I have the utmost respect to brands that manage to be completely commercially-oriented while still making decent fragrances that don't suck. Tocca Perfumes is a great example for this. The people from Tocca aim to please and sell, so they release a new perfume every couple of years and; it comes in an adorable round bottle and a pretty box that has the moto "Love Yourself" printed on the inside flap. If one doesn't choke on the cute just from that she certainly will after being told about notes such as Asian pear and "watery apricot" in a fragrance that's supposedly "pays homage to the unparalleled beauty and sophistication of Grace Kelly".
I don't like the silly name; Graciella? Really? And I'm not entirely sure why Tocca had to drag the late Grace Kelly into the marketing spiel when they weren't even around when the princess walked the earth wearing Creed Fleurissimo, but so be it. It doesn't take away from the fact that Graciella is very pretty.
The fragrance opens with a ray of fruity sunshine. It's not sugary and not syrupy, which I guess is what the "watery apricot" is meant to convey: a crystalline prism that lets the light in and doesn't smother you in a reconstituted juice. That's the watery aspect, but Graciella is not an aquatic perfume. It's just... very clear. Like the reflection of sky on the water. As the fragrance warms on skin and expands it becomes more creamy but not quite opaque. The lily and ylang-ylang feel like they grow by the water and the light breeze carries their scent to you. There's a powdery facet that I can smell only on skin level and a pronounced muskiness that's mostly clean but doesn't hail from the laundry room. It's more about skin: human and fruit.
The sillage remains bright and clear for about three hours, but the personal space between clothes and body remains well-perfumed. Do take note that Graciella is incredibly tenacious on fabric, so be careful with scarves and cardigans if you don't want to smell it until your next dry-cleaning day.
Notes: Bitter Orange, Asian Pear, Watery Apricot, Casablanca Lily, Ylang Ylang, Karma Fleur, Rose de Mai, Iris, Cashmere Musk, Benzoin.
Graciella by Tocca Perfumes ($68, 1.7oz) is available from Barneys, Sephora and BeautyHabit. The press sample for this review was sent to me by the company's PR.
Photos of Grace Kelly in 1951, 1955 and 1959 via IMDB and Stirred, Straight Up With A Twist.