Early summer here this year wasn’t terribly summery. The month of June was overcast, rainy, and cool. I tried to combat this by wearing some refreshing citrus scents, including my summer stand-by, Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue. Now that we’re into late summer, the weather has turned extremely hot and humid. Oddly enough for this heat, I’ve been craving richer scents, something with a little more depth, especially in the base notes. With its base of amber and patchouli, Tocca’s Cleopatra has fit the bill nicely, even though I normally think of it as a cold weather fragrance.
Cleopatra isn’t a new release from Tocca. (Their newest scent is called “Isabel” and is a tea rose.) Nor is Cleopatra new to me but I’ve rediscovered it, sort of like when you find a pair of shoes buried at the back of your closet and realize they go perfectly with your outfit for the day. Cleopatra’s bright grapefruit opening definitely fits with a citrusy summer scent profile. There is also a hint of green, ensuring the composition stays on the fresh side.
The florals appear about half an hour into wear time, and I find that this is the lightest, most delicate stage of Cleopatra. The jasmine is a lovely, shimmering white. Tuberose can sometimes be a problem with my skin chemistry, but not in this case. I think the freshness of the fruit and green notes keep it in check, and this tuberose adds just a touch of creaminess without becoming heavy. The grapefruit is still the dominant fruit note to me, but I get hints of the peach note supporting the florals.
So far Cleopatra is a nice fruity/floral that isn’t too heavy. The dry down is where it can get a bit tricky for summertime wear though. Amber seeps in and starts bringing some warmth to the composition. And, once the patchouli opens up, we’re in beautifully rich dry down territory. It’s lovely, but it’s rather strong. I think my skin amplifies the patchouli and downplays the musk because, while I do smell some spiced vanilla, I really don’t detect musk. On me, it’s all patchouli all the way, and it lasts for ages.
Even though I’ve been craving Cleopatra lately, I’ve had to be careful when and where I’ve worn it in the heat. The sillage and staying power are both very strong on me, so I really can’t wear it if I’m going to be in the sun. One thing I like to do is spritz it on in the evening, knowing it will definitely last long enough through going out and coming back home. It’s enough to nicely perfume my bed sheets when I go to sleep, and I can even still smell it on my skin the next morning. So, staying power is rather good here.
Tocca has a wide enough range of scents by this point that there is at least one scent for everyone (and probably at least one scent you really don’t care for). I enjoy Cleopatra, Colette, and the more recent release, Simone. Even though Cleopatra has a more rich and textured feel to it, it’s still on the pleasant and refreshing side, which is possibly why I’ve been loving it for summer wear. A patchouli/musky dry down has the potential to go fairly dirty, but Tocca keeps it restrained while still giving it plenty of staying power. I think Cleopatra is a nice one to check out from Tocca if you’re not already familiar with it, especially as it will be even more wearable for fall/winter.
Both the image and info on notes are from Tocca.