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

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I always find stuff when I am broke or well, buying my first house. How badly I want this little box of Tom Ford fragrances! It contains 12 private blend fragrances that Tom Ford describes as, ” My own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.” Haha. “This line isn’t about pleasing the mainstream to make tons of money but by marketing a few million fragrances as “original” so that I can sell them to fragrance whores for $180 to $450 a pop and since big department stores carry them as well I’ll get the people that like “mainstream” fragrance because I am a “mainstream” man!” Brilliant really, Mr. Ford. Anyways, I still want it. It wasn’t that I was or wasn’t blown away by any of the Private Blends when I played with them in store, it was just that I didn’t want to pay a minimum of $180 for something that I just liked or didn’t have the time to experience. I am a fragrance flirt so I want to have as many fragrances as possible. This kit contains 12 .05 fl.oz EDPs (I think that’s the size, I had to zoom in on the product and the number got blurry): Noir de Noir, Amber Absolute, Black Violet, Velvet Gardenia, Tobacco Vanilla, Oud Wood, Moss Breches, Bois Rouge, Purple Patchouli, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino, and Japan Noir. Many of these are pretty nice blends since I have a thing for leather and mossy scents. And a few of them I really did want to spend more time with. They come in a little brown, almost cigar box. I love the entire vibe of this. It is very turn of the century Belle Epoque apothecary. (That is what Tom Ford’s Private Blend has done best, the whole antique apothecary vibe. Even thought the $180 range bottles are boring and all the same to save money, I like the apothecary look.) It’s a wardrobe of fragrance and something very fun to sniff when cuddled up in the chair by the window on a rainy, dreary day. I would so rather spend a few evenings doing this than anything else. And if I fall madly in love with one of the blends, then I will make the smallest available bottle my very own. I wish more companies would offer these kind of coffrets. It seems that everybody “niche” or not launches like a million fragrances at once, all in the same bottle, and it’s much too difficult to keep them separate. We addicts can’t afford to purchase them all and we forget about half of them because there are at least 30 launches a month and our lists keep expanding. Sometimes we simply forget. This coffret goes for $180 and is available at neimanmarcus.com.

What I really wish it was in.

What I really wish it was in.

I thought I’d give i Profumi di Firenze Fiori del Cielo a try. I wasn’t wowed nor did I despise it. With a name like “Flowers From Heaven” you really expect a whole lot. This is where they shot themselves in the foot in my opinion. These are hand crafted from Italian tradition. It is supposed to represent a lovely spring bouquet of iris, narcissus, anemone, and cyclamen. It is inspired by “the natural beauty of Florence”. I love iris fragrances. I really do like this fragrance. I was wanting to love it but I’m not there. It has the crispness of iris in the initial spritz. It is fresh and green but almost aquatic at times. So it does have a fresh rain element. Which is nice because it is trying to resemble Florence’s flowers after the rain. The scent is a very updated scent of classic iris based fragrances. It is crisp and almost grape like at times. I love the smell until is dries down. It just doesn’t work for me. It starts to smell like dried flowers and not like the crisp notes that were there before. I also felt like this one didn’t last on me. It only lasted a few hours before I grew numb to it. It isn’t a horrible fragrance and it is worth testing. I think I am going to test it again. It just isn’t something that I keep sniffing because I love it so much and it isn’t living up to the “Flowers From Heaven” name. But it does smell expensive and not “cheap”. I’ll give it another shot maybe when the weather warms up. Maybe I’ll love it in the spring. I’ve been stuck in the snow for a week. You would think any floral would “wow” my mind when I have cabin fever and a longing for spring.

It retails for $89 for 50 ml and is available at beautyhabit.com and barneys.com.