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Tea Perfumes

Tea was used as a medicinal herb in the years BC. During the Tang period, it spread throughout China as a popular beverage. It first reached Europe in the 16th century when green tea was brought from Japan to the Netherlands. It spread to Britain and then in the 18th century from Britain to its colonies. In 1838 the first Indian tea from Assam was sent to England for public sale. Europeans preferred black tea to green tea and today black tea is the most commonly consumed form of tea in the world. The marked was monopolized by China but after the Opium Wars, European countries turned to Japan. By the beginning of the 20th century, tea cultivation was taken over by India and Ceylon. There are many tea-growing regions in India but most of the tea comes from three regions – Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri. Green tea was somewhat relegated to the shadows by black tea which was better suited for Western tastes. By the 1990s green tea became more popular due to the health boom and Japanese food boom.


A tea note in perfume is a subtle note. Various types of tea notes are used for fragrance including green tea, black tea, roobois and mate and are most often paired with notes that are normally associated with actual tea drinking including citrus notes of bergamot or yuzu and floral notes such as jasmine and lavender. They are also paired with gourmand notes such as vanilla, honey and spices like ginger.


Jo Malone did a set of tea fragrances and added three additional fragrances to layer with their scents. The Sweet Milk, Sweet Lemon and Fresh Mint Leaf paired perfectly with their Assam & Grapefruit and Earl Grey & Cucumber scents.


Types of tea notes include yerba mate or mate (green and herbaceous), rooibos (red, warm with a fruity heart note and distinct honey tones), green tea (Asian gourmand with slightly sweet apricot note) and black tea (deeper and strongest of the tea notes but not as bitter and dry as the beverage with slight apricot-citrus notes).