P. Frapin & Cie: Speakeasy

Frapin are known for two things; cognac and perfume.

Perhaps moreso for the former among the general populace, but they also have quite a catalogue of perfume offerings.
They aren’t the run of the mill designer style perfume either.
Frapin is a house that fosters some interesting olfactory creativity, which is a breath of fresh air.

Many of their fragrances are fairly little known, but there are some that are well worth exploring.
The most popular, and for good reason, is Speakeasy.

Initial Thoughts

The first thing that strikes me about Frapin fragrances is how much I adore the bottle design.
It’s unique, distinctively alcoholic.
The bottle draws the eye, which leads to us wanting to pick it up and spray it.

A spritz of Speakeasy yields a scent that is characterised on Edwards’ fragrance wheel simply as ‘spicy sweet’, though to me it’s like a boozy leather.
A remarkably clean boozy leather, which is somewhat of an oxymoron when you think about it.

Frapin Speakeasy Eau de Parfum Fragrance Review Australia

Speakeasy is available in 100mL eau de parfum concentration.
The bottle design is shown above.
It’s a cracker.

The Olfactory Notes

Speakeasy opens with a blast of sweet booziness and citrus. The boozy part comes from rum, and the citric accords from orange and lime. There’s a hint of unique aroma in the mix, the cited accord being davana, which I haven’t smelled on its own before and thus can’t act like I know it by its olfactory signature.
The heart notes of this scent are fairly fleeting, with a hint of mint and geranium. Both the top and heart notes play more of a cameo role in the scent, I find it to be fairly linear, as the drydown has occurred within a half to one hour.
Once the drydown has occurred, the overall character of Speakeasy hasn’t changed much from the opening.
It’s the base notes that give this scent its true character, and as such it doesn’t have the effect of the scent having much evolution.
The most prominent aspects of the base are tobacco, and leather.
While the note pyramid doesn’t cite leather, I’m convinced it’s there, and in strong presence. Musk and tonka bean are also present, and the character of the blend makes Speakeasy a fragrance that would be right up the alley of Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille fans.
The strange thing, I find, is that the whole scent has a clean feeling to it, despite booze and tobacco usually featuring prominently in strong, skanky fragrances. If Tobacco Vanille, HDP 1740 and the like are olfactory images of old world lunch clubs and saloons, Speakeasy is a modern cocktail bar.


Longevity: .5/1

Surprisingly, I got fairly average longevity from Speakeasy. Given the nature of the scent, I was expecting it to be better.

Projection: .7/1

I do note solid projection from this fragrance. It leaves quite a trail behind the wearer and will have you noticed.

Blend Quality: .8/1

The blend itself is quite well executed, however I can’t help but think it would have been good to change up the ingredients to include some which would have made for better longevity.

Presentation: .9/1

I love the bottle and the box. Deducting one mark because the atomiser seems to be a bit dicky on a few of these bottles.

Personal Smell Score: .7/1

It’s a good and pleasant scent, but doesn’t give me any real wow factor.
Take that sentence with a grain of salt, as I’ve been really spoiled for choice as of late.
Speakeasy is a well presented olfactory picture, and a much safer buy than many other booze and tobacco scents.

Total score: 3.6/5 B

What Would I Wear This With?

Speakeasy would be an ideal fragrance for smart casual through to business casual looks.
It pairs well with a flat cap, button front shirt and casual or semi casual tailoring.
It lacks the elegance for wear with a suit, but anything else goes.
Think of Speakeasy as a step up the luxury tree from Bentley Intense For Men.
You could wear either scent interchangeably, with the same kind of attire.

I imagine that this scent would be cloying on warmer days, so I’ve gone with wintery outfit choices.

Concluding Thoughts

I like Frapin’s approach to fragrance.
There’s nothing boring in their catalogue.
They take risks.
Often, the perfumers are ones of whom I’ve not previously heard.
I like that, and I think it’s worth supporting that.
Give Speakeasy a try, and a few of Frapin’s other offerings, while you’re at it.


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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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