Curtains blowing in the sea breeze, Sound of the ocean breeze, seashells, candles...
Perfume is having a white moment. From Alaia’s flanker ‘Blanche’ and Narcisco Rodriguez’s stunning scent ‘Narcisco’, perfume houses are embracing the trend for vanilla, white flowers and musk.
I didn’t think there were any other ways to create a classic white perfume, but I was wrong. Elizabeth Arden’s latest scent has taken its much-loved Green Tea scent and given it a white flanker. The aptly named ‘White Tea’ is meant to capture that refreshing combination of white tea vapours and sea breeze accord, before developing into the sweet smell of white iris, madras wood, tonka bean and musk.
I would say this scent is more of a lifestyle than a perfume. If that sounds a little strange, then bear with me. I used to know a woman who was the ultimate professional Aucklander. Beautifully turned out, she wore stylish clothes and I always wanted to look that effortlessly chic. She told me that she would only wear Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea perfume. Having never smelt it before, I asked if I could try a bit, because anything that inspired that level of devotion needed serious consideration. I realised when smelling it, that I had mistaken the smell of perfume for the scent of the woman. I had always thought that she smelt lovely, but it was a combination of factors – shampoo, soap, mixed with a discreet perfume, (I promise I don’t usually sit there sniffing my colleagues. This is making me sound a tad weird, but hey ho).In fact, what I took for a general smell of richness and sophistication, was indeed only one perfume.
So is the White Tea flanker just as good? Definitely. But it reminds me of a more Mediterranean version. The sea breeze accord is quite strong on my skin and brings with it little wafts of white flowers from a tropical garden. This is a perfume for the sophisticated Aucklander who is now relaxing at home after a day in the office, in a renovated villa next to the beach. If I close my eyes, I can pretend that I live in this house, snuggled up on a white sofa and draped in a grey fur throw, with a steaming mug of pure white tea.
This scent also comes in a rich hand cream and indulgent body cream. Personally I like the hand cream, as it’s a wonderful little luxury to slip into your handbag for those moments when you want to daydream at work. Not that I do that. Honest.
Helen Easson is a self-confessed beauty addict, with a particular weakness for beautiful perfumes. An international freelance writer and author; Helen lives in Auckland, New Zealand.