It was a good thing that I had looked again with the usual care of a prudent businessman. At address 2, Seymour Place not far from Marble Arch, I would have stood in front of a clothes shop instead of a perfumery last summer. Two years earlier, one of two Les Senteurs shops had been there. But the branch has now closed, the only thing left is the core business in Belgravia.
All right, the responsible stop "Sloane Square", served by the Circle and the District Line, was even cheaper for us and required only a few minutes walk through one of the more noble corners of London. To me, the streets of row houses that partly resembled each other seemed to be very sterile, but that's a matter of taste.
Finally the service in the shop was no less competent than in Marylebone at that time, only a bit more distant than offered by a friendly student from Aberdeen at that time (cf. Kommi to 'Thirty Three' by Ex Idolo). A chic young saleswoman showed me this and that, while her colleague, who looked more like a social educator with a beard and a washed-out T-shirt, did office work and only occasionally contributed something. Or looked it up, sometimes there is a lack of vocabulary. But I didn't get stuck especially bad with 'Bohea Boheme' because of the English language. I stammered Pu-Err tea, frowned, and only later did it occur to me that I meant Lapsang Souchong. Well, it's not easy, the scent.
Occasionally it is advisable not to look at the pyramid before a test in order to remain unbiased. That doesn't matter here, because from practically every corner what is included, the mere reading of the list is hardly enough to set the course. Also to know that 'Bohea' is an old trade name of some tea varieties, which played a role in connection with the "Boston Tea Party" (which I didn't know), is not sufficient as a pre-concept, but points - see above - at least in the right direction.
Tea is indeed very present today, even though it has adjusted to the first impression in the shop during the extensive home test (there was a well-filled sample with it). He is prominent, but by no means alone. I find it exciting that the tea and the smoke first appear as two flavours standing next to each other, however this may be accomplished. A rough surface acts as a stage.
And both, say, "flavor classes" have supporters on board. Some of the information can be discovered: Hay, juniper, maybe chamomile. A bit of imagination is needed, though, and where we are already making an effort, we glide directly into the unnamed, which goes far beyond the not explicitly mentioned, bacon-haired Lapsang-Souchong impact: An airy, bright herbaceousness, as if from dried wildflowers, flanking the theme of hay. A metallic sweetness as suggested by a hint of licorice, perhaps lovage supplements the spice fraction.
Keyword spice: In previous reviews there was even talk of a burning spice cabinet. I don't see or smell it quite so blatantly, the spice plant seems to me to be relatively enigmatic. And it would be a shame to have a cupboard made of dark, museum-like wood around it, we'd rather leave it intact! Nevertheless: Even without cabinet fire the fragrance has plenty of flavour.
But at Mona di Orio you are always good for a swing and that follows reliably. Unfortunately, I don't know the poplar bud that is expressly emphasized and can only guess from the summer experience of the pollen sourness floating away from the trees. On the other hand, an amber-like, balsamic shoot in the early afternoon is extremely noticeable. Slightly sugary, but less crumbly than anywhere else. I also think that said "balsams" contain Labdanum, because later there is a tiny hint of resin animalics to smell and in the evening I rummage about a touch of eventual vanilla. It has become amazingly creamy.
Nevertheless, the tea aura runs like a leitmotif through the fragrance, garnished with a hint of bacon smoke up to the back - when I notice this, I feel as if a circle is closing. Quality losses towards the end 'Bohea Bohème' does not afford.
Conclusion: Certainly not an authentic poster tea scent. That would have wondered from the house Mona also. The present candidate is at times quite demanding, the demonstrative bulkiness of other creations such as 'Vetyver' or 'Eau Absolue' I certainly don't find today - and don't miss it.
I like those scents. I'll put the specimen aside and rummage it out again sometime.