2017. Seems like such a long time ago now, doesn’t it? Almost a different world. In fragrance terms, we remember it well for the release of one of our favourite tea scents, Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT.
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We weren’t the only ones to be taken with it and the EDT turned out to be a big hit for the American beauty brand. So, of course, expectations were high when Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDP was released rather quietly in 2022 (it’s only gathering momentum now).
Is it another winner? Several flankers have joined the original so we give our quick thoughts on those too. And recommend other perfumes with a tea vibe. Read our Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDP Review to find out more.
Scent Notes (According to the Brand)
Italian mandarin, sea breeze accord, clary sage (top); white tea accord, mate absolute, upcycled rose water, jasmine petals (heart); tonka bean absolute, trio of tranquillity musks, amberwood (base).
Surrounded by women who loved the classics from Lancôme, Caron and Lanvin, Mexico-born Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s childhood memories of perfumes and the many conversations they sparked eventually led him to the renowned perfumery school ISIPCA in Versailles, France.
An internship with the legendary Jean-Claude Ellena taught him many things, which he still applies to his work today. “He taught to formulate in such a way that every single raw material has a function, even though he’s a minimalist and I am not,” says the perfumer.
The 1998 release Clinique Happy EDT (co-created with Jean-Claude Delville) kick-started his fine fragrance career in a major way.
Twenty-five years later, Rodrigo Flores-Roux can count all these creations, among others, as his achievements: Donna Karan Black Cashmere EDP (2002); John Varvatos EDT (2004); Britney Spears Hidden Fantasy EDP (2008); Calvin Klein cK Free For Men EDT (2009); Houbigant Fougère Royale EDT (2010 reformulation); Juicy Couture Peace, Love & Juicy Couture EDP (2010); Tom Ford Neroli Portofino EDP (2011); Arquiste Anima Dulcis EDP (2012); Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale EDP (2014); Carolina Herrera Herrera Tuberose EDP (2015); Commodity Leather EDP (2017); Estée Lauder Paradise Moon EDP (2021); and Dolce & Gabbana The One Gold For Men EDP Intense (2021).
He’s also created several other EDTs for the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea range, including Summer (2005), Exotic (2009), Yuzu (2014) and Sakura Blossom (2021).
So you could say the New York-based senior perfumer and vice-president of fragrance creation at Givaudan is well-versed in the style of the brand.
“White Tea celebrates the pleasure of a life finely crafted. Discover the simple joy of defining a moment for yourself and savouring the personal reflection that comes with it. Tailor the world to your own private pleasure.
“Bottle the spirit, add a touch of serenity, and enjoy. White Tea invites you to share in the beauty that surrounds you every day.”– Elizabeth Arden Website
Packaging & Presentation
The recyclable White Tea bottle gets a satin white and satin matte gold cap look. So elegant in its simplicity. The box it comes in is FSC certified.
It starts out all fresh and light, with a combo of clary sage, a sea breeze accord (a subtle treatment, for those of who you break out into a sweat at the mere mention of anything aquatic) and Italian mandarin.
The perfumer’s skills are evident as the warmth of the white tea accord comes through (FYI: Camellia sinensis leaf extract, obtained from the leaves of tea, is featured on the ingredients list). Its milkiness is given floral touches of jasmine and rose water (the latter is now increasingly upcycled as an ingredient). The tea effect is enhanced by the herbaceousness of maté absolute. This note can be bitter; here it balances the delicate sweetness.
There’s lots of musk (that would be the “trio of tranquillity musks” listed in the official notes) and a hint of vanilla-ish tonka bean in the drydown.
Now’s a good time to mention that Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDP utilises Givaudan’s patented VivaScentz technology. We all know that fragrance has mood-enhancing qualities and this “innovation” we quote “is a design tool allowing perfumers to create compositions that will enhance well-being, based on the understanding of the link between fragrances and wellbeing”.
We contacted the perfumer to explain the workings of this technology but hadn’t heard from him as deadline loomed (understandably, he’s a busy man.)
Fortunately, all we really need to know is that Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDP delivers all that it promises with consummate ease: refreshment, calmness and relaxation. And who doesn’t need that right now?
Apart from the white tea accord and musk, none of the notes is particularly prominent, yet they all contribute to the overall effect.
As an EDP, it costs a fraction more than the original White Tea EDT. It’s not a reinvention of our favourite but has more depth and definition.
Who Would Like It?
Anyone (and that includes men too) looking for a spot of relaxation via a crowd-friendly scent.
Where to Wear It
This is versatile+, especially in spring and summer, so wear it wherever and whenever you want a sense of upliftment. With its feel-good pWomaroperties, it’s also the perfect fragrance to wear to bed. (If you don’t already do this, we beseech you do so NOW!)
Similar Fragrances to Consider
A spritz of tea, anyone? Please get comfortable as we take you through other great options, depending on your budget.
Let’s start with the pocket-friendly Elizabeth Arden Green Tea EDT (1999), Berdoues Assam of India EDP (2015) and Calvin Klein CK Everyone EDT (2020).
Bvlgari has the honour of starting the tea fragrance trend. From the Italian luxury jewellery brand, there’s the pioneering and still-so-good Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert Eau de Cologne (1992), plus Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc (2003), Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge (2006), Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu (2015) and Eau Parfumée au Thé Noir (2015) from the same range.
Not all niche options are expensive, for example, L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two EDT (2000). But you can expect to pay significantly more for Creed Silver Mountain Water EDP (1995), Kilian Bamboo Harmony EDP (2012), Le Labo Thé 29 EDP (2015), Nishane Wūlóng Chá Extrait de Parfum (2015) and Memo Winter Palace EDP (2019).
Oh, we almost forgot these two beauties from the French luxury goods company: Hermès Eau de Citron Noir Eau de Cologne (2018) and Hermès L’Ombre des Merveilles EDP (2020).
Quick Guide to the White Tea Range
All these releases give the winning formula a different spin on the white tea accord theme, with musky aplenty in the drydown.
Inspired by the simple pleasure of a cup of tea, the opening of this Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Guillaume Flavigny and Caroline Sabas co-creation is a fresh ’n breezy mix of aquatic and mandarin notes, with musky sage in the background. The gently milky white tea accord is given powdery (iris) and herbal (maté) accents. Concluding with the warmth of musks and woods, it’s as good as we remember it when we tried it for the first time in 2017.
The first of two flankers that were released simultaneously. Guillaume Flavigny and Rodrigo Flores-Roux add fresh ’n fruity touches of red currant, pear blossom, rose and peony to the white tea blend, with just the right amount of sweetness.
A richer, warmer, sweeter, almost gourmand-y take on the motif with marked notes of vanilla orchid, gardenia, jasmine and vanilla. A creamy and chic Gil Clavien composition.
Gil Clavien keeps it fresh, warm and inviting with sunny notes of mandarin orange, orange blossom, jasmine and osmanthus.
Transitions from fresh citrus notes of orange, bergamot and neroli to the warmth of ginger and ginger lily blossom. Uplifting spice and all things nice.
We were just savouring our EDP version and this new addition makes an appearance. The distinctive sweet tones of blood orange meets the greenery of lily-of-the-valley (the captive molecule Mahonial). More aquatic than the others. Super fresh.
Richard Goller is a fragrance and grooming blogger. His blog is called Fragroom. A senior editor with 20 years' experience, his blog allows him to combine two of his passions: engaging content and the always-intriguing world of fragrances. When he isn't blogging, you'll find Richard indulging in his newly found passion for balcony gardening.