Perfume Review: Rochas Tocade

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.


10 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Rochas Tocade”

  1. But what slut dresses well? ;)Glad to see you've spoken up about your TST. It deserves all the love you give it. Perhaps it is like some other misunderstood souls, who look trashy on the surface, but have hearts of gold underneath. If she were in a better bottle, perhaps we'd expect more of her…and after all, isn't what she offers already enough? (All of which I know you know, since you started off by saying Muses don't buy based on the bottle. Me neither. But there ARE times when it would be nice to see something a little finer out front, no? 🙂 )

  2. HA! Dresses like a slut, that's perfect. It's sad how some really nice scents get stuck in crappy bottles – Ivoire de Balmain is another instance of the bottle being unworthy of the juice.It's funny how some perfumes seem easily anthropomorphized. Mitsouko is one (she's the cool popular girl from high school who refused to talk to me), Parfum Sacre' another. And, of course, TST.

  3. Well, call me shallow (hi, Shallow!) because I stuck that slut Tocade in the very back of my dark perfume cabinet so as to "hide" that ugly primary color, basic shapes, yucky plastic top. But when I opened the cabinet my eyeballs (who apparently are horrible snobs) would go right to that top. Sigh, I've done the only thing a reasonable perfumista can do: I took off the top and stashed it in the bottom drawer. Ok, now she looks like a tester but the other bottles are less offended now….I mean seriously: take off the 6 inch heel ho shoes and bright purple wig before you head to Denny's for brunch, right?

  4. Bright purple wig! Love it. I would leave the top off my bottle, but it wafts if I do that, so that the entire hatbox smells like TST. Bad news. The Chanels glare at me, for sticking them in a locked room with that low-class hussy…

  5. LOL, you think THAT'S bad, check out the Tocadilly bottle! Don't know what was going on at Rochas at that time, but I think they got hold of some magic mushrooms or something.I would never have bought it if all I know of was the bottle, but fortunately I was able to get a sample of it at a shop this summer and I just love it, and now that cold weather is finally here it's time to get some for myself. It certainly is one of the great bargains!

  6. This is terrible, but I actually like the bottle. I feel no need to apologize. This is probably because an attractive young man was playing with the bottle in my dorm room and pretending it was a rocket. I like Tocade, and I like him.

    All agree that it’s very buttery and rose-vanillic. Most fragrances seem to be a little more polemic. I wear it out anywhere. It was my signature scent for a long time. I usually wear a fragrance for about a month and then come back to it a year later.

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