Monday, March 9, 2015

Tea for Tradition; Russian Tea by Masque Milano

Russian Tea by Masque Milano

Tchaikovsky violin plays in radio. Home, carpets, some frames of lubok paintings, family pictures, and probably a Repin's print. No one speaks a word, dragon exhale steam sound of a fat brass samovar tells everything. Tea and some cakes ready for afternoon…
Outside; woodpeckers on birches - the worried slender beholders of forests - and winter is almost come, no leaves left for trees to hinder the expansion of remote sounds of woodpeckers towards all entire woods. Birches evoke the sense of security and safe with theirs virgin white color in contrast with frowny face of a forest invaded by autumn.
A tall man, golden beard, walks in with cut trunks of wood for fireplace. Smell of tea spread through home. Vapor mist of samovar dew on glass frames of some nearby pictures above table by the wall. Glass cups, cakes and beet sugars are on table. It's tea time...

When I was a kid I used to believe the eyes on birch bark behold us in woods!

I know several perfumes with absolute composition of birch and leather; usually treat warm and thick; but this one is a different case for its marvelous opening and so on.
The notes are:
Black tea, black pepper, birch wood (a kind of unfamiliar dusty birch), magnolia, cistus ladanifer (a variety of labdanum), mint, leather accords, immortelle, raspberry, and incense (Luckuyscent suggests one extra: everlasting flowers).
Russian Tea has deep cultural root into Russian tea tradition which I'm pretty familiar to since we have been influenced by Russian culture during first world war. Drinking tea in teacup saucer and having sugar beet cubes with it!
How can't I admire the perfume (not necessarily the concept behind) while all the performance is highly tied and overlapped with my culture and rituals and life? How can't I love this perfume (even considering many thumb downs from many great reviewers)? How can't I sniff and enjoy the deliberate smell of leather and black tea, smell of birch which reminds me the best days ever? Bad or good, cheap or expensive, whatever you call, Russian Tea, is highly chained to my emotions and I really can't draw it down; but; I try my best to be a good judge out of prejudice!

Russian Tea initiates very pungent with modern theme of black tea, a reminiscence of retro teas in tin can before widespread distribution of flavored tea bags of Earl Grey! I know birch bark and wood smell very well and I get the wood smell right from the intro. It's savory and sheer with considerable amount of synthetic side (I'm not good in this range so better to not struggle on it) obscured behind the notes. The very minutes the opening shifts to the settled middle step; which is like someone applied a bold mentholated tea leaf fragrance on black leather jacket and the jacket is spotted wet for over apply; is when the marvelous opening totally changes and it may be a little disappointing. The leather, here in Russian Tea, is somewhere between soft designer formula and not-that-immense like those in artistic creations of Soivohle and Neil Morris. It's on the edge to be urbanized and wearable, however, potentially it's richer than expectation and seems it's watered down or better to says gentled by immortelle and raspberry (this fruity vibe owes the famous leather emblem: Tuscan Leather). Russian Tea with no feature in common reminds me the famous pinnacle of modern perfumery devoted to Tsar Nicholas II: Houbigant Fougere Royale; not the same type of smell, yet it rings that it's an extension of that remarkable heritage.
Back to the topic of leather and birch with their mutual friend; labdanum; and their impact on black tea note; a paradoxical intersection of two different realms in dialectical way and how charmingly Julien Rasquinet illustrate this scenario into liquid form. Although Russia is not the major house of tea culture while southern countries like Turkey, Iran, Arabians and its origin; India and neighbors; have ultimately engaged with the drink much deeper culturally; yet; Russian Tea is a perfect and successful expression of a cultural activity by which people come together and it is tea that firmly enchains the structure of the basic foundation unit of society: family.

Perhaps he's not that talented like Repin or Shishkin but in his paintings, Bogdanov greatly represent Russian culture, tradition, and lifestyle.
Nikolay Bogdanov, New Owners Drinking Tea, 1913

Now the perfume is about to sunset! Hours of pleasant brilliant performance on my skin that brought me passion and pleasure. It's now on smoldering leather and faint birch wood with persistent strawberry and mellow incense that hasn't found opportunity to say hello before this. Russian Tea is in fact very pleasant and jovial perfume, very delicate and strong in longevity and sillage.

Carpe Odor!

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