Monday, February 03, 2014

Tea Perfumes- My Top 10

I love tea. More than love, actually. I need my tea in the morning the way most people need their Starbucks, and unless you're either my cat or husband I will not talk to you until I've had my first cup of the morning. Tea perfumes are a different story. They're mostly sheer and light perfumes by definition, and many of the most popular among them are kind of watery; not my thing. However, there are quite a few truly good tea-based fragrances, even in the lightest green summer tea category. With that in mind, here are my top picks.

  • Aroma M- Geisha O-Cha. Real green Japanese tea scent, meditative and tranquil. This is an interesting fragrance that has all the emotional gravitas missing from the light and fresh green tea perfumes.
  • L'Artisan Tea For Two. A sweet and spicy Lapsang Souchong by Olivia Giacobetti. Sadly and unforgivably discontinued.
  • Serge Lutens-  Five O'Clock Au Gingembre. Tea and spicy cookies. This is a light Lutens, yet very satisfying and complex.
  • L'Artisan The Pour Un Ete. A beautiful jasmine tea scent, refreshing yet comforting on a summer night.
  • Comme des Garcons Series 1 Leaves: Tea. One of the most interesting and complex tea scents. It's truly leafy and raw, with some dirt and grime that was brought in. 
  • Robert Piguet- Chai. A recent discovery. A hot cup of tea laced with honey and milk. It makes you feel better right away.
  • Jacomo art collection 08. A spicy black tea full of cardamom goodness. It's not overly milky but still qualifies as a chai scent. 
  • Annick Goutal- Eau de Fier. Lapsang douchong and orange juice. A lot more beautiful than it sounds or than the burnt opening lets on.
  • Atelier Cologne- Oolang Infini. A crisp yet cozy tea, made with the familiar mathematical precision of Atelier Cologne: not the most original, perhaps, but always smells incredible.
  • Parfum d'Empire- Osmanthus Interdite. The perfume equivalent of Harney's Osmanthus Oolong tea. full bodied and deliciously apricoty.
Bonus, because even I can't completely ignore the most popular tea fragrances:
  • Bulgari- Eau Parfumee au The Vert. The 1992 Jean-Claude Ellena green tea perfume that launched an entire genre (and aesthetic) is a modern classic. I appreciate what it stands for, even if it's mostly marketed for people who don't like perfume.
  • L'Occitane The Vert. Another green tea classic (now discontinued) which I actually prefer to the Bulgari because it's greener, more herbal, and the price was right for spraying with reckless abandon. There used to be a solid perfume and several bath/body products that were the best thing on a hot summer day.


  1. I wish I had bought Tea for Two a few years ago. At least I have some decants.

    On the dark side, there is the smoke-tea-leather scent of Cartier La Treizieme Heure, which has a lighter, horse mane version, Heure Fougueuse. nozknoz

  2. I second the L' Occitaine Green Tea, it also came in a small oil, perfect for popping into a small purse for touchups.

    I love Parfums di Nicolai's Fig Tea Eau Fraiche, very green and light with a davana note and a smoky black tea drydown.

  3. Great posting for a note that fascinates me to a great extent! I am a tea devotee in real life - I am always up for a sip!
    Thank you for adding new names to my tea-scents-to-try list - I haven't got a clue on how O-Cha, or CdG Tea, or Osmanthus Interdite smell like, but your short portrayals refreshed my brain today! The others I know and I am fond of (more or less). My last crush - Oolang Infini. Forever in my possession - Eau Parumee au The Vert (and Au The Rouge, inevitably). I would like to add some more: the classic Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea and its pile of flankers, the fresh air of Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, the exquisite tenderness of Eau Blanche by Brecourt, the watery Bamboo Harmony By Kilian. And of course the dirtiest and smokiest Black - Bvlgari. Someone at Bvlgari drinks a lot of tea, certainly.

  4. Thank you so much Gaia for including Geisha o-cha in your list, its aroma M's first fragrance!

  5. My favorites teas are Osmanthe Yunnan and CDG White (chai)

  6. I'm not a tea drinker, but oddly enough I love it as a fragrance note. The Geisha O-Cha and Piguet Chai sound lovely; will add them to my sample list ASAP!

    Roger & Gallet Thé Vert is a nice green tea scent; it's a bit on the sweet side, but given how affordable it is I can live with that. It does have some of that green-tea astringency, which makes it nice in hot weather.


  7. Like you, tea is my caffeinated beverage of choice. And I enjoy some tea perfumes, tho none quite captures what I adore about tea. Still, I love T42 (happily own a nearly full bottle), The Pour Un Ete, and SL 5 o'clock etc. And I've loved Eau Parfumee au The Vert since it first appeared at my Saks counter, tho I find it has little to do with tea, at least to my nose. But it's a lovely scent. For me, the l'Occitane version was always a poor second, and I hated all their "the" flankers (jasmine, mint, etc). If I could find a fragrance that smelled like Harney's Supreme Breakfast, I'd be thrilled! ;) You've made me curious about the Jacomo art collection 08.

  8. Tea scents are my favourite scents!
    If I could make my own perfume, and I could choose from my favourite tea scent, I would probably choose the scent of Chai of Life loose leaf tea from David's Tea !
    That's the best Chai Tea out there and the scent is amazing! Full of cinnamon which I love, and lemongrass which is really fresh, especially for spring :)

  9. What about the other way around Perfume tea/ Try the La Petite Robe Noire tea by Guerlain.. Amazing!


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