Monday 13 June 2022

TEA ROAD by Momento Perfumery

Picture of a Momento Perfumery Tea Road Fragrance Bottle
When a new niche perfume company launches it’s often off the back of a single successful fragrance that has grabbed the public’s attention. While his can guarantee an initial flurry of orders and reviews, the inevitable follow up fragrance is often the make or break for the brand. Will it stand up to the promise shown by the first release? Launching instead with a small curated collection can minimise some of these fears, and allow customers to find their own favourite, and that is exactly what Mladen Dragic did with Momento Perfumery. So, with five fragrances in the range, why was I drawn to the delicious Tea Road?

Momento Perfumery was launched in 2021 and is another up and coming brand based in Canada. This territory definitely seems to be making some noise in the world of niche perfumery and, with a very different landscape for inspiration, it’s turning out some fascinating fragrances. As I’ve mentioned before, France and the USA were always the major players in the perfume industry. So, with variety definitely being the spice of life, it’s great to see others challenging this historic monopoly. With Momento Perfumery situated in Vancouver, but a tradition stretching back to the Adriatic, let’s look a little closer.

Mladen Dragic grew up with a fascination for scent, but he admits that his was more from his surroundings than manufactured ones. He remembers “salty sea, sun scorched Aleppo pine needles, brightly coloured and fragrant oleander flowers, and powdery mimosa trees”, so his childhood scent palette was already creating vivid memories. As he grew older he naturally discovered the world of commercial perfumery and, whilst this was initially exciting, he soon grew tired of what he saw as “recycled formulas with no real passion”. He wondered whether he could do any better, revive a feeling of pride in perfume, and even make it a career.

Picture of a Momento Perfumery Discovery Set
Tinkering became serious study and, after seven years of triumphs and disappointments, Momento Perfumery was born. His initial collection of five fragrances all take the common ground of amber as their starting point, with each adding a different olfactory subcategory. There are three valiant attempts and two excellent perfumes, so that’s a pretty good average. The first success is Avicenna, which is a deliciously spicy amber floral. It showcases rose at its heart but, with an intriguing resinous base, treads the unisex line. However, my favourite from the whole collection is the smoke and amber imbued Tea Road.

Inspired by the 1727 Treaty of Kyakhta, the fragrance opens with a traditional sweetened amber accord but, through the centre of this, a bergamot and floral quality appears. It almost hints at the scent of narcissus and jasmine, but the citrus adds a sharpness. The black tea note then shows itself but is paired with a textural leather aroma, almost like a soft cowhide rug, before an incense and vetiver note adds both a dryness and a whisper of fireside warm. Interestingly, as these deeper notes blend together you see a reappearance of the narcissus, with its honeyed peaches, before you’re finally left with a sandalwood and musk trail. Tea Road is not a traditional tea fragrance, and that’s what makes it so special.

Tea Road is available from the Momento Perfumery website at priced at $15 for 5ml, $25 for 10ml and $105 for 50ml. It’s also available as part of the Discovery Set priced at $65 for 5x 5ml. [Samples provided by Mladen Dragic]

Moment Perfumery fragrances are formulated to comply with Canada’s allergen restrictions rather than EU allergen restrictions.

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