Perfume Review: Rochas Tocadilly

 

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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9 thoughts on “Perfume Review: Rochas Tocadilly”

  1. Oh. My hopes were already rising and then you mentioned the watery notes. Ugh! No way.
    And the beginning sounded so promising (even though the packaging is just plain awful). But, I’ll try it because I want to smell that lovely opening you described and hope for the best after that. 🙂

  2. Hmm. I love cucumbery and hate aquatics. What to do?

    Just to raise maximum horror, I’m going to confess that I’m tempted to buy it…. for the bottle.

    Really.

    Now I run away.

  3. I owned a bottle of this 12 years ago, bought in Germany on a school trip. I loved it, so fresh and easy to wear. But I haven’t smelled it in years, maybe I should by a replacement bottle for nostalgic reasons 🙂

    And I really need to try Tocade.

    1. Marte, it IS very easy to wear, isn’t it? But hard to find – I think I found my bottle at parfum1. And I really like Tocade, but it’s a completely different thing from Tocadilly!

      1. The problem with websites like parfum1 is the high shipping costs to Europe. Shipping is often more than the bottle itself, and we often have to pay extra taxes because of the low custom limit in Norway. Very annoying!

  4. I can’t find this anywhere to test so I guess I will have to buy it someday. I adore Tocade and I can turn a blind eye to The Bottle – but Tocadilly’s psychotic version is even worse, so bizarre that it’a almost a work of Pop Art. I also love lilac and wisteria, so I guess I will take a chance on the “watery” part – I abhor a Calone OD as much as anyone but I do not mind a bit of cucumbery wetness. Not to mention how much I love En Passant! Watery is better than fake “marine note” any day.

    1. Hmmm… let’s talk about samples. I’ll try to email you today.

      You think the packaging on Tocadilly is worse than Tocade’s? Well, the box, maybe. That really is a hideous shade of lime green.

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