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.

  • masha7 says:

    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!

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, Masha, that Cafe V sounds wonderful! Will have to sample ASAP — thanks! I think it’s so cool that you make your own scent, and with cardamom, too. That is such a great note.

  • Goodness, these all sound lovely – especially the Cafe Noir and Milano Caffe… Thanks for highlighting these for us!

    • Ann says:

      You are so welcome, dear! And thanks for stopping by — hope you find some coffee scents that you love.

  • Suzanne says:

    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!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, darling! Yes, it’s rather funny seeing as I’m always trying to get coffee people over to the tea cupboard and now here I am up to my eyebrows in coffee scents. But it’s just so yummy! BTW, are you still a New Haarlem fan? I seem to remember you writing about it and enjoying it. Maybe the birthday fairy or Santa will bring you some Ava Luxe Cafe Noir this year, eh?

  • Gwenyth says:

    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.


    • Ann says:

      Yay, Gwenyth! Glad to see another perfume mixer! I do tend to layer atop each other, but your method sounds lovely — I will try that next time. And mmmm … that LADDM and AG does sound off-the-charts wonderful. I can only imagine the delicious wafting! Must give that a go as soon as I can put my hands on my samples. Thanks so much!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    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.

    • Ann says:

      Hi! You’ve intrigued me with your mention of 1270. Guess I’d better get on sampling that — thanks!

      • eldarwen22 says:

        Be careful, it’s boozy and fruity in a good way. Frapin’s 1270 is not work safe because it’s smells like you downed an entire bottle of cognac. It was one of my first niche loves and don’t know why I don’t wear it more often.

        • Ann says:

          Thanks, I’ll consider myself warned and just wear it at home so no one thinks I’ve been “tippling” 🙂

  • rosarita says:

    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.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, lady! So nice to see you. Hope you are doing great and feeling good. I hope you enjoy the NH today; it’s one of my favorite Bonds as well, running neck and neck with Little Italy (and they are great worn together, BTW). Must look into that Montale you mentioned. Thanks, dear!

  • pyramusnb says:

    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.

    • Ann says:

      Ding-ding-ding!! That Mugler coffee was the one I was trying to think of. Thanks for the reminder, and also for those other suggestions. I couldn’t afford to spring for a whole bottle of New Haarlem either; I’m making do with a sample and one of their purse sprays. I do have the candle in that scent (it was a gift) and it is quite lovely and heavily scented.

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

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Portia! Ah, yes, great minds do think alike, don’t they? 😉 So glad L’Artisan brought this one back into the stable and happy to see it’s got another fan. BTW, what is your favorite tea (or coffee) scent?

  • Kandice says:

    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!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Kandice! That is so funny — maybe we are somewhat scent twins? 🙂 Sorry Russian Tea did not agree with you either; I, too, had high hopes for it but sometimes that’s the way things go. Do give the T42 a try; I think you’ll like it. BTW, are you a tea drinker as well?

      • Kandice says:

        Ann, I love coffee in the morning to wake up, but I love tea whenever I’m in need of comfort. I think I get that from childhood when my mom would make me tea with milk and sugar whenever I was sick. Funny, but that’s still the way I usually drink it. (BTW, you’ve sent me on some good tea adventures looking for teas you mentioned on this site. I always enjoy those as well as the perfume reviews!)

        • Ann says:

          Yes, yes — I’m nodding my head to your comment, Kandice! My grandmother (who raised me) gave me tea the same way when I was feeling poorly. And I still like some teas that way even now (mostly black and some rooibos/chais). So happy to hear you’ve had some tasty tea adventures; do let me know what your favorites are and what you’re drinking now.