Although I don’t wear them very often, I am quite fond of tea-based fragrances and have several in my collection: Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert in both eau de toilette and Extrême, L’Occitane’s innocuous Thé Vert in parfum solide (good for dabbing on sultry August work days); Roger & Gallet’s refreshing, summery Thé Vert, and a small bottle of the delightful Imperial Tea by Kilian – to me, one of the best tea perfumes you can buy.





Tea perfumes have a gentle, neutralizing effect on the senses. An ease of spirit, if not quite of passion, they have a delicate, androgynous, appeal: distancing, aloof: a sly and beguiling ‘gentrification’, almost, of the spirit.





And only the gentry of Tokyo will be able to afford, surely, Creed’s latest release from their ‘Acqua Original’ series, Asian Green Tea, due to debut here in Japan next month (it is already available elsewhere), a perfume I smelled with curiosity yesterday at Ginza’s swankily luxuriant Hankyu Men’s Department Store, as the arch, fashionable, and brand-obsessed metrosexual population milled about the crowded store with the usual dismissive swishes of hair and chin this bustling national holiday weekend.




What I can’t entirely understand with this new perfume is the price: 42,000 yen (on the way to 400 dollars: it sounds cheaper in sterling) for 100ml. Creed was surely already upping the ante price-wise with its recent, extravagantly price-tagged ‘Royal Exclusives’ line (which I must admit did include the subtle and delicious Vanille Sublime, a perfume I would very much like to have in my possession if I could afford the eye-popping seven hundred dollar price tag for a beautiful, 250ml flacon of the stuff). This new fragrance is even more expensive per ml, though – an outrage almost – and, to be honest, I can’t really find any objective justification for the price hike beyond greed.





It is quite nice. A green tea variant on the plum-themed Acqua Fiorentina ( I find them quite similar), Asian Green Tea features the usual Creedian, steely metallic ambergris, the familiarly silvery florals (rose, violet, heliotrope), as well as a sheer and refreshing top accord of bergamot, mandarin, lemon and neroli. The green tea note is prominent, sensual (combined in the base of the perfume with a lick of sandalwood and musk), and the whole is pleasing, fruité, if not quite stunning – although I can easily imagine the person this matches – someone clean, perfectly groomed and self-assured – smelling quite magnetic and stylish in its firm and delicate embrace.






The name, though. So generic: so obviously led by market research and hopes of expansion into the ‘luxury Asian markets’ of Japan, China and elsewhere: so pinpointed to the Stilettoed, Moneyed Doyennes Of The Eastern Capitals, their Gucci pant suits, their gleaming white smartphones.




‘Asian Green Tea’ is a name that is just too bland and race-specific for my own tastes (what do you think of it? And what could be up next in the line: ‘Caucasian Sausage Platter?’ ‘Pan-African Coconut’?). For me, there is no beauty in that name. The scent, also, though enjoyably translucently floral and well blended, somehow doesn’t quite get there either. It is OK. But for that amount of money, I’m afraid, I need poetry.




Filed under Tea


  1. Sun Mi

    I’ve never smelled a Creed fragrance, but the price tag sounds absurd and the name even worse. Why the need specify Asian? I can’t place why, but to me (half asian), it feels inauthentic and degrading for reasons I can’t exactly place. Are they hoping to pander to an Asian audience? If so, it’s offensive that Creed thinks (wealthy) Asians are so self-obsessed and materialistic that they’ll pony up the excessive dough for a perfume labeled Asian. And for everyone else… Is it just annoying that “yellow-fever” has been brought to the world of perfume? Or is the problem really that the name is just so simplistic, stupid and ugly that it’s loathesome. I’m not sure.

    I do, however, really like tea scents and am curious to try some of the others on your list!

    • A very interesting reaction. I also wasn’t quite comfortable with the name, but hearing from an Asian person consolidates my feeling that there is something quite off about it.

      • Sun Mi

        You know, another thing that irks me is that green tea may trace its roots to China, but today green tea is enjoyed worldwide. It would make sense if characteristically there was something different about “Asian” green tea as opposed to the green tea drank by the rest of the world – but I highly doubt that there are noteworthy differences. It’s not as though the east drinking their green tea plain and ‘west’ is drinking their green tea with milk and sugar – obviously aside from green tea lattes, which are enjoyed in Asia too. So there is just no purpose in adding the word Asian to the name.

  2. The name in and of itself is enough to keep me from wanting to try this. The price would be next, such audacity is vile and déclassé.
    Mind you I do own numerous Creed scents, including one of the large private stock bottles; I purchased all in Paris years ago, when the change rate was lovely. I enjoy the scents very much, but there has been nothing released in recent history that could ever merit their ludicrous prices.
    Lastly, I am also sickened by thus pandering to the Asian market by all these luxury companies. There is a way to introduce products, rather than trying to be greedy about it.
    Creed is just not the fragrance house I once enjoyed and this proves without any doubt where they are focused and that is just profit. But, I am sure someone, with enough money to trouble them, will be thrilled to purchase this.

    • I don’t doubt that either, especially in Ginza.

      Which Private Blend do you have by the way? I love Fleurs De The Bulgare and Angelique Encens.

      Your perfume collection sounds fabulous.

      • Thank you, the collection is quite expansive. I have, for private blends, Angelique Encens and the rest are from the normal collection. I do own 5 other scents from the regular collection also. I always enjoyed the Fleurs de The Bulgare but could never justify spending the money for it.

  3. I guess this could be summed up in “two” words: “Greedy Creedy”.

  4. Perhaps Creed is still capitalizing on the supposed rumor or fact that Princess Diana’s wedding scent was Creed’s Fleurissimo.

  5. Or perhaps Creed is trying to “shanghai” us–not meet us in Shangai.

  6. For the record, I am not trying to “defame” Creed…I actually own a couple of their scents, including Fluerissimo. However, I always thought they were overpriced and although I did not agree with it, accepted it when their fragrances were worn by royalty (not that royalty is any better than the rest of us, but they are able to rest on their “royals” unlike the rest of us). Although I haven’t purchased a Creed fragrance for quite some time, it now seems like they are way over the top and among the top–price-wised at least.

  7. It has been several years since I’ve purchased a Creed and did not know that they had halved the bottle sizes beside the double prices.

  8. Nocturnes

    I’ll pass….price tag alone…..
    It irks me when perfume companies suddenly decide to raise the profit margin…
    no 22 was one of my all time favorite perfumes but I haven’t worn it since it became an exclusive…years ago it could be bought as an EDT in a generic department store for under fifty dollars…..and, being pre- reformulation, it was a thousand times better than what I sampled recently in that massive and expensive bottle with the magnet cap….

      • Nocturnes

        After perusing through the Lucky Scents website today I was floored by the prices of the perfumes these days! Small 50ml bottles selling for close to two hundred dollars! In a way I am glad have given up on keeping up with all the new releases and perfume buying hysteria! One could literally bankrupt oneself!

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