I found and bought a bottle of Rochas’ Tocade today. After my night of gnashing fury (beautifully mediated by a late night viewing of John Cassavetes’ film The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie – there is no cure like real art), and a trip to the physio this morning with some friends tagging along for translation help (which we billed as the ‘knee party’) we all went for lunch at an excellent Japanese fish restaurant afterwards and spent the afternoon just talking and immersing ourselves in the lovely free, sunny-weather feeling of Saturdayness.
On the way back to the station: Tocade, by Rochas, in a second hand emporium. Somehow I just couldn’t quite resist it. Like a natural sequel to Laura Biagiotti’s Roma or Elizabeth Taylor’s Diamonds and Rubies, two other fresh and voluptuous vanillic florientals, this scent is one of those big, complex early nineties numbers, essentially, a pleasingly contrasting play between the redness of flowers (rose, geranium, freesia) and the milky yellow vanilla of the ambered, cedar-vanilla base. The contradictory play between the bergamot/magnolia opening and the powdered gourmand heart give the scent an uplifting presence; rounded: there. While the blend might possibly smell dated and ‘unfashionable’ in some ways (Rochas does have a knack for releasing perfumes when the moment has already passed) , what strikes the nose the most is the obvious quality of the ingredients, the integrity of a blend that has been properly pre-imagined; tweaked, and perfected. Created by Maurice Roucel, who has always been very good at making complicated, orchestral perfumes in the full, top-to-bottom style (Hermès 24 Faubourg, Guerlain Insolence, Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist among others), the strength of the composition, which feels much more like an eau de parfum than toilette, is quite impressive and long lasting, with a sweet, tenaciously suggestive aura and gently lingering contours that, with its inherent flirtatiousness and off-the-shoulder assertiveness make Tocade a perfect ‘date scent’. What the perfume potentially lacks in subtlety it certainly makes up in craft,and a really rather sexy ‘ready made’ presence: a buoyantly sensual, ice-creamy vanilla rose.