Before Christmas, I received a package containing the new fragrance Smoky Soul by Olfactive Studio. Many thanks at this point to Mr. Spies from ISIS Parfums. Admittedly, I was particularly pleased with this particular creation. Because I love the creations from Olfactive Studio and have already tested a few for you here… always with great enthusiasm. In addition, Smoky Soul is a black tea fragrance and I love tea in any form. A follower on our Instagram account, who described the fragrance as “idiosyncratic”, added to the suspense, which made me even more curious.
The Olfactive Studio brand has always combined two themes: Photography and perfumes. All creations are accompanied by magnificent images that serve as inspiration for the respective compositions. Northern lights, the human iris, images of cities, natural monuments or flowers were skillfully staged by well-known photographers such as Martin Hill, Frøydis Dalheim, Suren Manvelyan, Flávio Veloso and many more, and translated into olfactory form by equally well-known perfumers such as Sidonie Lancesseur, Bertrand Duchaufour, Jérôme Epinette or Dominique Ropion.
The Sepia Collection, whose bottle is reminiscent of an old analog camera, is also dedicated to a specific raw material around which the fragrance composition is built. In addition to Vanilla Shot, there were also the creations Rose Shot, Iris Shot, Chypre Shot, Violet Shot and Leather Shot.
Smoky Soul breaks with this naming tradition, because after all, we’re not dealing with a shot here, but with soul. And I am delighted to announce that Smoky Soul is the first part of a fragrant trifecta that will revolve around the theme of tea. I’m as excited as a flash in the pan? You bet!
Smoky Soul – Black tea from China
Our journey takes us to China, more precisely to the province of Fujian, which is located in the south-eastern part of the country on the coast. The above picture of a tea plantation was taken in this very region by photographers Tuul and Bruno Morandi. She comes from the Mongolian steppe, he from France. Both share a passion for travelling and artistic photography. And so one of her ventures probably took her to China, to one of the country’s largest tea-growing regions.
Fujian is known for its wide variety of teas, which of course include classic black tea and green tea. The region also produces oolongs, white tea and specialties such as the smoked tea Lapsang Souchong or the famous Wuyi tea. In Fujian, it is customary to add flowers to the tea to give it a certain aroma. Osmanthus, for example, is used for this, but also roses and jasmine.
This brings us to the fragrance notes of Smoky Soul, which reflect the characteristics of Fujian: osmanthus, black pepper, black tea, Turkish rose, jasmine, vetiver, patchouli and algae are the ingredients of this extrait de parfum from Olfactive Studio.
I can reveal the perfumer of the creation: Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, the founder of Parfum d’Empire. Its roots can be found in Morocco and Corsica. He grew up in both countries and eventually studied at the famous ISIPCA in Versailles. In 2003, he finally founded his own fragrance house and develops new compositions for other labels on the side.
The soul of tea
Smoky Soul opens the fragrance with beautiful, delicately smoky and transparent black tea notes. You almost feel as if you are sniffing an open tea tin and taking in the tart, tannic nuances of the dried tea leaves. At the same time, the creation also has a flowing facet reminiscent of water, which in turn evokes the image of infused black tea.
Slowly, gentle, discreetly sweet nuances creep onto the olfactory stage. Osmanthus lends the black tea delicate peach blossom accents, accompanied by creamy but restrained jasmine. In fact, I sniff a subtle, dark greenish saltiness in the background, which flows very harmoniously and coherently into the composition. Woody, subtly herbaceous notes mingle with the still perceptible black tea nuances in the finish, bringing the creation to a wonderful close.
Smoky Soul by Olfactive Studio is a really beautiful, soft and authentic black tea fragrance that plays with the different facets of dried tea leaves. Initially rather tart, smoky and also a little edgy, the creation transforms into a transparent, gently floral tea fragrance with a creamy undertone that is really well-balanced, harmoniously composed and simply stunning. I am delighted with this prelude to the trilogy of tea-themed extraits de parfum, and I am sure that Smoky Soul will find many friends. I highly recommend this fragrance not only to black tea fans, but also to anyone else who prefers elegant, stylish and modern creations that play with unusual notes and have a meditative character. ☕