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Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre – It must be five o’clock somewhere

My sister and I happened to be in Montreal together 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. It had just been released and I had not yet had the opportunity to smell it. WOW! What a stunner! The SA told us the story behind the scent. She said that the Five O was inspired by the idea of late afternoon English tea - tea and ginger cakes in front of a fireplace. We each got a sample, and then decided to discuss it over drinks.

As it turns out, there wasn’t much to talk about – we both loved the scent beyond reason 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 the hotshot perfume blogger.”

Good idea. I found an interview with Serge Lutens where he talks about Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre:

He sure doesn’t like to reveal much, so let’s let the frag 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 SL 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 slight bitter note that balances any sweetness from the vetiver and patchouli.

I may not relate to the high tea idea, but the ingredients are all from far away – tea, ginger, patchouli and pepper – exotic, Eastern, luxurious and absolutely irresistible. I wouldn’t wait until five o’clock to wear it!

Five O'Clock au Gingèmbre is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.