Siberian heat, Masque Fragranze Russian Tea

First of all please accept my apologies for this not-planned break. I’ve been having some major problems with internet but I hope the problem is now solved. I couldn’t even warn you…

Ever since discovering the Milan-based niche perfume house of Masque Fragranze (sometimes referred as Masque Milano) I thought that it was an interesting brand. I missed their first two perfumes from 2012 but I’m familiar with the new line that was introduced in 2013. Created by Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi. To some the brand might seem a bit eccentric and challenging but it’s worth exploring. During my first encounter with Masque Fragranze I especially liked Tango, a very erotic perfume. Last year a new fragrance was added to the line.

During my visit to Pitti Fragranze in September 2014, the stand of Masque Milano was attracting many people thanks to a big, glossy samovar. It’s golden and shiny surface, contrasting with the red velvet lining on the table, was reflecting the light in various directions. With this accesory the founders wanter to share the news with the world that they’re launching a new fragrance – its name – Russian Tea. The composition starts with rich and aromatic scent of black tea, possibly lapsang souchong. At first I have the impression of smelling the green notes but very shortly it changes and I smell this realistic black tea brew. It starts mild and gets more intensive with every minute on skin.

This perfume has been given some incredible depth and richness with the use of leather accord. It’s dense and dark, carrying a specific smell of tannins, it blends nicely with the tea note providing the impression like you were smelling something really black and strangely magical. After a while the smoky note is developed when birch tar joins the composition. It adds some woody elements but on my skin it’s mostly responsible for the feeling that reminds me of a campfire smoke, coming from burning pine cones and needles. Still Russian Tea smells rather comforting.

Later on the note of tea becomes milder and smoky leather is also not that strong. That’s when Masque Fragranze Russian Tea changes a bit and reveals this fantastic minty note. It’s so aromatic and so vibrant that you can almost feel the molecules vibrate in your nose. Mint introduces the element of freshness to the composition but it also has elements of smoky leather and incense mingling in the background. There is also some immortelle in the composition which nicely blends with incense. Immortelle also adds its typical, syrupy vibe, but it’s not strong.

At some point Russian Tea develops this transparent fruity aroma of raspberry. It’s very light and short-lasting but it provides this wonderful impression of hot tea sweetened with home-made raspberry marmelade. Like the one you can get in the mountain shelters or in a cafe during winter season. Black tea and raspberry are like total opposites of each other, but their marriage is fantastic, both when it comes to flavor and fragrance.

As the time flies the composition of the latest perfume from Masque Fragranze becomes warmer and more lightweight, even though the drydown phase contains some powerful ingredients, such as labdanum. This particular note can be noticed in Russian Tea as a balmy, balsamic vibe that feels cozy and comforting. Even though it’s not listed anywhere in the notes, I seem to smell this distinctive honey accord. There’s also a little bit more spiciness in the drydown, since there is some black pepper there. To me the perfume has a warm, kind of magical smell. It could melt down the snow. Inspired by cold Russian territories, it’s warmer than I expected.

Russian Tea from Masque Fragranze is a great perfume but it’s not exactly “my cup of tea” (if you know what I mean). It has a beautiful smell, great longevity and sillage, but I wish I felt more comfortable wearing it. As an obsessive tea drinker I prefer to smell tea from my mega mug rather than from the surface of my skin. Russian Tea was developed by Julien Rasquined and it’s available in 100ml bottles, eau de parfum concentration. It lasts for around 8 hours.

[note] pictures from press, beautyinsider.ru and instagram

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17 thoughts on “Siberian heat, Masque Fragranze Russian Tea

  1. jillie says:

    Good luck with the internet!

    I think I too prefer to drink tea rather than wear it, although there are perfumes that I like that have fleeting tea notes. But this does seem to be quite a special perfume from an interesting house.

    At this moment I am drinking Bratapfel tea from Germany – it is a redbush, which I am not normally that keen on, but it has such gorgeous flavours of caramelized apple and spices (and strangely tastes of marzipan) that I love it. Just perfect as I watch the snowflakes whirling around …….

    • lucasai says:

      The internet is back now, luckily.

      This perfume is very much about hot smoky tea, some people like it, some don’t. Personally I mostly drink green tea.

      That Bratapfel tea sounds delicious. Marzipan is one of my favorite sweetsso I’m sure I would like this one. Are you gettingsome snow lately? It’s gotten white here as well

      • jillie says:

        It’s funny that although there is no marzipan or almond at all in this tea, it gives me the impression that there is, and it is even nicer than teas that are especially flavoured almond. It has little pieces of apple and rosebuds in it as well – it is a tea made for Christmas time. I’ll send you some.

        Yes, we’ve had several light snow falls in the last week and it has been bone-chillingly cold.

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Nice! I have a decant somewhere and will need to try it. I like tea notes in perfume so this should be right up my alley. Inwill report back on e I’ enfried this.

    Not having reliable internet service is awful. I still use DSL and not cable so it’s not as fast and when there’s a problem with the phone line, the internet gets messed up as well.

    • lucasai says:

      Oh, good you already got it. Kind of feels like I was reading your mind or knew what’s in your perfume stash. Please let me know if you like it more than I did πŸ˜‰

      My issues with internet came from the fact that we justchanged the operator…

  3. rickyrebarco says:

    Good afternoon, Lucas. I’m glad you reviewed this one. I just tested it myself. It is very well done, but it’s not to my taste. Like you, I prefer to drink tea, not wear tea scents. Masque Russian Tea has a very nice dry down that I really like after it has been on my skin a few hours, but the initial hours are like a SWAT team of notes assaulting my senses, too dark and intense for my taste..

  4. Holly says:

    Hi and welcome back! I’m sure you’re happy that your internet is back up! Russian Tea sounds interesting, but I doubt that it would be something I would enjoy wearing as a fragrance. I was just thinking last night about what constitutes what I think of as perfume versus what I think of as a good smell, or one that piques my interest. Luckily I fell asleep soon afterwards. πŸ™‚

  5. Undina says:

    This one wasn’t for me either. I didn’t like either the idea or the implementation. On the other hand, since it comes only in a 100 ml bottle maybe it’s good that I didn’t like it? Money saved πŸ™‚

  6. Parfumista says:

    To me Russian Tea was like a weird patchwork of notes which sometimes offsetting each other in a not so pleasant way. For example the raspberry (very distinct on my skin) vs the smoke. Russian Tea to me seems like the sketch of the fragrance, not the finished, perfected creation like Tango and Montecristo, which I like very much, both of them.

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