Today’s #ThirstyThursday comes straight from the Arielle Shoshana launch party last Saturday! The Tea for Two cocktail was born out of my deeply embarrassing need to be the Kanye of my own life. Definition: I want to handle every aspect of a task myself, regardless of whether or not I am in any way qualified to do so. (Is this turning into a Kanye blog? Spoiler alert: Absolutely.)
A quick Google search for “chai cocktail” turned up Saveur’s Bourbon Chai Toddy, a perfect representation of the sweetly spiced L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two. However, Kanye Weinberg had decided that instead of using a bartender for the launch party, I was going to make the drinks myself. That made the spectacular Bourbon Chai Toddy, which calls for made-from-scratch hot chai, spectacularly impractical for a sixty person party. So I ended up taking just a few shortcuts…
Tea for Two
1/2 cup Oregon Chai The Original Chai Concentrate
1/2 cup whole milk (you can also use almond or soy milk)
1 oz bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
Combine Oregon Chai and milk. Add bourbon. Stir. Garnish with star anise, or maybe a cinnamon stick?
My policy has always been that I don’t review discontinued perfumes. It’s just cruel, right? But while Tea for Two is very much discontinued, it does occasionally pop up on eBay or in those huge sales L’Artisan does about twice a year. It always sells out within minutes, so if you ever do happen across a bottle, I want you to be prepared!
Tea for Two is supposed to evoke Lapsang Souchong, that bafflingly smoky tea, but it’s much softer than its inspiration. This really is a delightfully strange fragrance. It juxtaposes the traditional chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom- the notes list ginger, but I don’t smell it) with this funny leathered paper note, almost like cardboard. Over time, Tea for Two becomes sweeter and more honeyed. I like Tea for Two best at the end, when it is delicious and comforting but still just a bit odd.
I always wonder what I would think of Tea for Two if I had tried it before Dzing!. I think that I would have thought it unique and marvelous. Chai tea and cardboard! But for better or for worse, I tried Dzing! first, and now I can’t help but perceive Tea for Two as Dzing! overlaid with cinnamon. Between the two, I think I prefer Dzing!, but both are unusual and enchanting fragrances, and I can absolutely see myself eventually deciding that I really need both.
What do you think of Tea for Two? Did you manage to snag a bottle before it was discontinued?
Poivre Piquant always reminds me of a famous quote from Steve Jobs: “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” I could never have predicted that I would enjoy Poivre Piquant as much as I do. Why would I want to smell like pepper? Pepper makes me eczema-y. But just as Jobs predicted, once L’Artisan showed me this challenging, beautiful pepper fragrance, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted.
Poivre Piquant roars to life with a burst of freshly-ground pepper. This part is pretty intense, but within two minutes, the pepper softens enough to allow you to catch a glimpse of the creamy honey note underneath. The combination is totally ingenious; the heat and kick of the pepper note keep the honey from ever becoming too sweet, and the honey note prevents the pepper from ever becoming too harsh. The two notes continue their tense dance throughout the life of the fragrance, with neither ever fully gaining the upper hand. The only other peppery perfume I’ve tried is Lolita Lempicka Si Lolita, which is somewhat heavy and dense. Poivre Piquant, however, is very delicate, even translucent. I find it totally addictive.