Today Mr. Colombina and I celebrate our fifth anniversary (and they said it wouldn’t last!). To make today’s post a little bit special, we decided to review a scent together. So this is our Review for Two of Tea for Two. The review proves that in the Encyclopedia of Marriage, under the entry Opposites Attract, should be our picture.
I WOULD WEAR THIS FRAGRANCE WHEN…
Hell freezes over. And even then only if the fate of the free world depended on it … a gun was at my head … and Allah had 72 virgins waiting for me.
It’s way too “girlie” for me for one thing. And for another, it didn’t smell a thing like tea to me. Perhaps I was too locked in on anticipating REAL tea … Tetley, Red Rose, Lipton, PG Tips … you know … a “cuppa” … an “I’ll get the kettle on/cure-all” proper British cuppa tea!
I suppose I wouldn’t have been so disappointed if I had opened my mind and nostrils to the world of faux teas … IE herbal teas, green teas, fruit teas that never taste like fruit … and all those other “Oh aren’t we so posh” teas that nobody REALLY enjoys drinking but enjoys being SEEN drinking.
So you can keep your Earl Grays, Darjeeling’s, and your Raspberry Royale, and your I even think there’s one called “Camel Meal” … and bring me a proper cuppa. And while you are at it … a proper fragrance that smells like a proper cuppa.
Girlie? GIRLIE? Tea for Two has always seemed firmly unisex to me, with even perhaps just a tiny little hint of being on a masculine side, but OK. It is a shame though that Mr. Colombina disliked it so much…There I was, planning for both of us to wear it on our next holiday together…With it’s warm spices and the smoky, honeyed undertone, Tea For Two strikes me as a very autumnal fragrance. I would love to wear it during a romantic getaway in fall, in an old, small town, somewhere in Europe. Mr. C and I would walk the cobblestone streets, have fantastic meals in small taverns, and get very romantic at night…all the while wafting the double sillage of Tea For Two…But I guess, given his feelings towards this scent, this fantasy is not meant to come true…
I THINK THIS FRAGRANCE IS COMPARABLE TO…
Potpourri. Not that I have any clue what potpourri smells like, or is used for, or any intrinsic value it serves other than to demonstrate that women will spend their money on anything if it’s packaged well and their friends have also spent money on it.
So I say potpourri … which in French means, “over-priced basket of dead leaves” … in the sense of … well it has a (indefinable) smell alright but … so what.
Smoky, rubbery lapsang souchong with a dash of cinnamon and more than a dash of ginger. Warm, but not heavy, bracing, but not harsh, this is one of my most favorite tea scents, one of my favorite L’Artisan perfumes and an overall favorite…All of which makes me wonder, how many of the perfumes I adore and often wear smell disagreeable to Mr. Colombina. Since he has never once complained when I had worn Tea for Two, it means that a) he is reluctant to express his dislike in fear of emotional and other sorts of repercussions; b) the scent smells much better on me; or c) as I don’t ever overapply, he never notices what perfume I wear and is not interested enough to go out of his way and find out. Of the three scenarios, the third seems to be the most likely.
IT REMINDS ME OF…
Something my mother would wear. Now I must state that although much different from my own, I recognize that my mother has her own sense of style. Then again, so does Rip Taylor.
There is something innately old-fashioned about this fragrance. I suppose it could come back, in a retro-way. But I would welcome that about as much as a Flock of Seagulls reunion tour.
Golden foliage, rich, ornamented fabrics, warm, exotic drinks, expensive cigars smoked in a library of an English mansion, crooked lanes of Krakow, Budapest and Oxford, cozy, loved-up days and passionate nights… Tea for Two to me is a perfect example of a truly “niche” perfume, elegantly exotic, off-beat, and very modern.
MY FIRST REACTION TO IT WAS…
Again, I was expecting TEA for two. If you brought me a cup of tea that smelled like this, it would be like bringing me a beer with a lemon wedge stuffed into the bottle. It’s just wrong!
Perfume makers, like tea makers and beer makers, ought to realize that sometimes they do get it right and should just leave well enough alone … rather than adding “complimentary” dashes of this or that.
I mean would the world end if suddenly cinnamon disappeared? It’s time to stop adding extracts of this and a hint of that and just bring me tea … with the bag still in the mug thank you … two sugars and a splash of milk … the way the world is supposed to be.
When I first smelled Tea for Two, the words “embalming fluid” swam up to the surface of my horrified mind. I wondered why on earth someone would want to make a perfume that smelled so vile and who on earth would wear it. Fast forward to about a year ago…I don’t know what changed, perhaps my nose has matured, perhaps my perfume-weirdness threshold has become much higher, to the point that hardly anything bar the most disgusting (waves to Secretions Magnifique!) repulses me anymore…but whereas before Tea for Two was nose-burningly sharp and had a disturbing medicinal undertone, these days it is one of my favorite comfort scents, rich, warm, slightly honeyed, gently smoky and enveloping.
My own past experience with Tea for Two makes me hope that one day Mr. Colombina will learn to appreciate it too and will love to wear it… There are also ways to speed the process. Those wily ways consist of lots of flattery, hints that The Scent really, really turns you on, lingering glances that seem to promise things of which he doesn’t dare to dream, lots of eyelash-batting, stockings, a couple of shots of tequila, repeat for a whole week, and voila! Instead of wrinkling his nose and grumbling about “potpourri” and “something burning”, the male suddenly finds himself strangely attracted to a previously disliked fragrance and is eager to wear it every single night. After liberally spraying himself with The Scent, he will linger next to you, making sure you notice that he is wearing The Scent. If your excitement is not apparent and no flattering comments are forthcoming, he will remark, in a very specific tone of voice, with his eyebrow doing that James-Bond-y thing that it does, that he is wearing The Scent. At which point you shrug your shoulders and say, good for you, honey!
WEARING IT MAKES ME FEEL…
Switching to this from my usual favorites (Quorum, Stetson, and thanks to Colombina’s efforts – Yatagan) would be like trading in my Steve Young jersey for a flowery moo-moo.
This scent is to fragrances what REO Speedwagon was to rock ‘n’ roll. It has all the hipness of an “Up With People” concert.
It is in a word … testosternicide.
Warm, comforted, très sophisticated, slightly bohemian…
On this, the fifth anniversary of Colombina becoming my wife (and though waning, I still suspect she did so having lost a bet with her friends) … I am thankful and blessed and content. Colombina can lose herself in a world of scents that is her own, whilst I (her scentless husband) playfully mock it. But I respect not only her passion for fragrance but the right she has to have her space, her realm, separate from me. I think it’s one of the reason’s our marriage is strong … in that we’ve become one … without losing our senses of self.
Our love has been blessed and made perpetual, with the life we’ve created together … for ourselves … and the actual life we created together… our darling daughter (and future perfumista) T ... she is our “T for Two!”
Colombina … I love you!
Oh you, old mushy. Thank you for tolerating my obsession and for almost voluntarily playing along. I wouldn’t swap you for a bottle of Djedi. And trust me, that means more than “I love you”.