I remember the first time I sniffed Annick Goutal’s ‘L’lle Au The.’ t was a hot summer day in New York City, and my friend Miguel was raving about it. I told him, “Really? Annick Goutal?” While I love this house, I have not been excited about any of their releases of late. I think they are a good solid house, just….safe. Or maybe a more positive word I can use is…dependable. But since I trusted my friend’s taste, I went ahead and sprayed some on. I wasn’t initially taken by it, and thought to myself, sure, a nice cologne. But as we kept on talking, I smelled the tea blossom, and it’s a real nice tea note. The marketing notes from them say that this scent is inspired by the Korean island of Keju, which produces citrus and tea. The citrus note here is Mandarin, which makes it rounder and sweeter, and less lemon-y. The tea is a mix of Earl Grey and Green, but there’s something about it that’s light and less mineral smelling. I got a bottle perhaps a year or so ago, maybe more, but I only found myself wearing it this week. The scent doesn’t quite bloom as well under the desert heat, but I find it comforting. And yes, it’s not the most imaginative release, and of course I don’t expect that now from Annick Goutal. But it is a solid tea-based scent, akin to a nice summer scarf.