Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Perfumer's Workshop - Tea Rose

3D Rose

The Perfumer's Workshop released Tea Rose in either 1972 or 1975, depending on what sources you read. According to Sephora, in 1971, Perfumers Workshop International asked Jack Mowen of Firmenich to create a long-lasting rose fragrance that captured the scent of an entire rose garden, including the leaf and stem. The result was Tea Rose.

I can look at the notes of Tea Rose and suppose that the bergamot is providing brightness and lily of the valley is lending its greenness to the perfume, but really, the notes of Tea Rose are irrelevant. Tea rose is quite simply the most hyper-realistic rose you will ever smell in a perfume. Close you eyes and sniff this, and you are standing in front of a huge bouquet of fresh cut roses. The kind with real rose smell, not the gorgeous but odourless ones they sell now in florist shops. In Tea Rose, you can smell the soft creaminess of the petals, the green of the cut stems, and the woodiness of the thorns. It is amazing.

A word of caution, Tea Rose could just as easily be called Godzilla Rose - it has monster sillage and tenacity. Just the tiniest dab on my wrist was enough to have office neighbours inquire what the lovely smell was. And it lasts! After 48 hours, two showers and one bath, and the generous application of two other perfumes, I could still smell rose on my wrist. The other perfumes didn't stand a chance; eventually Tea Rose conquered them all.

Although my sample is vintage Eau de Parfum, Tea Rose still widely available online in EdT, and at very reasonable prices. If the EdT has any of the tenacity of the EdP, a bottle will last you for a long time.

Not everyone these days wants to smell like fresh roses. Many label rose as the dreaded "old lady perfume." I have to admit that I think of my grandmother, with her rose milk hand cream and sachets of dried petals in her drawers, when I smell Tea Rose. But I think we should take back the rose. This Valentines Day, wear Tea Rose, or give it to your beloved, instead of those soulless, smell-less, long-stem roses they sell at the shops. What could be more romantic than smelling like a real rose?

House: Perfumer's Workshop
Nose: Jack Mowen
Notes: bergamot, rose, lily, tuberose, sandalwood and amber

Photo: rose, Drew Avery
Photo: perfume bottle, mine.


  1. Absolutely agree -- this the most realistic rose perfume I've ever smelled. Quite a feat. And I got a 4 oz. bottle for all of 9.99. I almost never wear it outside the house, but I consider it a real comfort scent.

  2. Thanks Elisa! I just checked out your articles on Open Letters Monthly, They're very good, I'm going to add you to my reading list.

  3. Oh, thanks!! Glad you enjoyed them.

  4. I love Tea Rose - it's the most like Spring of any other perfume. My favorite is to layer it with Sur le Nil. This combo is the scent of Easter Day.

    The EDT has good staying power, but not quite the strength you describe in the EdP. A beauty nevertheless.

  5. I agree, it is a nostalgia scent, and I still enjoy it tremendously, I am glad it is still in production and so affordable. Truly a comfort scent. I love roses, and there are so many great ones, the Rosines, Paestum Rose, Voleur de Roses.

  6. I have always wondered what this perfume smells like. I often see it at the drugstore for a really tempting price (the EDT).
    Now that I know that it smells like "rose", I want it. I'm a fan of rose, old-fashioned, fruity, bready, all of them.

  7. Hi EauMG: I love rose too. I'm ashamed to say I used to say "I don't like rose. " Can you believe it? Now I adore it.

  8. I just ordered Tea Rose after an amazing review from YouTuber Katie Puckrik Smells. I ordered from Perfume.com, and surprisingly enough, they still have it in EDP-$12 for 2oz

    So if you all want the EDP it's still available. But now, knowing that the concentration and lasting power is insane, I'm a little afraid that I ordered the EDP!‏

  9. Hi Fraulein: I was working from a vintage sample of what I think is parfum extrait, so it may have been more powerful than what you get with the edp. But I hope you enjoy it.


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