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Fracas - What the Critics say

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Fracas is a hard perfume to write about. Not because it’s hard to break down into chords, or there’s nothing to say about it, it’s hard because most things worth saying have already been said.
So instead of trying to find something original to say, I will draw on the comments of other writers who have already dealt with this great classic.

Fracas is widely held to be the reference tuberose, the one by which all others are judged. Raiders of the Lost Scent calls it a ‘benchmark in perfumery’.

Its status is such that
‘Love it or hate it, [Fracas] is indisputably the queen of all tuberose fragrances. Every single person making a tuberose fragrance is trying to knock off [this] classic' [from its pedestal?] commented Frederic Malle. Quoted on NowSmellThis.

Fracas is ‘a loud, demanding and egotistical beauty’ : Olfactoria’s Travels, ‘an extrovert with a dominant presence and a clear voice' : the Non Blonde. It evokes a reaction from many who smell it, whether that be ‘addicted’ : also Non Blonde, or a ‘coughing, watery-eyed fit’ : Kafkaesque.

Roja Dove writes
‘Fracas is the big tuberose reference of perfumery, and tuberose is the most carnal of the floral notes. It smells like very, very hot flesh after you've had sex — that's the bottom line. It's very much in fashion just now [2002], but current fragrances don't use such an incredible concentration of it. While they may nod towards something carnal, Fracas is carnal all the way.'
From - NowSmellThis.

And finally :
In a 2008 review for the New York Times, Chandler Burr writes
‘There are perfume legends, there are perfumer legends, and then there are perfumes that become obsessions’, and Fracas is - of course - one of them.

He says, it is ‘built on a concept of tuberose’ … which according to perfumer Jeannine Mongin combines elements of Fauvism and Abstractionism. He thinks the opulence of Fracas is due to an 'equilibrium between the power of Cellier’s [dissonant] style and the [notoriously difficult] power of tuberose'.
And he concludes by saying that Fracas has ‘a signature, a persistence on skin, and a diffusion that are – all three – astonishing.’ He calls it ‘transcendent’ and gives it five stars.

Thanks to all the writers mentioned, and especially Andre Moreau whose excellent analysis of Fracas was the germ for this summary. If you want to read more about Fracas, all the sites quoted and others are linked to this page at Raiders :


Updated 14th December 2020 at 09:34 PM by Wild Gardener




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