When I talk about writing on perfume with people who don’t wear fragrance, I point out they may not wear it but they are surrounded by it. You can’t walk into a coffee shop without being surrounded by the smell of brewing beans. A bakery smells of bread. The produce section in the grocery store is a wonderful mélange of fresh smells. Perhaps the most recognizable of these ambient scents is the smell of Earl Grey Tea. Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has made an all-natural Earl Grey inspired cologne called DSH Perfumes Royal Grey Cologne.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Ms. Hurwitz has been producing great colognes for a while. Last year’s Summer Cologne was one of my favorites of the year. You might think designing an Earl Grey cologne would be easy. Get some bergamot and combine it with any one of the black tea ingredients. I am not sure what exactly that would smell like, but I suspect it would be flat, missing an essential sparkle. Royal Grey Cologne does something different as Ms. Hurwitz uses a tea accord comprised of four different tea sources.
Royal Grey Cologne opens with that bergamot in high concentration. Underneath Ms. Hurwitz adds ambrette seed to add some lift to this very identifiable top note. The tea follows rather quickly. I’m expecting black tea and that is what I notice first. Then three green tea extracts provide a lively boost to the black tea. Yerba mate especially finds a place within this accord. Then a lovely rose finds itself floating on this cup of tea. The transition to the base takes an earthy turn as ruh khus, the green balsamic version of vetiver, connects to patchouli before resting on sandalwood sweetened with a pinch of vanilla.
Royal Grey Cologne has 6-8 hour longevity and low sillage.
Royal Grey Cologne is a skin scent as was last year’s Summer Cologne. I find that an advantage when wearing fragrance in hot temperatures. I enjoyed Royal Grey Cologne as much for its sense of familiarity as its underlying freshness. Just like a cup of the real thing.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.