I love oolong tea. It is one of my favorite varieties of tea and it can smell like so many things from roasted chestnuts to a lilac, it has a lot of variation. So when Bvlgari announced they were adding Eau Parfumee au The Bleu to their tea lineup of scents and that it was inspired by the scent of oolong I was excited and apprehensive because oolong is a tea that can be so varied. In my imagination I hoped they might approach the beautiful variety of oolong known as Ti Kwan Yin. I then looked at the list of notes and my apprehension of what this perfume would smell like went up considerably: shiso, lavender, iris. These are not notes you find in oolongs, oolongs are not particularily herbal, but rather more often play with florals, stone fruits, and nutty malty notes.
So I finally got to try Eau Parfumee au The Bleu and I had two thoughts 1) this is not an oolong scent and 2) this is quite nice. I think I need to address the first thought which is that Eau Parfumee au The Bleu is not the scent of oolong, in fact I would say it is more akin to a really good quality earl grey tea with lavender. Yet, here is my number one beef with tea scents they invariably say that they are the scent of "green tea" when in fact most are the scent of black tea and more akin to the lovely and aromatic Darjeeling tea. Go smell a qood quality green tea with no flavors added and what you have is most often a very green vegetal scent maybe some roastiness but not a scent akin to what we call the scent of "tea" in perfume. Bizarrely what happens when a black tea is referenced in a perfume what they actually mean is the scent of smoky lapsang souchong, a Chinese black tea, that is literally smoked.
The thing about The Bleu's iris is it is a more intense and ample iris, the earthiness of the shiso and violet making it far stronger than Infusion d'Iris. In fact it may be an excellent perfume for lovers of Infusion d'Iris who do not like the current reformulation or have often wanted a more intense iris note. Eau Parfumee au The Bleu is an easy fresh powdery scent that uses shiso and lavender to elevate the a cooling effect of iris that then lets the wearer move around in serenity, it is no oolong, but it is without a doubt a well made scent.
Try Eau Parfumee au The Bleu if you like Serge Luten's Gris Clair, Prada's Infusion d'Iris, or Atelier Cologne's Oolong Infini.
First image from www.nstperfume.com
Second Image Flotsam by Lisa Sorgini