L’Artisan Tea for Two (by Derek)

My name is Derek, and like many of you my life is guided by my nose. It started as a child: my mother would allow me to help choose the fabric softener and detergent we purchased. On each trip I would carefully smell each and every bottle. She has told me many times that I doubled her time in the store in that one aisle. As I grew up my fascination with scent continued. Like many guys my age my first cologne was Abercrombie Woods. I loved that sucker, and it still makes me smile to this day. I never really thought much about my scent fascination or what that would mean for my life. I grew up; went to college; majored in marketing. My first year out of school was quite unfulfilling. I was unhappy with my career prospects–the few the recession had left me–and unsure of what to do. Along with help from important people in my life, I realized my passion was wine. Once again my obsession with scent took center stage in my life. My first introduction to niche fragrance came by a happenstance meeting with a representative for Bond No. 9. I was hooked, and about a year ago I found my way to some fragrance boards. My nasal persuasion had come calling again. Now it has brought me here to you.

I’m making up for lost time in my olfactory journey by sampling some classic scents by some of the more ubiquitous niche houses. Can a company be niche and ubiqitous? I decided to begin with L’Artisan and more specifically the recently discontinued Tea for Two. Scent is deeply personal to me, as it is for the rest of you, so when I find a scent that sums up a time or place in my memory I must have it. (Spoiler Alert: I love this fragrance)

Tea for Two opens with cloud of smoke enveloping the entire body. It begins a small puffs, but it quickly develops into a thin veil. From out of the veil peek ginger and cinnamon. They are shy at first, but quickly make their presence emphatically known. A sweetness from honey lingers under the surface and grounds the smoke from becoming too similar to a long-dead campfire. At the heart, shrouded by smoke, is tea. A fresh core standing proudly along the spices.

Tea for Two is classically unisex leaning masculine. It would take a confident woman to wear this, but I would welcome smelling it on her. I think the scent would be right at home on a man. The smoke prevents the fragrance from being too sweet a gourmand for a man, but there’s enough interest for it to stand out.

During my first two wearings I was perplexed by the familiarity of Tea for Two. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew it was quite familiar to me. It hit me on my third wearing: a hotel I stay at often when I’m traveling to New York City. It is the scent of their lobby. The complimentary hot tea mingling with the spicy fragrance they spray to scent the space punctuated by the cologne of the bellmen and smokiness of the leather furniture. I fell in love with Tea for Two at that moment. It is the scent of a home away from home. Unfortunately, Tea for Two has been recently discontinued, and I have yet to purchase a bottle. Neiman Marcus still has some stock of 100 mL bottles available. (ED:  I’m running down this rumor, which has been going around for a while unabated – there are others that are rumored to be on the chopping block and many that have been on the block in the past that are still being made – sometimes I think it’s a size or the bottle they are discontinuing, but be aware!)

The sample came from Luckyscent a few months ago.


  • Perfumista8 says:

    Congrats on a great post, Derek. I’m looking forward to hearing more about a guys thoughts on perfumes and how your experience with wine informs your thoughts on scents. Welcome!

    • Derek says:

      Thank you so much! Hopefully I’ll be entertaining and interesting! And at some point I’ll go over how my career helps/hurts my fragrance obsession. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Welcome, Derek, I’m so slow, doing training all this week. I love Tea for Two, and I’m still nervous about this potentially being discontinued! I’m hoping against hope this is just another L’Artisan brouhaha that’s about bottles and not the actual scent.

    maybe they just want to rename it? But we are so happy to have another male posting here!

    • Derek says:

      Thanks for the warm welcome! I have checked L’Artisan USA, Aedes, and Luckyscent and all are sold out of both sizes. L’Artisan UK does have the 100 mL for sale at the moment but there doesn’t seem to be a way to have it shipped to America. I would guess that fragrance counters like Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus, etc would still have stock available.

  • Natalie says:

    Hi Derek! Tea for two was one of the first ‘niche’ perfumes I bought. I found it online on the L’artisan website with a HUGE discount and I bought it without thinking and unsniffed.
    Never regretted that! As soon as the weather turns cooler, it is one of my favourite scents, on me it is absolutely not masculine. There is a sweet undercurrent (honey) which makes it very feminine indeed.
    BTW: L ‘artisan still sells this online, albeit in the 100ml bottle only.

  • nozknoz says:

    “My name is Derek, and like many of you my life is guided by my nose.” Great opening and great post, Derek! I’ve never tried Tea for Two although L’AP is one of my favorite lines. Must remedy that.

    • Derek says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed. 🙂 I think it’s a really solid scent in the L’Artisan line. Hopefully you’ll like.

  • Flora says:

    Welcome to the Posse Derek, I look forward to reading more of your fine writing! You are fortunate indeed to be chosen to join this rowdy crew. 🙂

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Hi Derek! Thanks for the great review of Tea for Two. I have a bit of a schizophrenic relationship with this scent- some days it is glorious cinnamon tea by a gently smoking fire in my favourite pub and other days it is straight up smoke from a homeless man’s fire. Knowing Tea for Two is going to be discontinued makes me want to get another sample so I can still enjoy the cinnamon tea days.

    • Derek says:

      Thank you for the compliment! I can see how it could be a scent that would vary greatly during different wearings.

  • Gwenyth says:

    Hello Derek. Great post!
    Your essay is exactly why I love Perfumistas/Perfumistos and reading what they write. We share a common fascination with scents and, as a group, we seem to be very articulate about what we like, what we don’t like, and why. Additionally I am very interested in discovering the path which has take another perfume-lover along their scent journey.

    I do not find it surprising that those of us interested in fragrances also seem to be interested in teas, wines, and other culinary interests. Therefore, I will enjoy reading about forays into other areas where those things are discussed.

    I am also very excited that the reviews here will be for all sorts of fragrances, new and older, because I enjoy the experience of reading what has been written. I’m not all about the “latest and greatest” but I am about the “tried and true” — whatever that is.
    Shocking as this confession will be, I will state up front that there are many, many perfumes I have not yet smelled, so I’m thrilled when I find something “new to me”.

    I happen to adore Tea for Two. I stumbled upon it early in my perfume journey and was utterly amazed that such an evocative fragrance was actually made and sold. Prior to my discovery, I had presumed that perfumes were simply nice smelling floral concoctions. Who Knew?? Since that time I have wandered far and wide to find equally evocative fragrances — and I’m still happily journeying.

    I think I’m going to enjoy this new era at Perfumeposse. 🙂
    Good luck and best wishes to all the new contributors — I’ll be reading everything!!!!

    • Derek says:

      Thank you so much! Hopefully you’ll enjoy my future posts as well as all the new contributors. I’m very excited to be part of this site and share my journey with all of you.

  • Susan Labben says:

    Congrats Derek on your first review for Perfume Posse! You´ve described
    T42 beautifully!
    I also adore T42 and to my nose it doesn´t have a gender; it´s unisex to my nose and in general I often find that so called unisex scents are veering to the masculine side. But not this one 🙂 I only have a decant of it, but now you´ve had me thinking I may need to find a full bottle when one still can be found. But, I promise, I will not buy it before Friday 🙂

  • Barbara says:

    Hello Derek! Great post about one of my favorite fragrances. When I found out they were d/c it I bought a 100ml backup bottle, and I never buy 100 ml sizes!
    It is one of the comfort scents I wear for myself because my husband doesn’t like the smoky aspect. It never occurred to me that it was a more masculine fragrance.

    • Derek says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my first post. Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 I’m seriously considering making a 2 bottle purchase instead of 1. hahaha

  • Teri says:

    Welcome, Derek. Fine job for your first outing (insert thumbs up sign here).

    I discovered Tea for Two at about the same time I discovered chai tea and they go together like hand and glove. I never indulge in one when I don’t find myself wanting to indulge in the other.

    I’m with Jillie, above. I swear fragrance companies spend all their time and resources finding out what scents I like so that they can discontinue them. My friends even joke with me about what a ‘scent assassin’ I am.

    I’ve only got about 1/2 oz left in my bottle so I’d better hustle up and find another bottle before it’s forever gone. Otherwise I’ll have to give up chai tea, too, and I simply refuse to do that!

    • Derek says:

      Thanks for your kind words and warm welcome. I love ‘scent assassin!’ I may be one of those too…

  • maggiecat says:

    Wonderful post, Derek – you’ve summed up nicely the path many of us take to fragrance fanaticsm! I like tea-based scents as a rule, but this one isn’t my cup, so to speak – but still, reading the review made me smile and want to give it another try!

    • Derek says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Hopefully I’ll review something soon that you’ll love or come to love.

  • Joanna says:

    I seem to be in the minority that adores L’Artisan and Tea For Two is one of my favorites. I talked my son into trying it on for me and I’ve noticed my bottle has gotten a lot more use since. I need to grab a few bottles off Ebay.

  • Musette says:

    Derek, Hi!! and Welcome!! Great post on T42. It was my first ‘smoke experience’ but it ended on an oily note for me, which was a deal breaker. And I never could get the tea – too much smoke for my wonky nose. All that aside, though, it does have some intriguing facets!!!

    xoxo :Devil:

    • Derek says:

      Thank you!! I’m excited to be here. The tea is definitely buried down in there. The smoke, honey, and spice are definitely more predominate to me.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Derek, and welcome aboard!! I’m a tea-aholic but for some reason had never tried Tea for Two until a kind and generous friend sent me a decant of it (thanks, S!). I love its warm and smoky goodness, and of course, its lovely tea. Count me in as one of those confident women. Thanks!

    • Derek says:

      Thank you for your welcome. I’m glad you like it, and I’m so excited for all the people who love T42. It’s almost shocking they would discontinue it with so many people who like it.

  • Antje says:

    Thank you for the nice review! And I agree with Poodle, thanks for the compliment.
    I dismissed Tea for Two when I first tried it from a dabbed sample. It is definitely something that benefits from spraying and maybe needs to bloom in warmer weather. Once I sprayed I was fascinated – one of my few fb purchases.

    • Derek says:

      I wore it in fairly warm weather each time, so good to know that it’s helpful for the scent.

  • Great post, Derek.

    I’m not a huge fan of l’Artisan, but like Tara, I need to find my decant of Tear for Two and revisit.

    • Derek says:

      Thank you! Truth be told L’Artisan isn’t a line I love top to bottom, but T42 is a winner for me!

  • rosarita says:

    Hi, Derek! Congrats on your first Posse post 🙂 I used up a decant of Tea For Two a couple of years ago; describing the smokiness as a veil is perfect. So many L’Artisans disappear on my scent eating skin but this one had decent longevity.

  • SilviaFunkly says:

    What lovely and timely post, T42 was coincidentally my scent of choice for today.

    I recently gave a bottle to a dear friend of mine for Xmas and she returned it back to me on grounds that she didn’t care for it but wanted somebody else to enjoy it, which I appreciated. I found it hard to believe that somebody could not like it, but there you go.

    I also find it very “homely”.

    • Derek says:

      Thanks so much! Isn’t it funny how timing works sometimes? Glad you gave that bottle a good home.I love the dichotomy of the sexy smoke and the really warm, comforting, homey spices and tea.

  • Tara says:

    Hi Derek! Awesome post. Thanks. I tried Tea for Two years ago and really did not like it. However your review makes me think I need to dig out my simple and re-try while it’s still available.

    • Derek says:

      You’re allowed to try it, but you can’t buy a bottle until Thursday–after I’ve purchased mine. lol 😉

  • Poodle says:

    Thanks for your review! I recently discovered this gem too and I love it as well. At first I thought it was too smoky. I had a bit of a cold so my nose was a little off. Once I really got a sniff of that sample I snatched up a bottle quickly. So sad they discontinued it. I hope that by the time I finish my bottle I’ll be able to find a reasonable substitute. I bet it smells great on a man. It’s not my hubby’s cup of tea shall we say, so I must be one of those confident women you mentioned who wear it. Thanks for that too! That will probably be the nicest thing anyone says to me all day.

  • Jillie says:

    Congratulations on your first contribution, Derek! And congratulations on creating your first lemming as I immediately wanted Tea for Two, even though I know it’s not really my sort of fragrance!

    L’Artisan makes me so cross – they have a habit of discontinuing any perfume that I like, so much so that I am almost beginning to think that it must be personal …..

    I look forward to hearing more from you, and would rather like to read about your favourite wines too!

    • Derek says:

      Thanks so much for your warm welcome! Maybe I’ll do a little piece on wine at some point. 😉