The scent of black tea makes me smile; it can reset my mood from blah to cheerful. Any flavored version of black tea I enjoy tasting, I enjoy smelling, too, even in perfumes. Black tea mixes well with citrus (bergamot, orange, grapefruit, the "classic" lemon), spices, flowers (jasmine, rose), fruits (plum, apricot, peach, berries). Black tea can be sweet, bitter, fresh, or rich and smoky. In Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir, Bvlgari mixes a black tea accord with bergamot, rose, leather, oud, patchouli and vanilla.
Though I've tried Bvlgari's other Eau Parfumée perfumes — Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert, Eau Parfumée Au Thé Blanc, Eau Parfumée Au Thé Rouge, Eau Parfumée Au Thé Bleu — until recently, Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir was a stranger. I'm glad I discovered it since 1.) it's my favorite of the bunch and 2.) it's not for sale in the US (except via discounters). Of course! My favored scents always get reformulated, terminated or become hard to obtain (insert a whiny tone). As of this morning, Bvlgari's US website lists only Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert and Eau Parfumée Au Thé Blanc for purchase. I read about Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir in an online fashion magazine from Dubai and I ordered a 150 ml bottle, unsniffed.
Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir comes in cologne and intense cologne versions and trying to find a definitive list of fragrance notes for each is impossible (and, I guess, unnecessary given the unreliability of lists of perfume notes). Today I review the cologne version; it opens with a citrus and slightly floral black tea accord. Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir's smoky mate, leather/saffron and oud arrive next and I imagine sipping strong, caffeine-rich tea in a shop full of brand new leather goods. The final stage of Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir is a mélange — shy pink rose, merry (not pensive) oud, balmy patchouli, 'beige' musk and some sweetened black tea. Though Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir's list of fragrance notes sounds hefty and overpowering, its effect is not bulky, but gauzy and enlivening.
Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir is not diffusive; the scent stays close to the body. When I apply it, I make sure to get some of the cologne on my shirt or sweater, where all the perfume's facets stand out and last all day. This is a great year-round non-citrus cologne. If you've always wanted to like oud but found it too strident, medicinal and overwhelming, Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir may give you an oud you can enjoy. Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir was developed by perfumer Jacques Cavallier, who also created Eau Parfumée Au Thé Blanc and another sensational oud fragrance — Yves Saint Laurent M7.
On Bvlgari's French website all versions of the Eaux Parfumées are listed; Eau Parfumée Au Thé Noir Eau de Cologne is available in 75 (€82) and 150 ml ( €134).