Flavorful scents Monday: Coffee and tea … ahhh

coffeeAfter doctoring up YSL’s Black Opium with Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem on last week’s post, I found myself smitten with NH and craving its coffee for several days. And then I was mixing it with other things, just to see, you know, how they behaved when “caffeinated.”

A favorite pairing turned out to be with Le Couvent des Minimes Eau des Mission Cologne, an absolutely delicious, mouth-watering confection of coffee, vanilla, lavender and incense.

And this, of course, prompted a major jones-ing for more coffee scents (and tea as well). Here are several I particularly enjoyed during my “binge”:

Ava Luxe’s Café Noir, with its deep coffee aura topped with a luscious dollop of mocha, was as equally mouth-watering and tempting as the New Haarlem/Couvent blend, and just a bit less sweet.

Taking more of a spicy, oriental bent was Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s Café Noir (pictured). After the little sugar rush above, I appreciated its black pepper and cinnamon undertones, among other notes, which balanced out any sweetness.

Another scent that nicely straddles the spicy and sweet fence is Abdes Salaam Attar’s Scents of the Soul Milano Caffe, stirring into its coffee brew some incense, wood and perhaps even cardamom to keep things interesting.

I had each of these on a portion of wrist, forearm and inner elbow, and I must say, I felt surrounded by a near-edible aura of delicious comfort. Almost as if I had visited several coffeehouses, each with its own personality, and took a little of each away with me in a tiny scent cloud. I would happily own a full bottle of one or all of these, would my budget allow.

As for my beloved tea, when chilly temps come calling, I’m quick to pull out my old favorite L’Artisan Tea for Two, with its smoky, sexy Lapsang Souchong, softened by honey, cinnamon, ginger and more. I don’t particularly care for lapsang tea in the cup, but in this scent, it is wonderful. Sometimes I even think I detect gingerbread and a bit of leather here. So happy L’Artisan brought back this delight.

Almost masculine-leaning Annick Goutal’s Duel and its mate leaves, absinthe, leather and musk, gets some love as well (when I can find the sample – it plays hide n’ seek with me, I think).

More recently, I was excited to read about Masque Milano’s Russian Tea and made haste to get a sample of it. I tried it several times, but alas, I must confess it was just too deep and intense for me. But for those of you who love dark, dark, dark with little or no sweetness in sight, this just might be your cuppa.

These scents are so comforting and soothing for me when cold, rainy days loom and gray skies seem never-ending. What about you — is your mouth watering yet? What are your favorite coffee or tea scents? I know I’m forgetting some and haven’t tried others, so I’m eager to hear your suggestions.

Note: I didn’t include any of the lighter, green and white tea type scents here that I enjoy because they seem more refreshing and warm-weather appropriate, for me at least — of course, YMMV.

22 Comments
masha7 February 24, 2015

My favorite coffee scent is Olympic Orchids Cafe V, which is actually a "scent-scape" of Ellen Covey's favorite Seattle coffee house. She really captures the whole experience in a bottle. I make a coffee 'fume with predominantly cardamom, as it reminds me of my favorite Middle Eastern coffees. Between the two, I've got my mornings covered, olfactorily speaking! I will have to try some of the others you mentioned, yum!

Sun Mi Fontaine February 24, 2015

Goodness, these all sound lovely - especially the Cafe Noir and Milano Caffe... Thanks for highlighting these for us!

Suzanne February 23, 2015

I always think of you as a tea fanatic, Ann, so I'm chuckling to imagine you smelling like a coffee shop with all those yummy scents going on at once! You smell delicious, lady. I wish I had purchased a bottle of Ava Luxe Café Noir back in the day. (Really, really trying not to buy too many perfumes these days, but your mention of it brings back memories of how good it was when I bought a decant years ago.) Fun post!

Gwenyth February 23, 2015

Thanks so much for your post about "combining" two scents! I love the idea of YSL Black Opium and Bond No. 9 New Haarlem. I, too, find that some perfumes play well together. I'm not about "Layering" perfumes on top of each other....bu,t wearing two at a time, in different places on skin, can be a beautiful experience. Each perfume retains its personal signature -- but the combined fragrances create something which is exciting and different. I also love your idea of New Haarlem worn with Le Couvent des Minimes Eau des Mission Cologne - I would bet those two would play well together on skin. Today I'm wearing a gorgeous combination (to MY nose, anyway....) It is Andy Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain worn along with a spritz of Annick Goutal's Myrrhe Ardente -- LAdDM worn on my arms and the spritz of MA on my neck -- the wafts together are spectacular. Cheers!

eldarwen22 February 23, 2015

I never seem to get around to smelling a lot of things but anything related to food or drink seems to be on the bottom of my list. But I am gonna have to eventually try Tea for Two. Now, to dig out my bottle of 1270.

rosarita February 23, 2015

New Haarlem is my favorite Bond 9 and I think I'll wear it today since you've reminded me of it, Ann. Montale has a coffee perfume that came out within the last couple years that I haven't tried but has been on my wishlist for a while. Tea for Two is great, I'll have to dig up my sample.

pyramusnb February 23, 2015

My two favourite coffee scents, at least the ones that I own, are Mugler Pure Coffee (A*Men with a huge overdose of coffee) and CSP Vanille Café (renamed Vanille Mokha before it was discontinued, luscious creamy-sweet coffee goodness). New Haarlem is also great but I couldn't see buying a whole bottle of it, not at that price. Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café is good, and I went through a sample pretty easily, but again, probably not worth a whole bottle to me. Givenchy Very Irresistible for Men has, or at least used to have, a delightful espresso note in the top: I believe it's been reformulated since launch (hasn't everything?) and probably doesn't smell as good, but it might. Demeter has Black Russian — straight-up coffee liqueur, very very nice. (Their other coffee scent is Espresso, very dark, almost burnt: I didn't like it.) They oughta do Cream And Two Sugars: that would be wonderful.

australianperfumejunkies February 23, 2015

Funny you should talk about T42 today Ann. I sprayed it on a mate and now he is desperate for a bottle. Portia xx

Kandice February 23, 2015

You and I always seem to be on the same page with perfumes. I so wanted to like Masque Milano's Russian Tea since I love tea and would like to find a great tea scent. While at first it was fine, it ended up smelling like a dirty ashtray on me. I have not yet tried Tea For Two. Since you like it, I'm hoping it will work for me as well. Thanks for the review!