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Monday, December 19, 2005

Perfume Review. Roses and Vanilla: Rochas Tocade and Bond No. 9 Broadway Nite

Today’s review is for two scents blending rose and vanilla, a combination I adore. Obviously, rose and vanilla are not the only notes in either of these fragrances; Tocade has a very noticeable magnolia note and Broadway Nite is quite heavy on violet and what I perceive to be geranium. Still, to my nose and on my skin, rose and vanilla are the core ingredients of Tocade and Broadway Nite. However, despite the shared notes and despite the fact that both were created by Maurice Roucel (the nose behind Musc Ravageur, 24 Faubourg and many others), Tocade and Broadway Nite could not be more different. It is as if, having been given the task of creating a rose scent for Bond No.9, Monsieur Roucel went back to Tocade and made it more heady and generally glammed it up, creating a gorgeous, capricious, pampered diva out of a sweet, lovely, pretty house-maker.

Tocade is a soft comfort scent, unobtrusive enough to be worn in any environment, lovely before bedtime. It starts with a blend of rose, magnolia and vanilla on my skin, the magnolia note wears off quite soon and, till the drydown comes, Tocade is mostly rose and vanilla on me. In the drydown, rose becomes much less evident and amber joins the mix, adding its sweet warmth to the scent and bringing it up a notch on the comfort scale. This is not a glamorous fragrance, it stays very close to the skin and, unless you really over-spray, is likely to go more or less unnoticed by others. It is however guaranteed to bring a smile of contentment on your face whenever you catch its floral-gourmand aroma.

Broadway Nite is a different story altogether. It is a bombshell, glamorous, heady, with a luxurious trail of sillage. It would not tolerate being worn with your coziest sweater, wrapped up in a favorite old blanket, reading a book. Broadway Nite demands to be taken out on the town; don’t dare to put it on unless you are dressed très chic, with your heels very high. I heard Broadway Nite being compared to Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle and I can see the similarity in that both mix rose and violet, however where Lipstick Rose is powdery, soft, and warm, Broadway Nite is aldehydic and dazzling, and, despite the fact that it has vanilla and amber in the drydown, it strikes me as a “cold” scent. To compare it to Tocade, the rose note is much more loud and prominent in Broadway Nite and stays very noticeable in the drydown. There is a certain green-ish quality to this scent that is probably due to the mentioned violet note, honeysuckle and iris. I could have sworn there was geranium in the blend as well, Broadway Nite has that sharpness I associate with this note, but, for what it’s worth, it is not on the official list of ingredients.

Broadway Nite is a heady, demanding scent and does not always work on my skin; once in a while it throws a tantrum and becomes very harsh and cloying; it is not full bottle worthy for me. Tocade, on the other hand, gets worn often and is always even-tempered, soft and comforting; I will be definitely buying a bottle.

Broadway Nite can be found in Bond No. 9 boutiques or online, for example at, and costs $110.00- $178.00. Tocade retails for as little as $21.69, at

*The photo of Maurice Roucel is from Editions de Parfums, and is here mainly because, on this particular picture, the perfumer looks remarkably like my father, only with a more luxurious moustache :-)

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Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, Christina! Have you tried Chinatown by Bond No 9? This is my favorite fo their scents.

8:57 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Christina, I think you might like it. We have somwhat similar tastes I thnk and I love this one. It is a comforting floral-gourmand scent, I posted about it here:

9:04 AM EST  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I don't care for either of these but then there are very few rose scents that I can wear. Its crazy because I LOVE roses!
My favorite Bond is So New York.


11:24 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I used to be absolutely unable to wear rose scents, but the curse was lifted as soon as I discivered Les Parfums de Rosine line.

11:31 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Broadway Nite is one of the better Bonds, IMHO, but like Tocade does not really appeal to me. Of the two I'd pick Tocade, which I probably should revisit one of these days.

12:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Tocade would be my pick too, R. Broadway Nite is a little too over the top for me. :-)

12:06 PM EST  
Blogger Tania said...

Wow, your take on Tocade is exactly the opposite of mine! I find it huge, glamorous, bright and attention-getting. Broadway Nite was so strong that when I tested it, with a small spritz on my hand, and it was under my cashmere glove, under my coat cuff, and swinging down low as I clutched my bag, the sillage almost knocked me unconscious. Victoria said she smelled damascones in it (there's your rose) but for me it was mostly like impersonating a ten-foot tall violet (not a shrinking one at all).

1:29 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL at description of the encounter with BN! That is more or less what it does to me to, most of the time, knocks me pretty much unconscious. But as far as Tocade is concerned, it is as if we are talking about two different scents. It is so soft and "well-behaved" on me :-)

1:32 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

V, how interesting. My Tocade is Eau de Toilette, is that what you have as well? I am wondering whether an EDP or parfum version might not indeed be much "louder". Assuming EDP and parfum actually exist.

4:15 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

I am so embarrassed - I STILL haven't tried Tocade. At all. It's like I keep forgetting it exists. I need to make up a physical list of "must-tries" for myself to refer to now and then. The various opinions of it, and diverging experiences pique my curiosity. I cannot keep forgetting this, it's been one I've been meaning to sample for, like, forever. Thanks for the lovely description and play by play - a good kick in the pants, M, thanks!

5:04 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

K, there are sooo many fragrances I can't believe I still haven't tried. When you get to sample this, do tell whether it was soft and well-mannered or glamourous and loud on your skin :-)

5:13 PM EST  
Blogger Bela said...

I haven't tried either of those fragrances, but I know there's very little chance of my liking them since Monsieur Roucel and I do not see eye to eye: he's the creator of the only Serge Lutens scent I can't stand - Iris Silver Mist.

The only rose fragrance I love is Creed Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare, because of the tiny citrus note that stops it from being sickly.

10:47 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am not a big fan of Silver Iris Mist either. But the only Lutens scent I cannot stand, I mean really- would not accept a bottle as a gift- is La Myrrhe.

As for roses, if you like a little citrus with them, have you tried Un Zest de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine? It is a lovely rose-citrus blend, and the fragrance that actually made me change my mind about roses. I used to dislike that note.

11:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tocade is BEAUTIFUL, soft and delicate. As it fades, it becomes almost baby powdersh and a lovely scent to sleep by. Not at all overwhelming. Also love Guerlain's Vanilla and Ylang which also is soft and comfortable. After reading the other reviews, I am not even going to try Bond No. 9 Broadway Night as I like to enjoy the scent myself and feel no need to let everyone smell what I am wearing.

8:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if it still is possible to buy Tocada as parfume or deo? Please let me know.

5:24 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm both new and old to erfume collecting. I say old because I stopped back in the late 80's for a lot of reasons. Some things have changed, some have stayed the same. I've been rebuildign a collection using ebay and buying samples, a couple every payday as a treat to myself.

This week was Tocade. I'm in love. The mini bottle I bought is not going to last. Normally I won't wear rose. I just don't but this is georgous! I usually don't put new scents on before bed. I'm glad I did with this one though. From the lovely rose top note all the way to the amber it was beautiful. This is something I'll wear for myself more than anything because it's very quiet. My boyfriend loves it. I also got a lot of compliments as I made my way thorugh the day, all from people who had to stand realtively close to smell it. I lucked out and found a parfum, not an edt, for a reasonable price. I do think it's glamorous, but in a more subdued way. A little black dress of scent but that works well dressed down. I hope this is never discontinued.

I've also tried a sample of Broadway Night and WOW. Yeah, I can't see wearing it to dinner or in any enclosed space. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt when I put it on and I immediately felt underdressed.

9:38 PM EDT  

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