Germaine Cellier set the benchmark for white floral perfumes with Fracas for Robert Piguet in 1948. In Sainte Cellier’s Raison d'être, I wrote that she weaponized femininity with Fracas. Just the year before, Christian Dior had debuted his New Look, which exaggerated women’s proportions with its soft, rounded shoulders, cinched in waist and overemphasized hips. Dior’s New Look was a direct descendent of the body modifying confines of 18th century aristocratic fashion.
Fracas was Cellier’s red flag taunting the charging bull of the male gaze. After the hardships of World War II, the world wanted femininity again. Cellier dared them to find out just how much they could handle, filling Fracas with an overabundance of heady blooms creating a waterboarding of beauty.
Since then there have been hundreds of tuberose perfumes released in the style of Fracas. There is occasionally someone doing something truly interesting with tuberose. Most notably, Naomi Goodsir’s skeletal jilted bride’s bouquet, Nuit de Bakelite and Richard James’ Savile Row, which dared to put tuberose in the context of a fragrance marketed to men.
Night Flower is tuberose in a leather catsuit. Lie inverts what’s usually extroverted, funneling its intensity into a tactile leather accord that purrs on the skin with a hum of tonka, patchouli and inky birch tar.