What's commendable about Bulgari's tea scents isn't so much that they offer a literal representation of the smell of the drink - which, to varying degrees, they all do - but that they evoke the air of world-shunning refinement - the sense of pausing all activities for a biscuit and a brew - that ought to mark every tea-drinking ritual. Even though, so far, each of the fragrances in the series has brought a slightly different sensibility to the table - the original, trend-setting Vert (1993) is friendly, Blanc (2003) is romantic and Rouge (2005) is energising - they all know the correct way to hold a cup and saucer. I'm pleased to report that the latest colour to be invited to the soirée - Daniela Andrier's Bleu - also performed well at its finishing school. Here, alongside the much-copied green tea accord, lapsang and iris contribute a dry, but not haughty elegance, an unforced murmur of sophistication. The requisite citruses are present, but they never attract undue attention to themselves. And the woods in the base are as cool as they are subtle. The result is the most tranquil member of the set, a quiet, gentle conversationalist, preferring the occasional, sage interjection rather than a steady patter. And even if, towards the end, it starts projecting a thinness that makes you question whether it might have skipped the 'never overstay your welcome' classes at Villa Pierrefeu, it doesn't slips into being offensive. Somewhere, on a plush liner, Mrs Moore is passing a slice of lemon to Professor Godbole, and the scent surrounding them is not unlike that of Thé Bleu.
[Review based on a sample of eau de cologne provided by Bulgari in 2015.]