Russian Tea by Masque Milano

Heya Posse! Can you believe Masque Milano’s Russian Tea is now 10 years old? Last month the passing of Alessandro Brun reminded me to get out my bottle and give it a whirl. Alessandro was the Milanese born luxury scholar and educator turned perfume house co-creator with Riccardo Tedeschi. I thought we could remember it as we remember Alessandro. We never met or even online interacted but everyone I know that was acquainted with him remembered him so fondly and with such love.

Russian Tea by Masque Milano 2014

Russian Tea by Masque Milano 2014

Masque Milano gives these featured accords:
Top: Mint, Black Pepper, Raspberry
Heart: Black Tea, Magnolia, Everlasting Flower
Base: Leather accord, Incense, Birchwood, Cistus-Labdanum

What do you expect when you read Russian Tea? I’m thinking tea of the luxury goods caravans crossing Russia from Asia and Europe in the bad old days of the Tzars and aristocracy. So an old billy over a campfire, blackened outside, tar stained inside. The smell of horses and riders, tack, snow and unwashed humanity. Well, there are hints of this through the fragrance but it’s much more nuanced and beautiful. If you’re after a punch in the face then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Russian Tea opening is very meaty tea. Yeah, I know that sounds weird but it has immortelle, smoky black tea, leather and a sharp whisper of mint that gives the whole dark shermozzle a vibrant lift. Interestingly, though all the notes are heavy Russian Tea is not. Yes, you are fragrant and yes it is quite richly faceted but the whole perfume is light. There seems to be a lot of space between the notes. Because of that you have a real enjoyment of each part. It’s like the leather, tea, smoke and mint are all running parallel courses and working together but separate. Very interesting way to create a fragrance and it adds to my enjoyment immensely.

Later in the lifespan that lovely animalic amber of labdanum makes its presence really known. So yes, the horses and their tack, the wool blankets and tents around a smoky campfire are all there but gently, elegantly. A sophisticated daydream while dozing in a comfortable chair in the comfort of your own home.


Russian Tea Masque Milano 100ml Feb 2024

My bottle is the “vintage” 100ml and I really like it. The new one is much more lovely and feels infinitely more lavish. I’m happy with mine, it fits my hand perfectly and has nice heft.

Surrender To Chance has samples.
Patty loved Russian Tea way back in 2014 and I also have a bottle of Hemingway.

So, are you a Russian Tea fan? In beverages or perfume?
Portia xx

  • Maya says:

    I’m not a fan of tea fragrances. Masque Milan is frustrating. Most of their perfumes just miss for me or I go back and forth back and forth on liking it or not. If they were spritz and go prices, I might have bought a couple. I do however seriously like Tango!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Maya,
      Yeah, I think the companies are doing themselves a disservice pricing their product so aspirationally. They are pricing me out of the market.
      Portia xx

  • Tom says:

    dammed system wouldn’t let me comment from my iPad.

    I had not idea he died; how sad. I do remember really liking Russian Tea but that it was just a little out of my league price-wise. Lovely though. I loved that smoky finish.

  • alityke says:

    I’m a basic bitch, good old builders tea with a spot of milk.
    Tea in fragrance I find challenging & mint is a hard no. Yet the horsey leather is tempting though. I might need to sample

  • Ann says:

    Hiya, Portia!! Ann (formerly of the Posse) here. Loved this stuff! Gotta go find my sample now. Thanks so much!

  • Maggiecat says:

    I like tea scents in general. In fact, I’m wearing Korres White Tea today, as we’re stuck inside due to stormy weather and I don’t want to drive my husband behind the closed door of his study, which PG L’ombre Fauve, which I’d prefer, is wont to do.
    Russian Tea sounds intriguing but not exactly my type. But maybe that’s as good a reason as any to sample it!

    • Portia says:

      HA! PG L’ombre Fauve is a big beauty. I don’t know the Korres but have liked some of their scents previously.
      If you love dark, layered scents but sometimes wish they were less in your face then maybe Russian Tea could fit the bill.
      Portia xx

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    This would probably make a better room spray or oil diffuse thing than a perfume. I am a tea drinker and have some pretty strong teas.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Eldarwen22,
      Yeah, it would be an excellent ambient scent but I really love it as perfume.
      YAY for hard core tea drinkers.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    Why have I not tried this?!?! I don’t think I have … it sounds absolutely wonderful, every bit of it. Also I love that bottle. What a sweet post.

  • Dina C. says:

    What a beautiful description Portia. It sounds like, to me, it would make a lovely candle scent moreso than something I’d want to wear on my person. I love all the imagery you gave it. Generally I enjoy tea scents, and I’m a big tea drinker.

  • Belladonna says:

    You describe it so well! It’s a true beauty. I would call it a masterpiece. Your vintage bottle is awesome