Afternoon Tea Week – celebrate in scent!

Is it just us, or do there seem to be national days/weeks/months of celebration cropping up all over the place? Afternoon Tea Week is definitely a celebration we can get behind, though, and most especially as tea is a continuing trend in perfume notes.

Softly soothing, deliciously smoky, invigoratingly green or intriguingly spiced, tea can add great depth of character to a fragrance. We’re not saying forego a lavish spread of sandwiches, scones and darling little desserts (actually, we insist you join us in indulgence – it would be rude not to) but why stop there? Indulge all of your senses by adding one (or more) of these exquisite tea-inspired fragrances into your scent rotation…

It’s remained an absolute modern classic since it was first launched in 1999 – but did you know the perfumer was wunderkind Francis Kurkdjian? Soothingly herbaceous and totally uplifting, drench your senses with rhubarb, mint and orange-infused green tea above the powdery sophistication of carnation, musk and a lightly glowing base of amber and oakmoss.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea £30 for 100ml eau de toilette (currently on offer for £14.99)
theperfumeshop.com

Deliciously nostalgic, this house was one of the leading lights for niche perfumery and way ahead of their time, with this being launched 18 years ago. Conjures memories of cosy teatimes, sipping cups of smoky lapsang and devouring plates of sticky gingerbread; cinnamon, ginger and anise spice up the proceedings while the honey and vanilla-drizzled base proves irresitably moreish…

L’artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two £105 for 100ml eau de toilette
artisanparfumeur.com

Fancy a little tot of something more exciting in your brew? The resinous warmth of oak-casked whisky is laced through this most potent blend of their black tea, rose and juniper aromatic sensation, and harks back to the heritage of this cheekily eccentric, British brand. Named for their original address of their flagship store, it’s the kind of scent that imbues you with a uniquely winsome character.

Atkinsons 24 Old Bond Street £89 for 50ml eau de Cologne
selfridges.com

Fourth in the ever-intriguing, leafily-inspired series for Bulgari, this one, by Daniela Andrier, pays homage to the tradition of Chinese oolong tea, and surrounds you in swathe of sophistication. Lavender and shiso mistily swirl amidst the heart of violet and tea and this woody floral concoction dries down to sheer trail of musk and lightly powdered iris.

Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu £60 for 75ml eau de toilette
libertylondon.com

‘How many times have you let yourself be well and truly enticed by a fragrance wafting from a cafe terrace?’ asks Jovoy owner and Creative Director, Francois Henin. Not nearly often enough for our liking, so give in on a daily basis to the seductive delights of milky chai tea spiced with cardamom and ginger, as the floral breeze of frangipani flowers drifts towards you on tendrils of sun-warmed airiness.

Jovoy Paris Remember Me £130 for 100ml eau de parfum
Jovoy Mafair

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Tea tease? Yes please! Mona di Orio's Bohea Bohème & some favourite brews, bottled…

Tea is having such a moment in fragrance, we’re finding – a surprisingly versatile note that can be smoky and resinous, a quenching cup of uplifting silvery freshness or playing on the unique dryness found in green teas. At once beckoning images of far-flung places and yet comfortingly familiar, it’s perhaps no wonder that perfumers are reaching for the teapot for inspiration in their leafy compositions.
The niche house of Mona di Orio is no exception, and we were fascinated to learn of the inspiration behind their just-launched Bohea Bohéme. As perfumer Fredrik Dalman explained, this evocative, unconventionl and epicurial scent taps into a rich seam of history while carrying aloft the reputation of the house following the sad passing of the co-founder, Mona…
Fredrik Dalman: ‘Tea is a perfect scent in so many ways. It has the extraordinary power of escapism trapped in its leaves, instant relief and a journey to a faraway land on a rainy day, or, for those who cherish gloomier days, an instant journey back to that moment. The scent of tea is far more complex than at first glance, with layer after layer of hidden facets. Smoke from burning pine is exactly the same – infinitely complex. A combination of the two, as in Bohea tea is therefore naturally an exciting challenge. Poplar Bud Absolute provided the perfect spiced honey note that was needed in the smoke. The fraction of Fir Balsam was a fantastic link between the creamier notes of the tea with the darker notes of wood in the base. Blue Chamomile, which is the main player on the top, gives an herbal touch of sweetness to the whole creation.’
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Describing the unique take on a note we all feel we know so well, Fredrik explained that ‘…Bohea bohème is not a tea scent in the way many people are used to.’ Not to be taken too literally, then, he continues: ‘I was not looking to recreate the scent of sticking your nose in a jar of tea. This creation wants to take you on an olfactive adventure, constantly finding new facets just as you would in real Bohea tea. As a creator, I wanted you to feel as if you were standing by the fire and smelling as the smoke seeps through the freshly plucked tea leaves, whilst feeling the same kind of comfort you might feel as you walk past your local tea shop. This is an intimate scent, just as drinking tea is to me!’
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Mona di Orio Bohea Bohéme £150 for 75ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Les Senteurs
With tea having such a renaissance in perfumery today, we urge you to seek out some other favourite examples of this refreshing trend…
‘Tea Tonique celebrates the energising and restorative powers of tea. Immediately captivating, like a swirl of tea leaves and steam or hearing a story for the first time. An infusion of Italian bergamot with smoky tea and maté add an unpredictable nature to the aromatic blend. Hints of warm nutmeg and birch create a smoky and multi-faceted character…’
miller_harris_tea_tonique_eau_de_parfum_50ml_1445001494Miller Harris Tea Tonique £65 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Miller Harris
‘A delicately balanced floral eau de toilette fragrance for her, inspired by the beauty of a Sichuan goddess. Composed of zesty top notes softened by a floral heart that floats on an embracing warm base…’
molton-brown-honeysuckle-white-tea-fragrance_kej086_xlMolton Brown Blossoming Honeysuckle & White Tea £39 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Molton Brown
[Psst! Try a sample of this in the fabulous Art of Fragrance Box]
‘An infusion of well-being, an invigorating and soothing perfume to be shared. Between the sea and volcanoes, a stroll in the fields of mandarin trees and tea plantations, waving in the wind of an Asian island. The crystalline mandarin bursts into freshness, contrasting, in a soft and soothing breeze, with the tea, green and leathery, and the osmanthus, carnal and fruity, like a caress on the skin…’
_00000_ileauthe-edt100ml-711367121665_z_1_1Annick Goutal L’ile au Thé £67 for 50ml eau de toilette
Buy it at John Lewis
‘A smooth and comfortable fragrance of the private moment of the recovered inspiration. A full-bodied, mysterious concoction that captures blue tea and bergamot in the warmth of smoke and leather. ‘
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Atelier Cologne Oolong Infini £100 for 100ml Cologne Absolu
Buy it at Selfridges
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Join us for an afternoon of tea and scent pairing with the Rare Tea Lady

The Perfume Society is delighted to invite you to a fascinating and delicious afternoon of tea and scent pairing with the Rare Tea Lady, Henrietta Lovell.

Our friends at the Rare Tea Company know good tea. (You can read about this fascinating and very ethical company and what they do here) So when we wanted to pair fragrances with their perfect matching teas for the Scented Letter, we knew who to turn to.

Now we’d like to invite you as part of a very small group to the Rare Tea Company’s Marylebone tasting rooms to sample teas that have been especially paired with fragrances that echo their notes – and you’ll hear first hand from the Rare Tea Lady herself about her thoughtful pairing process. We think you’ll leave with a new appreciation of tea – and a fresh way of looking at scent.

And at the end of the afternoon, you’ll receive a tea-based cocktail that will send you out into your Friday evening enlivened and refreshed, ready for the weekend.

Tickets are £20 – and you’ll each take home a 25g tin of a most delicious fine tea from the Rare Tea Company.


Date: Friday 13th May 2016
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm
Venue: Rare Tea Company, Marylebone Tasting Rooms, W1 (full address to be disclosed closer to the event)