Elizabeth Arden Green Tea : Perfume Review

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Andy discovers how refreshing and uplifting Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea can be.

Potent is the last word I’d associate with Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea, yet when I first tried it, it felt like a jolt of something refreshing and uplifting. It was very early in my fragrance journey, when I wanted to build a small fragrance wardrobe without spending too much. I can remember picking up a bottle of Green Tea for $10 during a sweltering May heat wave, ravenously ripping the packaging open in my overheated car, and spraying myself liberally. To this day, I still reach for Green Tea whenever I need some immediate relief from the heat, or for no reason at all, because it is both refreshingly simple and pleasantly sparkling.

green tea

Elizabeth Arden launched Green Tea in 1999, following dozens of other fragrances (like Tommy Girl and Ck One) in the trendsetting footsteps of Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. But in comparison to Thé Vert’s nuanced, misty interpretation of green tea, Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea, composed by Francis Kurkdjian, smells somewhat one-dimensional. As a result, Green Tea can be considered neither revolutionary nor particularly outstanding in composition, but instead it seems to me a study in technical expertise, of making the most out of a formula that is composed of relatively few ingredients while still smelling complete.

The main impression of Green Tea balances tart citrus and rhubarb with a touch of floral sweetness. Essentially an Eau de Cologne, Green Tea does not undergo an enormous transformation on skin. Upon first spray, a mix of effervescent citruses and lightly crisp green notes provides sparkling refreshment, quickly joined by a touch of mint and some light sweetness that I associate with jasmine. The fragrance remains a balance of tart green fruitiness, zingy citrus, and sheer, minty jasmine for as long as it noticeably persists, usually no more than a few hours or less for me. Ultimately, without knowing the name, I would be less likely to associate Green Tea with its namesake beverage than with a pleasing summer cocktail accented by a sprig of fresh mint, citrus wedges, and plenty of fizzy bubbles—though I’m not complaining!

With its fairly low price point, I don’t mind the fact that Green Tea has little lasting power. Green Tea is devoid of much nuance and mystery, but it makes up for that with its open simplicity and easy charm. For especially hot days, I’ve taken a note from Victoria and keep a bottle in the refrigerator, and then apply it generously like a body spray for instant chilled refreshment. So far, it’s the only improvement I can find on the pick-me-up effect that Green Tea already has.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea includes notes of rhubarb, mint, orange peel, bergamot, lemon, carnation, musk, jasmine, oakmoss, white amber, fennel, caraway, amber, musk, green tea, jasmine, cloves, oakmoss, and celery seeds. Available at Elizabeth Arden department store counters.

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32 Comments

  • Minka: Good morning!
    Green Tea reminds me of my mother, and smelling it always makes me smile and then I have to call her because she’s on my mind. (She also kept a bottle in the frig, how funny!)
    It’s like you said, simple and charming, but so refreshing! I no longer have a bottle in my collection, but I have The Pour Un Ete, very similar. I will wear it today, we’re due for a scorcher.
    Time to call mom.
    Good day! April 22, 2014 at 7:49am Reply

    • Andy: I love the story about your mom. Mine is fanatical about Crabtree & Evelyn Iris, and I get the same happy feeling and want to talk to her when I smell it.

      Where I am we’re having some unusually warm weather today as well. I started my day testing Estée Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, but I think by the afternoon I’ll have to crack out my Green Tea and give myself a liberal misting. April 22, 2014 at 11:08am Reply

  • Lauren B: You make it sound quite lovely. This could be a good cheap option for those summer days when you don’t want to sweat through your fancier perfumes. April 22, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

    • Andy: That’s exactly how I look at Green Tea. It’s a real disappointment when I sweat away a perfume, but I don’t mind when I’ve applied something like this, with the intent of momentary refreshment. April 22, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: Andy, thanks for this lovely review. I love Eau The Vert, but this might be a nice alternative. I can’t think of a more perfect summer treat than pulling this bottle out of the fridge and spraying it liberally after coming in from the heat! April 22, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

    • Andy: No matter what I try, I find myself always coming back to Thé Vert. I think, of all the “tea” perfumes I’ve tried, it’s still my favorite. Green Tea is much sweeter and simpler by comparison, but I find it even more refreshing. April 22, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Great review, Andy! I can’t agree more with you on that the perfume smells more like a fizzy summer refreshment with citrus and mint than green tea. I think we’ve had this conversation before but most ‘green tea’ frangrances don’t smell like the real thing to me. But I still find the concept of tea-inspired fragrances interesting. I can’t say that Green Tea is my favourite but I still do enjoy it time to time and it’s hard to beat for the price! Did you try any flankers? April 22, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

    • Andy: At this point, while I’m still drawn in by tea fragrances, I’ve given up on trying to find something that smells like tea. I’ve figured out that I’d rather just have a cup of tea, because the aroma is always going to be far more complex anyway.

      As far as the Green Tea flankers are concerned, I tried last year’s honeysuckle variation, and I thought it was charming. I think this year the flanker is inflected with yuzu, which makes it different from the floral variations in the past. I’ll have to try it. April 22, 2014 at 12:30pm Reply

  • K: I’ve enjoyed Green Tea for many years, so I’m pleased to read your positive review. It’s light, green and fresh–makes me happy every time I revisit it! I would certainly describe it as an uncomplicated and inoffensive fragrance, which is wonderful, with the extremely hot summers in my area. I’m honestly surprised that more people are not drawn to it, especially considering that Green Tea is relatively inexpensive. April 22, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Andy: I agree, and now wish I had mentioned in the review, that Green Tea is incredibly cheerful! So many other takes on green tea try to evoke tranquility and calm, but Elizabeth Arden’s always just makes me feel happy and refreshed. April 22, 2014 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Elena: I used to love this when it first came out! I found a bottle from when I was a teenager at my parents’ house recently but was horrified when I smelled it again. Reading your review, I think mine had gone off as these citrusy scents seem to, because it was very unpleasant and kind of smelled like maple syrup, in a bad way. I’ll have to give it a spritz from a fresh bottle and see if it’s like I remember.

    I bought a bottle of Fancy Nights the other week and have been wearing the heck out of it to bed after my shower! Great recommendation. April 22, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

    • Andy: I’d be curious to hear if you notice a difference between what you remember and the current version of Green Tea.

      And glad to hear you’ve been enjoying Fancy Nights; I find that it, like Green Tea, is so easy to enjoy. April 22, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

  • fleamarketjunkie: I can recommend a lovely scent that always reminded me of tea and that’s Tribu by Benetton. It may be discontinued but can be found reasonably on eBay. Love to see what you think of it. April 22, 2014 at 4:54pm Reply

    • Andy: Thank you for the recommendation! I just looked up Tribu and it sounds pretty interesting. April 22, 2014 at 4:58pm Reply

  • annemarie: I generally don’t get on well with tea fragrances; they nearly always seem nagging and sour on me. I’ll sound like a fearful snob, but the only one I’ve liked so far has been Osmanthe Yunnan (Hermes). And yet the cost! Ridiculous! So it should really explore some more sensible options once my 15mls of OY runs out. It’s the fruity osmanthus note that balances the tea in the Hermes, so maybe it’s tea and fruit I need. I should really explore some of the Green Tea flankers. The original I don’t greatly care for.

    Thanks for the review. Fancy Francis K. Having composed Green Tea. Never knew that. April 22, 2014 at 5:22pm Reply

  • Andy: Oh, but I have to agree–Osmanthe Yunnan is truly lovely, and really does justice to a tea theme, though I do wish it were not so costly. In comparison, I’m not sure that any of the Green Tea flankers will seem appealing, as they all seem to carry the simple and sparkling quality of the original.

    And as for Kurkdjian, I was surprised too when I realized he created Green Tea. It really shows his versatility as a perfumer. April 22, 2014 at 6:21pm Reply

  • rosestrang: Maybe this is bad, but I used it as a car spray recently, it worked great! I think I like Au The Vert more for a green tea perfume, but EA’s Green Tea is definitely refreshing April 22, 2014 at 7:16pm Reply

    • Andy: No, I can totally see Green Tea as a room spray! As a fragrance for me to wear, Au Thé Vert would be my first pick, but for a less serious, much simpler perfume, Green Tea works nicely. April 22, 2014 at 9:15pm Reply

  • Amer: Sometimes cheap thrills are the best! I had no idea who the perfumer was until now. Surprise surprise! April 23, 2014 at 3:40am Reply

    • Andy: I know, quite surprising, isn’t it? It’s nice to smell examples of great perfumers’ work in both the niche and mainstream markets. April 23, 2014 at 7:17am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Fleur de Figuier by Roger&Gallet is another great example of Kurkdjian’s work for a mainstream brand.
        I don’t use Green Tea myself but I’ve given it as s gift very often. My favourite tea scent is Osmanthe Yunnan. I bought a bottle last year and I’m enjoying every single drop of it. It’s one of my summer staples. I know, it’s very pricey but I couldn’t resist… I also like Carthusia Mediterraneo, which is actually similar in style to Green Tea. April 23, 2014 at 8:54am Reply

        • Andy: I’ve wanted to try Fleur de Figuier for a while now, but didn’t realize that it was Kurkdjian’s work. Interesting! April 23, 2014 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Michaela: Very accurate review, this ‘tea’ is exactly as you describe it :) I’m so happy you gave it 4 stars! I am longing for a whole bottle, but I keep on wondering if I really need one, as long as I already have and often wear Eau Parfumee au The Vert (even today, to be honest). I think I’ll buy a Green Tea in the end and use your fridge tip. April 23, 2014 at 5:51am Reply

    • Andy: Right, if you like and wear Thé Vert, you probably don’t “need” Green Tea. But if you can find a bottle at a discount, having one for the fridge seems like a perfectly good idea. April 23, 2014 at 7:19am Reply

      • Michaela: Thank you, Andy, I will. Now I realize I don’t have to compare them at all. Green Tea is wonderful for jeans, jogging, playing with the dog, while The Vert makes me feel sophisticated. I will be happy with both of them. April 24, 2014 at 3:45am Reply

        • Andy: I have both, and that’s how I think of them: Green Tea = uplifting and cheerful, au Thé Vert = polished calm and serenity. April 24, 2014 at 3:42pm Reply

  • maja: I love EA Green Tea! And the whole line of body products is great. I find about it through a friend, it smelled fantastic on her. I actually think I prefer it to Bvlgari’s one as the latter seems a bit outdated – it smells like nineties :) April 23, 2014 at 8:52am Reply

    • Andy: I’ve never tried them but, I’m sure the body products are wonderful. It’s true, Bulgari’s take on green tea had its time and inspired so many other fragrances, but I still find it quite original. April 23, 2014 at 9:39am Reply

  • maja: *found April 23, 2014 at 8:52am Reply

  • maggiecat: Last year’s flanker to this scent – Green Tea and Honeysuckle – is a spring/summer staple. The sweetness and tartness balance each other perfectly, and it’s a light pretty scent, pure enjoyment – and inexpensive! April 23, 2014 at 7:59pm Reply

    • Andy: I’m pretty sure I tried the Green Tea Honeysuckle, and if I didn’t already have a bottle of Green Tea I wouldn’t mind having it. I remember it being really pretty! April 23, 2014 at 10:09pm Reply

  • Mezzogiorno: I’ve seen Green Tea and various flankers at TJ Maxx for super cheap. I have Green Tea but I love honeysuckle so I may have to pick that up too. Good to know! May 16, 2014 at 1:24pm Reply

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