RAOK – tea style

  Okay.  This has nothing to do with the post but I have to share because we all need a giggle every now and then.  Probably everyone in the Western World has heard Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ from Carmina Burana.  Besides traditional venues it’s been used in commercials and films for the past decade, to great (and sometimes hysterical) effect.

But have you any idea what is actually being said in the song?  Unless you are a Latin scholar or a music major, probably not.  So most of us just jam along to the thumping, mythological vibe, unaware that it is, basically One Big Whine (and that’s fine – if you’re gonna whine, GO BIG!!!)

But let’s dispense with the whine.  Let’s go instead with Windmill Cookies.  I defy anyone to watch this and not blow your morning tea out your nose!  You’ve been warned.  You’re welcome.


Okay – NOW to the post.  Yesterday I got a  little package of wonderful teas from a lovely, generous friend.  I’m not much of a tea drinker, mostly because I forget about it all the time .I have an entire cupboard of teas and am always startled when I open the door, as if they just leapt out of the space/time contiuum and into my cabinet.  Most of them are pretty prosaic – lots of herbal teas for calming my nerves and my temper, some peppermint because I like it, and my vaunted Constant Comment decaf for a glass of iced tea under the umbrella (I’m growing orange mint just for those times~ yum!)  So when A told me she was sending teas I was all “oh..joy” …

..and then I got the package.  Two ziploc bags.  Both Mariage Freres.  Okay- I admit it.   I thought you Mariage lovers were freaks.  ….and then I got the package.  First tea:  Marco Polo(black tea).  I have no intention of brewing this tea.  Just the smell alone is terrifying.  I would spend all my discretionary simoleans on tea!!!  It is one of the most beautiful smells I’ve ever encountered.  I opened the package (not the ziploc bag – the mailing package) and this gorgeous scent perfumed the entire room!

Second tea;  l’Opera (green tea).  Another fabulous scent.  How do you people drink this stuff?  Why aren’t you steeping it into bathwater and soaking in it?  I say forget the pomanders and sachets.  I would put some loose tea in a bowl (or a tea bag in a closet) and be the happiest gal on the block!


Which brings me to perfume.  I was chatting with Patty about this miraculous stuff and we got to yarking about tea in perfume.  It is official – we are Evil Tea Twins.  Here are my choices:  Cartier Fougueuse, with that sunny hay and mate thing.  Bulgari au The Vert, which was probably the gateway drug for most tea-scent lovers, all lute-like and greeny-gray, with that slight Earl Grey vibe…and my Number One Tea Scent:  Agraria Bitter Orange which is pretty much Constant Comment in a bottle, the epitome of summer refreshment.


Patty goes over to the dark side – hard.  Her choices are smokin’ hot, like Satan’s Afternoon Cuppa.  Commes des Garcons – as she says “the ‘black’ part of Bulgari Black.  Pitch, smoky tea”    CBIHP Cedarwood Tea, which she says is more woodsy than tea but the tea is definitely running through there.  Yet another earthy, dark tea scent.

Jo Malone’s tea scents.  I prefer the Earl Grey and Cucumber, she prefers the Assam and Grapefruit which is smoky, with the grapefruit giving it a bit of piquancy.

So she’s the Smokin’ Hot SmokyTeaQueen.  And I am her watery handmaiden.    I wonder which of these Mariages she would prefer?  I swear, somebody should make perfumes out of these!


So let’s talk tea:  are there tea scents you love?  Are there teas you love that you think would make phenomenal perfumes?  I’m sorely tempted to use these as potpourri.  Is that sacrilege?  Is an army of teaphiles going to show up with flaming cudgels?


And most important:  are you now craving Windmill cookies?


graphic:  O Fortuna misheard lyrics from wimp.com

teas:  I ain’t tellin’

  • Sam says:

    I’m so late in replying, but had to e-shout for joy: a post about my two favorites things, tea and perfume! I’m a die-hard tea drinker, and generally prefer very dark brews (with milk) each morning; my cupboard is filled with loose black-tea blends. But alas I’ve never found a tea perfume that matched the wonder of, well, tea itself. I do enjoy a number of tea fragrances–the Bvlgaris and L’Artisans already mentioned by other commenters, among others–but none capture the Scent of Tea specifically. Still waiting for my perfect Black Tea Frag. Someday!

    Thanks, by the way, for the hilarious Windmill Cookies! It just gets funnier and funnier as it continues. Salsa cookies! The horror. 🙂

  • Catherine says:

    Oh my I can’t believe I missed this post! I LOVE tea, and I love tea perfumes as well!!!

    My favorite perfume has to be L’Artisan’s Tea for Two, but I also absolutely adore JM’s Earl Grey & Cucumber. It’s not like… my favorite to wear per se (usually layer it over Sweet Milk after letting Sweet Milk settle for half an hour) but it really honestly smells like a freshly steeped cup of Earl Grey and for that it’s priceless to me. I have Assam & Grapefruit as well and enjoy it. I really liked the Darjeeling and Silk Road Caravan from Anthropologie’s A Rather Novel Collection which are all tea-based. I wish SRC was less sweet on my skin and lasted a bit longer. It’s so lovely on paper… I also have L’Occitane’s Green Tea and Bergamot Tea which are lovely though a little watery and round in character for me. Parfum d’Empire’s Osmanthus Interdite is amazing a floral tea, and so is Hermes Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan though it is ephemeral and short-lived and I enjoy L’Artisan’s The Pour Une Ete too though that one’s more straight up quiet jasmine for me. For black smoky vanillic tea I do like Bvlgari Black but also love TokyoMilk’s Dead Sexy for a smoother take on the idea. To try, I’ve had Providence Perfumes Osmanthus Oolong on my list for a looooong time, as well as some of Liz Zorn’s creations, and CB’s Russian Caravan Tea. Very regrettably Parfums de Nicolai’s Fig Tea didn’t work on me at all which made me so sad because fig is probably my SECOND favorite note to tea……..

    Then as far as actual teas go… I have a whole shelf of a cabinet in our rather small kitchen dedicated to and overflowing with tea. I have offerings from Lupicia, Teavana, Harrod’s (did anyone know they started out as tea importers? A dear friend of mine brought me an Earl Grey from the UK :D), etc, but my favorites are actually from a small little shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown called Blest Tea. They’re a hole in the wall place with a beautifully curated collection and their Jade Black, which is a lychee/white peach/honeysuckle black tea is probably my absolute favorite. It’s like an Asian take on Earl Grey and I love it in the mornings. Recently I’ve also been super into puerh teas and have been drinking Lupicia’s Cinnamon Cookie Puerh and a strawberry puerh from Blest. I would love to save up to get Samovar’s Royal Palace Puerh which is just the most beautiful, smooth, chocolate-y puerh I’ve ever tasted … alas it is $54 for 100g and a little bit out of my grad student budget at the moment. ^^;; I also love going out for high tea with friends whenever we can manage it at Samovar’s or Lovejoy’s Tea Room…

    I could go on and on hahaha, but definitely a tea fanatic here! 😀

  • Ninara Poll says:

    When I was in my later high school years I was a tea FREAK. So much so that senior year, a friend gifted me a canister of Republic of Tea Lapsang Souchong, which basically smelled like and tasted like smoke and a tiny hint of leather (I know there are other tastes and flavors in it, that’s just what I recall of it). I tossed the remnants of said canister out in 2010 because I thought it had gone bad, only to discover later that it was most likely still ok for consumption. I’ve been ruing my tossing since 🙁 Anyhow, I nominate any good lapsang souchong for translation into scent. I usually keep some Celestial Seasonings herbal teas or Bigelow herbal teas around for normal drinkage, but secretly covet the more spendy teas of all types. And I will keep mourning my lost lapsang souchong until the universe sees fit to deliver more unto me.


  • nozknoz says:

    Gosh, I’d forgotten all about Windmill cookies! They’d be really good with tea, too, so that video wasn’t a total diversion!

  • mim says:

    l’artisan the pour une ete and tea for two: bright green jasmine, deep black smoked spiciness. so good. Also demeter earl grey.

    For some reason I do think it is tea heresy to use as potpourri but not heresy to bathe in it. But I’m weird.

    Never heard of Jacomo Art Collection #08 but it sounds like my cuppa,,,,
    Oh and we’ve got one of those cabinets too. We have a few varieties I love to drink and a whole lot more I don’t that have just…accumulated. Or possibly multiplied. Constant comment is awesome.

    • Musette says:

      If you like Constant Comment be sure to try Agraria Bitter Orange cologne. Just don’t mix up the two! LOL!


  • Aparatchick says:

    My favorite thing to drink in the summer is iced black tea with lemon and crushed fresh mint. Ahhh … so refreshing.

    Favorite tea perfumes: Jacomo #8, CBIHP Russian Caravan Tea, Demeter Earl Grey (though it lasts 5 seconds, it smells just like the real thing), and the Bvlgari Red.

  • Poodle says:

    This is like confession. Bless me Musette for I have sinned. I have bought far more tea than I’ll ever drink and I have no intention of stopping.

    I love tea. Every now and then I get one that is not that great but overall I love them. I too have boxes and bags stuff the the cupboards. Oh, and let’s not forget the fun accessories like tea balls, and infusers, and teapots, and cups and saucers, and, well you know what I mean.

    Favorite tea scent at the moment is Tea for Two and shame on them for discontinuing it.

    • Musette says:

      I thought i would LOVE T42. Came close…then something happened and it got all ‘oily ashtray’ on me….bleargh! I smelled it on someone else, though, and it was gorgeous!

      xo :Devil:

  • Austenfan says:

    I love tea probably more than I love perfume. In perfume I really like the Bvlgari, Cologne au thé vert and Black ( although I don’t get much Lapsang Souchong from that). Goutal’s Eau du Fier & L’Artisan’s Thé pour un Eté. Basically the two ends of the perfume tea spectrum. What I would love to smell is a fragrance inspired by Yunnan black tea. My favourite kind of tea.
    The Marco Polo smells gorgeous but I don’t really enjoy drinking it. Your review has inspired me to finish the rest in my bath. Which will create a huge mess!

    • Musette says:

      Not if you use a muslin bag – or steep it first and add it to the bath (that’s what I was thinking, though the muslin bag is probably better – holds the fragrance longer (she hopes)


  • Ann says:

    Great post, M, and so nice to see all the tea lovers coming out of the closet (cupboard/pantry?). We evil tea-philes will keep spreading the leaves, and convert after convert, we’ll take over the world (insert evil laugh here: wah-ha-ha!). It’s to the point now at my house that I have to sneak any new containers of tea in while DH is at work, and slide it in to blend among the other teas on the shelves, a collector’s version of camouflage, I suppose. So glad he can’t see my desk at work 🙂 Am taking notes and loving everyone’s tea scents, especially the Cartiers and the Tea for Two. But for some reason the beautiful Bulgaris give me a bit of a headache, more’s the pity. BTW, we really do need to have a Posse Teamania one of these days …

  • Lisa D says:

    I’ve often thought of using certain teas as potpourri – particularly the Mariage Freres (Eros is especially nice), and some of the Teavana line (like Youthberry or Wild Orange Blossom). I like to smell them as much as drink them. My favorite tea perfume, though, is Jacomo Art Collection #08 – cardamom, black tea and ginger in a bottle. I have SL Five O’clock, and though the first spritz is fantastic, it ends up smelling somewhat harsh and screechy on my skin, and so I don’t wear it much. Maybe I should just add some tea leaves to my bath water….

  • Disteza says:

    I’m a certified tea freak; my tea obsession started decades before my perfume habit. I’m an unscented (the true term for flavored teas) kinda girl–tea has the same sorts of terroir aspects as wine, and I’ve gotten to the point where I can usually pinpoint the region in the world from whence the tea came. Like I said, I’m a freak. I usually stray black-oolong, with the occasional yellow or green cup to lighten things up. My favoritest, most belovedest tea in the world is from Ceylon, and it’s called Vithanankande. It tastes like lovely black tea and honey, but there’s no honey in it. There’s also Jin Zhen, which has a lovely furry chocolately flavor, with no extra additives. I’ve got oolongs that taste of apricots and orchids as well. All this done by the quality of the soil and the altitude, and how the tea was handled!
    As for tea in perfumes, I dig Tea for Two and L’Treizieme Heure, and 5:00 au Gingembre is my cuddle-up go-to.

  • Cheryl says:

    Love the Mariages. Very hard to get where I live (Vancouver, Canada). Apparently the company itself is difficult. Otherwise I am guilty of having a entire cupboard of random tea..no idea who purchased, for what reason, or who will remember to drink it. This tea cupboard seems requisite in most homes. How does it happen. (?) There is one other tea that fires up the covetous, lustful, addictive response (ie the perfume centre in my brain) ..it’s a mate, that has been enhanced by honey and tobacco flavours/scents. Oh wait! One more….. a “milky” oolong that somehow is a dream of cream, orchid, and fresh cut grass. Sadly that one is like $90 a lb. Why? Why?????

    • Jillie says:

      Cheryl, my cupboard is like that and the boxes of tea fall out on top of us when we open the door. Lucky they’re not heavy. I rather fancy that mate …

    • Musette says:

      My cupboard is like that, too~ I have my regular boxes of Stuff I Drink…then the other, space/time continuum boxes and canisters just…appear!

      That mate sounds wonderful!

      xo :Devil:

    • Ann says:

      Cheryl, you’re so right about the company. Love their products but it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to purchase, at least over here on this side of the Pond. We’ll need to get any pals traveling to France to be tea “mules” to smuggle it back for us 😉

  • Dinair says:

    Yeah royal blend is the best for me as well. 🙂

  • Alica says:

    I am a tea lover and would enjoy whis win. THx

  • rosarita says:

    I don’t know from tea. We always have a selection of Celestial Seasonings in the cabinet for iced tea, and some Constant Comment & Earl Gray. I haven’t dabbled in Tea, but I always enjoy reading Ann’s posts (and others) about different teas and the way they smell; one of these days, I’ll try some. I love tea scents though – all the Bulgaris, and my new favorite, Kapsule Floriental. It lists black tea and ivy as notes but somehow those notes combine to make this leather-ish background that I just love.

  • dinazad says:

    One of the high points of the Swapmania events was the contact with a charming swapper form Canada who has sent me packets of Murchie’s tea. I love their blends of green and black teas, especially the “Library Blend”, which – they say – is blended to enhance my reading pleasure. It’s so nice to have people worry about the possible dullness of my unenhanced reading!
    As a rule, I prefer unflavored teas, but Mariage Freres makes the wonderful “Route du Temps” (green tea with ginger), and the Lupicia Sakura teas are also very tasty…. Then there’s jasmine tea… and my favorite of the month, an enormous box (with Arabic writing on it) I got as a gift, containing black tea with cardamom … oh, let’s face it: I just love tea. Any kind.

    And tea scents. The lovely Tea for Two by L’Artisan. The Chine Imperiale (Goutal) and Russian Tea (CB I Hate Perfumes) room sprays. The Bulgaris, of course. But nothing beats opening a canister of really good tea and taking a good, deep sniff. Bliss.

    • Musette says:

      Good grief. Don’t YOU get started! LOL! That box of cardomom black tea sounds divine!

      I think I’m going to have an Afternoon Cuppa. Just not Satan’s.

      xo :Devil:

    • Aparatchick says:

      Murchie’s! I used to hit their shop every time I was in Victoria. Great stuff. I’m particularly fond of their Lucky Elephant after dinner tea.

  • MMMMMM Any tea in Fortnum & Mason would be fine thanks, but Royal Blend is my favourite. I know, so obvious, but I love it.
    Portia xx

  • March says:

    I bet I know who your tea package was from!! Good tea kinda spoils the Lipton…. for tea scents, I love ’em all. Love all the Bulgaris, and CDG did one called (I think) Leaves: Tea which is spectacular. For a cheap, delicious black tea scent I recommend


    • Musette says:

      Bulgari invented the genre for me! I’m not going on that site. You can’t make me (fingers in ears, singing ‘lalalalala’)

      xo :Devil:

      ps. yeah. teas came with brewing instructions. Good thing, too, as I am a tea-philistine!

    • Aparatchick says:

      I’ll second the Speziali (Musette, you can get it at Amazon if shoplondon is too tempting).

  • Jillie says:

    Thanks for the giggles, Musette! When I hear the Carmina Burana music, I can’t help singing “Old Spice, Old Spice, Old Spice, Old Spice” (oh no! you’ve given me an ear worm!). My favourite misheard lyric (probably not true, but never mind) is “Jesus wants me for a zombie” – for anyone not familiar with the hymn, Jesus of course wants you for a sunbeam. Thank goodness.

    Yes, I admit it, I have used tea as pot-pourri. It was gorgeous, full of roses and berries. I opened up all the little teabags into a big bowl and put it on my office desk. Everyone admired the smell and thought I had bought an exotic brand. So why not?

    Mariage Freres teas are truly powerful. I can quite understand that they may not be quite everyone’s cup of tea ……. But I love them. Off to put the kettle on now, singing “Old Spice, Old Spice”.

    • Musette says:


      I’m….speechless. Managed to keep my coffee in my mouth – but barely. :Angel:

      I want to try the Mariages – but then they will be gone. And I will probably love them. And then I will have to spend my simoleans on tea…and we know where this is going, don’t we.. :Sad:

      Jesus Wants Me for a Zombie. Thank you!

      xo :Devil: