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Monday, January 22, 2007

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 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.


Blogger tmp00 said...

Ha! Now I know what to hold hostage if ever you attempt to hijack my Borneo!

Seriously, though, great review! I hate it when scents I love are discontinued...

12:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. I tried it years ago, and though I wasn't moved as you were, I respect its creation. I hope you find bottles and bottles wherever you are. The hunt can be as intoxicating as the scent.

1:10 AM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

What is it with Escada anyway?
They make about 1700 versions of the ugly perfumes which does not exactly smells like ten spirit, but the art are gone.

What am I going to do when my bottle og Escada Collection is empty?

2:21 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

So lovely to see you reviewing here again-
I missed you !

Well, we're just going to have to remove that scented arm [or nape...mmmmmm], and send it to the Osmotheque, so that we can preserve Kelley-With Escada for posterity.

Meanwhile, come snuggle over here, won't you?

6:45 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

What a wonderful review! I don't believe I ever tried this. Sounds wonderful once it gets to the comfort scent stage and I particularly like it when fragrances take dark turns. :-)
The quote from that song is an ideal lament for much loved, d/ced scents. *Why* must brilliant, classic scents meet that fate just due to some philistine concern for profits??? Wanders off under a pessimistic, dark cloud, contemplating the tragedies of the world...

8:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Wonderful review! I have never tried Casual Friday, but on your behalf I am angry with Escada for discontinuing it. *gloomily wanders off after Elle*

9:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the list of notes, as well as how it sounds like it would smell on you! So sorry it was discontinued.

10:02 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Tom, thanks for the compliment. I must warn you that I can be very sneaky. I am going to try to remember that even though there are some wonderful scents that have been discontinued...there will still be more that I will fall for!

10:30 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Bryan, thanks for the suggestion but I have been through the "search" phase and I think I am about to give up. You see, I have discovered Serge Lutens and that is keeping me busy (and broke, thank you!).

10:31 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

sexy, this advice is for your mental well-being. I say, go find something else to focus un. As Bryan said, the hunt can be intoxicating!

10:33 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Chaya Ruchama, running a fine art gallery and trying to mainting a career as an artist has sort of monopolised all of my time of late. I finished a commission last week that I had been working on for almost 7 months and to celebrate I wanted to write a fragrance review! I am really excited about something that happened last week as well, I now have a painting on display in a gallery in Santa Fe', NM!!!

10:38 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Chaya...I almost forgot, when can we snuggle?

10:39 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Elle, I suppose there is a valuable lesson in all of this. The lesson is to thuroughly enjoy the scents you love. Spend time with them. Share them, Write about them. Sniff them until your sinuses burn. Because, one day...they might be gone (wipes tear from corner of eye).

10:42 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Thanks Marina. I want you to know how much I truly appreciate you. Oh, not just because you allow me to print my ramblings but because you are a very hard working, kind, sexy, smart, perfume freak, intent on educating the world about fragrance! I forgot to mention...married to a very funny man!

Keep up the good work!!!

10:47 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Newproducts, it was a sad day when Casual Friday was discontinued but I feel better after writing about it. I am going to wear it today in honor of it's passing and my review. It is an amazing scent that will be missed.

Thanks for joining me in my grief!

10:49 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Per the snuggle- the sooner, the better !
Per your painting in a Santa Fe gallery- Bravo !
I'm SO excited for you...

And bring Corazon, naturally...

11:07 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Congratulations, Kelley!! Is there a way that we could see a picture online?

11:17 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Which gallery in Santa Fe?

I really enjoy your work, and I'm thrilled for you that you're getting shown in arty Santa Fe!

11:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen this countless times at TJ Maxx and Marshall's, and it never occurred to me to smell the scent. Thanks for your review!

7:25 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Ina, get out of here!!! My beloved CF is at TJMaxx? Anyone here know if it's still there? Help!!!!! Please someone in the US would you be able to check?

8:47 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

The painting that is at the Meyer's Gallery in Santa Fe was on my website but now, unfortunately, isn't. I must have removed it when I added a bunch of new stuff. You can check out my portfolio at and you can see my new series of birds dressed as Catholic Saints in the gallery section.

It was a very strange meeting with the gallery owner (Dirk Meyer) because he came into my gallery here in San Miguel in a sleaveless shirt with arms bigger around than my thighs and wanted to talk business. I thought he was jokin! I mean, he didn't look like any gallery owner I had ever met before--more like a bodybuilder. I will keep you up to date when anything more happens.

Thanks to all who asked to see the painting!

8:52 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Ooops, my bad. It is there.

I am not sure if that will show up as a link but I hope so. If not, cut and paste that and it should take you to the full page.


8:54 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Is it Los Ojos de Santa Lucia? It's wonderful. So surreal and very realistic at the same time. I want to reach and touch those leaves, they look so real.

9:17 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I will look for CF at my TJ next time, but I don't remember seeing it there before. I have the worst TJ in the whole USA.

9:22 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

That's it, that's the one. The owner of the gallery didn't really want my bird paintings but his business manager really likes, I think I will send him some birds next time.

9:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Great review. And the story of your firt time with Casual Friday is very similar of mine. Do you know any fragance similar to Casual Friday? Thanks.

8:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

i have looked around and asked a loot. you know any new fragrance that smells like escada... and had no luck.
right now have half a 2.5 oz bottle. that i bought for 100 dls. now its double the price. so il get two 1.5 from ebay :( and try not to use it as much ( been using once a month ). i really dont know what im going to do once they disappear from the market :(

3:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I come from Greece an I must agree with te author. Why Escada haw discontinued this excellent perfume? My last bottle is almost empty an in my country there's no chance to find it. HEEELPP!!!

9:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Frank said...

I remember the smell of Casual Friday from the time I was a teenage boy.
I told myself I'll buy me a bottle when I'll be an adult earning scads of money. Now I have the money and the parfume is discontinued. This post made me feel very sad.

4:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Perfume Bottles said...

Nice post, finding a good perfume is not a difficult job, but finding a perfume in antique bottle is quite difficult.

6:21 AM EST  
Anonymous Discount perfumes said...

Great Articles about New Escada Fragrance

12:40 AM EST  

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