Robert Piguet is a fashion house that launched in the early 30s, and is most famously known for it’s bomabstic, gorgeous and take-no-prisoners scents of the 40s. There is Bandit, a naughty and butch leather fragrance, not for the meek, and also Fracas, a reference tuberose, nay, the Queen of all tuberose perfumes. They were both made by the ahead of her time Germaine Cellier – whose knowledge of fragrance and chemistry led her to create perfumes that not even the most creative types could imagine. Fragrantica has a terrific profile of Cellier here. She used traditional ingredients but at nuclear levels, creating something above and beyond a simple scent. So. Piguet’s Fracas is loved and worn by many people, and though it was discontinued at some point, there was enough of a demand for Piguet to bring it back. It was slightly reformulated by a modern perfumer, mostly due to the legality and availability of the raw materials. It is still a massive tuberose diva, and can only be tamed by some skins. Mine is not one of them. I want to love Fracas! I want to wear Fracas! But sadly, she wore me. She moves in with all her luggage, turns the music up as loud as it can be, and frightens all the neighbourhood dogs.
Happily for me, Robert Piguet has done some playing with their much beloved/revered/feared Fracas and has come up with some lovely variations on a sexy, gorgeous floral theme. The one I am wearing right now, that is making me swoon, is Douglas Hannant. Douglas Hannant is a chic and exclusive designer to the upper echelons of society. He’s not common or well known to those outside the circle (that would include yours truly) and it’s fitting that Robert Piguet would choose a mysterious name to don the house’s signature black opaque glass bottle of this incredible floral beauty. Piguet calls it a “fresher, younger Fracas, with pear on the top with the traditional floral base”. Well, there must be a lot of pear, because it definitely does cut the sweetness and and indolic tendencies of Fracas. I also find the gardenia in the heart is able to shine more in Douglas Hannant, and the pear notes just melt beautifully into the florals. It lasts ages on the skin, and the creamy sandalwood and musk along with a soft and sweet jasmine linger delicately on the skin. Remember, the Victorians would not let young girls smell tuberose, as they were afraid of the carnal and aphrodisiac effect it might have on them. Dangerous perfume? Sign me up.
Don’t get me wrong. This is no shrinking violet of a perfume, nor does it whisper. It still has a strong presence but it’s not a perfume bomb. It is devastatingly feminine, and makes me feel like painting my nails red, putting my hair up, and busting out the highest heels I can find. If you love Fracas, this is worth a sniff. You may find you need both….That said, a small spray of this would be perfect with a soft cashmere sweater and jeans on a cool day, or a silky flowy maxidress on the beach in the warm sunshine. Verdict? Delicate, tasteful and feminine- I love it. I’ve been wearing this all day and my nose has been glued to my wrist. For me, this says a lot….
Robert Piguet has revamped and re-released all of their scents, along with new and beautiful creations. I have samples of some and will be sharing reviews for those soon. If you get the chance to try them, you must! The line is elegant and gorgeous, and worthy of lots of praise.
Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant is available at perfume counters where Piguet is sold, and online from their site. On their homepage they list the department stores that carry their line. Go sniff if you can.