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I'm a huge tea drinker - 6 or 7 cups a day, and have a cupboard in my kitchen purely for my range of teas. You may wonder what this has to do with a perfume review - I probably would if it was me reading- but it is quite simply the only reason I can think of why a teensy tiny little 0.17 0z bottle of this perfume ended up under my tree at Christmas, courtesy of a reddit 'secret santa' gift exchange.
My santa had obviously read my list of likes, and thought 'Well, I know thehonesttruth likes tea, so I'm going to get her some perfume so she can smell like tea, while drinking tea.'
This perfume is made by Bvlgari. Don't ask me how that should be pronounced, I haven't the foggiest - is it an actual V, or a pointy U? Either way, what I do know is that its quite a 'posh' brand, and a look on the internet tells me that my little teensy tiny bottle of scent probably cost my secret santa around $13.99, or a little under a tenner in our funny old English pounds.
The dinky little bottle is very simple - a smooth tall cylinder, clear glass but with touches of red on the base and on the stopper. Whilst the bottle is made of glass, the stopper which is a flat round disk, is made of plastic, with Bvlgari embossed into it. There is no label on the bottle, just a black motif of some leaves, which I assume to be tea leaves, the word Bvlgari embossed into the bottle, and the words 'Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge'. It's really very simple and understated.
My tiny bottle didn't come with any information telling me about the scent, although again, a glance at the internet tells me that "Two red-tea extracts were used to create this fragrance: Roiboos, a South African variety, which gives off its warm and gentle woody character, while Yunnan, a Chinese one, offers its intense and voloptous aroma to the composition. The nose behind this perfume is Olivier Polge. It was created in 2006. Top Notes: Orange, Bergamot, Pink Pepper Middle Notes: Fig, Tea Base Notes: Resin, Musk, Walnut."
Now, I don't have Oliver Polge's nose (though it is a nose that has contributed to several of my favourite scents) but I can definitely pick up on the Roiboos tea the second I unstopped the bottle and dabbed a little dot of this unisex fragrance on my wrist. Its the first thing you smell, and it's so strong it set my nostril hairs dancing. It smelt exactly like Roiboos tea, but unfortunately like tea that has long gone cold. I can't say I particular picked up on Yunnan tea in the scent, but the pepper was present and correct, along with another bitter note - not orange exactly, but more like the bitterness of the orange pith.
At this stage, I have to confess I wasn't terribly keen on the scent on myself - it smelt like the inside of a teapot that hadn't been washed in a while, and certainly wasn't anything I wanted to smell of. However, scents do take time to develop, and I was quite looking forward to the fig element - however, the perfume continued to just smell like tea for a good long while. Finally the strength of the tea faded, and became something much gentler and less nostril enraging, underpinned by a very subtle woody musk smell.
The perfume did have some great staying power - unfortunately for me, as I just didn't get on with this scent at all. I kept catching a whiff of it as I went about my business, and it just wasn't for me. The final straw came when, after about four days of using this scent (determined to give it a real chance) my boyfriend took me aside for a little word and advised me that I had been smelling a bit odd for the last few days, and that perhaps it was time for a bath!
This scent may well work for some people, but it just wasn't the one for me. I do like the smell of a freshly brewed cup of tea, but this smelt like the dregs of a day old teapot, at least on me. It's such a shame, as I really wanted to like it - it seemed like something I should like, but for me, it just didn't happen.
Group: Oriental woody
~ INTRODUCTION ~
I have a mini collection of nine assorted Bvlgari fragrances that includes Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge (RedTea) Eau de Cologne designed as a unisex fragrance. This fragrance was lanched in 2006 as the house's last addition to their tea-themed colognes following Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert in 1992 and Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc in 2003.
~ THE PACKAGING ~
Bvlgari's tea-themed cylindrical bottles are tall and elegant the heavy glass lending a luxurious feel. Thé Rouge also has this characteristic bottle but this time the colour theme is transparent with the bottom and top of the glass being deep red.
~ THE FRAGRANCE ~
Top notes: bergamot, orange, pink pepper
My first impressions of the scent are warm and fresh, aromatic notes of Earl Grey tea with hints of bergamot and orange. Being a unisex fragrance, the opening isn't too feminine, nor too masculine however, it is gentle and caressing. I actually like this phase most, it's a shame it disappears quickly, in about 10-15 minutes, when the stronger, more powdery fig note start to mingle with the fresh, aromatic ones.
Middle notes: fig, tea
The appearance of the middle notes temporarily breaks up the composition, it almost loses its unisex nature. the light, fresh notes are still there but has subdued a lot. What is more prominent is a a powdery and slightly bitter tea note that make the composition somewhat feminine and this accord will dominate for about 3 hours before the lighter, muskier base finally emerges.
Base notes: walnut, resins, musk
I was looking forward to a woody drydown, however the last phase of Thé is soft and musky. I do get some of the earlier fresh tea note again which lifts and brightens the final accords. I didn't catch a lot of sillage, the aroma lingers close to the skin and then fades into a gentle and very quiet musk.
The scent only lasted for about six hours on me and was very subtle, especially in the last phase. Having said that Thé Rouge has an even lighter concentration than an eau de toilette which means substantially less staying power.
~ CONCLUSION ~
With Thé Rouge Bvlgari has managed to create a much acclaimed cologne that explores the complex beauty of tea aromas that smell realistic, calming and interesting at the same time. A beautiful and well-blended unique scent that can be enjoyed by women and men especially for those who like aromatic / woody / tea scents.
~ PRICE / AVAILABILITY ~
You'll find the cologne in department stores though you'll have to pay the full RRP of £40 / 100ml Eau de Cologne there. I recommend Ebay or online perfume discounters to get it for less (£15 - £19.99 / 100ml EDC)
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao! UK