Thursday, December 12, 2013

When Tea Is Not Tea But A Panacea--and a Perfume!

A variety of herbal infusions have been devised over millennia by human beings attempting to contend with all sorts of medical conditions. Ever had some tummy rumblings? How about a sore throat? Occasional insomnia, anyone? It turns out that substances to address all of these problems simultaneously have been rolled into a single delicious place: Tazo Settle. Here are the ingredients listed on the back of this gleaming silver envelope:

Ginger Root
Orange Peel
Green Rooibos
Lemon Verbena
Licorice Root
Natural Flavors
Orange Oil
Lemon Essence Oil

All of the ingredients are organically grown, and my first question is: who in the world dreamt this stuff up? Green rooibos? What? Have I ever encountered that before?  As an avid fan of ginger tea and really all things ginger, this very gingery composition laced with sweet licorice root and a soft chamomile accent really hits the spot. But wait: there's more. Organic Tazo Settle, believe it or not, has a distinct development trajectory, just like a bona fide perfume!

The "opening," if you will, the trail of the dried chunks of stuff, smells almost like fruitcake. The orange rind is quite dominant, and as it mingles with the ginger and fennel, my mind naturally floats away to memories of Christmastime.

As soon as hot water is poured into the brewing vessel, the ethereal scent of chamomile is released, and it is much stronger at this stage than either the orange rind or the ginger.

Once the infusion process is complete, the honey-colored liquid has a richness characteristic of licorice root infusions. It's thick and sweet--perhaps the most miraculous zero calorie sweetener on the earth--or beyond!

The taste surpasses that of the best ginger brews--both beers and teas!--and the glorious scent only enhances the flavor as the liquid passes one's lips to its ultimate destination: to serve as a panacea. An amazing olfactory creation, under the guise of a lowly beverage! 

I have been storming through my 4 ounce package of this delicious and truly satisfying ginger-centric herbal composition, first and foremost, because it tastes so great. I have not really been drinking this elixir to combat stomach troubles, flu symptoms, or insomnia. Perhaps drinking three large cups of this stuff every night has staved off all of those ailments? I don't know, but I have been feeling fairly healthy of late.

Another unclaimed benefit of this herbal blend--for me, if for no one else--is that it raises all sorts of questions in my mind about the alleged distinction between tea and perfume composition. Just think for a moment about  the beautiful bounty of natural substances rolled together to produce this lip-smacking cure-all. Someone somewhere (probably in Seattle) thought this creation through, and tested it, and retested it, and modified the proportions over and over again until just the right combination was achieved. How different is this process, really, from the composition of a fine perfume?

There are other questions to contemplate as well. Here, in the case of Tazo Settle, an anonymous creator--or, more likely, a group of creators--designed a substance to be imbibed by consumers. There, in the case of a famous perfume, a usually anonymous but sometimes named creator--or, more likely, a group of creators--designed a substance to be worn by consumers directly on their skin. 

We are ingesting these substances, people. These are not paintings on a wall. These are products to be consumed. Why do perfumistas get so hot and bothered when people think of perfume as a toiletry, yet no sane person in the universe, in all of space and time, is screaming out in rage about the refusal of people to give credit where credit is clearly due in the case of this golden brew????????

I anxiously await your replies to these impolitic provocations, my fragrant friends and fellow tea lovers!


  1. It had never occurred to me before now that my sister is a mad tea lover while I am a mad perfume lover and this might actually be common ground for us. She buys me teas for Christmas and I buy her perfumes. She has introduced me to a world of tea through a store in our city called T2 Tea - Australians will know it. It's extraordinary. And, being in Australia, we have a strong Asian influence so we have those fab Taiwanese milk tea or bubble tea stores everywhere such as 'Easy Way'. You can create any number of combinations of tea, flavours and toppings. My tea of choice is Jasmine Green tea with Yoghurt Syrup and 'froggy' (sweet basil seeds that look like frog spawn - nicer than they sound - or look!).

    1. Hello, Perfumecrazy! Yes, the overlaps between perfume and tea are enormous. In fact, my next post is probably going to be about bergamot, as I've been brewing up some Earl Grey tea at home to get me through these frosty winter afternoons!

      Bubble tea is a funny thing--definitely an acquired taste... Or should I say that it's an acquired TEXTURE? ;-) Your recipe sounds highly unique!

    2. Definitely an acquired texture. I tell people, you'll love but be careful to not choke. Flavour and danger in a cup.

      We love Earl Grey - on our last trip to the UK we brought back 2 varieties - Bettys from York (claims to be the best!) and Buckingham Palace. The former is wonderful - very highly scented and flavoursome. The Buckingham Palace is less intense and somehow sweet. I wish I could post pics but I just popped a pic of the packets on my Parfumo page.

    3. "Flavour and danger in a cup": indeed!!!!! ;-) I seriously wonder whether anyone has ever choked to death on one of the larger tapioca baubles... I have never quite understood the concept. Is one supposed to bite into them? Is there any flavor inside? Or is it just a quick means of filling one's stomach? Perhaps a diet technique?

      I'm on an Earl Grey binge currently, and impulsively ordered three new ones: two from Harney and one from Tea Forte. Now I'm committed to doing a bergamot post!!!

      Journeying to view your photos now... Thanks!


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