The story of Stella by Tocca is that it started as a very popular candle and was made into a personal fragrance because customers kept begging for it. I don't blame them. Stella candle is pretty fabulous and it makes sense that many wanted to smell like a fresh sweet orange. When I first tried Stella six years ago I found it too sweet and dessert-like. I have no idea of there's been a significant reformulation since or whether my tolerance for creamsicle in perfume has increased (most likely), but I nowadays Stella doesn't come close to my limit. As a matter of fact, I don't even consider it a gourmand.
Stella is a tasteful fruity-floral. Tocca created it as a smart and safe fragrance that's easy to like, easy to wear, and probably makes an ideal gift for someone who likes perfume but will not venture into the wild side. Orange is a crowd pleaser, and here it's carefully paired with assorted flowers- from orange blossom to spicy lily. I can't say that I'm too fond of the freshness and the watery flowers, but Stella is not too pale or limp, and the flowers have just enough bite and lushness to keep me from scrubbing. The dry-down is a bit synthetic and mostly musky. It supports the sweet orange notes and provides a satisfying creaminess.
Stella smells young and I mean it in the most positive way. It doesn't have any baggage or hangups, no vulgarity or obnoxiousness. It's a breezy and friendly fragrance, rosy-cheeked and well-adjusted. If I had a teenage daughter I would have liked her to behave like Stella (at least when I'm around), and wouldn't have objected had she smelled like that, either.
Notes: blood orange, aquatic notes, lily, orchid, freesia, sandalwood, musk.
Stella by Tocca ($68, 1.7oz EDP. Also in a $48 travel set and assorted body products) can be found practically everywhere, from Luckyscent and Barneys to Sephora. A press sample was provided by PR.