I am in a completely jasmine mood at present.

Just the life force of it.

So on this beautiful hot sunny day with a delicious breeze, a set of unexpected perfumes from Hong Hong by new niche brand One Day, arriving in the mail including a perfect jasmine tea, could not have been more welcome.

There has been a series of Asiatic-themed perfumes I have reviewed on here recently, Le Jardin R’s Mousse Arashiyama, Meo Fusciuni’s dark and damp, Laotian- inspired Encore Du Temps, and the unusual green tea mint eucalyptus release by Art De Parfum, Kimono Vert. All have merits, but it is interesting to compare these Euro-hybrids with more authentic smelling tea perfumes from Hong Kong, where Chinese teas are a part of daily life at dim sum restaurants and the like, and there is perhaps, I would imagine, a higher degree of verisimilitude needed to outfox the tea connoisseur doubters.

Local tea masters, presented with the olfactory mirages of their work, will probably be pretty accepting of this collection.

Jasmine Tea is especially lovely. Although usually I am not a fan of clary sage as a note, here it is used very cleverly with an extract of Tieguayin tea; the tannic tang of the tea essence married deliciously with the abundant sambac jasmine and a delicate vetiver musk. Less soapy and peculiarly indolic than L’Artisan Parfumeur’s (not dissimilar) Tea For A Summer; less hardcore, overbrewed oolong than Kilian’s comparable Imperial Tea (which I adore), this is a lighter, more harmonious iteration that I am going to wear when I go out to Sakuragicho later today.

Osmanthus Tea ( more romantic ) is similarly well-blended, with a gentle, poetic ease: a full osmanthus flower – very realistic – with some jasmine, oolong tea leaves and vetiver; far more in tune with itself and softly seamless than the Hermes’ Osmanthe Yunnan, for instance, which for me always had a sharp, apricot/orange twist that was momentarily uncomfortable in its too overtly watercoloured base. This osmanthus is dreamier and full; but light at the same time. I took the sample bottles round to a Japanese friend’s house round the corner from ours immediately after they arrived this morning, and both the jasmine and osmanthus smelled quite beautiful on her – serenely sensual; my skin bringing more of a sobriety.

Moving on from the floral, the more masculine, or at least androgynous, teas in this collection include Pu’er, a much woodier proposition than the Jasmine or the osmanthus : (cedarwood, cypress, patchouli, incense and vetiver blended with pu’er tea leaves):

” Brew and pour the aged water anti-clockwise, breathe the moment, reverse time. Remember when the tea was new, when we still wrote letters, when it tasted fresh, bitter, and left a sweet aftertaste”

-which I will need to try later at more leisure, possibly on D, to discover its rootier depths; initial impressions are warm, aromatic, if less overtly tea-like ; while

Oolong tea is quite the opposite: a much bolder, more symphonically experimental proposition that smells of very rich oolong tea: wheaty; piquant with smokier undertones (vetiver, tonka bean, similar perhaps in texture to Mona Di Orio’s Bohea Boheme but less medicinal) all layered on a richer, jasmine honeyed heart and a bright bergamot (and again, clary sage effusion), the whole making you slightly pucker and wince while being simultaneously seduced. Though definitely the oddest, Oolong Tea is in some ways the most erotic of the four tea scents presented here, as

the ‘clear bitter brown twists an aftertaste in your mouth….. ; between the trees, scent of tea and beans waves in from the quiet Japanese courtyard in a tranquil Taipei alley. The sun beams through the papered window; under the aged wood, the flow of hot water brews dried tea leaf into astringency”.

As a relevant aside, we have only ever been to Hong Kong once: a quarter of a century ago or so, when it was probably a completely different place.

I remember being dazzled by the lights at night from Victoria Peak as we sat drinking sparkling wine in a park garden ; the utter deliciousness of Peking Duck in a traditional restaurant packed to the rafters: gawping at all the locals and all the noise at the amazing banquets from those lovely round revolving tables. The Chungking Express apartments, in Kowloon. But I don’t think we ever went to a Chinese tea house in the short time that we were there.

A situation that one day might have to be rectified.

In Hong Kong.

Many moons ago


Filed under Flowers


  1. I read this and thought – ooh yes, I must have some jasmine today! So I have doused myself in La Via del Profumo’s Tawaf, and I mean literally doused because I fumbled the bottle stopper and poured most of my sample over myself. I smell bloody lovely now though!

  2. I love tea and I enjoy tea scents. I also enjoyed your photos and more particularly the photos of you.

    • A different lifetime…. I am not one for too many old photos but I happened to remember that D unearthed these the other day and they happened to be in Hong kong.

      These are nice – the only problem being that when I went out I actually felt as though I WERE jasmine oolong, a walking teabag

  3. Tea is my breakfast and afternoon tipple of choice. Love it.
    Jasmine Tea is the one I’d love to try out of this line up. Glad to here it suffers less of the peculiar indoles then Tea for Summer.
    Young Mr Chapman looks particularly beguiled by the hubbub of Hong Kong. I have only been through the Hong Kong airport a half dozen times, but never the actual city. It has the 70s dusty dowdiness as previously observed across Asia. I do wonder how the Hong Kong dim sum palaces compare to the San Francisco genre. The Hong Kong Flower Lounge on Geary in SF is fabulous!

    • What a wonderful idea. I loved San Francisco..

      HK definitely had a dustiness, as you say – Japan is more gleaming – but the young Chapman was definitely beguiled by it all as you noted. D too. It’s funny since corona and not going anywhere new (but just going deeper into the places we do know): all these adventures in fabulous cities almost feel dreamlike.

      As for the perfume, the oolong note is quite potent with the jasmine, which is why I find it intriguing – the kind of scent you could walk into a cocktail party in summer and really dazzle people with

  4. Hanamini

    Lovely photos. My first stop in HK was on the way to Japan (where I ended up staying), in the days when you had to do it that way from Europe. I remember all the vivid sights and smells, but even after many other trips there, Japan held the enduring mystery. I’d love to try these three fragrances out. Osmanthe Yunnan had the same effect on me, too sharp. As for jasmine, my heart belongs to Fueguia’s Amalia, which I picked up in a Tokyo hotel lobby where they stocked the entire range, and Lutens’ A La Nuit; I think I maybe haven’t tried enough jasmines, as I haven’t moved on from those. My stomach, meanwhile, just loves Pu-Erh tea, its deep and almost mouldy rooty mulch—cuts right through those heavy meals. One of those foods you can just feel doing you good, like artichokes and celeriac.

  5. Robin

    You and Duncan are gorgeous here!

  6. Oh, how I miss Hong Kong. I truly left my heart there, although I am sure it is a very different place now. I am highly intrigued by these fragrances though, especially the Osmanthus Tea. I just adore osmanthus so much, I cannot get enough of it. I hope I will be able to find someone who stocks these here so I can send for samples, especially for the summer.
    I adore the photos of both of you in your youmger days, how carefree you both look.

    • I liked that aspect as well – we look very youthful and unburdened!

      I think you might enjoy the Osmanthus tea actually : it is not complex at all, but if you like this flower and you like the smell of oolong tea, I know you would find a place for it.

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