WHITE TEA FRAGRANCE
Q&A with Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Vice President, Perfumery Givaudan
How would you describe the fragrance?
The scent in its entirety is really pure, exquisite, and uncomplicated and really can be classified as a musky, floral, woody.
What is the concept for the White Tea fragrance?
The concept of “finding a moment” is something very pure and simple. It’s about taking some time to stand still in the hectic lives that we all lead, particularly in the hustle and bustle of New York City.
What was the inspiration for the fragrance?
The inspiration for the fragrance is all about a peaceful moment in time, whether it’s your favorite sweater or a fresh cup of tea. It’s about reflecting and feeling gratitude.
In order to capture this inspiration, it was clear we needed to create a fresh fragrance with a blissful, Zen aura. White Tea vapors are blended with a trio of Tranquility Musks to create that refreshing moment of solace of the first sip of tea.
How does the fragrance resonate with tea?
The concept of finding a peaceful moment evokes similar feelings as the ritual of drinking tea. Many cultures—the Japanese, Libyans, English, and more—stop their day for tea. It is a creative process, a ceremony of sorts, which gives you time to pause and reflect. It calms you while at the same time it stimulates you, so in creating the White Tea fragrance we sought to replicate just that—a sense of calm with a little bit of energy.
What are the top notes that define this fragrance?
The fragrance starts with a beautiful citrus element, opening with Italian Mandarin, Sea Breeze and Clary Sage. Clary Sage is a specific, aromatic sage that is made fresh and ethically and sustainably produced. Half of it comes from North America, the other half from France. Another top note in the fragrance is the White Fern accord, a very specific fern from Japan that emits a very beautiful and rich fragrance after the rain.
What are the center notes?
At the center of the fragrance is one of the most expensive notes in perfumery, White Iris—an extraordinary resource from Florence that can be very complicated to produce, in addition to other luxurious notes including White Tea Extract, Mate Absolute Paraguay, and Sapucaya.
What are the base notes?
The key accord in the base of the fragrance is another valuable note: the Ambrette. It’s a tiny seed that comes from a plant similar to Okra and provides a musky aroma. A trio of Tranqulity Musks along with Madrad Wood, Tonka Bean, and Ambermax also help to create a serene finish.
Are there any notes you are particularly proud of?
The Sapucaya accord. Originally from Brazil, the Sapucaya is a tropical tree with beautiful pink and white flowers that have a crisp, floral fragrance. When they bloom, the Sapucaya trees blossom in mass covering the entire tree with flowers.
Why did you choose these notes?
The idea was to create a fragrance using notes that embodied the simplicity behind White Tea; one that had many layers while still remaining very tranquil.
What feelings do you want the fragrance to evoke?
White Tea embodies simplicity and authenticity, representing women who are genuine, mindful, and who bring pleasure to those around them.
How did the role of color play into the fragrance?
We wanted the fragrance to convey purity, so we chose white as the signature color for the bottle and packaging. We also tried to incorporate this pure, white hue into notes like the Japanese White Fern, the White Iris accord, and of course White Tea Extract.
How long did the development of the fragrance take?
The development of the fragrance took about a year, working closely with the Creative Team in New York to ensure that we captured the essence of White Tea through fragrance notes and packaging.
How does the packaging fit with the fragrance?
The elegant, white packaging takes inspiration from the fragrance; it is very simple, natural and pure. The outer carton has a silkiness, much like a textile or porcelain motif. The box also has an element of verticality to it, emulating the skyscrapers of New York.
The tall, refined bottle has clean lines and a white to clear ombré design which help to convey the purity and simplicity of White Tea.
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