Bulgari Omnia

I never expected to be able to write this post! The perfume gods are cruel and fickle, and Bulgari Omnia (the 2003 original) is one of their many casualties. Omnia was discontinued years before I ever knew I needed it. (Inexplicably, a good seven Omnia flankers are all still on the market, fruitfully multiplying.) So when Omnia popped up in an unusually great RueLaLa sale last week, I pounced! It was a risky little blind buy, but Omnia is everything I could have hoped for: an unsweetened chai latte of a scent, with gorgeous heaps of saffron, a splash of almond milk, and the gentlest dusting of spices.

Its closest living relative is probably Etat Libre d’Orange Tom of Finland (switch out the leather for woods), or a much paler L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two. Omnia is very light, but has surprisingly decent lasting power.

If I had to guess why such a gem was discontinued, I’d speculate that Omnia might not have fit particularly comfortably into the mainstream feminine fragrance mold. With little sweetness and no florals, it lacks any of the more obvious “THIS IS A LADY PERFUME WE PROMISE” signifiers. Which reminds me a little of Marni, another quality sheer, spicy perfume that quickly disappeared from department store shelves despite adorable packaging and aggressive marketing. Maybe someday, mainstream perfumery will have more of a space for more androgynous beauty. Until that day comes, $48.29 on FragranceNet, y’all!

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. My Omnia decant comes from a split with lovely fragrant friends.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

L_Artisan_Tea_for_two

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?