Firstly I have to say this is high quality and deep ..so no question as to why it's priced highly..secondly I question myself ..do I want to smell like tea ? Do other people enjoy me smelling of tea ? ..there's more going on, a beautiful mint ..some deep leather ..it's all very exciting but tea ?? I'm not sure to be honest if that's a great smell in perfumery.
Act I, Perfume III from Masque Milano is the enigmatic Russian Tea, mostly a mix of black tea, mint, raspberry, black pepper, florals, leather, incense, and birch. It opens with an abundance of mint, black pepper, and tea, the mint and pepper giving way to the tea, birch, florals, and incense, mostly, in the dry down. And while raspberry is listed as a top note, I feel like I get more of it in the dry down, myself.
The blast of mint and pepper in the opening is powerful, a spicy sting of a wake-up that requires a couple of hours to fade to the point of the tea being more singularly front-and-center with the raspberry, mixed florals, incense, leather, and birch. It's not wholly smooth, a sort of wood-varnish-mixed-with-leather-and-incense base under the tea.
It's an elegantly- and carefully-crafted fragrance and I've already discovered more nuances in this first full wearing on skin than in my initial smelling of it during the Masque Milano introductory event at Perfumology, where Alessandro Brun wisely pointed out (of this fragrance, in particular) that it needs to be tested on skin, not paper. It's much more interesting on skin.
Its performance is very good, too, much like Montecristo, having a boastful and provocative opening and finding balance in a tamer but long-lasting dry down. Its pricing is in the middle of the line at $145 for a now-standard 35 bottle size, and while the presentation is lovely, the fragrances don't come cheap, though I think the job done here in Russian Tea (and Terralba and Montecristo) is great, and I'd recommend that others try it if they haven't.
Overall, it wins high points for uniqueness and provocativeness, as, while I'm not a huge fan of tea fragrances, let alone spicier tea fragrances, specifically, this is so well done that it warrants attention.
first thing that hits my nose is a minty raspberry...this is quickly followed with an undercurrent of strong black tea and an overall veil of smokiness...within a couple of minutes I get a really pleasant layer of serious leather...no gasoline or anything else - just pure leather...i find leather and tea to be a really nice combo that brings much pleasure to my nose...nice accent of birchwood...get a nice mix of those flavors but not really sensing anything flowery as listed in the notes...just a slight "green" plant, outdoorsy vibe...overall, a very nice wearable fragrance...