That is Fracas for me. I always forget how beautiful this perfume is, how much it deranges my senses, confuses my ability to grasp the notes, so quickly do they swirl into an impression that signifies only one thing: beauty. Fracas is just a stunning perfume.
Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Hyacinth, Green Notes
Heart notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lily of the Valley, White Iris, Violet, Jonquil, Carnation, Coriander, Peach, Osmanthus, Pink Geranium
Base notes: Musk, Cedar, Oak Moss, Sandalwood, Orris, Vetiver, Tolu Balsam
There is a world with its own atmosphere in every Germaine Cellier fragrance, particularly her iconic fragrances Vent Vert, Bandit, and Fracas.
Vent Vert was a tribute to the raw erotics of spring, Bandit to the butch lady in leather with the sidelong glance and the cigarette dangling out of her mouth, and Fracas to over-the-top femininity of the Marilyn Monroe/Anita Eckberg variety. (It's said that Cellier was gay, and you can sense a camp sensibility in the gender hyperbole of Bandit vs. Fracas, her butch/femme fragrances. I could see them as a couple.)
If Vent Vert made me think of Nijinski and other dancers rushing headlong onstage to dance to Stravinski's the Rite of Spring, Fracas makes me think of showgirls rushing backstage after dancing in some burlesque revue, so many beauties (representing a cacophony of perfume notes) at so many angles, coming at me in so many different directions, I cannot count them. It is a blur of beautiful white flowers, whose friction creates what smells to me, for a moment, like cinnamon. Creamy, sweet, spicy, almost as if there were cloves interwoven in a garland of white flowers.
Luca Turin, in Perfumes the Guide, said that Vent Vert had over 1,000 ingredients in its chemical composition, but because it was so masterfully constructed, it smells like something natural. You just smell "spring," or "bent, peppery stems" or "galbanum and rose." It tricks you into think that something straight out of nature is shoving its way into your perception. Fracas is the same way with its deluge of white flower notes resting on the creamiest, most decadent bed of tolu balsam, orris, oak moss, sandalwood and musk — an almost gourmand version of white flowers.Oh, magnificent Germaine Cellier. How wonderful it would be to have known you. For those unsure if perfumes can mean anything (much less be subversive), take a whiff of Fracas.