Archive for the ‘Rochas’ Category


I ran across the mention of this one back when I was doing that post on lilac scents, and since I couldn’t find a sample anywhere, I went ahead and sprang for a small 1 oz bottle at an online discounter.  Helg at Perfume Shrine loves this thing – here’s her review – and mentions it in comments to a post on wisteria notes by Octavian at 1000 Fragrances.  At the time I bought Tocadilly, my neighbor’s lilac and wisteria bushes were merrily blooming, and I was stopping my car in her driveway every day,  just to have a good sniff (thanks, Debbie!).

Despite the dire warnings of March at Perfume Posse, who calls herself a victim of that Perfume Shrine review, I yanked Tocadilly out of that garish box and sprayed it on.  Lavishly.  Which is not like me, but I had been terribly disappointed by the utter evanescence of En Passant the previous week, and I was determined to actually smell a lilac perfume before the lilac blooms fell.

Tocadilly, with notes of cucumber, lilac, coconut, hyacinth, jasmine and sandalwood, is actually very pleasant.  It is only like En Passant for a very brief moment in the opening, when I smell that watery-cucumbery note over the lilac, and then Tocadilly’s other components settle in.  Where En Passant is transparent and light as air, Tocadilly is clean but more opaque, like the frosted glass of its bottle.  The fragrance is quite congruent with the colors used in the packaging – lavender, blue and green, and although I still hate the cap as much as I hate it on That Slut Tocade, the colors are just right and the bottle feels wonderful in my hand.  There isn’t much relation to Tocade, by the way, other than a tiny tiny hint of Tocade’s smoky vanilla way down in the base of Tocadilly, and a similar light-hearted, “just for fun,” attitude.

If I hoover my wrist, I can detect a pretty lilac note that – miraculously! – does not make me think of air freshener, and a quiet jasmine.  There is also something else vaguely floral which I can only assume is the wisteria note (glycine).  The effect is of very muted, light florals with an aqueous cast.  Helg mentions pear in her review, but I don’t smell that note which I love so much in Goutal’s Petite Cherie.  I don’t smell Calone in there either, but I tend to like Calone in small quantities anyway, having missed the Calone Overdose Years in Perfumedom.  If you are sensitive to watery notes, you’ll probably want to give Tocadilly a miss.  I suspect this watery cast is what many perfumistas, being tired of the plethora of marine fragrances, dislike about it.  There’s also a faintly spicy flavor to the florals here, an almost clovey-anisey angle that I smell in live lilac and hyacinth blossoms.

In the base, and wafting up through the misty florals, is a milky, powdery musk.  I don’t smell the kind of oily sweet coconut I associate with suntan oil and pina coladas, but I am sure the coconut note is providing this smooth milky quality.  There’s also a light woody vanilla note; if there’s real sandalwood in there, I’ll eat my straw hat, but whatever synthetic sandalwood Tocadilly uses, it’s gentle and soft.  Most notable to me about the base is the quality of the musk.  It isn’t listed in the notes, but trust me, it’s there, and it seems to be the same kind of musk that I like so much in Gres Cabaret: cushiony and comfortable while managing never to make me think of detergent.  I have a special dislike for the flat harshness of “laundry musk,” which ruined Ineke’s lilac fragrance After My Own Heart for me, but Tocadilly’s musk I find very pleasant.

The general effect of Tocadilly is of a garden full of lilac and wisteria blooms, just after a rain, when the air is full of moisture and the wafting odors of the blossoms.  I like it very much.  It’s refreshing and gentle, and I have enjoyed wearing it to work several times this spring.  An informal poll indicates that my family, friends and coworkers find it attractive, with no one disliking it.  The descriptions ranged from “flowery” to “clean and fresh.”  Taz said “not bad,” an accolade from him, and Gaze said it was “not very exciting, but nice anyway.”  (I have high hopes for that boy’s tastes.) 

Lasting power is fairly good for an eau de toilette, probably due to that pillowy musk.  I get about four to five hours’ worth of ride, with the gentle type of sillage I like best.  Tocadilly’s getting hard to find, but it was well worth the $19 I paid for my small bottle.  I’ll be wearing it frequently.

Top image of Tocadilly via fragrantica.  Lower image is lilacs-clouds from JeremyOK at flickr.

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In 1994, Rochas released this honkin’ ugly bottle of wonderful stuff, created by Maurice Roucel.  Thank goodness I read a positive review of it before ever seeing the bottle, which is one of the cheesiest things I have seen in my life.  The bottom part of it reminds me of the pretty shape of the Femme bottle, but it’s topped with a cylinder and a coolie hat in plastic Made In China colors.  It’s a shame, really, about that cap.  It’s too tall.  It’s pointy.  It’s plaaaaaaastic.

Ahem.  Muses in Wooden Shoes never, ever, buy perfume for the bottle.  And isn’t that lucky for us?  Tocade – which means “Infatuation” in French – is just lovely, and a genuine bargain at $25-30 for a large 100ml bottle. 

Here are the notes for Tocade:
T: green notes, bergamot, freesia, geranium
H: magnolia, iris, orchid, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose
B: patchouli, amber, musk, cedar, vanilla

Tocade is primarily a rose-vanilla-patchouli fragrance, and like Organza Indecence, it’s right at the edge of my low patchouli tolerance.  Other people might not find it very patch-forward, but I do.  Tocade opens with a breath of galbanum and a whisper of something my brain calls “fresh” – it’s probably the freesia – before heading full tilt for that rose-vanilla combo.  It’s a lovely rose, neither the fresh lemony rose you smell in, say Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose, nor the winey rose of Parfum Sacre or Voleur de Roses, but, rather, a glowing deep pink rose, smooth as painted china.  I do smell the magnolia and lily of the valley, and although I can’t pinpoint the orchid, there’s a smooth floral quality to the heart that seems to be common to orchid scents.  And although the base skates toward the sweet side, it’s not the marshmallow variety of vanilla/amber – there’s enough backbone in the cedar and patchouli, and enough dirt in the musk, to keep it honest.  Although it doesn’t smell like Shalimar, it does have that dirty, smoky vanilla vibe in the drydown.

This is one of my sexier perfume options, I confide.  It’s a casual, comfortable, party-girl kind of sexiness, a white tee shirt and jeans sort of sexiness, not the femme fatale variety.  It’s so friendly and affectionate that one imagines Tocade to be unable not to flirt outrageously with everyone (yes, everyone) she meets.  In fact, I usually refer to it as That Slut Tocade.

Which is probably unfair, but since it amuses the heck out of me while expressing that “friendly sexiness” that is Tocade, I’m going to keep using it.  That Slut Tocade.  Heh.  Beavis and Butthead would be so proud.  (By the way, according to a French-speaking friend, it’s pronounced toe-COD.  Just in case that might be helpful.) 

True story:  I bought Tocade this past spring, just about the time the weather was getting too warm for it.  I promptly put it in my closet, inside a box with a few other cold-weather scents.  Two months later, I opened the closet, and a big waft of Tocade stumbled out and threw her arms around my neck, slurring, “Hiiiiiiii!  I’m Tocade.  I’m a little druunnnk (hiccup) and I’ve somehow (giggle) lost my panties, will you take me ho-ome?” Whew.  I promptly made sure the (ugly) top was on firmly, and then put the bottle inside a plastic bag inside the box.  That was three months ago, and I continue to get hints of Tocade when I open the closet.

(So be careful with this stuff, willya? Don’t, you know, spill it on your closet floor or anything.)

I’ve used the phrase That Slut Tocade often enough now that I think I’d better clarify: I like it.  I really, really like it.  It’s comfortable without being a real wallpaper scent, and my husband likes it too.

But it really deserved a better bottle.

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