I Fell for Le Labo's Santal 33 Just Like the Rest of the World and I Don't Care if That Makes Me a Sucker
I mean, even Justin frickin' BEIBER wears it.
Everyone has their thing, you know? Like a collection of small ceramic sea turtles, or Eiffel Tower t-shirts or something. For me, that thing —besides makeup, of course — is tea.
I love tea. I love drinking tea, I love learning about tea, I have a whole tea cart in my apartment to hold all my tea sundries along with the coffee pot for my boyfriend.
In my never-ending quest to broaden my horizons when it comes to fragrance, I never even considered seeking out fragrances with a tea note. I don't know why, because after I called in as many as I could get my hands on, I realized that tea could lend a beautifully complex note and make a fragrance truly special.
Commodity's Tea is the first tea scent that graced my little nose and kicked off this whole shebang. It hit me on the first spray that a fragrance can give you a feeling of something without smelling like a carbon copy.
This fragrance is very citrusy right off the bat. You get hit with a fresh squeeze of lemon, which is super-refreshing for summer. The fragrance remains fresh and lemony all day, but as it develops, you get the tea flavor and more of the floral notes, including jasmine, which is my favorite floral of all time ever.
This scent is loud and soft at the same time; it puts me straight into a hot summer day drinking iced tea with a lot of lemon.
Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca also sits in the citrus realm, but it has a greener vibe overall. In high school it was all the rage to wear Marc Jacobs Daisy, which was (and still is) way too strong for my tastes but I did love the green, grassy note of it. Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca hits that same green note but in a more subtle and elegant way. It opens with that green note — in this case its cloverleaf and lemon — and moves on to mint and green tea, and a floral base of lily of the valley and pear flower.
The result is a young but classy scent that is a bit surprising at every sniff; sometimes you get the green tea, sometimes the mint, all wrapped up in a lemony package.
Plus, that bottle though. It's a killer.
This is the first unisex fragrance that I've ever liked. I usually stick to florals and sweet scents, and this whole tea-themed adventure was a bit of a step outside my comfort zone to begin with, so this scent in particular was something else.
It opens on a sharp orange note that leans quickly into a green tea, a soft floral, and musky base. That musky base makes this scent surprisingly sexy, but the fragrance is altogether very light. When I wear this, I get whiffs of the brightness of green tea and orange along with the musky base through out the day. This fragrance may be a bit much for day, but it is definitely perfect for night.
Demeter has a humongous single-note fragrance library so it is zero surprise that they have multiple tea fragrances. First up is the classic earl grey.
I start nearly every day with a cup of earl grey tea, so it is no surprise to me that this scent is, like they say, comfort in a cup... in a perfume. The sharpness of the bergamot is paired with a delicate black tea, creamy milk and a touch of sweetness. I didn't know how well I would get on with a direct tea-scented fragrance, but I love the subtly of this scent.
I love a good Chai, so it gives me great pleasure to say the Chai Tea scent is a winner. This is the spiciest fragrance in my now-growing collection, it's a little too heavy for my tastes in summer, but I know I'll be reaching for this one a lot come winter.
The spice isn't too strong or fake-smelling. It's not like rolling around in a pile of PSL flavor packets. It's more nuanced — it's got the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and pepper, and it's rounded out with the tea milk and sugar.
This is the only tea in this round up that I haven't actually had the chance to drink. Baihao Yinzhen Tea is a white tea and the scent is absolutely stunning. It doesn't scream "TEA!" whatsoever.
Demeter describes this scent as masculine, but I couldn't disagree more. Whereas most scents I consider masculine are very strong on spice, leather, wood, musk — something in that realm — this fragrance is different. It is very clean, slightly citrusy, and ever so slightly green.
I've been wearing this perfume a lot because it's light enough to be non-offensive to coworkers but interesting enough to keep me coming back.
I have been a strong proponent of rose as a fragrance for years. They can be so much more than that distinctive plastic perfume scent that wafts off someone and chokes you a bit as you walk by.
This is a beautiful and simple fragrance. This scent is fresh cut roses and a good cup of strong black tea. Simple as that. It is delicious, classy, and is a fragrance I can see myself wearing for years and years to come.
This scent surprises me every time I give it a whiff. It starts off with the mint, which I find to be totally refreshing, especially for a body wash. After the mint, you get the black tea, a light spiciness and a creamy wood.
I've been very into minty body washes this year because they really wake me up and get me feeling energized. The tea note in this makes it a far better choice for spring and summer than the Christmassy peppermint body wash I was using.
The Body Shop has a whole host of products in this line that you can use if you want to smell like green tea without smelling like you just brewed a big ol' pot of the stuff and jumped in it. The scent, for me, is very soothing and subtle.
It's like green tea, but it's also creamy and almost a tad citrusy. This would be a good one if you just want to dip your toes into a tea fragrance, and there are so many ways to do it. They even have a bath tea if you are really into it.
OK, so this one may be a little bit of an oddball to add to this line-up, but hear me out. Tea has a lot of antioxidants, which we already know are good for your skin. This serum from Fresh is packed full of them in a moisturizing base. I've been using this serum before my regular moisturizer, and although I haven't noticed any firming, which isn't too surprising for my skin, it has been so moisturized. And yes, it does smell like black tea.