Skip to main content

Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre – exotic and luxurious and rich

My sister and I were in Montreal a couple of years ago, just sniffing out some scents at our favourite haunts, when she picked up a bottle of Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre and sprayed it on her arm. WOW! What a stunner! The SA told us the story behind the scent. She said it was inspired by the idea of late afternoon English tea - think tea and ginger cakes in front of a fireplace. She gave us each a sample, and later we discussed it over drinks.

As it turns out, there wasn’t much to talk about – we both loved it, and each of us bought a bottle the next day. What we spent the most time discussing was the name.  

HER: “Waddya think of the whole high tea thing?”
ME: “I dunno. I haven’t had that many English high teas to know.”
HER: “I’ve had a few - cucumber sandwiches, scones, tarts, clotted cream. But maybe not in the time or place that the perfumer was thinking of.”
ME: “The whole tea thing was just an inspiration not a literal translation. What’s it smell like to you?”
HER: "Exotic, luxurious, rich...Why don’t you look it up, you’re a perfume blogger.”

Good idea. I found an interview with Serge Lutens where he talks about Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre, but he sure doesn’t like to reveal much, so let’s let the fragrance do the talking.

Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre opens with bergamot and tea, so it starts off citrusy and smoky and then ginger appears, not raw wet ginger, but the sweet, dry and warm candied ginger Lutens envisioned in this EDP. Vetiver gives it a touch of herbal sweetness, while patchouli and pepper at the base give it a warm, dark earthiness. A note of dark cacao at the end adds a slightly bitter note that balances any sweetness from the vetiver and patchouli.

I may not relate to the high tea idea, and that’s OK, because this is not a gourmand scent.  Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre does not smell like a ginger cookie or cake, but the ingredients - tea, ginger, patchouli, and pepper - are exotic and luxurious and combined in a blend that is absolutely irresistible any time of day.

Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.