I love tea. Whether it is the artisanal blends, supermarket tea bags, or fancy Mariage-Frères sachets, I adore the delicate fragrances of tea and teahouses. Unfortunately, though lots of perfumes in the niche market are considered “tea” fragrances, only a few actually smell like tea or evoke any sort of associations with the drink. Here are my picks for the best of the tea (and tea-like) fragrances that can be worn by both men and women:
By Kilian Imperial Tea: This is the most authentic of the tea fragrances. To me this smells like a high quality Chinese jasmine tea. It wears well, is extremely refreshing, and unisex when worn on the skin. Imperial? Not quite. But it’s certainly Tea.
Creed Asian Green Tea: Asian Green Tea smells like cold green tea with side dishes of almonds and fruit slices (particularly mandarin oranges) in the background. This is slightly more perfume-like than Imperial Tea, but in a good way. On the skin, it comes across fresh, clean, and reminiscent of a high quality shampoo.
Fragrances that remind me of tea:
Roja Parfums Nüwa: This was originally a dirty cumin bomb, but the reformulated version has a clean Chinese aesthetic and is smooth, drinkable, and refreshing. The sweet florals remind me of a smooth tea that is placed near a flacon of rose water. Simply divine.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two: A sort-of-kind-of-not-really tea fragrance. As others have noted, this smells like the air when a package of tea bags have been opened, or perhaps like a black tea that has been laced with ginger and spices. In any case, it smells great.
Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber: Somehow this reminds me of tea rather than smelling like tea (though Earl Grey is in the name). Still, it comes across as fresh, bright, and simple as the other fragrances from the Jo Malone collection. Carry an atomizer as this one will not impress with its performance.
Fragrances that smell like tea time:
Neela Vermeire Mohur: Mohur reminds me of afternoon tea on a rooftop rose garden in London. Early Grey tea, fresh florals, spices, and pastry-like accords. Magnificent!
Le Labo The Noir: Black darjeeling with facets of peppery rose, bay, and aromatic woods. Like enjoying a cup of tea on a galleon with an officer of the old East India Trading company.