The warm glow left by an hearty lunch is starting to fade away into the distance this grey Sunday here in London.
So, at The Perfumed Dandy‘s place thoughts are already turning to that wonderful fixture of every gentleman’s day: afternoon tea.
For many poor souls the hectic world which they live means that there’s no time for the proper taking of tea of an everyday afternoon. But come the weekend The Dandy simply insists one must make time for tea!!
And if there is no time for tea itself?
Why not take a tea scented perfume instead?
In order to accommodate the proper apportment of a favourable fragrance for a tea party or even (if times is hard) something to wear in place of taking of tea itself, The Dandy has set out on a search for the best tea scent a gent can buy.
The hunt is on going, but so far your gentleman of the scents has found that as well as “Two for Tea” there are at least another nine worthy guests to be invited…
1. L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two
Some argue that this craftsman’s work is more spice and smoke than real tea.
The Dandy says “Have you never tasted lapsang souchong?”
This one wholeheartedly meets with approval here at Dandy Mansions, as it’s able to give a decided kick up the proverbials to even the dullest social intercourse.
Not of course that there’s ever a dull moment here.
2. Jo Malone Tea Collection Assam and Grapefruit
Coming from the now Jo-less Jo Malone’s Tea Collection this plays amiably on the indisputable affinity between tea and citrus, though whether there’s actually any tea in the composition or merely a suggestion is a moot point.
The twist is one of the most accurate renderings of a grapefruit (a pomelo being a rather thick skinned version of everyone’s favourite breakfat fruit) anywhere in fragrance.
Light and fresh and not too sweet, not at all that sweet actually.
3. Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert
A deliciously herbaceous green tea with a great wedge of lemon.
That’s it. No less no more.
But whatever you might think of it, this typically sparse affair from Jean Claude Ellena is something of a reference scent in this class.
Longevity is variable, but one might try layering with the body products to increase the overall effect.
4. Illuminum Tribal Black Tea
Setting aside the inexplicably unappealing and industrial packaging that is the downfall of this otherwise delightful house, this is a quite deliciously simple scent.
There is citrus at the start, but beyond that a good clear note of black tea set off marvelously with cardamon.
5. CoSTUME NATIONAL Scent Intense
Looking more like the front end of an art deco motorcar than your average flacon, this is a suitable storage mechanism for a decidedly streamlined scent.
It would be easy to miss the tea in this at first as it has to compete with very efficient amber and patchouli notes (The Dandy gets much less sandalwood than others) but there it is and it leands a certain civility to a perfume that might be a little too modern without it.
One for a very contemporary tea party one feels.
6. Fragonard Concerto
My goodness, what is it with tea and all this brushed aluminium and faux industrialism? I sense an unwelcome theme emerging…
A more welcome connection between many of these fragrances is that they genuinely do capture that illusive Holy Grail of perfumery “freshness” - much more pleasantly to my mind than many aquatics or heavy citruses.
Allegedly male – since when did the taking of tea become a gender issue? – this is a light and airy bergamot infused little number.
Perhaps a little uninspiring tout seul, it is quite lovely as part of a cleansing routine when taken along with the accompanying toiletries. At Fragonard’s prices why not bag the lot?
7. Roger & Gallet The Vert
Sticking with Gallic retro reliability, Roger & Gallet are guardians of one of the world’s oldest colognes and maintain an admirably wide range of perfumes in this concentration (Cedrat and Orange are much under rated favourites of The Dandy‘s).
Like much else in the house’s range The Vert is exactly what it says on the ample container – a refreshing perfumed water – as such it does not aim to be nor is it overly sophisticated, long lasting or intense.
It is pleasantly perfumed and very refreshing – perfect when that’s what you want.
8. L’Artisan Parfumeur The Pour Un Ete
A counterpoint to The Dandy‘s first pick from the perfumed craftspeople, this is a much less spicy and smoked affair, but it has a wonderful jasmine note that carries it away into a different realm from other teas.
The lemon here is also to die for and there’s a deal more mint in my opinion than is often noted by other noses.
A scent for summer? Perhaps.
A perfume to cut through humid heat? Undoubtedly.
9. Robert Piguet Chai
A new addition to the increasingly highly esteemed re-imagined Robert Piguet collection, Chai comes across as a much more complex affair than many of the others mentioned here.
Yet, its notes are not dissimilar: both bergamot and beeswax are there, but the substitution of white tea for black and a magnificent basenote of mate take this brew in a decidedly different direction.
Potentially difficult to track down in some parts of the world as it ‘is intended for an Asian market’ (really?), this is undoubtedly worth the effort.
10. Angela Flanders Earl Grey
Presiding over her perfectly formed perfume shop on Columbia Road, home to London’s Sunday morning flower market, where The Dandy was just this morning (as you ask, some lovely purple roses) Angela’s fragrances have become something of a British institution – just like afternoon tea itself.
Not, strictly a ‘tea scent’ at all – except in name and allusion, this oriental chypre is sumptuously splendid, with bergamot sitting on top of a suitably dark rosewood heart and a green and earth base.
This maybe a slight cheat, but Angela’s Earl is undoubtedly The Dandy’s favourite.
So there we have it – ten for tea!!
Quite a crowd I should say, but there’s always room for more at The Dandy‘s table…
My search for the ultimate tea scented experience is far from complete and I would simply adore it if you could suggest a few more brews for us all to try.
You never know, the best answers might earn you an invitation to The Dandy‘s parlour.
More tea vicar?