I love Fracas. It's one of the strongest, heaviest, most intense female scents, and it brings me back to my childhood. "Fracas de Robert Piguet" is, since 1948, the epitome of tuberose.
Actually, Fracas is the benchmark for all tuberose-based scents, yesterday and today.
You could read volumes about this perfume, searching on the net, so I'll not waste many words about it, because a lot of perfume experts have written very interesting reviews examining Fracas. You will find a list of interesting reviews at the end of this article.
One of the most intriguing aspects about Fracas is its recent story: it was produced by historical "Robert Piguet Parfums" until the end of Seventies. Then, during 1985, a few Piguet scents (Fracas, Bandit...) were reformulated, produced and distributed under "Alfin Fragrances Inc.", a well-known american luxury firm, under its Swiss division "Orinter". Two different bottles were produced by "Alfin/Orinter" : a transparent bottle (1985-1990) and an opaque black one (1990-1995).
"Alfin/Orinter" stopped Fracas production in 1995, and sold Robert Piguet Parfums to "Fashion Fragrances &Cosmetics Ltd". It took a certain amount of time to completely re-orchestrate the scent, and finally to relaunch it, in 1998, with the prestigious label of the "original Fracas formula, certified by Givaudan". Apparently, this new, certified scent underwent at least a couple of reformulations after year 2007, due to IFRA restrictions.
Searching all over the net, you will find a general consensus about the "rogue", "poor quality", "watered down", "deprecable" version produced by "Alfin/Orinter" (1985-1995), opposed to the new, back-to-original, magnificent, and "certified by Givaudan" version produced since 1998 (and -even more- to the legendary 1950s-1960s historical version).
Is it true? Did 1980s Fracas perform really so bad, compared to the new one? It's almost impossible to say, since "Alfin/Orinter" bottles from the 1980s are very, very rare, and almost impossible to find, so it's very difficult to perform a side-by-side comparison.
Until now.... Well, I was incredibly lucky, because our beloved Gianni from Milan remembered to have an old Fracas tester, in the transparent bottle (the first one, produced during 1985-1990), stored in one of his basements. He generously borrowed it to me, to perform a side-by side comparison with a modern version produced by "Fashion Fragrances&Cosmetics Ltd" (actually, this "new" bottle is a year 2009 one).
In my opinion, this is the first time that someone put two different Fracas bottles side-by-side for testing. Let's go and see the results!