They call me Lola.
Lola Lola (Marlen Dietrich),
Der Blaue Engel
Whenever I smell Fracas, the line from Raymond Chandler's Farewell My Lovely comes to my mind: "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window." Fracas is an olfactory equivalent of a stunning, strong-willed, supremely confident, sharply dressed blonde; to me, it is one of the olfactory portraits of Marlene Dietrich who, according to Jan Moran, did in fact wear Fracas.
Fracas starts deceivingly low-key on my skin, almost citrusy, gradually the scents becomes sweeter and sweeter, the fragrance gathers momentum, with the orange blossom note heralding the arrival of the queen tuberose…and suddenly there she is, immense tubéreuse rose à bandes orange (Luca Turin), in all her carnal glory. Tuberose takes the limelight and puts all other notes into the shade, even the usually equally ferocious ones, jasmine and gardenia. The only note able to stand up to tuberose is, unexpectedly, lily of the valley, that note is like a cold silvery streak running through the creamy, luscious middle stage of the perfume. The drydown is vaguely mossy and slightly animalic (musky) to my nose.
I am a self-confessed white floral hater, but I adore Fracas. It is a grand scent, a diva, a heady, incredibly sensual perfume, tuberose extraordinaire, and yet it fails to intimidate me. I feel I can actually pull it off. Granted, I need an occasion to wear it, and I have to be dressed to the nines, in an uncluttered and flamboyant Piguet style, but when I do… just call me Lola.
Fracas is available at Nordstom Online, $65.00-$190.00