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.