Over the summer I fell in love with Tocca's Colette fragrance and since then I've been more interested in the brand than I was before. Shortly after I bought Colette, Tocca released a new scent called Giulietta and I just had to try it. Not because it sounded like something I'd like- a floral with notes of apple and tulip, really not my thing- but because it reminded me of one of my favorite films, Giulietta Degli Spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits). The fragrance is in fact named after Giulietta Masina, the star of the film and wife of director Federico Fellini.
Not wanting to risk buying a full bottle of a scent I probably wouldn't like, I added Giulietta to my wishlist, waiting to order until I had actually smelled it for myself. Then, lo and behold, Tocca releases a mini fragrance coffret containing not just Giulietta, but a mini bottle of Colette and another scent I've been wanting to try, Bianca. All three 0.5 fl oz bottles for less than the price of a single 1.7 fl oz full sized bottle.
The Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio 2011 comes with three 0.5 fluid ounce glass bottles, each one a miniature version of the full sized bottle design. The scents are Colette, Giulietta and Bianca.
These are mini bottles, but are still a very good size. Included in this picture for scale are a quarter and a full-sized bottle of Tocca Colette.
Here's a little more comparison detail. I love how they've styled the mini bottles to be near-exact replicas of the normal bottles. They've even tinted the liquid inside just like the full-sized versions.
The caps bear the same bird motif and brushed metal color. These caps are made of plastic unlike the full bottles which are made of a substantially weighty metal.
The only flaw with these bottles is that they're splashes and not sprays. On the upside, the mouths of these bottles are big enough to easily apply the fragrance.
Interesting to note that the bottom label says spray, though I'm not certain if it's referring to the fluid itself or the method of delivery.
Giulietta: Bulgarian Rose, Ylang Ylang, Green Apple, Pink Tulips, Lily of the Valley, Iris Pallida, Vanilla Orchid, Lilac, Heliotrope, Cedarwood, Musk, Amber, Sandalwood.
Colette: Bergamot, Mandarin, Lemon, Juniper Berry, Pink Peppercorn, Jasmine, Violet, Cyclamen, Pine Needles, Incense, Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla, Cedarwood.
Bianca: Bergamot, Lavender, Mandarin, Lemon Orpur, Rose Petals, Jasmine, Green Tea, Musk, Sugar.
Giulietta, the reason I bought the set, is, sadly, my least favorite of the three. I like a lot of the listed notes: rose, iris, lilac, cedarwood, musk, amber, sandalwood. But together with the rest of the notes, it's too strongly floral. To me it smells like shampoo, or like a kind, sweet, gentle older woman; motherly and feminine. Very, very feminine and very floral. A tad heavy and dense but with a little freshness at the end. And frankly, it gives me a pretty bad headache and makes the bridge of my nose hurt. After a few hours most of the sharpness fades away and I smell a sweet, soft, delicate hint of clean, cool floral on my skin. Girly to the very end.
Bianca is a nice surprise. The back of the package characterizes it as a green tea, rose, sugar and lemon scent and that's exactly what I smell. Green tea is the strongest on my skin, and the lemon and rose are about equal. It's sweet but not candy-like or sugary. It's fresh but the rose keeps it from being noticeably light or crisp. It smells like some tea perfumes I've had in the past so to me it smells familiar and a little comforting, like happy memories. Not really my style, but a scent I enjoy and may consider wearing on a really hot, humid day. Unfortunately, this one gives me a headache too, but not as bad as Giulietta. Bianca fades nicely, though, and after an hour or so it becomes very sweet and sugary, almost like cotton candy and tea blended together.
I knew I would at least like Colette, and worst-case scenario, I'd either hate the other two so much I'd have to return the whole set, or like them enough to keep it and have a nice travel bottle of Colette to carry. I like almost all of the notes listed for Colette, but two of them worried me at first: Jasmine, which usually smells like cat pee on me, and pink peppercorn, which seems to be a common element in nearly every scent I hate. Luckily, the notes that stand out to me the most are bergamot, lemon, pine and juniper and only a little of the jasmine, which is more heavy than syrupy. The scent has a slightly masculine edge to it from the juniper and cedarwood, and after it's been on for a while, a creamy vanilla emerges and sits very close to the skin. It's very much my kind of scent, except I wish it was less floral and a lot stronger. The vanilla note in here is amazing and I wish it had more of it to take the edge off the flowers. For such a 'strong' scent, it's shockingly light and weak with very little staying power. This is one of those perfumes that I can really soak myself in and still not be able to smell it on me.
Strangely enough, it's Colette that reminds me more, scent-wise, of Giulietta of the Spirits. It makes me think of an old abandoned mansion where there are memories and ghosts of the past still lingering in the air. It's sexy and mysterious, but in an old-fashioned way. It's Suzy's scent.
As for the set itself, I have very few criticisms. The presentation is incredibly gorgeous, well-designed and practically beyond reproach. The only true flaws are that the plastic tray that secures the bottles is so weak that it arrived shattered, the glue that holds the bottles into the tray is much too strong, and the bottles don't have spray caps. That's all. Everything else about this is perfect.
This is one of those things that even though I'll probably never use it regularly, I still love having it because it's so beautiful. I love the metallic floral filigree on the pastel purple box. I love the tiny yet heavy glass bottles, their charming design, the faithfulness to the original bottle design. It feels luxurious and special. And even though their headquarters is in New York, everything in this set looks so old world glamorous, so Italian. It really is beautiful to look at.
I bought mine from Sephora. $45 for the set of three half-ounce bottles. For comparison, one full sized bottle is $68 for 1.7 fluid ounces, so if you like Tocca fragrances, this set is a steal.