Thursday, 7 February 2013

Persolaise Review: Tea For Two from L'Artisan Parfumeur (Olivia Giacobetti; 2000)

I have no problem at all with the fact that brands need to streamline their portfolios every now and then, but I confess I wanted to curse the gods of scent when I discovered that Tea For Two would be discontinued. For several years, Olivia Giacobetti's unique composition has been a reliable companion. It never disappoints when I want to smell an olfactory representation of a strong cuppa. It reminds me of the importance of delicate, house-of-cards balancing acts in perfume composition. And it suggests that there are still a few interesting avenues that could be explored in the land of orientals. With its lapsang smokiness, chai spices and good old Twinings bitterness (served on a base of restrained vanillic notes) it makes a compelling brew, as enjoyable as it is unusual. It's no longer available at L'Artisan boutiques, but as it was only recently deleted, there should still be plenty of bottles available online. How to get one's hands on them - given the recent tightening of air mail rules - is another matter!

[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette obtained in 2012.]


  1. Oh, me too. I'm in mourning. This one was really my introduction to the magic of perfume - how anyone could conjure up autumn and bonfire smoke in a bottle. I'd wandered into the shop in Covent Garden and the lovely sales assistant recommended it when I said I liked tea notes. It was love at first sniff. Why, why must they discontinue it...?

    1. Annie, thanks for your comment.

      I can't speak for L'Artisan, but I guess they need to find some kind of balance between keeping their total number of scents manageable, retaining a few favourites and, of course, making a profit. It's inevitable that every now and then, a few beloved creations have to go. And this isn't a new development. L'Artisan and other brands have discontinued scents all the time... scents which many people aren't even aware existed now.

      Personally, I'm pleased that I've got a back up bottle of Tea For Two :-)

  2. I had it a few years ago and never smelled anything like tea in it, just pipe tabacco, incense and ash. Gave it away about half way down. Sad to see it discontinued though.

    1. Hi, Kev. No hint of lapsang at all?

      Yes, it's a shame it's gone. It was pretty unique.

  3. Yes; I don't understand it. It's rather like Chanel deciding that, y'know, that No. 5 thing has been around a long time and surely it's time for something else to occupy its space on the shelves. What the bleep are they thinking?!

    Ah, well. As long as it doesn't decay, my bottle is probably a lifetime's worth; given the size of my collection, I doubt that I'll ever finish a bottle again.

    1. Martha, thanks for your comment. Sorry to be contrary, but I'm not sure your analogy stands up. If Tea For Two had been anywhere near as successful as No 5, there's no way L'Artisan would've dropped it. Sadly, TFT hasn't been a big seller for them of late, unlike Nuit De Tubereuse and the perennially popular Mure & Musc and Chasse Aux Papillons.

      Thank goodness we've all got our back-up bottles :-)


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