear it I was told I smelled "clean" and "fresh". But I didn't apply a lot. I don't wear it anymore, and I should because I like Fracas. I guess I got tired of it and pushed it to the back of the shelf, and there are so many lovely and interesting tuberose fragrances to choose from, and I tend to get side tracked by sampling. It could be, as you say, that its basic style is not to most people's taste today. There's a lot going on in there. I can't imagine it's more scary than Bandit (no offense to Bandit lovers, of course)! Anything can be scary that's hosed on, however.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    When I bought Fracas, the gal told me to spray once, lightly, on my wrist and apply to other places from there. I tried that and could barely smell a thing. So I apply it the same way I apply everything else, and I have yet to receive negative feedback about it. I'm pretty sure my boss breathes more deeply around me when I wear it to work, in fact.

    I think maybe some people find the aldehydes a bit much. The first spray sometimes causes me to sneeze. I also think its past and original formulations that give it the "elevator clearer" rep. The current formulation is really pretty tame on me. It's bigger than most florals, which is one reason I like it so much, but definitely not overwhelming.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Sometimes big florals can be cloying especially if applied with a heavy hand. I don't mind it but I already have similar fragrances.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Fracas is a strange creature on me. It really doesn't overwhelm like SunnyFunny said - it's a little strong to begin with and then it calms down to a sweet delicious skin scent. Like Lilybelle- there are so many wonderful tuberose scents out there- it's hard to confine myself to just Fracas. I do love it and I love the extrait too which is softer and smoother. Fracas is a wonderful fragrance.
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 5th August 2010 at 09:48 PM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I found Fracas in extrait form to be the ideal for this scent. Deeper and stronger, yes, but in a lower-lying cloud layer, if you will. A dab or two will evolve into the most alluring trail ever with no shrillness or brassiness. The edt spray in particular really "broadcasts" and is probably the culprit in most negative comments about Madame Fracas.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I find the markedly indolic opening of Fracas makes for a pretty rough first 15 minutes. (I believe it's the current EdP I've tried.) Then it settles (or I get used to it?) and seems just lovely. Not my favorite tuberose to wear, but good stuff.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulSC View Post
    I find the markedly indolic opening of Fracas makes for a pretty rough first 15 minutes. (I believe it's the current EdP I've tried.) Then it settles (or I get used to it?) and seems just lovely. Not my favorite tuberose to wear, but good stuff.
    Is Fracas "a tuberose"? Maybe it (she, sorry) shares some olfactory expression. But Fracas is no flower. No one else sharing the impression that Fracas is a bit cold despite being buttery?

    When I look into the face of Germaine Cellier, recalling her life style, I cant imagine Fracas has been earnest. The same with Bandit. You know, wearing masks during a fashion show, dressing like the eponymous bandits - really?
    Last edited by WildThingy; 5th August 2010 at 09:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Quote Originally Posted by WildThingy View Post
    Is Fracas "a tuberose"? Maybe it (she, sorry) shares some olfactory expression. But Fracas is no flower. No one else sharing the impression that Fracas is a bit cold despite being buttery?

    When I look into the face of Germaine Cellier, recalling her life style, I cant imagine Fracas has been earnest. The same with Bandit. You know, wearing masks during a fashion show, dressing like the eponymous bandits - really?
    Well Fracas is quite complex- tuberose ,orange blossom...it's a white floral . Please read Chandler Burr's wonderful review on Fracas - lists the notes in it.
    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2...-notes-fracas/
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  10. #10

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I think most of the heaviness in fracas comes from the combination of the green notes on the top with the very high level of tuberose and cedar on the mid and basenotes that make it at first a bit cold but then develops into a strong, voluptuous and almost gardenia-like scent.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Fracas can be a bit disturbing -- something about how the indoles react with the skin can trigger a meaty smell or even a fecal note. This is an interesting facet of several white flower scents I've tried. Une Fleur de Cassie has the rotted flower-fecal note thing big time; it's part of its charm and I believe intentional on Ropion's part. DK Gold gets it if you wear it in hot weather. Same with Murmure. Seem to remember it also used to happen to my mom's White Shoulders back in the day.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I think Fracas is a stunningly beautiful fragrance, but applied in large quantities on some people it gets heavily indolic.
    You can get Fracas in a rollerball format if you're worried about it being overpowering so it is easier to control the application of the scent.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    FRACAS is THE reference tuberose scent. It's not the only tuberose out there , of course but it is the grand dame. FRACAS is the scent from which the more modern tuberose fragrance decend.

    Michael Edwards lists it as a "rich floral". Joe Garces, the president of Robert Piguet USA, told me that he works very hard to keep the formula as close to the original as possible. The perfumer who is responsible for the scent integrity is the extremely talented Aurelien Guichard. Germaine Cellier used an animal musk base, which is no longer available or allowed by law, so it is not an exact replica.

    FRACAS does not contain "pinks", a type of carnation often used in combination with tuberose fragrances to give them a spicier aroma. Alessandro Gualtieri of Nasomatto told me this when I interviewed him at Barney's NYC. I mention this because FRACAS is the only tuberose fragrance I love. Alessandro suspects the reason was the lack of pinks, which he says is a way perfumers "cheapen" a tuberose perfume.

    With reference to your topic, any fragrance can be overwhelming if applied in to great a quantity. Also, one's affinity for a scent must be considered. Certain skin types can amplify a note or aspect of a scent which may make it smell...well...unfortunate. It's best to try it on your skin, in varying amounts and ask someone else how you smell. What may not smell overwhelming to us, might be to someone else in the room.
    Last edited by RHM; 3rd June 2011 at 12:57 AM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Quote Originally Posted by RHM View Post
    FRACAS is THE reference tuberose scent.
    What is Fracas besides being one of many tuperose fragrances? In my own personal conception it has some suspense, some cool. What strikes me is that this effect can't be the flower tuberose alone. It is some kind of subtext between the lines as to say. Is that still present in the sillage?

    The overwhelming part is the indole. I will have to get that stuff pure to learn about it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I'm not sure what makes Fracas overwhelming, but it certainly can be. I'm not particularly knowledgable about what makes a scent as heavy duty as Fracas, but I find many orange blossom/ narcissus scents have that quality for me. Narcisse Noir is another powerhouse that needs a light touch.I love Fracas, but it's not to be spritzed with reckless abandon before you enter a crowd, IMO

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    All that heavy tuberose can be overwhelming. And this is a fragrance that wears people. Something tells me that a certain dress code is obligatory - no jeans and Fracas. That would be like Bin Laden having a hamburger.

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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    I found Fracas in extrait form to be the ideal for this scent. Deeper and stronger, yes, but in a lower-lying cloud layer, if you will. A dab or two will evolve into the most alluring trail ever with no shrillness or brassiness.
    Now I'm dreaming about this...

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  18. #18

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I need to dig my bottle out and start wearing it again. My husband likes Fracas on me, and it is one of the few he compliments. I think the roller ball is a good idea. Dabbed rather than sprayed might be less obnoxious. Or the extrait. I'm glad you revived this thread. Read the Burr review, too, which I hadn't seen before. Thanks for the link, Mimi.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Oddly, I don't find Fracas at all obnoxious these days, but perhaps that's because I wear Tuberuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower with near-criminal abandon? I've even started to wear an Arabian tuberose brew a touch stronger than any of those three, though I tend to apply it dabbed and lightly.

    Once upon a time, however, I truly loathed Fracas. It wasn't for the tuberose, however ( I've been a fan of Big White Florals since I launched my fragrance love-affair ), but rather an oversensitivity to aldehydes in fragrance that I used to have. Even small amounts disturbed me, and Fracas made me all headache-y in its opening stages. While it's hardly White Linen in aldehyde power, I suspect they are responsible for the "cool-smelling" opening some here are talking about.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    So, on a related note, I tried a bit of Bandit from a sample the other day and I didn't find it that scary at all. Is that because I only dabbed from the tiny vial instead of spraying it all over?

  21. #21

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Quote Originally Posted by matildaben View Post
    So, on a related note, I tried a bit of Bandit from a sample the other day and I didn't find it that scary at all. Is that because I only dabbed from the tiny vial instead of spraying it all over?
    I don't think it's all that scary on its own.

    What worries me is the idea of encountering a woman, perhaps one not at all unlike Germaine Cellier herself, for whom Bandit is merely the tip of a truly terrifying iceberg. Anyway, spray with abandon.

    To my mind, Fracas is special because of a sort of standoffishness it presents in the heart, a bit of steel under the silky tuberose. I'm not sure what is responsible for this charge of mystery but it has the same effect on me that pretty girls sometimes do: I need to move closer. There is also something strangely doughy about the drydown, too.

    I'm ashamed to admit, even after four cracks at it, that I am still afraid to move Fracas from paper to skin. It's silly, I know, but something about the whole buttery "I am woman; here me roar" vibe makes me afraid to like this more than I already do. Just as scary as Bandit, then, for entirely different reasons.

    In any event, Fracas is not predictably lovely in the way you might expect something so iconic to be. As such, I think it remains as relevant now as ever.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    Bandit was never a "scary" fragrance for me; certainly not in a harsh leathery way like Oud Cuir d'Arabie... To my nose, it's at worst a sour, ill-mannered chypre. I find it to be the olfactory version of drinking pickle juice.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    I find it to be the olfactory version of drinking pickle juice.
    Yes, that's how Bandit hit me, too. It's been years since I tried it, though. I might actually like it now.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: What exactly makes Fracas that overwhelming?

    A bit OT:
    Courtney Love is said to wear Fracas, and I can see why. It is such a clash of egos.
    It works perfectly for some - for me personally, Fracas is very romantic. But be careful - it says: "Come and play with me, but if you cross the line I will break your arm".
    Bandit is the "I take no prisoners" perfume. For the brave only.

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