Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Rouge (Red Tea) fragrance review

Bvlgari Red Tea The Rouge perfumeEau Parfumée au Thé Rouge (Red Tea) was released by Bvlgari this month, and is the third in a series of tea-based perfumes following Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert (1992) and Thé Blanc (2002). It was created by perfumer Olivier Polge, and features notes of bergamot, orange, pink pepper, fig pulp, Roiboos red tea, Yunnan red tea, walnut and musk.

It starts with a heavy, rather sweet blast of citrus with a good dose of pepper. That calms into a sweet mix of tea, fig, and walnut. It is very well blended and none of the individual notes stand out; it smells vaguely figgy, vaguely floral, and has a subtle nutty undertone. The Yunnan red tea, which is simply black tea from Yunnan — in China, fermented teas (e.g., all black teas) are referred to as "red" teas" — is more noticeable than the Rooibos tea to my nose.

After an hour, it has faded to a mildly sweet, mildly nutty musk fragrance with a perhaps a bit of vanilla. It is very soft and light and close to the skin, and nowhere near as rich and foody as you might think from the notes. It is not quite as clean as Thé Vert or Thé Blanc, but it is in keeping with that style: fresh and wearable, nothing assertive.

Thé Rouge is not my cup of tea (very bad pun, I know). I was hoping for something a bit warmer and deeper, with more of a focus on the Rooibos, and perhaps with a bit more presence in general. Do comment if you've tried it. I'd love to know if fans of the first two Bvlgari tea scents find this one appealing.

Bvlgari Red Tea is available in 50 ($57) and 100 ml ($82) bottles of Eau de Cologne, and is exclusive to Saks through the spring.

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42 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm. You've gotten me interested in tea scents this year, you know. This one sounds like I might like it more than you. I'll put it on my 2006 To Try list!

  2. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts are similar to yours on this. I was hoping for something warmer and darker, however I am still trying to decide what I think about it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, sounds interesting, I will have to look for it. I own the The Vert and like it (although I don't reach for it that often).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, darling, I have not tried it, and won't run to try it after your review and my White Tea fiasco when that one was released. I wrote a review of it on MUA and gave that one two lippies as I recall.

    I don't anything can top the original green tea, do you?

    Hugs!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I confess I misread as “…Yunnan red tea, walrus and musk” and thought it sounded wretched! Something more focused on the roiboos would indeed have been wonderful — it's an unusual smell and would be a lovely perfume note. My fave tea scent is Tea for Two (lapsang, cherry pipe tobacco, leather and old socks — what's not to love?) I dunno, R — I feel like “tea” is the new “vanilla musk.” Unless it offers something really different or compelling, enough already.

  6. Anonymous says:

    R, I started reading with trepidation, because I ordered a bottle unsniffed, but the way you describe it, I think even if I won't be head of heels in love with it, I will still probably at least like it. Phew!

  7. Anonymous says:

    L, do try it, but guessing offhand that you will find it too sweet.

  8. Anonymous says:

    V, In retrospect, not sure why I thought it would warm & deep, since that would not be in keeping with this series. Wish it at least smelled more like Rooibos.

  9. Anonymous says:

    K, I like the Thé Vert best of this series, but don't adore it. I hear the Extreme is nice but haven't tried it yet.

  10. Anonymous says:

    M, Yes, I suppose tea is ubiquitous. I love tea though, and really, if there are lots of Rooibos scents, I don't know them! Tea for 2 is a great scent, old socks or no :-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    M, hope you will love it, and will be interested to hear your reaction. Have not yet seen many reviews.

  12. Anonymous says:

    actually, Robin, it is Vert Extreme that I have. I took it out to smell it again, and I like it. Not sure why I don't wear it more.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ah, so I don't suppose you can compare the Extreme to the regular?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Tigs, I think Omnia & Black are way more interesting than this series too….but don't they both have tea? Have to go google the notes for black, but I'm pretty sure both have tea, and that Bvlgari Pour Femme does too. Come to think of it, have to go figure out if they do *anything* without tea…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hmm… don't think I'll be inspired to try this one. Rooibos has an interesting scent – too bad its not highlighted more. Generally I don't find anything offensive about tea scents, but they usually don't captivate me either. The only one I would be tempted to buy would be The pour L'Ete by L'Artisan: great combo of tea & floral!

    It seems like most of Bulgari's perfumes have tea as a component. My Bulgari is a non-tea: Bulgari Blue for women – a lovely soft scent.

  16. Anonymous says:

    S, guessing that the walnut is not enough of a presence to affect your opinion of the scent one way or another, or at least not much. It is pretty sweet though…sweeter to my nose than the green or white tea scents.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Love The Pour Un Ete. Have not only not tried Bvlgari Blue, but it isn't even ringing any bell with me…not sure I know a darn thing about it. Another for the “google search” list!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I'm really baffled by all the Bvlgaris – they seem so…evanescent…to me. The tea scents I really want to like (I love the bottle shape, apart from anything else!), but they're so light, and vanish so quickly. The only one that makes a statement to my nose is Black, which is a dead ringer for Dzing!, and I'd rather be wearing something called Dzing! than something called Black. I think it's just my chemistry.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Interest piqued — I googled around and I can't find a single rooibos fragrance (I did find a soap, but it's scented with something else). Another oversight by the industry, IMO. Having a cuppa right now, consoling myself. I love tea, too.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I will have to go see if I can find the regular Vert to compare (I was curious, and it looks like the notes are similiar).

  21. Anonymous says:

    You know, Omnia is very light too…but it has a certain presence which I don't find in the Eau Parfumee scents. To me anyway…it certainly has its own detractors.

    I like Black & Dzing, but think of them as so different. Will have to try them together.

  22. Anonymous says:

    M, it is a great smell. So is honeybush tea…that would make a really wonderful fragrance.

  23. Anonymous says:

    oh good, I was hoping you would review this one soon. thanks for an informed opinion, as always!

    I thought the scent was interesting enough, from the couple of spritzes I tried on. for people who like fresh, clean scents and cannot bear anything too smoky or animalic (e.g. me), it's as close to “smoky” as it can get without being crossed off the list! it's off mine for now, because 1. the second time around I thought I smelled something synthetic in the drydown (you know, not something which is actually synthetic, which I don't mind, but something that *smells* like one), and 2. it costs over $90 for a 50ml bottle here in Japan and the lasting power is, as everybody says, far too poor to justify it. off to try Osmanthe Yunnan tomorrow!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Over $90? Are all perfumes that much more expensive in Japan? For some reason I thought it was the opposite.

    Will be curious to hear what you think of OY. I found it much smokier than the Red Tea, but also like it much better. It is pretty sheer, but a few good sprays have a reasonable lasting power.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I was in SAKS today and did not see this. I think it may actually be my cup of tea. But so true – nothing tops the Green Tea. I am covered in L'artisan fleurs d'Oranger right now, I finally smelled it today in Bergdorfs. I think it is absolute perfection. I didn't ask the price and I didn't look it up on here but I know we've discussed the price. Temptation.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I know it is at the Saks in NYC, don't know if it is at other locations.

    You smell great then….it is a wonderful, wonderful scent. Drat the price, and I'm not going to mention it here again as I don't want to think about it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well, ok, yes, you caught me there . I think Black has Lapsang Souchong tea in it, which has a peaty-smoky scent reminiscent of a good scotch (other than perfume, my other fave poison). It is the most offensive of the teas for many. Does CB Russian Caravan smell anything like Black, btw? I seem to be craving anything that makes me smell like booze since I'm on the wagon for fetal-transport reasons. Omnia supposedly has masala tea, but all I detect is a sheerness that could come from either the mandrin or the white chocolate.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Tigs, the Black & Russian Caravan are distant cousins at best…Black, as you say, is very peaty-smoky, and on me it has a kind of burning tires edge, although I mean that in the nicest possible way. It is a great scent. Russian Caravan is much calmer, more citrusy. CB calls it “smoky and warm” but I find it very bright, mildly smoky, rather like an Earl Grey tea.

    I don't really smell tea in Omnia either.

    And hey, huge congratulations!!! Very impressed that you can even stand the smell of perfume, I couldn't and ended up giving it up for several years.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thanks. I'm due in February/early March. I have found that some things “turned” on me recently, principally the rhubarb note in Brit Red (went very skunky) and carnation notes seem to go almost bug-spray-like. Things seem to go a little higher pitch on me lately, if you know what I mean. Some scents appeal to me more, don't know whether that's the pregnancy or changing tastes – incense-y things and slightly more sour things (like FM Une Rose, for example, but there is the booze again.) The happiest of holidays to you, R, and I hope you get all your perfume wishes fulfilled. I want PdN New York, but I'm afraid I'll get all baby-related gifts.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh, you're due very soon! I'm not surprised things are smelling different then. I do hope Santa snuck something non-baby under the tree for you though :-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    Au The Rouge finally arrived here and I am disappointed as well. Where is the rooibus? This COULD have been such a gorgeous, warm and sweet tea scent, but rather it is almost non distinct from the rest of the line. My favourite so far is the white tea, it's cedar and musk notes are refreshing and fun. The only one I would wear or consider purchasing.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am still waiting for the perfect Rooibos scent…maybe I'll get lucky and this will be the next big trend in perfumery ;-)

  33. Anonymous says:

    I like it as an inoffensive every-day scent. I find that the sweet note wears off rather quickly (else, I wouldn't be using it!). Unfortunately, the entire scent wears off rather quickly, that's why I'm undecided whether I should get a bottle or only use up the small tester (5 ml) that I have.

    Note: I own the thé blanc scent which I like, even though I don't use it very often. From your review, I might try the thé vert extreme version, as I'm looking for a light fragrance that won't disappear in a matter of hours.

  34. Anonymous says:

    You're right that it suits as an inoffensive every-day scent. Do try the Green Tea Extreme, although even that won't last all day.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I love all the three fragrances of the tea range (never tried the green tea extreme), and this one is my favorite. I just can't imagine myself anymore without this scent! It's light, woody and really sexy. I can't explain the passion. It surprised me a lot while I was expecting for something really strong and “red”. Hugs! ;)

  36. Anonymous says:

    J, I have tried it again several times since writing the above, and it just hasn't grown on me, although I do still love the Green Tea (and the original is better than the Extreme, in my very humble opinion). Hugs!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I finally got around to trying this at Sephora yesterday, and I really like it (I am a big Bvlgari fan in general, so I wasn't surprised!). Robin's description is spot-on. It's a wonderful addition to their tea series – still fresh, but slightly sweeter and more rounded. The men seem to love it, too, which never hurts. ;-) I'll wear this a lot this summer.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I am big Bvlgari fan too — I think they have done some really great scents. Glad you like this new one!

  39. Anonymous says:

    This has been my favourite for about a year now. I love the way it is warm and spicy and at the same time fresh and light. I must say I have never found quite that combination in a perfume before. If anyone knows of a scent with similar characteristics please let me know! I also really like Au thé Blanc. Au Thé Vert I find too clean and soapy, not seductive enough.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Just saw a bottle at TJ Maxx recently at a very good price — keep your eye out for it if you've a TJ Maxx nearby!

  41. Anonymous says:

    I got it as a sample on the Emirates First class and although I love perfumes, I'd never bought one from Bulgaru. The The Rouge is very strong on me in a positive sense. I can continuosly smelling it during the day and it reminds me of the smells of africa (which I love). For sure musk, vanilla are the strongest smells and somehow to me it reminds me of sweet tobacco with honey… don't know why! For sure very good and much better than the white tea which is not my style.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like you've found a favorite, congrats!

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