Tea Perfumes – Comphrensive Guide to Tea Perfume

From the big, black, smoke and tar-chuffing tea perfumes like Annick Goutal Eau de Fier to the more delicate tea stylings of Atelier Oolang Infini, tea perfumes have long been a favorite go-to note when flora, vetiver, musk and other more traditional notes just sound not quite right.

 

tea perfume - afternoon tea

March did a post some time back on tea perfumes, throwing in coffee fragrances as well. What she noted is absolutely true, conjuring up a tea scent is more abstraction than reality.  Teas are often blended beautifully to encompass a season or event, like the gorgeous Christmas Mariage Freres  Esprit de Noël that is the perfect Christmas tea. Speaking of which, mine from last year sat too long and lost all of its Go-Go Juice (bonus points for an oblique Honey Boo Boo term), so I had to quickly order more because it is not Christmas until the Esprit de Noel is brewing daily.  

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Once you venture outside the smell of tea brewing in the kettle and wafting into your nostrils in the cup and try to find it in a perfume bottle, it becomes .  Not a lot of tea fragrances would fit my idea of “reality” tea fragrances. Leave that expectation only for your teapot. Hey, I brew tea often because that smell is the best in the world, and I immediately feel comforted and safe.  

My love for teatime and the rituals around it extends to my trips to England.  I’ve planned entire days around getting to the next “Afternoon Tea.”  I love the ritual, the china cups and that heavenly smell.  Turning it to tea notes in perfume is a pleasure.

There will be a drawing for three tea perfume sample sets.  Comment to enter (you do need the comment entry or any other entries won’t count), or do the other stuff on the little gadget at the bottom to enter additional times.  You can even get entered more times by referring other people to enter (details pop up once you’ve used the gadget to enter one way or another. Hey, more is better, right?  

 

Take it Easy on me Tea Perfumes

Let’s roll up to the tea cart slowly with some of the most lilting and delicate tea blossoms. The perfect place to start is Bvlgari.  You can have your tea green with Bvlgari Au the Vert, red with Bvlgari Au the Rouge or White with Bvlgari Au the Blanc.  All of these are light in fragrance, but very much tea scents – in other words, you aren’t getting Tea Lite where it’s listed as a note but barely even registers in your cracked Limoges cup – and Au the Vert is an iconic tea fragrance. It heralded Jean-Claude Ellena’s descent into the Perfume Smells Like Nothing Caverns, but while he still liked some scent in his perfumes.  For tea perfumes, this is a great place to start – it won’t overwhelm you with the smoky black fragrance of tea and will give you a great idea of what these three different types of teas smell like when enclosed in perfume. When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. 

Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?  – Muriel Barbery, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”

 

Another great entry point is CB I Hate Perfume.  Christopher loves tea notes in perfume, and he serves it up with cedar, rose, lavender and then a much more smoky version in Russian Caravan Tea.  You won’t get much “perfume” tradition in these, just a lot of lovely, lovely tea.  CB I Hate Perfume Cedarwood Tea is a gorgeous woods infused tea, slightly sweetened, like smoky tea with honey served aboard the deck of your yacht.  CB I Hate Perfume Lavender Tea is just that, with more emphasis on the Lavender – an English country morning sitting by the lavender fields with a fresh cuppa in front of you. CB I hate Perfume Tea Rose appeared in the rose perfume guide, but gets a quick mention here just because the tea in it is so darn pretty!  CB I hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea is the smoky entry in his tea series and my personal favorite because I loves me some smoky, dark tea..

Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini is another excellent not scary tea point.  While it has a lot of the same notes as some of the more, um, robust tea perfumes – leather, tobacco – it puffs little bits of smoke with its tea instead of filling the room with big black tea smoke.  An excellent starter tea perfume that doesn’t get enough attention – think smoky black tea with training wheels.

Mate tea

Annick Goutal Duel is mate tea, slightly smoked with leather and tobacco and a lovely lilting citrus note on the top.  Duel hits every single aspect of a tea perfume exactly right.  Allegedly a masculine fragrance, just ignore that and the square mannish bottle.  This one is perfect for anyone and one of my favorite tea scents that hits right down the middle of not too strong and not too weak.

Make mine Green, please

Creed Silver Mountain Water is green tea, blackcurrant and patchouli.  It’s a little metallic, intentionally so, but it is a unique take on tea, berried up with metal gilded on top.  Masaki Matsushima Mintea Mat is a lot more green than most of the tea perfumes, with just a hint of mint, veers off into aquatic.  Being quite aquatic averse, I really can’t say much more about it because it’s not my personal taste, but it’s a great economical tea perfume that’s done well enough. Comme des Garcons Nomad Tea is from their Sweet series, but it isn’t that sweet.  It’s more of a woodsy green (artemisia) tea scent.  Guerlain Tokyo is a typical Guerlain take on Japanese transparency, which means, well, it’s not that transparent.  It is lighter, incredibly refreshing, woody, and it does call to mind a Japanese approach to fragrance. Okay, it’s like a tiny Guerlain nod. It’s a beautiful fragrance to wear. If you want a green tea fragrance, you would look a long time to find something better.   As long as price isn’t an issue. Jalaine Green Tea Oil is an incredibly nice rendition of green tea. Probably the greenest of this batch, it’s maybe closer to hay.   If you love green tea, I think this is the truest green tea fragrance.  Oops, just checked the price.  $90 for 6 mls in a refill, eek!  I’m not sure it’s that nice, but I do like it a lot.

 

Going all Suthe’n – suhweet teah.

 

Demeter Chai Tea is just that – chai tea, sweetly spiced and does exactly what Demeter does well, make it smell like it should.Nez a Nez Parfums Paris Vanithe is tea, vanilla, honey and pretty  much defines this category for a southern sweet tea.  Well, except the vanilla, and I’m thinking this really should have found its way into the vanilla perfume guide instead. Oops!  Well, move it over in your head.  

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Gingembre is tea, honey, ginger, vanilla, gingerbread, cinnamon, cacao.  If you like you tea flavored and full of sweet references, just go with this one.  Olivia Giacobetti’s tea fragrance for L’Artisan veers a little sweet and lands in this category for me, Tea for Two, now sadly discontinued, combines cinnamon, ginger, smoked tea, honey, vanilla and guaiacwood to make this beautifully balanced sweeti’ish tea.  I’m not entirely sure it should go in the sweet group, but there is enough honey and vanilla to soften the smoky darkness of the tea that it’s just going here because I’m in mourning for it and would like to put it in every category.  

Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Praline has tea!   Yeah, surprised me too until I re-sniffed it. Rose, cardamom, chocolate.  Seriously, the most yummy suhweet teah perfume ever made. Don’t let the sweet open scare you off, there is a beautiful tea gem buried in this.  Love + Toast Mandarin Tea is from the same company that brought you Tokyo Milk.  They deliver a great price point with some decent juice, and Mandarin Tea is no exception. Just sunny, happy tea with bright orange in it.  

Tea loves Osmanthus

Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite is a beautiful merging of osmanthus flowers and tea, which is a fairly popular pairing and stunningly successful in all cases.  Slightly sweet, a little citrus with a gorgeous drydown, and it doesn’t get nearly the love it should get.  It’s long been as much a go-to scent for me as Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan (always on my best of summer list). Both are just sunshine and comfort.  Osmanthe Yunnan pairs up more citrus with the osmanthus and tea.  Osmanthus Interdite and Osmanthe Yunnan are nothing alike, but they both have the same gossamer airiness that makes them perfect when you are in that “I don’t know what I want” mood and just want something that is beautiful and easy and immediately makes you feel happier and makes you 10 pounds lighter. The other osmanthus and tea pairing incorporates figs in as well.  Parfums de Nicolai Fig Tea will appear in the fig guide, but it’s got enough tea in it that it belongs here as well.  Beautifully done, the tea gives a dryness to the woody fig notes, and the osmanthus and davana add a dollop of sweet.  Seriously these three tea perfumes?  They could see you through an entire summer, spring, fall and maybe even winter.

Citrus and Mint Tea

Olivia Giacobetti’s The Pour un Ete from L’Artisan is the perfect citrusy tea. Balancing the peppermint, tea and lemon in an amazing tension, it is perfection as only Olivia can deliver it.  Parfumerie Generale Hyperessence Matale is a gorgeous citrus wood pepper tea scent that I loved when I first smelled it on release, and nothing has changed. The pepper in it has it a great kick that many tea perfumes don’t have – well, and should!  Which I didn’t really think about until i smelled this tea perfume.  Parfumerie Generale Harmattan Noir is their other tea scent, the odder one, the one you just don’t expect to like. I had this to say about it back in 2006 “I keep thinking this is what it must smell like on a yacht anchored off the African coast in the cool of the night, sand still on your feet, drinking strong, rich tea with a sprig of mint that whispers around the edges of your privileged existence — or whatever vision you have in your head where life has no deadlines or budgets, your wrinkles are beautiful smile lines and it feels great to be alive. ”  Mint, tea, spices, it is dry, cool and incredibly refreshing and soothing.

Demeter has more tea scents. You can pick them up for practically nothing and indulge your tea perfume habit with zero guilt.  The ones I like best from Demeter are in the citrus tea area, like  Demeter Grapefruit Tea. Accord Parfait Chypre (The Noir and Bergamote) is a great budget option as well, and it’s pretty much straight up black tea with a wee bit of bergamot. Not a fussy tea fragrance. 

Jo Malone did a whole tea series that was a limited edition, and I’m not going to go through them because I’m not sure you can get any/some/all of them now.  I think I read somewhere that they may bring out a couple more next year.  They were quite good and are well worth hunting down if you are a big tea fan. But prepare to have your heart broken since they don’t seem to want to land them in the permanent collection

Spiced Christmas Tea

AbdesSalaam Attar Te delle Isole is a Christmas teacake. Warm, spicy, peppery, cloves and cinnamon.  It leans heavily on the spices, but it’s a really  great perfume that seems to encompass that warm spiced Christmas tea that feels like comfort.

 

tea perfumes - smoky, tough tea

Smoke, tar, black, tough tea – often with asscrack

I’d watch her, amazed at just how much a person could accomplish fueled by tea and regret.  – Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility

You could stop and start with Annick Goutal Eau du Fier if you wanted. Fier cracks me up every time I spray it on. It is tea that has stormed into the room billowing black smoke and birch tar fumes radiating from its leather pants.  It strides to the bar, sits down on the stool revealing epic asscrack, emitting another big poof of kerosene and black tar.  Sitting next to him is Bvlgari Black, huffing black tea, rubber and vanilla, looking at least as fierce, both bathed in so much smoke you can barely make out their shapes. These two are the iconic dark smoky black tea scents.  Coming in a little behind them, a wee bit milder, is Comme des Garcons Tea.  Smoked woods and roses swirl around the mate and black tea in this one. 

If you’ve thought what you really want is a tea perfume paired with horse, Cartier has taken care of this –  Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse.  Once you have smelled a horse, you will remember it forever.  Mathilde Laurent took that smell, as applied to only the finest bits of horseflesh on the planet, then curled up very clean hay with them and a cup of tea, I’m so glad I did this tea post, I’ve fallen in love with the scent all over again. When I put it on, I am 10, a child who daydreams nonstop, acts out plays on her way to the pasture to bring the cows in, buries her nose in Princess (her horse’s) neck and imagines she is commanding armies and conquering the world. Fougueuse will always be the way the idea of me without limits or morals smells.  Cartier La Treiziéme Heure is the grown-up version of that little girl warrior taken out of fantasy and put on a warhorse leading armies across the world, burning and pillaging. Mate, birch, leather, narcissus. This reads like the notes accompanying the Queen Bitch from Hell.  Do I love it?  Ohmygod, yes.  I never quite understood why the Les Heures series never got the widespread love I thought it deserved.  It has a lot of admiration, but people would say they wouldn’t wear them. Huh?  I think a huge chunk of them are amazing not just as art, but as wearable art, and I wear them a lot.  I do realize it could be that I have odd tastes that run to birch tar, horses, asscrack and huffing smoke, but, hey, I won’t make any apologies for that, those are great smells!  

I have no reason for these except weirdness and threats 

Phaedon Cendres de The is tea and myrrh and camphor. Weird, but also a little compelling.  Musette will kick my ass if I don’t mention Agraria Bitter Orange, i think it is. I don’t HAVE that in the perfume, but I do have it in the burning sticks, and it is the closest thing to heaven I know, except the incense made for Fornisetti.  Speziale Te Nero I thought I had around here, but could only find some lotion of it.  Simple, cheap, great tea scent.  I wanted to make sure it got a mention even though I don’t have a better description from memory.

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What are your favorite tea scents? LIke them zen and mild or full of birch and smoke?
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Perfumes samples provided from my personal collection and Surrender to Chance

118 Comments

  1. Creating overall budget for 2013: Those women at Perfume Possee -10% No! Wait! Hell, take it out of the grocery money. 12% I can always recoup the money by going into fetish bars while wearing rubber and tea perfume IF I don’t bust out laughing at men with ass crack showing!
    I really do love black pepper essential oil and will wear straight when I want to project … truly dangerous … oddly exciting, so I’d try “Parfumerie Generale Hyperessence Matale” for sure. See what a little tea in my pepper smelled like.
    As always, thanks for the laughs.

    • Oh, sorry! 🙂 Listen, you guys are as deadly to my budget in other ways – books I’ve bought, all this knitting expense, now a damn weaving loom. It’s brutal!

      Asscrack was really a happy accident that I just couldn’t bear to edit out.

  2. I haven’t had the chance to smell many tea fragrances. When I purchase samples I usually gravitate towards more floral frags. However, the Creed Silver Mountain Water sounds interesting. Then again, Creed always is!

    • Tea perfumes are just a whole other animal. When I first learned there was such a thing, I was a bit annoyed, it just sounded kind of weird. Once you get into them, if you like them, they are just so much fun.

  3. I love my Tea for Two and when I use it up it’s going to be a very sad day indeed. I’d like to try Five o’clock Gingembre one of these days. I’m going to have to wear Black again soon and see if I get the tea in it. Usually I just smell rubber and vanilla.

    • Black is pretty rubber and vanilla centric, I think I’m lending some of that rubbery smell or asphalt over into the tea side of things, at least that’s where I pick it up the most. I wasn’t really even sure that it WAS tea until I tried it again just looking for it. Surreal stuff, I think.

  4. Yay for tea – in drink and in scent. I’ll add Jacomo #8 to your list – a perfect chai tea. Demeter’s Earl Grey is as close to the real thing as you can get (unfortunately it lasts about a minute and a half). And Estee Lauder’s Pure White Linen Light Breeze is a very pretty floral tea.

    • Okay, there’s been a few recommndations for the Jacomo! I’ve been off Jacomo since that awful Silences experience, but this sounds lovely!

  5. Yay, Patty! So happy the great tea perfume post is on! Love so many of these scents and must try some as well. BTW, I hear you on planning trips around tea time. A few years back, I took my darling mother-in-law on a trip to London (at age 80, no less – her first international trip!) and we hit a few nice tea spots: the Ritz, Brown’s Hotel, another hotel tea that I can’t recall the name of now, and more. Plus some great fish and chips. Thanks for bringing back some lovely memories. BTW, glad you like the Noel tea, too.

    • Oh, so much fun! I never did do tea at the Ritz, which makes me sad, but DianeS hooked us up with the fashionista tea at I can’t remember the name of the hotel. But they change their east every season to look like something that came down the runway. The Chanel clog was adorable!

      love the Noel tea, and the Butterscotch, which I’m going to replenish on in tins when I’m there next time, it keeps longer!

  6. Ok, so I’m stuck on the couch with my foot up on pillows, recovering from foot surgery this morning, and TRYING not to combat boredom via online shopping. This post comes along about my two favorite things in life – tea and perfume – how am I to resist ordering about 15 samples???? I’m pretty sure the Posse is what turned me on to Mariage Freres Tea, and now they are going to bankrupt me with all these lovely tea scents too! The Guerlain Tokyo sounds divine, and I’m pretty sure I have a sample of the OJ scent mentioned. But I need to master the crutches better before I attempt to find it!

    • I hear ya! I’ve got this horrible flu, and today is the first time this week that I’ve felt something approaching human, I think!

      Mariage Freres teas are so great. If you ever get the chance and are in Paris, drop into one of their boutiques for lunch. They bring you out the steaming pot, and it’s so lovely!

  7. Haven’t really tried many tea frags. The green Bulgari ones always start to irritate me after a bit and I can hardly smell anything of the Black (I’m sure people who follow me out of Sephora are completely asphyxiated by my sillage but I get NOTHING but a mild bit of rubber). I vaguely remember trying an Elizabeth W perfume, was it Sweet Tea? It was very nice and quite my style for a candle but not what I want to wear all day. The tea I am dying to try is Five o’clock Gingembre but I fear that if I get a sample and fall in love I will find that I can’t get my paws on a bottle. I keep hearing rumors that it is being discontinued any second now. Is that true? Hope not as it sounds lovely and I know it has lots of fans.

    • yeah, the Bvlgaris are great for me in the summer, but they wear off quickly, so I don’t get annoyed. Cannot believe you don’t smell Black!!! yeah, the Elizabeth W Sweet Tea is one that a lot of people like, but I’ve never smelled it. I think the Gingembre will still be made, but that they are puling it back in as an exclusive, like they did with Miel de Bois.

  8. Haven’t tried many tea fragrances, but I love Serge Lutens Five O’clock au Gingembre, which I didn’t even realise had tea in it! I did once sniff Tea for Two, and loved that as well, so it looks as though I’ll have to try some more tea fragrances!

  9. Is it me, or is Costume National Scent Intense missing from this list? I can attest to Duel, but I’ll keep my square bottle :).

    • I’ll take your word for the Costume National. Something about the chemical base of their perfumes, I just can’t do them at all! Duel is amazing, though. It really needs a better name.

  10. My favorite tea is CBIHP Russian Caravan Tea and i love Bvlgari Black but seem to miss the tea in it. Would love to explore more tea scents.

  11. My favorite tea scent these days is Jacomo Art Collection No.8, which is a really warm and lovely chai tea fragrance. I also like Tea for Two!

    • That No. 8 is a nice one. Have you tried the one that smells like clay? There’s something about it I really love. Perhaps because my mom is a retired art teacher. Anyway, I find it comforting.

      • Is that the No. 2? Maybe it’s the “play-doh” note that you’re responding to…..:-) I haven’t tried either of the other two in this series; thanks for the recommendation.

  12. I will have to revisit Bulgari Black looking for tea, can’t say I ever noticed it before. I love Osmanthe Yunnan and like Bulgari Au the Vert, though I own FBs of neither. I used to LOVE Elizabeth Arden Green Tea when I was but a wee lass, around 13 or so. I smelled it again this year and was just appalled by my young self, but perhaps the bottle had turned a bit? I guess we all have to start somewhere!

  13. I have a bunch…. tea is one of my favorite notes! I suppose it is kind of safe, compared to some others. Tea For Two was my first niche purchase, and still one of my faves. I have full bottles of Au Thé Rouge, Rose Praline, Bulgari Black, Osmanthe Yunnan, and Thé Pour un Été. There’s a bunch more I want, with Eau du Fier at the top of my list. I wonder if you can still get it in Paris.

  14. Epic Asscrack has to be my favourite new phrase! Who’da thunk it would er, sit alongside all those genteel teas?

  15. Tea for Two is a favorite, though I don’t think “Tea” as much as some sort of heady spice tray up my face. And Oolang Infini is the truest Earl Grey I know.

  16. Reading the Perfume Posse lists is one of the reasons I have got to stop buying perfume. Every list leads to a bunch of decants arriving at my door. Before reading this, I had ordered a handful of decants. I suppose I could order a decant or two of tea scents because I have not tried a lot of them.

  17. There is tea in Black? Maybe after they burned some rubber, they stopped for a cuppa? 🙂 I am not familiar with a lot of tea scents, although I am quite fond of Tea for Two, with two lumps of suggah.

  18. Who would have thought there were so many different takes on tea? OK we know the ubiquitous green tea, Bulgari always my sister’s scent. I have Oolong Infini, the beginners’ choice, I have Tea for Two which makes me speak in a slightly husky voice.
    But the others in this article I have not tried. And I must.

  19. I love smoked and birch tea scents, haven´t had any but Bvlgari Rouge and still searching for Eau du Fier that is impossible to get anywhere. Thx for the drawing!

  20. “Epic asscrack” made me lol. 😀

    The Bulgari Thé Vert didn’t do much for me. I think it’s a bit lighter than I like. I love me some Black, though. I didn’t think of it as a tea scent until I smelled Lapsang Souchong, then I totally got it. I’m curious about Eau du Fier and CdG Tea now too. And I’m really wanting to try Parfums de Nicolai Fig Tea. I really love my sample of Musc Intense, and that has me wanting to try more PdN fragrances. And I love fig and osmanthus, so I think I need it. I’m curious about Five o’ Clock au Gingembre, and I know I’ve tried Tea for Two, but I think I need to get a proper sample because I sniffed it in a shop when there were other smells interfering, and all I remember is that it made me think of barbecue smoke.

    I’m also really excited about a fig guide. I love fig notes so I can’t wait to see what’s out there that I haven’t tried yet.

  21. I just realized I don’t know that many tea fragrances! Tea for Two is one of my favorites, but it turns really sweet on my skin and it’s about to be discontinued!!! I really like the blast of ginger in the opening of five o’clock au gingembre. I’m curious about the Hermes Osmanthus Yunnan!

  22. Ah, tea is one of my absolute favorite notes! Tea for Two, Osmanthe Yunnan and Osmanthus Interdite are some of my top fragrances (still so bummed Tea for Two got cut ;_;). So happy to have some new tea scents to hunt down and sniff! In general I like my tea scents dark and sweet but the two osmanthus ones are happy exceptions. Speaking of dark and sweet I haven’t pulled out Black in AGES haha. I had a sample of Speziale Te Nero and liked it a lot. JM’s Earl Grey & Cucumber is one of my absolute favorite perfumes hands down and it really honestly smells like a freshly steeped Earl Grey. There are rumors this one will be added to the permanent collection in February and I am keeping my fingers crossed!! I was devastated by PdN Fig Tea, it has everything I love! And yet it went horribly screechy cedar on me. I suspect there is something in the PdN-ade that doesn’t agree with my skin chemistry. :/ I also liked Five o’clock au Gingembre but didn’t really LOVE it like I wanted to, and sadly couldn’t smell the tea in The Pour Une Ete, only quiet jasmine lol. I hated CdG Tea lol, the burning rubber plastic was just too much for me, and I never really liked any of the famed Bvlgaris. I need to revisit Oolang Infini, and am looking forward to trying the Annick Goutals, CB I Hate Perfumes and the Rosine!

  23. I’m a fan of Bulgari Black, but I have a hard time finding the tea in it. Five o’clock au Gingembre is just scrumptious, I love it.

  24. Wow, I don’t know how much I like the idea of a note of asscrack, but I *love* tea and I’m very thankful you wrote about it! Can’t wait to try some of these 🙂

  25. I really like the category of tea scents. For me, they have pleasant associations, since I’m a life-long tea drinker. In addition to the Bulgari tea scents that you mentioned, I also like wearing L’Occitane’s The Vert. I’ve used their lotion, bath gel, candle, solid perfume, etc. as well. It’s a simple, linear green tea scent that’s easy to wear, especially in the summer.

  26. I consider Bvlgari Black a tea scent, I mostly get mate. Also Annick Goutal’s Mandragore is a pure herbal tea scent on me. I also happen to like an Yves Rocher cologne, The Verte which is a good and subtle naturalistic tea scent, best used after shower kind of thing -very refreshing for summer. Since we are getting cheaper as we speak, lets not snob Elizabeth Arden either, a very decent scent (a de-scent).

  27. Mmmmm. I love Bvlgari Black, a perfume that, despite it’s scariness, that I regularly get complimented on. And I’d like to mention the delish comfort gourmand, Jacomo Art Collection Number 8, which smells of milky chai and freesia. It’s lovely and inexpensive, to boot.

  28. I have a hard time with tea perfumes because I really like the tea note, but they always seem to vanish within 15mins! Or that’s true at least for the ones I’ve tried – CB Russian Caravan Tea, Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan, and the Bulgaris. Well, except Black, which lasts forever, but to me Black is not a predominantly tea perfume. Do you have the same problem with perfumes that have a dominant tea note?

  29. I love The pour un Ete; class jasmine green tea. I also like Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea, when even jasmine in my tea seems like too much. I loved Russian Caravan Tea, but I tried it in the water formulation, and it was too fleeting–must try in the stronger form! I tried Bvlgari Black. Ugh. Wish I could have tried all the Jo Malone’s. I thought the 5:00 au Gingembre and Tea for Two werre just a little too masculine on my skin, but would love to smell them on DH! Would love to try the Oolong Infini and pretty much any tea fragrance I haven’t sampled already. I’m an avid tea drinker and enjoy smelling the note wherever it’s found.

  30. You’ve hit on a number of my beloveds. I too am in mourning for tea for two. I adore l’heure fougeuse. One of the few decants I drained almost immediately. Funny, I always smelled the horse and hay but didn’t consciously notice the tea. Heading off to spritz myself with it now…

  31. Great piece! I don’t understand why L’Artisan d/c Tea For Two, but I also love The pour un Ete. I also love L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre, Elizabeth W Sweet Tea, and the two Ineke’s with tea–Chemical Bonding and Hothouse Flower.

  32. All the teas I have in my collection are there for the other notes in them that take my fancy. I love a cup of tea but tea in fragrance is not tea-ish enough for me sadly,
    Portia xx

  33. I do not know if I have ever had a tea scent, although I do love tea. I know I have never had any you mentioned in this post. I would love to try these scents. Thanks.

  34. I so enjoy it when you write about your love for tea. Annick Goutal Eau du Fier has moved to the top of my ‘most wanted’ list. Thank you for the opportunity.

  35. love the smell of teas, even more than the taste
    I used to wear Bulgari rouge, like a lot Black and Eau du fier
    Like Portia, I would like to find a stronger tea note…
    But, then I hadn’t tried most of your list..
    Thanks for the post, info and good laughs

  36. What great descriptions and wonderufl new scents for me to go and sniff out! I’m falling so deep down the rabbit hole that the whole scented world feels upside down. 😉 My first experience with a tea fragrance was Elizabeth W. Sweet Tea. I walked into the Elizabeth W. shop in San Francisco and promptly fell in love with the soft citrus sweet mixed with the astringent tea. I think it’s lovely and uncomplicated. Since then, I am intrigued by tea fragrances. Which brings me to an inquiry; is Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea supposed to smell like tea? Because I don’t get that when I sniff it. Maybe my nose is still a baby trying to figure out up from down, but I simply don’t smell green tea’s magic in it. Anyways, thanks for another great draw!

  37. I love Tea for Two and The Pour Un Ete, and I think that there is a Demeter one that was wonderful called Coriander Tea. I need to find that one again! Thanks

  38. This year has been a year of tea scents for me – the badass tea scents. And boy do I agree on every single word you wrote on Les Heures de Cartier! Those are truly amazing fragrances and I’m still waiting for the Santa to see them on my wishlist. That horsemane smell in L’Heure Fougueuse is driving me crazy (in a good way)!

  39. You are right, Mariage Frères Esprit de Noel tea is soooo good! I have it every day of December. It’s that delicious! Otherwise, one of my favorite tea fragrance is Roger & Gallet Thé vert. It’s a summer scent to me, so I don’t wear it at the moment.

    I want to add that I love your blog! i do not comment often, but I read it every day.

  40. Thanks so much for the tea post. I love to drink tea, my current favorite is an Irish Breakfast blend called Punjana. Rich and smooth and great with and without milk. I need to try more tea scents but Bulgari Black is one of my favorites along with the original Omnia- a great chai scent and Smell Bent – Sunshine Mama’s Spiced Tea. Sunshine Mama really reminds me of my favorite Constant Comment tea, spice,citrus and tea with a lovely bright sillage.

  41. I am so upset about Tea for Two being discontinued! It was the first perfume I really loved….and still do. Bulgari Black is another favorite…tea is a delicious note.

  42. You’ve hit most of my favorites! I love Black and Five O’Clock au Gingembre. I also like Tocca Bianca for a light refreshing summer perfume — lemon tea with sugar and a little rose water. It’s overpriced for what it is because it’s very simple and very light, but so pretty!

  43. I’m afraid I have absolutely no familiarity with tea scents. I guess I have some catching up to do! Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  44. I love tea and tea fragrances. Duel is probably my favorite, but for some reason, my husband hates it! He doesn’t really like any perfume since he gets migraines from scent sometimes, but Duel he made a point of telling me how much he disliked it. So odd. I also really like Osmanthe Yunnan, Jacomo #8, Tokyo and am dying to try the Russian Caravan Tea and Fig Tea (though I hope it is more fruit than leaf).

  45. Another note I love! I have Bulgari Black and Osmanthe Yunnan, and love The Pour Un Ete too. There’s a few on your list I need to go hunt down now. I grow Bergamot plants in my garden – they smell absolutely amazing and the bees love them too. Where’s the best place for afternoon tea? The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh himself!

  46. I love drinking tea but have nothing like it in my limited stock of perfumes. The closest I have come is maybe the five o’clock Gingembre by Serge which smells to me in the best possible way of chai. I used to rub my wrist with the sleeve in which tea bags came. Does that count? Tazo chai sleeves and any Earl Gray were my favourites.

  47. I recently did a sniff-through of the Les Heures de Cartier collection with my favourite SA at Holt Renfrew, and I totally fell for L’Heure Fougueuse. I’m wearing it today, and thinking I may have to invest ($$$!) in a full bottle for my birthday. It’s just incredible. Osmanthe Yunnan and The Pour Un Ete are my go-to refreshing summer scents. I’m eager to explore some darker tea fragrances as well. I think they would really suit my taste, which tends to lean towards the woody, leathery, tobacco-ish, and slightly smoky. Thanks for the great suggestions and the giveaway!

  48. I’m not familiar with tea perfumes, just Russian Caravan Tea by CBIHP and Bvlgary Black, but…not my cup of tea. Maybe someday I’ll find a tea perfume that fits me! I’m sure that my perfume is into the darkest tea area!
    Thank you for the draw!

  49. After one false start, I’ve learned to love huffing on Bulgari Black. I’d love a chance to huff on some other tea scents. I think that Geisha Noire has a tea note, although I admit that it’s hard to tell because on me it disappears in fifteen minutes flat, never to be detected again. I would love to check out CB’s tea scent, but come the day I can afford a full bottle of his absolute, I’ll go for 7 billion Hearts first.

  50. Tea time for me is about deep black or exquisite smoky-roasted Lapsang Souchong , and I love dark tea with a whiff of dark dry Vanilla, which is what Black seems to provide.

  51. I’m an avid horsewoman but just don’t get l’Heure Fougueuse, maybe because I can smell the real thing several times a week! I do like other tea scents, The Pour Un Ete, the Bvlgaris, and Tocca Bianca. Thanks for the generous draw 🙂

  52. See, this is how I get that scary rep.u.tay.shun! I did NO THREATENING! None! I politely requested that you include my beloved Agraria because it is just so lovely! Though I also have to admit to a massive love-on for CBIHP’s Russian Caravan. That is just so beautiful, reminiscent of hot water being poured over really good black tea, in a snowstorm! I get little or no tea in Fougueuse – I get all the hay and the money and a bit of honey and sweat.

    Hope you are feeling better, sweetie!
    xxoxoA

  53. I am dying to try Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Gingembre – I don’t think I’ve experienced any of the tea perfumes yet, and can’t wait to explore.

  54. Love Osmanthus Interdite and don’t think it gets enough respect. Another PdE scent, Ambre Russe, also has a lot of tea in it, at least to my nose. In fact, it always reminds me of Tea for Two, although it is not as sweet.

  55. While Bvlgari Black reminds me more of a strange, futuristic amber, Patchouli 24 always gives me the image of sitting in a yurt, sipping hot black tea with yak butter melted in it.

  56. I *love* Tea for Two with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Am so disappointed it is becoming so hard to find, as I just shared a decant from my big bottle with a friend who loves it and can’t find her own bottle anywhere…*in denial about discon/must be available somewhere in the world!*
    Also love Bulgari Black, so maybe I am a black tea, tar, and smoke kinda gal… and like Accord Parfait The Noir and Bergamot too! Was let down by my sample of Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Gingembre….smelled kinda like Tea for Two or PG Une Crime Exotique mixed with generic cologne when I first tried it. WiIll have to revisit once more before passing it along.

    But I really enjoy actual green tea and would love something that smelled like that– closest I have found is L’artisan The Pour Une Ete which really smells like the steam from a cup of yin hao jasmine tea and a summer breeze.

    Now yearning to smell: Jalaine green tea oil; Guerlain Tokyo; Cartier La Treiziéme Heure (never heard of any Cartier Heure ‘fumes); Patchouli 24 (I would actually really like the experience of sipping yak butter tea in a yurt, and acc. to julie above this sounds like a much easier trip!) ;CB I hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea ; AG Duel; Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite; Osmanthe Yunnan; Annick Goutal Eau du Fier…

  57. I have Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and actually prefer it to the Bvlgari Verte (which I had and traded in last spring’s Swapmania)Guerlain seems to have duplicated (with a hint more floral ) the Verte with thier AA Cherry Blossom.
    Bvlgari’s Au Rouge and Blanc are very nice too (got my Dad hooked on the Rouge).
    One tea I’ve come across that hasn’t been mentioned yet was a orange spice tea scent .I found a cologne -okay it’s an edp But it wears like a cologne – Siam Ginger by Urban Rituelle in Australia ,found two bottles in my local TJ Maxx .Bought the first one tried it and immediately hopped in the car to go buy the other as a backup . Flipping the box open to huff the near dupe to Celestial Seasonings Orange Spice tea (the one with the lady and the tiger on it).

  58. I finished a big decant of Tea for Two in no time, so I guess this one is my favourite tea. Why on earth did they have to discontinue it? Would love to have a FB, it seems I’m always in the mood for it.

    Thank’s for the very interesting list, AND the giveaway!

  59. I have not tried many tea scents because I fear I’ll find in them a strong bergamot note which I may not tolerate. Reading this introduction to tea scents made me realize that most of the tea perfumes are not about bergamot at all. I am curious to try SL
    Five O’Clock Gingembre and Guerlain’s Tokyo, and Goutal’s tea fragrances.

  60. I love tea and all the rituals around it, from the Japanese tea ceremony to formal afternoon tea. It’s very calming. I have a few tea scents in my small collection, but I’m kicking myself for not getting Tea for Two before it was discontinued. And AG’s Eau de Fier sounds like something I just have to try!

  61. Favorite : Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse. But I own lots of great tea scents, including Tea for Two, SL Five O’Clock Gingembre, Osmanthe Yunnan (always on my summer fave list too!), Bulgari Au The Rouge.
    Did NOT care for Agraria Bitter Orange — oddly enough — as spicy tea with orange is one of my favorite scents (Constant Comment!). The cologne /room spray I purchased last year is too strong — it actually makes me cough with one spray — and has a fake/plasticky note.( I also bought the Agraria petite diffuser set, with several scents including the Bitter Orange, and they have next to no throw at all. Do not waste your $100 bucks on these folks.) –Gail

  62. Glad to see others mention the Jacomo #08, as it’s a recent discovery for me and so reasonable I moved straight to FB purchase. I also own decants of Tea for Two, Five o’Clock and Black, and love them all, but I can’t wear them in the summer, so it’s obviously time to check out the lighter offerings as well. As always, great post Patty!

  63. I love Oolong teas, rich dark and earthy! In perfumes I used to wear Bulgari Thé vert and am on the lookout for another tea fragrance, your wonderful post will help me find one, I am sure!

  64. I love tea, especially Elizabeth Arden Green tea in the body lotion.

  65. Bulgari Black always make me laugh because it smells like the rubber in golf clubs. I had many a hot summer playing Junior Camp Counsler to kids 14 and under, so BB is rubber and grass and vanilla. I never get tea out of that 😛

  66. Ugh, I think this ENTIRE list has just been added to my “If I win the lottery” wishlist. Thanks, Miss Patty 😉 Well, I love tea in all its forms… I know my local TJ Maxx has suddenly acquired some Bvlgari Au the Rouge (which, for some reason, smells just of tea to me, no additional notes), which I may pick up if I can find an unopened box. Cartier La Treiziéme Heure sounds like I NEED it, and like it’ll scare the sock off of me 🙂 Just out of curiosity, how do you decide what notes to compile lists for?

    NP

  67. I actually don’t own a tea scent (shock! bc i love tea) so I’ll tell you my favorite tea instead which is coffee bean and tea leaf winter dream tea. I would love a perfume that smelled like that tea 🙂

  68. Teeeeea!

    ElizabethW Sweet Tea was one of my earliest perfume loves when I started this whole crazy thing. Now it’s too simple and sweet and pleasing to me, but I’m still fond of it. Except…oh. Hey. I bet they have it in a bath oil. That would be really nice; my desire for weirdness is much lower for bath potions.

    Some teas that I think weren’t mentioned:

    Parfumerie Generale L’Eau Rare Matale: Burned wood with my tea! Woohoo!

    Le Labo Patchouli 24: I know it’s officially not a tea, but it’s the closest to a photorealistic tea for me. This, of course, would put me firmly in the birch tar camp.

    Ava Luxe Moroccan Mint Tea: I love it. I love it so much. And it makes me sneeze and promptly clog up. This is not fair.

  69. I’ve only tried a few tea scents, but I adore all the ones I’ve tried, so I’m definitely excited about this tea guide! The Dormouse by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a lovely tea blend perfume and one of my favorites; I also really like Dior’s Escale de Pondichery. I think I’m particularly fond of citrus notes along with the tea notes~ for me, it’s a refreshing combination.

  70. I often find tea scents so artificial and nose-irritating – hope to expand my tea perfume horizon and find some I like! Thanks for an always great guide!

  71. I have Bulgary The Vert and The Blanc, and Florescent Green Tea – but wow, what an extensive and interesting list!! I also love tea, and am quite intrigued by the varieties of fragrances that center around the tea theme

  72. My favorite TEA fragrance is Heeley’s Menthe Fraiche it smells just like mint tea!

  73. TEA!!! yes, please. you mentioned a lot of my favorites, the PG’s being foremost among them, along with the AG’s, but i like the cartiers well enough, and looove the l’artisan’s. others i have tried that i didn’t see mentioned are Bancha by DSH (minty grassy light tea wonderfulness, this is a huge favorite of mine), and iced black keemun tea, a fragrance oil on the bargain end of things, which smell like iced sweet tea. really nice, but honestly, i prefer my teas with more asscrack. love that term! great article! i’m bookmarking and saving this one!

  74. I found Bulgarii Vert when it was first released and have enjoyed it since. I give it a test in the store when it is hot and humid just to enjoy its cool freshness.

  75. Speziale Te Nero is definitely worth seeking out. Does what it says on the bottle, as the wags say. Not the WAGS though – I don’t know what they say.

  76. L’Artisan Tea for Two is one of my all time favorites, warm and comforting, it’s sweetness never cloying. It is so very sad that it is discontinued. I do think it ages well, for these who are tempted to store away a bottle.

  77. Strangely enough, I find tea scents a bit challenging. Of the ones mentioned, only the Pour un Ete really worked…although admittedly, I haven’t tried that many.

  78. I love tea! I have a whole cabinet dedicated to it, but I have not tried any tea fragrances and I would love so many of them I am sure, mint tea fragrances and chai tea so wonderful!

  79. Oooh, I love all tea scents and also drink a lot of tea! As English people say, a cuppa is what you need in the moments of deepest sorrow, or for the most joyful moments in your life. I would add to that all moments in life in between, too. I think I like the best all scents with a hint of green matcha tea or Earl Grey, which is basically black tea and bergamotte. OOOH!

  80. Love tea in fragrance. Love lapsang souchong (smoke). Yet, I have never found “the one” that provides the same fragrant seduction as tea.

  81. I love tea fragrances… Five O’clock au Gingembre is my daily perfume, but I’m still looking for a truly realistic black tea scent. I bought some black tea absolute from Aftelier. It smells just like a cup of black tea in the bottle but now I’m not quite sure what to do with it!

  82. I used to wear Tea for Two a lot, it’s kinda special and it’s kinda sad when kinda special frags are discontinued . . . another one bites the dust syndrome. Speaking of dust, I like a wee bit in my tea scents; a whiff of the ol’ homestead, the ashes left in the grate, dried up rose-petals, heavy curtains partially drawn, sometime around 4:00 in the urbane afternoon, more tea please . . .

  83. Tea has been a note I’ve been wanting to explore in perfumes for a long time. It is really interesting to see how many different ways it can be interpreted! The only tea scent I have tried thus far is CB I hate perfume Lavender Tea. I had a hard time smelling the tea in it, actually-to me, the tea seemed to really brighten up the lavender and make it almost fruity. I would love to try some of the smoky tea scents!

  84. Until I subscribed to this site I had never even heard of Tea Scents..I now need to try them all! I can’t believe some of the descriptions LOL!!

  85. My favorite tea scents are rather on opposite ends of the tea spectrum. I love Bvlgari Black when I want a tea that will make people sit up and take notice when I enter a room, but I also love Elizabeth W. Sweet Tea, especially on balmy summer nights.

  86. the Olivia Giacobetti’s The Pour un Ete sounds amazing! can’t wait to sniff it.

  87. Chai tea is my favorite and I love Jacomo No 8 for this reason alone! Should be on the list!

  88. A fantastic post! I’ve been researching tea fragrances with the goal of finding something fun and different for my wife, and this was very helpful. The giveaway is a great idea…thanks!

  89. Ha! I loved your hilarious paragraph about AG Eau de Fier and Bulgari Black. I am juuuuust getting into tea scents, so I haven’t tried too many of them…I quite like Tea for Two. Actually, I liked Bulgari Black also, but like someone else has commented, can’t quite pick up on the tea–yet. I think I will go find some AG Duel to try; I’ve often wondered about that one.

  90. Osmanthe Yunan is the only tea fragrance I have tried and loved and it’s LOVE! I’d love to try the other tea scents. These comprehensive guides make me drool!

  91. I’ve actually not tried too many tea scents (Tea for Two stands out of those I have tried), but I adore tea to drink, so I guess I need to add that note to my extensive to-sample list!

  92. Tea for two! I love to drink Twinings Green tea with Lemon and Earl Grey, they smell great too

  93. I’m new to the world of niche fragrances and am just starting to pick out notes. I love the smell of brewing tea, so off I go to sample many of the tea perfumes!

  94. Awesome! Many tea scent are good to wear around people who don’t like perfume, so I have many more to sample now!

  95. Another great post. As I was going through the comments I started adding to my wish list! I’ll have to go back through the post later and make sure I captured everything, so many great things to try.

    I do love a good tea fragrance. Like many here Osmanthus Yunnan is Is very much on my regular list, in fact probably the one fragrance I couldn’t live without (exceptional statement from me, who ceased to buy full bottles about 5 or 6 years ago after discovering decants, which allow me to wear what I want on the day rather than be restricted to only 2 or 3 to chose from).

    The pour un ete is also a firm favourite.

    I love the smoky, birch tar end as well, and Eau du Fier and Bulgaria Black amuse me with how out there they are (and this is why I buy decants, so I can enjoy the way out perfumes occasionally when the whim strikes, SL Borneo 1834, etc.). In comparison I find the The Vert, etc., uninteresting.

    I like Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate as well, which I don’t think has been mentioned yet.

    Osmanthus Interdite went straight on the wishlist, as did Fougueuse!

  96. wow, thanks for the wonderful comprehensive list! You hit every single one I had in mind. Great research as always and so entertaining to read you blogs. I personally love the CBIHP scents and found that i have samples for about half of the ones you mentioned overall. I LOVE hot tea and apparently love it in perfume as well! I have samples of Jo Malones Fresh Mint and Sweet Milk….wonder if they would go togethers? thanks, patty!

  97. The only tea fragrance I recall that I’ve tried is Bvlgari Au the blanc, which is very light, but I do love my deep and smoky fragrances.

  98. How nice to finally see a post about tea notes in perfume. I love the Serge Lutens with ginger (like stem ginger in heavy syrup) with its spices and honey, perfect this time of year. I have tried L’Artisan Tea for Two, but got too much smoke and very little sweetness. The 3 tea scents from Bulgaria are good ones, but the green tea scent is hardly noticeable on my skin after a couple of hours. Will make sure to sample some others.

    • Sorry for the typos!! And seriously, the blog posts focusing on single notes are such a good read, but they always lead to extra samples being ordered. So much fun, but I should save up for full bottles, too.

  99. I just learned of another tea scent but have not tried it: Ava Luxe Moroccan Mint Tea. Sounds delicious. By the way, I purchased the Agraria Bitter orange based on a prior blog and it is just out of this world! EXACTLY like Constant Comment tea! A huge comfort and holiday scent for me.

  100. Fave tea scent is Cartier Hour 4, too lazy to spell Fougeuese. I missed the first batch of Jo Malones with the milk tea or I would prob’ly be naming that one too.

  101. Tea For Two and Five O’clock…were two of my earliest ever niche decants. loved the artisan, so-so on the lutens. Osmanthe Yunnan is an h.g frag for me. and i used to have a really nice lemon tea ‘fume the name of which i can’t remember. i love ’em all- smoky and/or fresh- tea is one of my favorite notes evah.

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