L’Ile au Thé is the scent equivalent of that moment you throw off your opaque tights, open a window and get the first rays of sunshine on limbs that have been cocooned beneath layers since autumn.
It’s fresh. It’s airy. It’s got lots and lots of tea in the blend – a note which we’re seeing appearing in quite a few fragrances, right now: delicate and subtly aromatic. (The style was kickstarted by Jean-Claude Ellena‘s long-lost Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert – the ground-breaking, quintessential ‘tea fragrance’, launched in 1992 – but it’s simmering again.)
L’Ile au Thé‘s inspiration, we’re told, comes from the South Korean island of Jeju, where tea flourishes – and so do mandarins…
So the first gust is zesty – green tangerine, which gives the outdoorsiness. (And the mandarin stays on the skin for a l-o-n-g time, citrus-lovers please note.) Tea’s also present from the get-go, but as it evolves on the skin, a softness drifts in – from white musk, apricot and osmanthus.
The breeziness never quite disappears, happily: it’s almost (we said almost) as good as sitting down with a cup of Rare Tea Company Earl Grey or Jasmine White Silver Tip. We’re anticipating that this will be a great sense-awakening cool-down, on hot days – while the ‘matching’ limited edition scented candle is sublime for freshening up a stuffy room.
Annick Goutal L’Ile au Thé from £67 for 50ml eau de toilette
Try it at Fenwick Bond Street