The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

I like the freshness of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea EDT/cologne. It is fresh and zesty. It is a “pretty” fragrance since it does smell feminine. Many green tea scents could be unisex but not this one by Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is a light wearing fragrance, comparable to a body spray. Elizabeth Arden as a woman and a company has always been very competitive. This fragrance was launched in 1999 to compete with such popular mall fragrance/body product shops as Bath and Body Works and The Body Shop. Hence, the light wearing fragrance to be worn all over the body with a lower price point than other department store fragrances.

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not as “green tea” as other green tea fragrances on the market. This means it is less “dirty”, “earthy”, or “pondy” than actual green tea. This fragrance is a play on aromatherapy (just read the adjectives associated with the fragrance notes), but it is much more “commercial” than the aromatherapy I think of. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea is not a per se green tea fragrance but an interpretation of a spa-like experience. It embodies the healthiness of sipping on green tea and pampering oneself. So, if you are looking for a “real” green tea fragrance, this is not it. If you are looking for a refreshing, light fragrance than this will do. I mainly get beautiful, feminine citrus from this fragrance. I get a heavy dose of bergamot. This is good for me since I love bergamot. The bergamot is complemented by other generic citrus accords with a wee bit of fruity rhubarb.It reminds me of a delicious summer sorbet. It has floral bergamot, jammy rhubarb, and orange zest. This is very refreshing. The fragrance has a certain coolness. It is ever so slightly minty. I really do think of it as a rhubarb and citrus sorbet with a garnish of mint. The zesty notes fade but you still are left with citrusy bergamot and tart rhubarb. That mainstream green tea is faintly there as well, just like that garnish of mint. The green tea adds a green sweetness to the heart. The dry-down is a bit softer than the heart. It smells muskier but in a clean musky, citrus way. The dry-down manages to be musky, green, and fresh.

The bottle isn’t exciting. It is very, very plain and it does remind me more of a drugstore fragrance bottle. At least it is glass and not in a plastic spray bottle making it more desirable than a B&BW spray.

It is not a long-lasting fragrance and it doesn’t claim to be. It wears slightly longer than a body spray. I guess it is meant to be “sipped” throughout the day just like a few cups of green tea. I do find it very refreshing. I like it for spring and summer.

Give this a try if you like pretty bergamot fragrances, Mélange Green Tea Solid Perfume, L’Occitane Thé Vert EDT or ThéBergamote EDT, Tocca Bianca EDP, Heeley Menthe Fraîche EDP, CK One EDT, Fresh Hesperides EDP, Creative Universe Te Cologne, and/or Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT.

Notes listed include: caraway, fruity rhubarb, lemon, orange zest, bergamot, cool minty peppermint, green tea, sweet jasmine, spicy carnation, fresh fennel, crisp celery spice, oakmoss, musk, and amber.

The 1.7 oz cologne spray retails for $27 and the larger 3.3 oz. for $37. It is available at all Elizabeth Arden counters and Elizabeth Arden’s website. * Currently it is available at fragrancenet.com.

Experience the fragrance in one more. Make a rhubarb sorbet (recipe here). Don’t forget the mint garnish! Perhaps you could put a scoop in a small cup of cool green tea…

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This summer I have been all about the citrus. I can’t get enough of citrus or citrus blossom scents. Perhaps it is the record breaking heatwave that swept through the Pacific Northwest or maybe it’s just time for me to go through this phase. I haven’t really gotten into citrus scents. I didn’t think they were “me” and I felt like my skin ate it up. I also thought they weren’t very artsy blends. I just didn’t have respect for them. Well, this summer I have been sampling every citrus scent that I can find. This week’s wear has been Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic EDT. If you know me, you know that there isn’t a Guerlain fragrance out there that I don’t love. This isn’t the most sophisticated Guerlain out there, but I do like it. It really hits the spot when the weather is 80+.

Mandarine-Basilic is a fresh citrus scent. It claims to have these notes: orange blossom, white peony, green tea, ivy, Roman chamomile, mandarin, basil, amber, and sandalwood.  It wears about the same on me all the way through. It is really difficult to sniff out these different notes. It smells of a refreshing beverage. The mandarin orange is what I notice the most. It’s a sweet citrus fragrance that reminds me of the juice from a clementine. It’s an easy to wear fragrance, not heavy on the herbaceous notes of basil. You smell a bit of the herb garden/vegetable garden. It just smells “green” and fresh but very pretty and not a bit rugged or masculine. This is a girly citrus. After a few hours of wear, the dry down is a faintly citrus and woody. It isn’t the most “wow” producing fragrance and it is a bit generic, but I do really like it. However, I am more of the Imperiale customer if I am looking for a refreshing summer fragrance. AA Mandarine-Basilic is just so pretty and more feminine than Imperiale and gentler and kinder than AA Pamplelune.

The scent wears for about 2-4 hours on me during pretty intense heat. It’s lovely throughout the wear and not a bit heavy. It’s a great summer scent, great for everyday or in a work environment. It’s citrusy, green, clean, and fresh. I would say to give this a try if you like mandarin citrus scents, Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, Balm Balm Mandarin EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin tout Simplement EDT, Marc Jacobs Lemon Splash Cologne, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus EDP. The 2.5 oz bottle goes for $57 and is available at Sephora.

L’Artisan Parfumeur describes Thé Pour Un Été or Summer Tea as  “An invitation to a far-away land, a moment of tranquility in an exotic oasis, the fragrance is as refreshing as a glass of iced green tea infused with jasmine and mint. Delicate and versatile, this is a scent for all seasons, a tender reminder of the happy days of summer.” It is an Olivia Giacobetti creation. Thé Pour Un Été isn’t what I expect for it to be. I don’t think the description is very fitting or even the name, for the most part. It is a pretty scent that wears very sweet and almost powdery on me. It wears very closely and intimately. It’s soft and romantic. I do not dislike the scent, I just find it not what I expected. In fact, I thought my sample was mislabeled!

At first it smells very creamy with a hint of jasmine tea. It’s floral but rich. It seriously hits me as a jasmine green tea latte hot, not served chilled, with a slight dash of lemon. My nose does not pick up the crisp or coolness of bergamot or the crispness of mint. I get a creamy blend of dried jasmine petals, freshly brewed green tea, steamed milk, and the faintest suggestion of lemon. When I wear this fragrance I don’t fell it screams “summer”, when I wear it in the dead of summer on those 90+ days, it doesn’t feel refreshing. (But, what does when it gets that unbearable). It just hits me as sweet. This scent hits me more as comforting, romantic, cuddly. This is something that I would rather wear in early spring. I drink lots of iced teas in summer from Persian mint to black tea with rose. This fragrance doesn’t remind me of those elixirs that I make for myself to beat the humid heat. This scent is more like the tea lattes that I get at my favorite tea bars, when it isn’t cool enough for coffee but not warm enough for an iced beverage. So, I guess it is accurate to say that it is a “reminder of the happy days of summer”. It’s how you may remember summer, it’s comforting like those first few warm days of late spring and thaws your cool body out from the wet, brisk days of the cooler seasons. We call this “sun breaks” in Washington. It feels so good to feel the sun again after months of the same old weather. It’s like this fragrance, it isn’t “summer” it won’t refresh you, it just comforts you and it is like you feel the warmth of those rays on your skin. It’s a fragrance that warms and doesn’t cool (like a mint, rosemary, or citrus scent). The dry down is about the same, with a bit more of the green tea and less of the jasmine, still sweet and almost like it has a hint of white chocolate.

Like I said, the fragrance wears very closely and is light. It wears for about 2 hours tops on my pulse points. Notes listed by the perfume house include: lemon, bergamot, mint, jasmine, and green tea. The 3.4 oz spray goes for $135 and the 1.7 oz for $95. It is available at beautyhabit.com and L’Artisan website.

Green tea latte

Green tea latte

I picked up this limited edition L’Occitane Thé Bergamote solid fragrance because the price was right at $9. Plus, I love solid fragrances and Earl Grey tea. The fragrance itself is very, very simple. It claims to have luminous citrus from Italy and black tea leaves.” It is very heavy on the citrus, which is a bergamot. I love bergamot essence. And this is a pretty nice and simple bergamot with a tiny bit of grapefruit. The black tea leaves are there, just not as much as the citrus. This smells more of bergamot essential oil than it does Earl Grey tea leaves, even Earl Grey with double the bergamot. This scent is very fresh, citrusy, refreshing and summery. I imagine that it could be a unisex fragrance since it simple and fresh. The solid smells different than the EDT in this line. The solid is simpler.

It comes in a small yellow tin container. My top is a little too loose for my comfort since I do plan on traveling with this. The solid perfume is so smooth and not a bit waxy. Think less of a lip balm in a tin but more of a lip gloss in a tin or something along the texture lines of Rosebud Salve. It contains .33 ounces of the solid fragrance. It wears nicely, about 2 hours and then you’ll need a touch-up. But, the 1st hour it wears very nicely and smells just like the solid in the tin. I like this and it is what I want in the summer when everything feels heavy. Many of us don’t have a/c in the PNW so in the summer I am attracted to the freshest scents possible. I would say to give this a try if you like solid perfumes, citrusy fragrances, tea fragrances such as Bvlgari Green/White/Red Thé/tea, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, L’Occitane’s other tea based scents, L’Aromarine Bergamote, CB I Hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea, Fresh Citron de Vigne or Bergamot Citrus, Kenzo Eau de Fleur Tea, Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom or Egyptian Bergamot Rose, Guerlain AA Mandarine-Basilic, Caudalie Fleur de Vigne, and/or Miller Harris Tangerine Vert. I’m sure I will pick up another tin soon since they are LE and the hotness of August hasn’t hit yet.

This is one of the many tea based fragrances out there. Not many of them actually smell like “tea”, just tea inspired. However, Bvlgari Red Tea is much more bolder than its tea siblings: Green and White. It is fresh but manages to be spicy. Think an OK orange pekoe black tea with a little too much pink pepper (at least by first impression). I like this better than Bvlgari’s other tea fragrances because it actually hangs around. It lasts about 2 hours on me even in warmer weather. Really that isn’t too bad for an EDT that is made to be “light” and “fresh”. At initial spritz, it is a bit too citrusy for my tastes. It smells very “generic” with its blend of citrus, bergamot, and pink pepper. It is very difficult to find a newer fragrance without those three fragrance notes. (Plus, I’m just so sick of pink pepper used as a top note for everything.) It is spicy and citrusy without being brash, it manages to be a bit too kind. Luckily, you start to smell the robust fragrance of tea leaves. That mixed quite nicely with the hint of the citrusy top notes. There is a slight fruitiness of fig fruit, almost grilled fig “meat”. Once again, another “figgy” fragrance that I am drawn to. The fig helps to balance the scent out without making it too cup o’tea. The dry down is soft, still very orange pekoe-ish but with a slight “warmth” to it to make it stick around. It is slightly “nutty” and burnt. I really love this fragrance the more that it has been around. It dries to a slightly sweet tea fragrance but don’t think too foody! This isn’t “foody” or sickly sweet. It is sweet like a dried black tea leaf not oatmeal rasin cookie or even a chai. This fragrance is fairly simple, it really is just tea with a few other things. It is fresh so don’t think you are getting the odor that a box of dried loose black tea has to offer. It is very bergamot-ish for the most part but not like an Earl Grey. It is more robust than a green or white tea and less “tart”. But, it is still “tea”.  I really like to wear this in the summer. It is fresh, light, “sharp” and not overwhelmingly citrus rind but bergamot (which blends naturally with tea). It’s a unisex fragrance but I don’t know any men that wear it. For Bvlgari’s tea line, I do find this one the most “femme” because of the pink pepper and the other top notes. I am sure the dry down is fine for a man.

I would say that you would like this if you like tea fragrances, bergamot fragrances, TokyoMilk Parfum Ex Libris, other Bvlgari fragrances such as Omnia, Calvin Klein CK, Fresh Fig Apricot or Bergamot Citrus, and/or Clean Shower Fresh. The bottle is super simple and looks like the other tea fragrance bottles. The top is reddish and plastic. The 1.33 ounce retails for $57 and the  3.4 ounce bottle retails for $82. It is available at fragrancenet.com.


Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Au The Rouge Perfume for Women Eau De Cologne Spray 3.4 Oz by Bvlgari

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

I must learn to stop purchasing fragrances unsniffed and buying for packaging alone. I bought this fragrance in the fall because I wanted a dark, moody fragrance. I wanted a leather or tobacco fragrance. So, I found this on beautyhabit.com (it’s at b-glowing.com too) and fell in love with the raven and of course it’s semi-goth name, Poe’s Tobacco. It is described as having tobac, tea leaves, amberwood, and autumn apple. I thought that I had hit the jackpot. That name and that description were exactly what I was craving and the price was amazing. It is $28 for 1 ounce. I thought of sweet dried tobacco, dried black tea, amberwood, and sickly rotting golden apples. I wanted a gothic, dark perfume.

I got this in the mail, quickly I may add from the lovely gals at Beautyhabit. The bottle is cute and simple. It’s kept beautiful by a cute and cheap and ultra trendy sticker. I am not complaining, it was under $30. The name sounded wonderful. I couldn’t wait to spray it on, wrap myself in a black cashmere and silk wrap, read Poe in my Eames chair with a cup of rose black tea. I sprayed this on and on this moody, rainy and foggy, typical Pacific Northwestern day, springtime happened! This fragrance isn’t bad but it isn’t what I expected at all. It was far from goth. It was super “green” and alive, femme, and full of flirtatious energy. This scent was not the Cleopatra eyelined beatnick but the fun and outgoing, outdoorsy girl next door! Talk about packaging and name gone to waste! It’s funny because the actual scent isn’t bad at all. I like it but it just doesn’t fit. It is like those couples you see together and go what? They don’t match. This is it. The name, the packaging, and the fragrance don’t work together. The fragrance is lovely and perfect for spring, It is heady but still manages to be green. I don’t smell the tobacco at all. I smell fresh green tea leaves. This is a fragrance for the green tea fragrance crowd. It isn’t very woodsy. It is very white floral, green tea, and fresh cut grass. It is vaguely fruity and appley but in a chamomile apple tea way. This is a spring day. It is flowers blooming in morning dew just when the grass was cut for the first time this season. It’s sunshine so bright and you don’t have your sunglasses with you.  Not goth! In fact, this reminds me of Avon’s mark Earth that I have wrote a review about. This stuff just smells “green”. It isn’t moody. I wanted dried roses, smoky incense, sweet and dried pipe tobacco and decaying logs. Nope, this is too friendly. It does wear for a long time which was a bummer the day I got it because I didn’t want to smell like fun spring days. It wears for hours. I haven’t worn it since I got it. It hasn’t fit the “mood”. I know this is something I will use up this spring. Because it is very green and pleasant without being Chanel #19. It is floral without being Chanel #22. It is nice. It will get compliments. It just doesn’t work with the name and packaging. So for now, it is in the Edwardian secretary waiting for springtime. Until then, I’ll be wearing the heavy leathery and patchouli scents. This can be purchased for $28 at b-glowing.com.

OK, so it’s a bit pricey at $41 for 6.7 ounces but you already know that. Bvlgari Thé Vert is a unisex classic with the clean and refreshing fragrance of green tea. It’s not Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea. This is a bit more crisp and unisex. Elizabeth Arden’s is wonderful in its own right. Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au thé vert bath and shower gel is enriched with jasmine extract, orange blossom extract, and green tea extract to revitalize the skin. This gel is lightly fragranced but manages to still linger on your skin after shower. It foams nicely without leaving skin dry. The refreshing scent is great for both men and women and the light scent can be mixed with other colognes without fighting for all the attention. I really like most of Bvlgari’s products. This is no exception. It isn’t usually in my home. My husband uses it all up before I can even touch it but it is something that I’ve bought more than once.


Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Au The Vert for Men and Women Eau De Cologne Spray 2.5 Oz by Bvlgari

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com