In a video taken at the Pitti Fragrance Fair, Joe Garces, President and CEO of Parfums Robert Piguet, holds a bottle of Petit Fracas and tells us about it in an accent that would make Tony Soprano proud. “One day I woke up and I said, ‘My daughter does not like Fracas. I cannot get her to like Fracas. I have to make something for my daughter.’”
He notes that his daughter is 30 years old. “It’s basically a youthful fragrance,” he says. “For someone who feels youthful.” Youthful or not, I’d say that Petit Fracas is a fragrance for someone who feels hungry. For dessert.
Petit Fracas has notes of fresh citrus, bergamot, mandarin, pear, tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, musk, sandalwood, and chocolate. (Garces says, “So I decided, why don’t we put some chocolate in there?”) Mostly, though, Petit Fracas is sweet. How sweet? Wearing Petit Fracas is like eating a pound-sized Whitman Sampler while watching Beaches and drinking boxed pink zinfandel. Sure, there’s a stalk of tuberose in a vase near the TV, but you could easily miss its fragrance as you reach for another chocolate-covered cherry.
Petit Fracas’s initial hit fruit and chocolate sails in on a few drops of orange lightened by fruity aldehydes. The fragrance’s fruit smells more like a red fruit salad than like a crisp pear. I barely detect Petit Fracas’s white floral heart in all that confiserie. Despite its intensity, Petit Fracas quiets in a few minutes to a sweet-nutty-fruity buzz. It’s this retreat in sillage that makes Petit Fracas wearable. The fragrance is fairly linear from there and fades to a vanillic whisper in six hours or so on my skin.
Garces points out that although Petit Fracas is a flanker to Fracas, it doesn’t really smell like a flanker. I agree. Smell-wise, Petit Fracas could be a fruity-cocoa flanker to Prada Candy or even a new (and probably super popular) Bath & Body Works fragrance. Still, in terms of sheer impact, they’re family. While Fracas is an overdose of tuberose, Petit Fracas is an overdose of bon bons.
I’m not Petit Fracas’s target market, but I understand wanting a sweet, indulgent perfume sometimes. After all, when the mood strikes, weepies and truffles (I’ll skip the pink zinfandel) are hard to beat. For a fruity oriental, I’d be more inclined to wear Chanel Coco Noir. When I want head-swimming sweet, I’m more likely to veer toward amber. But you might choose Petit Fracas instead.
What perfume do you reach for when you feel like smelling over-the-top sweet? Or do you ever feel that way?
Robert Piguet Petit Fracas Eau de Parfum is part of Robert Piguet’s “Nouvelle Collection” and sells for $150 for 100 ml. For information on where to buy it, see Robert Piguet under Perfume Houses.