1/1/20

Thé Brun (Jean-Charles Brosseau)



In 2005, Pierre Bourdon created this now-forgotten tea fragrance for the somewhat obscure firm of Jean-Charles Brosseau. Thé Brun is an oddity, a Bourdon creation that flew under the radar, and never landed. It has attracted a bit of attention in the past few years via basenotes threads such as this one, with speculation that Bourdon is the nose behind Creed's Aventus, and that he "tested" the Aventus concept five years earlier in JC Brosseau's scent.

To my nose, no such "test" occurred. Thé Brun's note pyramid lists pineapple, but I get none from any stage of the fragrance. If the idea is that Bourdon rehearsed Aventus' "smoky" accord in Brosseau's frag, then it was by accident, because the smokiness in Thé Brun smells like an extension of its sweet, milk-and-sugar black tea drydown. The scent evolution is as follows: a trite fougere top note of cheap and unnecessary lavender, rapidly followed by a cloud of campfire smoke, which coalesces into a bitter, somewhat smoky Lapsang souchong note.

In Aventus the smokiness is papery, birch-like, reminiscent of American bills, and it lasts forever. Here, the smoke communicates a specific kind of aromatic Chinese tea, and is more complex. The Lapsang trails off after an hour, leaving a hyper-realistic British Colony mug tea in its wake. It smells like cheap English Afternoon tea, a commonplace beverage you might sip on your lunch break. It is recognizable, mellow, and pleasant when used judicously.

What does Thé Brun signify to the culture? Newsflash: Bourdon was obviously making charming niche scents for down-market brands while also allegedly creating upscale niche for Creed and Frederic Malle. He may have authored Aventus, but I wouldn't point to this frag as proof of that. There's no tea in Aventus. Thé Brun, on the other hand, is 100% about tea. When I sniff its atomizer, it smells like a cup of Twinnings. Truth in advertising! By the way, its minimalist gem-cut bottle is a nice touch.

5 comments:

  1. Welcome back after your sabbatical!

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  2. Good to hear from you Bryan - all the best for 2020.

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  3. Good to see u back.atleat some one is there of Shamus1 calibre and similar taste.welcome

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