Scent Diary : Green Tea

Do you like the smell of green tea? This morning I wanted to write about a completely different topic, but I brewed a cup of Japanese sencha, unfermented green tea, and I lost myself in its scent. This particular tea smelled of seaweed and violets, and it lingered on the palate as sweet, tender, velvety. I understood then why so often green tea accords are interpreted as combinations of the violet-redolent ionones, green notes and hedione. Some of my favorite green tea perfumes include the classics like Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert. I also have to mention the new Maison Margiela Matcha Meditation, a fragrance by perfumer Maurice Roucel.

Comments about your favorite tea perfumes are much appreciated. Please jot down any interesting scent observations in this thread. You can write about your favorite  fragrances or interesting scents you’ve encountered.

You can also use the Scent Diary to sharpen your sense of smell. As I wrote in How to Improve Your Sense of Smell, the best way to do so is to smell and to pay attention to what you’re smelling. It doesn’t matter what you smell. The most important thing is to notice scents around you. It’s even better if you write it down. Feel free to ask any questions here too.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, green tea on a red tray

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32 Comments

  • Safran: My favourite tea perfume would be Yu Son by Altaia. Others might call it an orange blossom or citrus scent, but on me the green tea note is always present. I love the quality and serenity of this perfume. March 12, 2021 at 8:39am Reply

  • Tami: Maison Lancôme Oranges Bigarades has a black tea note. It’s a very “Christmasy” perfume to me; it doesn’t smell particularly “orange” on its own, more like oranges mulled with spice. It’s also has a warm powdery scent and feel to it. March 12, 2021 at 8:52am Reply

    • rickyrebarco: I need to revisit my sample of this one. I liked it when I first sampled it and couldn’t quite put my finger on the other notes. Now I realize that I was smelling tea and I loved that aspect of the scent. I have 3 others from the Maison Lancome line and love them all- Iris Dragees, Rose Parfait and Jasmin Marzipane. March 12, 2021 at 3:42pm Reply

      • Tami: Lovely! I so rarely see this particular line mentioned, and I enjoy it, too.

        I thought my favorite aspect of the Oranges Bigarades would be the orange, but it’s really the tea. March 17, 2021 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Deborah Mariah Martin: Will be starting my garden in a few months. You would be happy to know that I did a combined
    Scented/ pollinator garden last year. It was fun – when my grands come over. I ask them “ what do you smell? And then we’d mix some rose petals with mint, lavender, lemon verbena
    Etc. And smell again after we did the mixture.
    Fun with basil and Rosemary too.
    Question: any suggestions on additional plants to purchase this year? I did find a musk plant and a Vicks plant as well.
    Love your blog!!!! March 12, 2021 at 8:55am Reply

    • Maya: I recommend the Artemisia plant. Highly fragrant leaves, easy to grow, and in SMALL doses can be used to brew tea we call Sheeba tea. I stress in small quantities because in large quantities it is poisonous. March 12, 2021 at 11:35am Reply

    • Maria:  Garden heliotrope I love. I keep them in pots over the summer, cut them sbort and btimg them in late in fall. Lovely. March 14, 2021 at 6:04pm Reply

  • MaureenC: I really enjoyed L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea for Two, now discontinued (presumably not commercial enough) I bought a bottle when they were selling it off but eventually I gave it to a friend who adored it, whereas I simply liked it. I can enjoy the fragrance when she wears it. March 12, 2021 at 9:09am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi MaureenC, I have their other tea fragrance: Thé pour un Été. It’s a lovely green summery smell, that I enjoy a lot on a hot day. The other tea perfume I have is Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan. Somehow I like all the tea notes in fragrances only in the summer months. Although I drink tea all year round! March 12, 2021 at 4:41pm Reply

      • MaureenC: Yes I know what you mean, they do feel summery. Sometimes there is no logic to what we like! March 12, 2021 at 4:54pm Reply

  • Gretchen: I’m eagerly anticipating commenters’ suggestions here, and also would welcome green tea recommendations. I’m so dedicated to my favorite lapsang souchong and Darjeeling but I am open to finding a green tea that isn’t as unpleasant as the ones I tried in the past. The seaweed and violet accords Victoria spoke of are definitely not what I’ve smelled in past purchase! March 12, 2021 at 9:22am Reply

    • Alityke: Gretchen
      The key to green tea is not to brew it like black teas. Let the kettle cool a little after boiling, maybe 5 minutes before pouring on the tea. Or add the boiled water to the pot, leave to cook a little then add the green tea or teabag. Don’t brew for too long either.
      Not scalding the leaves makes a huge difference to the taste March 14, 2021 at 4:31pm Reply

      • Gretchen: Thank you for this tip! (No pin intended) I am going to try again…. March 14, 2021 at 5:39pm Reply

  • Julie: My fav green tea was the Bulgari one too.
    Pretty bottles since they make jewelry.
    I’m on my 4th bottle of guerlains mandarin green tea scent. More Orange with hint of green tea but I love it.

    Love Lear one and sharing here. I want to try the Lancôme Christmasy one March 12, 2021 at 9:40am Reply

  • Carolyn: Bulgari’s The Vert is gorgeous! When it was first launched, many years ago, it was only available in Bulgari shops, so I popped into the Sloane Street location when I visited London. When I explained that it was their new fragrance I was interested in (every other gorgeous thing there being well outwith my budget!) I was asked to sit, given a glass of fizz & we had a lovely chat about their first foray into fragrance/ I was then given a small, bound with ribbon cardboard package with a hollowed out section which contained a miniature replica bottle of The Vert, along with a beautifully illustrated booklet explaining the ideas behind the creation of the fragrance, the ingredients & so on. The juice was used pretty quickly, I can assure you!, & I went on to buy the full size bottle a couple of times & I’m sure I still have the package & booklet somewhere. Apologies if I’ve mentioned this before on here…it’s something that sticks in my memory not least because the staff were so professional, & appreciated my interest in their venture, despite me obviously not being their usual sort of customer! March 12, 2021 at 10:19am Reply

    • Aida Hashemi: Beautiful story, I visited the London shop in my imagination with your beautiful descriptions 🙂💛 March 12, 2021 at 12:16pm Reply

      • Carolyn: Thank you so much for your kind comment! March 13, 2021 at 6:34am Reply

  • Dina C.: I love green tea and drink it every morning. I also enjoy the Bulgari green tea scent. In the past, I have worn the L’Occitane The Vert and used the Roger et Gallet green tea bath gel. I have some Elizabeth Arden Green Tea bath gel on order right now, as I type. I find that scent especially refreshing in the hot, humid summers of Virginia where I live. Annick Goutal makes a pretty tea scent that I have sampled — L’lle au The’, as does Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan. Thank you for a lovely topic. March 12, 2021 at 10:26am Reply

  • Aida Hashemi: I adore the scent of my Jasmine Pearls green tea. Each morning tasting and smelling this divine aroma sets the tone for a joyful day for me…thank you for this post lovely Victoria 🙂💛🙂 March 12, 2021 at 12:13pm Reply

  • maggiecat: I love jasmine green tea, and therefore also love Fragonard’s Green Tea and Jasmine fragrance and soap, as well as Ineke’s Poet’s Jasmine. March 12, 2021 at 2:02pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Bvlgari’s The Vert is my favorite green tea scent. It’s the paradigm of green tea scents and was very innovative when introduced. I also adore Nishane’s Wu Long Cha. It’s been on my want list for a while. Also, I’ve just recently found another beautiful tea fragrance, Parfums de Rosine’s La Amie de Rose. It has rose notes, of course, but the focus of the fragrance on my skin is the tea note, which is sparkling and clean, melding beautifully with green bamboo notes. I highly recommend both the Nishane and the Rosine. March 12, 2021 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Mela: Bvulgari’s The Vert will forever hold THE special place of favorite tea scent for me. When my kids were young and I would wear it, they would come and hug me and smell me and say “Mommy you smell so good, like a garden!”
    Now they are older and no longer snuggle like that, but the fragrance is always with me. March 12, 2021 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Jazzy: I really want to try Je Ne Sais Quoi from Teo Cabanel! I think the rice note sounds very interesting, and genmaicha is one of my favorite drinks. I’m not really a big fan of how a lot of green tea fragrances combine tea with citruses, since I find citrus quite overpowering (and green tea is hardly ever drunk with citrus anyways, where I live). If anyone has tried JNSQ I’d love to hear about it! March 13, 2021 at 1:10am Reply

  • ONWingsofSaffron: Truth be told, I am no fan of green tea scents. The only tea perfume (here black tea) I really like is “Hongkong Oolong” (Nez 1+1) by none other than Maurice Roucel. And it is probably the floral musky aspect—which isn’t too squeaky clean!—I like more than the tea scent.
    On another note: I bought a box with three bars of soap by Roger & Gallet “Fleur d’Osmanthus” which unfortunately to me only smell of green tea which is strange, as they also have a soap called “Thé vert” …? March 13, 2021 at 10:48am Reply

  • Natalie: I will make myself green tea or matcha and literally hold the cup under my nose to inhale the aromas in between sips. There are so many subtle nuances in the scent and flavor profiles with different varieties of green tea and I try to take it all in. Drinking green tea, and all kinds of tea, is a tranquil ritual for me. I have yet to find a green tea perfume that smells as good as the real thing. My favorite green tea fragrance original L’Occitane Green Tea. Somewhere along the the line it was reformulated and not the same and I don’t know if they still sell a version or not. The jasmine green tea they used to have was nice. I bought a purse size of Matcha Meditation online at Nordstrom and can’t wait to try it! March 15, 2021 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Damiana: I really enjoy Darjeeling Tea from the Jo Malone Rare Tea collection. Unluckily it’s been discontinued so I use it sparingly. I also love the white tea note in Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Auphorie. March 15, 2021 at 11:15pm Reply

  • Hilde: I have some request on the use of raw materials.

    There is such a big offer of perfumes that it would be helpful to know how the notes mentioned, smell on its own so that I can already do a first selection.
    Therefore I would like to know where I can find some raw materials, such as elemi, benzoin, styrax, galbanum, opoponax, ambrox, amber, frankinscence, ciste (rock rose), tonka bean, musk etc.

    To give an example: I like burned incense such as used in liturgies, so the recent year I was looking for perfumes with this note. I already bought Armani Bois d’Encens, Comme des Garçons Avignon, Technique Indiscrète Sainte Extase and the lighter l’Artisan Parfumeur Mirabillis.
    And because I can’t get enough of it, I am still searching for another perfume in this genre.
    Great was my disappointment when I smelled Guerlain Incense Mythique, so I would like to know what material it is that I am attracted to.
    Of course I understand that not every perfume house will and even can mention all the ingredients.

    Another example: there are perfumes when I smell them, I immediately get the impression that I smell red berries, even this note is not used in it. So it has to be another material that gives me this connotation. I smell it in Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb, Yves Saint Laurent Libre Intense, Zara Emotions Ebony Wood, Yves Rocher Sable Fauve. It would already be a big relief if I could avoid them.

    A last example: recently I tried a sample of Ozkan from the house of Sylvaine Delacourte and Atelier Cologne Gold Leather. Both perfumes use leather notes in combination with orange flower or bergamot. It was as if I smelled saffran in both perfumes. The use of saffran will surely raise the price of a perfume, so in the future I will look for perfumes with leather notes in combination with orange blossom or neroli. March 16, 2021 at 11:01am Reply

  • Inma: Hi All,

    The azahar, orange blossom, is blooming here in Seville and I think about the people around this blog. I think you would love it!

    A hug, March 18, 2021 at 5:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, I’d love to be in Seville during this time. March 19, 2021 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Kat Hi Five: Hi all,
    Another lovely green tea fragrance is Nishane Wulong Cha. It is a fresh, green tea aromatic and I get 6 hours longevity. If you like tea fragrances it is defiantly worth sampling. March 18, 2021 at 6:15pm Reply

  • Fazal: I agree with you regarding Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Vert. I think it is the benchmark green tea perfume. However, in my case I smelled Extreme first and did not smell the original until 10-11 years later after smelling Extreme so my I am biased towards the Extreme version. Tea really emerged as Bvlgari’s signature note in the early years. I remain a fan of Bvlgari’s original perfume catalogue but have had a hard time admiring the brand since 2010 or so when it released Bvlgari Man. Since then, I have almost stopped paying attention to whatever Bvlgari releases though Bvlgari Man in Black has been a nice release. March 19, 2021 at 10:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also liked the Extreme version, especially since the original one has been slightly tweaked over the years. Bulgari overall has treated its collection well. March 21, 2021 at 9:17am Reply

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