Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
When you think of Robert Piguet, Fracas is the first fragrance that comes to mind. This lush, narcotic, aggressive tuberose is certainly polarizing, but it is memorable and unique. When I heard that the new fragrance Douglas Hannant de Robert Piguet is going to be a modern white floral take, I imagined a composition that would be pink organza to Fracas’s dark purple velvet. At the same time, I always get suspicious whenever a fragrance is described as modern, clean and fresh as well as possessing “good taste, true luxury, … and timeless beauty.” In a sense, my expectations of Douglas Hannant were fulfilled—it is a fresh modern floral, nicely made, but without anything particularly dramatic or memorable about it.
Douglas Hannant is a New York-based fashion designer, who is famous for his beautifully layered gowns and couture sportswear. The fragrance created by perfumer Aurelien Guichard is Hannant’s debut in perfumery. Douglas Hannant de Robert Piguet is meant to stand as the first original Piguet fragrance that the house has released over the past few years, in contrast to reorchestrations like Visa, Cravache and Futur .
The composition opens up on a bright gardenia and orange blossom accord, which immediately calls to mind the initial freshness of Fracas. As it dries down, it takes on a richer white floral character, with tuberose and jasmine becoming more pronounced. The bland and hazy drydown of white musk rounds out the composition to the point of erasing all of its distinctive features. Overall, it seems like a rather conventional white floral rendition, reminiscent of Oscar de la Renta and Gloria Vanderbilt. The main problem I have with Douglas Hannant is not that it smells like Fracas lite, but that it essentially lacks the luxurious feeling of a white floral. I envision it as a wonderful scent for shower gel or soap, but not as a fine fragrance. Furthermore, a comment from a friend on my “deliciously smelling shampoo” did little to help in endearing me to this perfume.
Douglas Hannant de Robert Piguet includes notes of orange blossom, pear, gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, sandalwood and musk. Available from Henri Bendel, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus. Online, it is sold directly from the Piguet website.
Sample source: PR