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.


Filed under Flowers

17 responses to “LE WEEKEND………TOCADE by ROCHAS (1994)

  1. This sounds amazing – not in your face flowery but with enough well-blended ooomph to make its presence known. I’m glad your weekend got better!

    • Thanks. I hope yours is going enjoyably as well. Tocade could never be described as amazing, exactly, but for the price (you can get it REALLY cheaply), it is a great, easy to like, big number that I can definitely wholeheartedly recommend.)

  2. Lilybelle

    Glad you’re having a better day than yesterday. I went to a dept. store for a couple of things this morning, and I tested the current Shalimar edt. It’s very nice! I was surprised.

    • I agree. It’s the edp that is the problem; a yucko leather/bergamot contradiction that to me just doesn’t work. I tried the edt recently also and also thought it was pretty good.

      • Lilybelle

        I haven’t tried the current edp. I gave up when they started releasing so many versions of Shalimar. I cannot and don’t wish to keep up. But I would sniff it in passing. 🙂

  3. Katy

    I recently acquired a small bottle of the modern iteration of Tocade EDT. Many fragrances I adore can be like wrestling a grizzly bear. One day you get the bear and other days the bear gets you! Tocade is one of those fully domesticated perfumes that is always a pleasure and while it is easy to acquire and cheap, it smells anything but. One can pump up the rose action by layering it with a rose lotion or pump up the vanilla by layering it with a vanilla lotion. Get a small bottle today and enjoy it!

    • ‘fully domesticated perfumes’: YES. which is why i have some reservations about Tocade; there lacks some component of free will or intuition or something. It is a BLOCK of scent, really nice, but not quite tender.

  4. Laurels

    I’d say welcome back, but I see that at least two weeks of your posts have suddenly appeared in my blog-reading app, so apparently your blog has not been on hiatus since you won that writing award. I’m looking forward to catching up.

    Tocade was the first perfume sample I tried, roughly a year ago, and despite the fact that it smelled like burning Barbie doll to me, I went down the rabbit hole anyway. How I wish it smelled to me the way it does to everyone else! Casmir is also a nasty plasticky mess for me. I wonder if it’s because there’s some ingredient I can’t smell, something I smell too acutely, or something I just smell “wrong.”

    • No, you are right (also about Casmir, which I also own unsurprisingly), which is why this is not a rave review completely. I think Burning Barbie Doll would have made a better title, actually!

  5. Katy

    I know the dreaded plastic baby doll head note of which you speak. I actually like this smell as it reminds me of new toys. I also completely understand why others may not be as charmed by it as I am!

  6. Recently I’ve been obsessed with making sodas of sparkling water, vanilla syrup, and rose water. Occurs to me that they smell a bit like Tocade…

  7. My SOTD three -or was it four- days ago now. It is one of those few orientals that does well even when it gets slightly warm. I blame it all on the wonderfully blended amber/vanilla that is always present but never cloying. There is also a lovely raspiness- like raw silk- in the base, which I love!

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