Joe Garces of Piguet talks Fracas, Bandit, Nouvelle Collection, Pacific Collection and Petit Fracas

16th September, 2012

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.

Nouvelle Collection

Earlier in the year the company released the Nouvelle Collection (Bois Noir, Casbah, Notes, Oud and Mademoiselle Piguet). “My mission was to change the mentality of perfume makers” says Garces.

“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.”

Pacific Collection

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.

Petit Fracas

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.

  • Share this

Advertisement — comments are below


    • David Ruskin | 18th September 2012 17:02

      I found the talk of Bandit's reformulation (another one) depressing. When IFRA finally ban the mosses rather than just severely restricting them ( and it's going to happen soon) they will have destroyed classical perfumery forever. No more Chypres or Fougeres. No Jicky, no Mitsouko, no Cristalle, no No. 19, no Polo, no Chanel Pour Monsieur. I hope they are proud of themselves.

    • pluran | 22nd September 2012 07:23

      One comment? Hardly seen anything more interesting on this site in a long time. All these phenomenal classic fragrances, the Piguet guy talks about reformulations, at least aware of the fact that IFRA wants to destroy perfumes. Aurelian Guichard is the perfumer for the house. Great to know all of it. Thanks.

    • jujy54 | 23rd September 2012 05:31

      pluran, hopefully it has been read by many. Myself, I had nothing to add, so I just read in slack-jawed wonderment.

    • cacio | 23rd September 2012 06:24

      I had left the interview for weekend reading, perhaps unconsciously postponing the revelation of the horrid news of Bandit's upcoming reformulation. To be fair, oakmoss is not as essential to Bandit as it is to other chypres, and Futur's reformulation is good. But Guichard is known for Angelic stuff, so the risk is that he'll take the occasion to turn Bandit into an Angel child, as he did for Visa's reissue, which has nothing to do with the original.

      But let's forget about the bad stuff and concentrate on the funny things. I loved when Garces said that Asian people are delicate and like diluted stuff. This conjured the image of a screaming Chinese prisoner tied to a chair, surrounded by a group of Gulf Arabians performing their customary 15-spray nebulizations...

      If I ever go to East Asia, I'll make sure to bring along (unreformulated) Bandit, ELdO Rien, and a vial of Boadicea Complex for the special occasions...


    • Guest 3 | 24th September 2012 13:28

      OMG. I'm torn between :shocked: and :grin:

    • Kaern | 24th September 2012 15:07

      A new aromachemical is being formulated as we speak to perfectly replicate oakmoss -- you'll never know the difference.

    • David Ruskin | 24th September 2012 17:07

      Would that that were true, but even if it was I doubt if the old formulae would be reintroduced.

    • Kaern | 24th September 2012 17:58

      My comment was a little tongue in cheek. I can't see any future but synthetics in perfume now. What with the restrictions and perceived allergies, not to mention the costs and time involved in distilling and extracting, all the Houses will succumb eventually.

    • David Ruskin | 24th September 2012 19:02

      And even more restrictions. Several synthetics are on the allergen list, which may well be increased. Although if material is on the allergen list it doesn't mean it is banned. similarly an IFRA restricted material is not a banned material. It just means it can't be used as a non restricted material.

    • iivanita | 26th September 2012 23:33

      for example tommy girl is perfect scent, but so terribly synthetic, that i just cry when i put it on!!! suffocating.....natural smells if beautiful smell 3 dimensional , synthetic may be the same smell but you still notice the difference in texture and longevity!!!

      thats why chanel will do good iris is not banned!!