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Comfort tea

teaI’ve never been one to worry about associating scents with bad times, but I will say that this week I’ve been reluctant to wear perfume at all, afraid that it would bring to mind, when worn again, my very sad state of mind this week.

But I also was itching to wear something, like I was hungry, or naked; and eventually I put on some Element of Surprise by Creative Universe. I wanted, and I think I achieved, the opposite effect: reminding my brain of all the happy times associated with that scent, rather than associating the scent with the current sad times.

Element of Surprise is just always perfect: comfortable, uplifting, just the right blend of attractive, pleasant, and persistent, so that you have that great sensation from time to time of “What smells so good? Oh, me!”

That made me feel better and reminded me to try some tea scents, which I love so much, instead of the amber I’ve been swimming in. They feel familiar and comforting, and maybe a little bit like the warm cat fur I am missing.

From my Element of Surprise (sadly discontinued, and one of my all-time favorite perfumes), I broke out the TokyoMilk Dark perfume, Tainted Love. This one, in its adorable black slightly gothy bottle, has notes that sounded – and are – right up my alley: tea, vanilla, orchid, and sandalwood. The tea isn’t always emphasized in the description, but it’s what I get straight away from the opening blast, and it’s a type of tea that smells very familiar to the wearer of Element of Surprise.

As it wears, Tainted Love gets milkier; never deeply creamy, it’s not as sweet as the vanilla note might lead you to think, but it’s much warmer and sweeter than Element of Surprise itself, without ever going all the way to the rubber/smoky aspect of something like Bulgari Black (another favorite tea scent). Also less clean/citrusy than something like Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc (another favorite!), Tainted Love fills a niche I didn’t have filled before; it’s warm and rich enough for this spring weather, but light enough to remind me that April is what’s just around the corner, not July.

I got quite good lasting power from Tainted Love. Even after six, seven hours of wearing, I could get a whiff of its lovely scent around me. If the sandalwood is really what it dries down to, it’s very well blended with the other elements. I have a high tolerance for sweet, but after all this amber I was happy to have a break from it; Tainted Love is sweet, but it isn’t sticky. (Isn’t that always the way with tainted love?)

For the price ($36 retail; sold many places online,) this TokyoMilk product is a great value. (Yes, most websites list it as Tokyo Milk, but the product site itself runs the words together.) The site claims that its perfumes are “mix and match”, and for most of their products I can see the appeal of collecting them all and connecting them all. These Dark perfumes seem to be pretty complete on their own, though; I didn’t feel any deep desire to mix anything with my Tainted Love. That appeals to me more than the types of perfumes where you need to have four or six to feel like you have a complete “collection” (I have too many Jo Malones already!).

I did, however, feel the urge to buy more of the gorgeous black bottles with their stencils of 19th century animal drawings (the key on Tainted Love is certainly the least interesting of the bottle designs, so it’s a good thing the juice itself is so appealing). There are certainly more TokyoMilk Dark scents in my future.


Image is “tea“, by rdpeyton, via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.

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4 comments to Comfort tea

  • TokyoMilk is one of the brands that don’t appeal to me. I tried several of their perfumes but I never wanted to own any of them.

    Most of my favorite perfumes are happy perfumes so I would be afraid to “spoil” them by sadness. So I’d probably go for my “whatever will be, will be” perfume – Vanille Noire by Yves Rocher: it’s pleasant enough and I’m not afraid I might start hating it.

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