Jean-Charles Brosseau, milliner and creator of 1981’s still popular Ombre Rose, has recently released a trio of men’s fragrances: Thé Brun, Atlas Cedar and Fruit de Bois. Of the three, the one I was most anticipating is Thé Brun or Brown Tea, created with perfumer Pierre Bourdon. Thé Brun has notes of bergamot, fruity notes, green leaves, lavender, violet, spices, cumin, jasmine, orange blossom, lapsang tea, palisander wood, powdery notes and musk.
As a huge fan of tea fragrances, it was with great excitement that I tested Thé Brun, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. This magical creation lies somewhere between Comme des Garçons Leaves Series: Tea and Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Ecume de Thé, and while not entirely a new concept, it does seem to cover some new ground. Opening with a smoky tea accord accented with spice, citrus and wood notes, Thé Brun’s composition is well-blended and no single note really prevails. Whereas Comme des Garçons’s Tea gets weighed down by dark wood and leaf notes, and Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Ecume de Thé opens with a citrus burst, Thé Brun is a straightforward rendition of a pot of Earl Grey — slightly sweet, slightly aromatic, slightly smoky and completely intoxicating.
The scent is definitely unisex and quite easy to wear. Fans of black teas will delight in the darker basenotes while those wanting something lighter will appreciate the subtle sillage of the scent. Development is minimal and after an hour or two, Thé Brun settles and stays close to the skin.
I’m surprised this one was released as a men’s scent and not as a unisex scent, but as there have been very few tea scents marketed exclusively to men, perhaps this is a new path. It may seem like odd timing as tea scents seem to be slightly passé, but hey, L’Occitane is still churning them out (a new scent arrived last month: Green Tea and Jasmine). Overall this is a beautiful fragrance; I’m looking forward to wearing it on a crisp autumn day.