Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
The newest addition to the Bvlgari tea party, Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge (2005), renders the cup of tea in a wispy, haiku manner much like its earlier predecessors Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert and Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc. However, while the former is a citrus and the latter is a soft floral, Thé Rouge offers a twist on the woody oriental theme. It is a vision of a cup of dark tea; however, where a sip of the dark ambery liquid would reveal the full depth and richness of the beverage, Thé Rouge remains a suggestion of steam rising in delicate swirls above the rim. …
The unisex quality of Thé Rouge is provided by a fresh citrus backdrop which colors many masculine fragrances giving them a traditional sparkly effervescence. Likewise, in Thé Rouge, the effect is of a slightly androgynous, clean finish. The crisp fruity notes are subtly woven into the composition, reminiscent of a custom prevalent in some parts of Russia to drink tea with apple slices instead of lemon. It renders the darkness of Yunnan red tea only in the most impressionistic and illusory manner, even if its allusions are enticing.
Thé Rouge has an elegant, polished quality like other Bvlgari tea fragrances; however, it is difficult for me to envision what exactly it adds to the lineup. If neither Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert nor Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc were already present, Thé Rouge might have been an interesting tea fragrance with a crisp overlay. As it is, I find myself reaching past it for Thé Vert and Thé Blanc instead. I had secret hopes that it might have been more along the lines of seductive Bvlgari Black. Ultimately, its suggestion of a dark rich liquid is simply too teasing to be fully satisfying.
Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge features notes of pink pepper, bergamot, orange, fig, walnut, musk, Roiboos red tea, Yunnan red tea. It is available from Saks5thAvenue, Neiman Marcus and various other retailers carrying Bvlgari. European shoppers can also find it at Escentual.