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Finding the right scent to wear in this hot weather can be difficult. My fragrance of choice when temperatures are high is Jil Sander's 'Sun' which (as well as smelling great) is specially formulated to be suitable for summer wear. To mix things up a little, however, I started to think about what I could alternate with Sun and thought that Elizabeth Arden's 'Green Tea' might be just the thing.
'Green Tea' is not an expensive scent but its price came down considerably a few years back at which time the quality also deteriorated. To my mind the scent as it is today is not a patch on the fragrance that was first released in 1999 though it still retains that light citrussy essence and a freshness I hoped might just manage to cope with summer.
The top notes are: Caraway, Fruity Rhubarb, Lemon, Orange Zest and Bergamot
The middle notes are: Cool Minty Peppermint, Green Tea, Sweet Jasmine, Spicy Carnation, Fresh Fennel and Crisp Celery Spice
Base notes are: Oakmoss, Musk and Amber
From the outset tea is the dominant element of 'Green Tea'; although green tea is listed as being among the base notes I never really pick it up at any stage, finding that Earl Grey comes to mind instead. There's a distinctive citrus aroma that comes and goes but my nose picks out grapefruit more than lemon. Then there's mint which comes across as quite synthetic, a bit like a mouthwash.
Of the middle notes it is the green ones that come through most clearly. There's the spiciness of fennel and a nice hint of jasmine, but overall 'Green Tea' is notable for its grassy tones rather than florals and for this reason I feel it is a fragrance that could be unisex though it is marketed towards women. It strikes me as being more of a cologne than a perfume.
This spiciness is a theme that persists as the scent develops with caraway being easily identifiable adding a depth and warmth that lingers on the skin long after the citrus has dissipated. I found it odd that Elizabeth Arden lists caraway as being one of the top notes because I don't pick it out until the scent is quite well developed.
The artificial mint aside the main problem with 'Green Tea' is its longevity, or rather lack of it. On a good day it will last around four hours but two to three is more usual in my experience; fortunately the low price means that I am not so reluctant to re-apply. Projection is poor, you can certainly wear this in the office without offending anyone.
I tried this on a couple of hot days when on holiday and I didn't have any problems with an adverse reaction in the sun like some scents can cause. However, the staying power is diminished on hotter days and there didn't seem like any point in re-applying, so quickly did the scent vanish. However, I do like to wear this after a late afternoon shower as the temperature is starting to drop and I'm heading out for the evening. At this time of day 'Green Tea' makes me feel refreshed and re-invigorated and seems to have a lot more staying power.
Although this fragrance is fairly cheap it's one you'd probably want to try before you buy because it's one that comes across quite differently depending on the wearer. On me this is all about the tea and citrus, when my friend wears it the mint takes centre stage and on her the mint is quite sugary. There are also other 'Green Tea' fragrances by Elizabeth Arden including 'Green Tea Honeysuckle', 'Green Tea Spice', 'Green Tea Cherry Blossom' and 'Green Tea Lavender' so if you like the idea of a green tea scent but the herbal grassiness doesn't appeal to you, you might find one of the other options more to your taste.
There are elements of this Elizabeth Arden scent that I like very much though I feel it has fallen down as far as being complex and clever is concerned, and it fails to live up to the tempting appeal of the description of the various notes. This doesn't smell like an expensive scent and there are much better green tea fragrances available (L'Occitane's The Vert is particularly good) but for a cheap scent to stash in your bag and re-apply frequently it's not bad.
The packaging is uninspiring but fresh looking and reflects the scent quite well. The simple green glass bottle is let down by the cheap looking plastic cap.
Prices vary online but fragrancedirect.co.uk currently have the 30ml eau de parfum priced at £8.50, 50ml priced at £9.99 and 100ml priced at £12.95.
Cheapsmells.com have the 30ml priced at £7.45 and 50ml at £10.50.
(Prices correct at the time of writing, 21.07.2013)
Green Tea was launched by Elizabeth Arden in 1999 / It is an uplifting fragrance that energizes the body excites the senses and revitalizes the spirits / With zesty top notes of caraway and rhubarb blended with the sparkling citrus fragrances of lemon orange zest and bergamot / The uplifting middle notes are a cool harmony of peppermint jasmine carnation fennel and celery seed while the base extends to fresh hints of oak moss musk and white amber /