I've met more than a few women who wear Tocca fragrances, and they're often thirty-something acquaintances who work in the arts, which makes sense to me. Tocca's fragrances are available at Sephora, but also at quite a few quirky little boutiques. They're generally light, feminine scents with sweet floral and fruit notes, they're packaged in antique-looking bottles, and they have names that refer to romantic locales or famous women in history. Tocca isn't a niche line, but it offers a semi-mainstream alternative to celebrity fragrances, teen-oriented scents and logo-encrusted "aspirational" products. They're not necessarily distinctive fragrances, but they're never embarrassing, either.
Giulietta, which was launched in 2009, claims to evoke "the love story of Italian director Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina" in a composition that includes top notes of Bulgarian rose, ylang ylang, green apple, and pink tulips; middle notes of lily of the valley, iris pallida, vanilla orchid, lilac, and heliotrope; and bottom notes of cedarwood, musk, amber and sandalwood. In the Eau de Parfum, the green apple note is quite noticeable at the outset, but it gradually makes way for the fragrance's heart of various white petals and very soft, clean woods. Giulietta left me with the impression of a dessert that involves whipped cream and a very mild fruit sorbet and a garnish of some edible flower. In fact, considering the lingering presence of the vanilla orchid note, I'd even classify Giulietta as an easy-to-wear "summer vanilla."
I happen to enjoy Tocca's body products more than the perfumes, an experience that I've also had with Jo Malone. Tocca recently reformulated its bodycare line and the results are excellent. The shower gel creates plenty of lather and the body lotion is thick but not greasy; both are packaged in plastic bottles that mimic ribbed glass. The Giulietta shower gel seems to give off a stronger fruity note (and it reminds me of cucumber almost as much as apple in this formulation), with the creamy lily and lilac in the background. The lotion, on the other hand, leans more towards Giulietta's milky floral and vanilla-heliotrope notes. Its scent persists for several hours after being applied to the skin, so if you layer all three products, you'll be able to prolong Giulietta's effect for most of your day.
Coming back to the Fellini-Masina reference, I'm not sure how Giulietta is "reminiscent of their Corsican honeymoon," since a mountainous Mediterranean island isn't really a place where you'd expect to come across green apples and pink tulips, but then again, I never really understood how Tocca's Colette or Cleopatra were related to their namesakes, either. I'm probably being pedantic. Giulietta is certainly a simple pleasure: it's pretty, it's sweet without being overwhelming, and it could be worn to the office as well as on weekends. There's a reason for Tocca's popularity with a certain audience, although I wouldn't mind introducing the brand's wearers to some more complex fragrances someday. If I were to choose just one fragrance that includes notes of apple, tulip, and musky vanilla, for example, I'd opt for L'Artisan Parfumeur's more complex Traversée du Bosphore — but Giulietta is definitely an easier place to begin, and it does have those nice matching body products.
Do you have a favorite "summer vanilla" fragrance? If so, feel free to share in the comments.
Tocca Giulietta is available as Eau de Parfum (50 ml for $72), Shower Gel ($18), and Body Lotion ($20), as well as a Solid Perfume ($30), Rich Body Cream ($45) and a Bar Soap ($12). For purchasing information, see the listing for Tocca under Perfume Houses.