Perfume Review: Escada Casual Friday
Review by Kelley
Casual Friday was released in 1999. I remember walking into Dillard’s department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and being attacked by the Escada representative who was there to give a class on the fragrance. Of course it only took her a few seconds before I agreed to let her test it on me, you see, she needed a guinea pig and I was the only person of the male persuasion in the store at 10:00 in the morning. By the time her talk was over and all of the other women had sniffed my arm, they asked me what I thought about the product. After I told them, the Escada rep offered me a job on the spot. While it was very flattering, I wasn’t interested in the job; the bottle of cologne was another story. I bought two large bottles.
I remember the ad concept for Casual Friday after spending that lovely morning in Dillard’s as being brilliant. Casual Friday is sort of a holiday in Corporate America; it is the one day of the work week when you are allowed to dress down at work—to wear what you want. It is also the one day of the work week that elicits the most excitement because the weekend is almost upon us. The Escada executives wanted a fragrance that joined the work week with the weekend. They released a fragrance that would relax you even while you were working. I think they succeeded.
The main detectable notes of this fragrance remind me of browsing in a Barnes and Noble bookstore. I see myself wandering up and down the isles of books while filled with excitement. I am dressed in khaki pants and a sweater. The Starbucks coffee fills the air as I make my selection. I wander over to the coffee shop and sit down. I drink an espresso and nibble on a lemon square or a snicker doodle. Here, I am totally relaxed.
The fragrance opens with blend of vanilla and lemon and bergamot. It seems very fresh and light, but only for a short while. Soon, the smell of cotton and wool creep in and the scent changes dramatically. At this stage, I smell bolts of cotton and wet sweaters. All of the sudden the fragrance has gone from fresh to being a comfort scent. I feel snuggly and warm all over. It’s also in the middle stages that the coffee notes come to the fore. I have been told that coffee is a volatile essential oil and is a top note so I am sure that the coffee accord used here is some blend of scents that just reminds me of coffee.
From here on out, the scents takes a dark turn and becomes a Wintry blend of cotton, cedar and patchouli with a little of the vanilla still hanging around. When you read the list of notes, you will notice lots of spices and flowers but I detect none of them except maybe a little lavender at the opening.
Unfortunately this fragrance has been discontinued. It is at this point that I would like to share my feelings by quoting a line from a famous renaissance song (the translation is mine so blame me for all errors):
“All yee that pass by, look and see if there could be any sorrow like my sorrow” sung by the Virgin Mary as she watches her son die.
While my grief is different from losing a loved one, it is still huge! I am not sure what will happen to me when my last bottle ordered from Hong Kong is gone. This is/was a brilliant creation and was cancelled due to poor sales. Sillage is excellent and longevity way above average (24 hours?). My last bottle was $55 from Strawberry.net. I recently saw a listing on Ebay for $200 for the large bottle.
Notes include: Bergamot, Lavender, Tarragon, Coffee, Lemon, Licorice, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Coriander, Cloves, Lily of the Valley, Carnation, Cotton Flower, Jasmine, Cashmeran, Cedar, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Tonka and Patchouli.