Stella by Tocca

I am going to dive right in here and say off the bat that this is one of my absolute favourite fragrances. I just love wearing it. Here’s why…

The brand

Tocca was formed in 1994 by a group of friends who initially started out producing what they described as beautiful yet affordable clothes (I’m not sure who’s standard of ‘affordable’ they were using though!). After initial success amongst the celebrity and fashion circuit, they diversified into fragrance, bath and body products. They now boast around 12 different scents, which are all named after women, and aim to capture the spirit of that particular ‘Tocca girl’. It’s a bit twee to be sure! Also I am not sure that you can call Cleopatra (one of their most popular fragrances) a ‘girl’ without sounding like a condescending numpty. You know, one of the most famous female rulers in history is a ‘girl’. I don’t think so. Anyway, semantics aside, let’s get to the scent itself…

The top notes

As soon as you spray this perfume, you get a real intense hit of juicy orange, but it’s like an almost candied orange smell because it isn’t at all tart or sour smelling. It’s comforting and soothing; the smell of wrapping yourself in a blanket immediately after eating a clementine. And that’s just about it. The top notes aren’t really too complex, but that’s one of the nice things about this perfume, because there is room for each note to breathe, you can really experience them. It definitely helps if you like orange though. If you don’t then don’t bother with this perfume. Just walk away now. (You’re wrong though.)

The heart notes

The complexity in this perfume comes lower down the scent pyramid. The initial burst of orange mellows and becomes slightly more spiced. It retains the beautiful uplifting characteristics though but manages to stay the right side of zesty. Their own blurb says that the middle notes are “white freesia, wild diamond orchids, spicy lily” but the only elements of that which are discernible are the white freesia and the spice of the spicy lily. Also, aside from professional perfumiers, who could pick a wild diamond orchid out of a line up? Pretty sure I couldn’t!

The base notes

I love the finish on this perfume, the orange melting into musk and sandalwood. There’s a slight leathery scent there and, on my skin at least, an almost peppery note which after the comforting orange and floral notes is pleasantly unexpected. The sandalwood definitely isn’t too woody either, which is nice. This perfume is properly balanced, which I find incredibly satisfying. It’s invigorating, comforting, warm, soft, and yet zesty and bright. It’s also very versatile and I wear it both summer and winter, daytime and evening. To me this makes it something which is definitely worth purchasing.

The other stuff

One of the things I like about this brand as a whole is their packaging. Although the bottle isn’t a deal breaker either way, it’s nice to have something that looks nice on your shelf. Tocca totally deliver. Their round glass bottles are heavy, sumptuous and feel like the epitome of Edwardian luxury. They just look beautiful and are tactile and gorgeous.

This is a mid-priced perfume, coming in at around £54-58 per bottle at the time of writing (in the UK, $68 USA). It’s available at Space NK, Anthropologie and direct from Tocca.

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