Don’t let the cheapness, the incredibly yellow juice, or the straightforwardness of the name put you off buying this perfume. I f you want a soliflore—and sometimes nothing else will do, Tea Rose is right on the mark. It smells exactly like a tea rose, and there’s not much more to say, beyond that it is lovely, big, and bloomy, and fabulous. My husband loves this perfume on me, because it reminds him, as he says, of pure happiness, of the feelings he felt when we first began dating (for the first time around). When pressed for more details, he says it reminds him of me naked under my red silk embroidered Chinese robe, pouring tea for him the morning after, and a particularly good shower with me in my old rickety garret apartment in Missoula….enough said. No wonder he gets so excited when I wear it.
But I won’t wear it all the time, nor am I eager to make it a ‘signature’ scent, as much as I know he would love that, because I find it to be, well, onedimensional. I mean this in the best of ways, of course. When rose and nothing else but rose will do, Tea Rose is your girl. But complex she is not. I find her fabulous as a layerer—I like to rub on some solid woody balm like Zents Earth or Pacifica’s Sandalwood and then spritz Tea Rose over the top. That is always a fun experiment, because the rose will float over the top of the deeper scents, and really shine.
I also kind of dig the packaging. It feels sort of art deco Seventies in the coolest of ways, and I love it for that. That’s what I was in my younger days. A hippie who loved old things and thought she hated perfume. Who would only wear something that smelled like ‘the real thing.’ I identified with Tea Rose, with its aesthetic, with its cheapness, with everything about it. I have changed, and my tastes have become more complex, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this, the first perfume I fell in love with, and I will certainly always have a spot for it on my shelf.