This summer shall henceforth be known as the summer of tea, not because I’ve been drinking particularly impressive amounts of it (I am, and always be a ‘one cup of Earl Grey per day’ kind-of-a-guy) but because two of this years biggest summer launches focus on this most ancient of notes. I’ve always said that good tea scents are few and far between, and many fail to capture the truly calming scent of freshly dried tea leaves in their true glory. That said, with the two fragrances I’m showcasing today, I may just have to take it all back because, these two are very good indeed.
So who is brewing some lovely fragrant teas for summer 2015? Well firstly, we have Guerlain weighing in with Teazzurra the latest in their Aqua Allegoria collection and a tea fragrance that is most definitely blue in colour. We also have Annick Goutal L’Ile au Thé, a less abstract fragrance that feels as if it has just been picked from the bush and freshly infused. Both are as light as air and as drinkable as a freshly brewed cup of tea, well, figuratively speaking anyway. So, fire up the kettle and get ready to infuse those tea leaves because we’re going to sip, slurp and sigh at some lovely summer tea fragrances.
Aqua Allegoria Teazzurra
Top: Calabrian Bergamot, Grapefruit and Yuzu
Heart: Jasmine and Violet
Base: Green Tea Accord and Vanilla
How Does it Smell?
Every year, Guerlain adds a new olfactory ditty to their Aqua Allegoria collection – a series of nature-inspired fragrances that aim to capture the voluptuous style of the legendary Parisienne house in a more fancy-free and frivolous manner. Now, that’s not to say that these more affordable and ephemeral fragrances scrimp on quality, not at all, this is Guerlain we are talking about after all. There are, in fact, many a gem within this collection, fragrant jewels such as Pamplelune (Mathilde Laurent; 1999), for example, arguably the world’s greatest grapefruit fragrance, or even the more recent Nerolia Bianca (Thierry Wasser; 2013), a sunny take on neroli, petitgrain and orange blossom. In short, Aqua Allegoria is Guerlain’s ode to all things nature, whether its subjects be from the ground, of the air or in the stars, and it’s a superb series of scents.
This year, Guerlain are treating us to Teazzurra, a fragrance inspired by a beautiful landscape, specifically a “hanging garden at the edge of an azure blue lake”. Now if that doesn’t sound appealing then I don’t know what does – I for one want to go to there. Guerlain’s resident perfumer, Thierry Wasser has used an array of fragrant colours to paint this idyllic picture, ranging from the dazzling yellow of smooth bergamot and bright neon green of the juicy, and ever-so-slightly bitter note of yuzu, to the decidedly more pastel notes of green tea, jasmine and violet. The whole thing is incredibly delicate and feels as if it has been crafted with extreme care and finesse.
The main focus of Teazzurra is actually the pairing of green tea and vanilla – two fragrant signatures that feel as if they are on polar opposites of the olfactory spectrum. Green tea is sharp and grainy, with a fuzzy, hay-like odour, whereas the vanilla is plush and creamy with just a dash of sweetness for good measure. The result is a delicate and dreamy tea fragrance that is soft and supple, leading one to imagine fluffing white clouds floating across an endless blue sky. That’s quite a lovely picture, isn’t it?
L’Ile au Thé
Mandarin, Osmanthus, White Musk and Tea Absolute
How Does it Smell?
Annick Goutal’s L’Ile au Thé strikes a very different chord to Teazzura. Where the Guerlain firmly has its head in the clouds, the Goutal feels more earthbound. Sure, it’s just as floaty and aerial as the Teazurra, but at the same time it feels much greener, almost as if the air that it evokes is slowly drifting through the huge body of leaves in an expansive tea plantation, rather than in the upper stratosphere. What both fragrances do share is the simple fact that they are as utterly delightful and calming as a fresh cup of green tea.
L’Ile au Thé (The Isle of Tea) is inspired by Jeju, a volcanic island off the coast of South Korea. It opens with a juicy, and mouthwatering blast of mandarin, giving the impression of a big citrus squeeze atop that green tea base. This vitamin c-enriched accord is accented by osmanthus, a flower that smells hot and tropical, but also boasts a facet that feels just like apricot jam. It’s sticky, sweet and glistens like honey. L’Ile au Thé maintains these juicy facets far into its musky, green tea dry down. The whole thing is really quite beautiful and offers a slightly more literal take on tea that definitely makes me consider upping my one cup per day rule.
Join the Discussion
What are your favourite summer scents this year?