Back in the 80’s people kind of stank. Scents became even bigger in the 80’s than they were in the 70’s. Women’s scents like Giorgio and Poison were liberally applied and in a crowded elevator could act like mustard gas. On the men’s side there were powerhouses like Lagerfeld, which was a favorite of the boys at Uncle Charlie’s on “Dynasty” night (I loathed it, but a dear friend gifted me with a huge bottle of it because she loved it, so I’d wear it when I’d meet up with her.)
Then Barneys which I believe was still Barney’s then and definitely was still on 7th Avenue at 17th Street decided to introduce an eponymous scent that would be as cool, elegant and cutting edge as the designer clothes they carried in the store.
It was called Route du Thé.
It was the antithesis of the heady fragrances of the day: citruses, lily of the valley and amber, and that’s about it. Surprisingly, its lasting power was pretty good, and on a hot, sticky Manhattan summer day it was as refreshing and a gin and tonic on shaved ice.
After almost 30 years it’s still a cool delight, not very different from the original formula and not terribly expensive. Since there’s practically a Barneys on the moon, it’s also readily available.
Route du Thé is $75 for 100ML at Barneys. My “sample” is from my personal bottle.