The Magic of Tea


A bridge between East and West, a bridge between the past and the present – something that perfume and tea share.


How can we overcome the transience of the body? How can we cross the boundaries between time and space? At Shui Tang in Zurich’s Niederdorf I learn more. The place has something magical, just like the owner Ms. Meng-Lin Chou, who transports me into her world with a wonderful ceremony of the traditional infusion beverage. The painstaking preparation is enough to make my to-go cup of morning coffee feel Philistine.


Creating rare moments for sharing and pleasure, tea is considered an alchemical and Taoist bridge. Life is a river with two banks, yin and yang, one side is male, the other female, one reflects the material, the other the spiritual world. Both are polar opposites to each other, yet related forces that form a whole perpetual cycle. Tea is like a ship that helps you float from bank to bank. While doing so, you can forget the time.


That’s what I’m doing at Ms. Chou. I am glued to her lips while I sip a delicious infusion. «The more cultivated a Chinese household is, the smaller the cup,» she says. «Many customers have claimed that sitting at the antique Chinese table, sipping the traditional Chinese Gongfu Tea is enough to infuse a magical power.» As I watch her when she prepares the tea, I believe that too, because time seems to stand still. Rare and precious moments that we easily forget in our fast-paced world.

Perfume used to be like tea a sacrificial offering in the past in order to manipulate the gods. Fragrance reflects the alchemy of the exterior, tea the interior. In Bulgari‘s latest creation, they become one.

In the most hidden corners of the province of Yunnan at an altitude of 3000m, the rare black tea, that is used for the fragrance, is harvested between 2000-year old trees. Just like in the 11th century it is produced without electricity from the village farmers. Hand-harvested at precipitous elevations and carefully dried in the sun, those tea leaves can fetch more money per ounce than gold.


Today, tea is a product in our affluent society, which stimulates thinking. 3000 years ago, it was used exclusively as medicine.
During the early ’90s, nobody would have thought that the traditional infusion could also be a perfume. But Bulgari has never followed current trends and launched in 1992 «Eau Parfumée au thé vert», inspired by the idea of ​​hospitality. First, the novelty was intended not as a traditional fragrance, but as refreshing ceremony for customers in the Bulgari shops.

The unisex revolution was a huge success and can now be found in many hotel rooms as amenities. Other tea inspired scents have followed (see the complete collection above). The new «Eau Parfumée au thé noir», a powerful interpretation of the exclusive type of tea from Yunnan, enriches the collection with a different olfactory territory and promises to become another bestseller.


Inspired by millennial Chinese black tea, it is an intense luxury fragrance for men and women that imprints itself indelibly on the skin with its floral and woody notes. The top notes are as palpable as those of a rose. The fluid and woody notes of black tea accord and patchouli strongly interact with the sensual and captivating harmonies of oud. Like yin and yang, an interplay, sensual and captivating.



Top Notes: Rose Absolute – Bergamot Essence
Middle Notes: Black Tea Accord – Magnolia Essence
Base Notes: Oud Wood – Patchouli

Eau de Cologne Intense Spray
75ml (CHF 104.00) and 150ml (CHF 169.00)


Home & Bath Collection
200ml Body Lotion (CHF 63.00), 200 ml Shampoo & Shower Gel (CHF 52.00), 3 x 150g Soap Set (CHF 69.00), 15 x 12 gr Refreshing Towels (CHF 50.00), 325g Candle (CHF 99.00) and 600g Candle (CHF 168.00)

Guest Set
75ml EdC + 75ml Shampoo + 75ml Shampoo & Shower Gel + 75ml Hair Conditioner + 75ml Body Lotion + 75g Soap + 12g x 2 Oshibori (CHF 128.00)

LoL, Sandra


Photos: Courtesy of Bulgari and © Sandra Bauknecht

Gucci Bamboo – Fragrance Launch in NYC


Monday last week, I arrived in NYC to attend the launch of Gucci‘s newest fragrance GUCCI BAMBOO that took place at the Bowery hotel for two days with special events. During that time, I was able to meet and interview the face of the campaign, Israeli actress and model GAL GADOT, who is known for her role as Gisele in The Fast and the Furious film series and as Wonder Woman in the upcoming movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Stay tuned for the interview which will be coming up tomorrow. For now, let’s have a look at the new fragrance.



First of all what does Bamboo means? For Gucci, it is not so much about the plant but about the woodstock, its strength and resilience which is used for the iconic bag handles for example (If you are interested to see a tour around the manufacture in Casselina, I invite you to click here).

Gucci Bamboo Ingredients

For the fragrance, the Italian fashion house tried to stay true to its DNA and transported the iconic leather and wood aspect to the scent. It has been a long process of almost 3 years, with lots of iterations until the final result was found.

Duality plays an important role, reflecting strength and femininity at the same time. Woody floral fragrances have been used for a long time in the Gucci perfume world but with GUCCI BAMBOO, another story has been written, something different and exotic from all the others.

The Notes

Ingredient 3

1. Casablanca Lilies from North Africa (a Headspace recreation) add a wonderful complexity as if the sun is touching the petals itself.

Ingredient 4

2. Ylang Ylang from the Comoros Islands of the East coast of Africa (natural extraction). Only the extract is used for Gucci Bamboo. The small yellow flowers are handpicked and than right afterwards put in a steamed distillation.

copeau de bois

3. Sandalwood from Australia (a natural extraction of the bark). This is another very important signature note for Gucci as it adds the duality.


4. Tahitian Vanilla (special chosen quality). It has more dryness, a balsamic quality, very rich, not too sweet, more leathery.

Ingredient 2

5. In order to bring to life the dazzling and fresh aspect of the fragrance, Pear and Italian Bergamot were used as opening notes. This give that crunchy freshness.

The fragrance is really beautiful and it literally grows on you during the day. In the morning, you apply the freshness that transforms during the following hours in something very rich and floral and that ends with a captivating dryness.


The face, Gal Gadot, is the epitome of a modern multifaceted woman. Mother, wife and businesswoman. Warm and open. Strong and feminine, just like a bamboo.


GUCCI BAMBOO is available from July 30, 2015.
Eau de Parfum 30ml (€64.00), 50ml (€89.00) and 75ml (€114.00)

Shower Gel 200ml (€35.00), Body Lotion 200ml (€37.00) and Deodorant Natural Spray 100ml (€26.00).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci, © Sandra Bauknecht

Armani Privé Nuances


After the success of last year’s NACRE, Giorgio Armani will launch its new limited edition couture fragrance NUANCES this month.


Inspired by the beautiful Armani fabric designs, seen on the S/S 2013 runway, the packaging comes with an organza pouch to store the bottle.


The woody-iris fragrance was designed by famous French perfumer Nathalie Lorson and is made from noble raw materials, just like a couture dress for your skin. She explained the central idea: The S/S 2013 collection is representative of a fashion which is halfway between masculine and feminine where different materials and textures are superimposed. This fragrance is a reflection of the new collection with its combination of the intensive, masculine, magnetic nature of the vetiver with the powdery, silky, feminine delicateness of the iris.”



Top notes: Floral vetiver and orris
Middle notes: Bergamot, cinnamon, heliotrope and iris
Base notes: Vetiver and sandalwood

Armani Privé NUANCES is available as 100 ml Eau de Parfum for CHF 690.00 with only 1000 bottles made worldwide. In Switzerland at Jelmoli Zurich, Globus Geneva plus at the Armani store in Zurich.


LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani

Arquiste – The Time Traveller’s Scent


“A beautiful scent is like a beautiful memory, it transports us to another place in time.”

– Carlos Huber

A scent is a time capsule. It can invoke our most intimate memories and dreams, and open doors to distant worlds. Curated by Carlos Huber, an architect specializing in Historic Preservation, Arquiste is a fragrance collection that transports the wearer to evocative moments in history. Last week, I had the honour to meet the very handsome and charming Carlos himself.

ArquisteCarlos Huber with me

Mexican-born Carlos Huber (his last name derives from his Swiss-German ancestors) looks like a model from a Ralph Lauren advertising campaign. But instead of modeling, Huber was involved in the preservation of Ralph Lauren stores that held historical significance such as their famous flagship on Madison Avenue where Carlos, an architect by trade, was in charge for the high jewelry room along and for the accessories department. He is so passionate about history and told me that he loves to indulge in old books describing himself as a “nerd”. I like this new species of well-dressed, good-looking nerds!


As fate willed, he started to pursue his longtime love of fragrance by taking special classes about the art of perfumery with two top Givaudan perfumers, Rodrigo Flores Roux and Yann Vasnier, who  happened to be Huber’s friends. With their help, he created a range of six perfumes and launched Arquiste Parfumeur last year. With an immaculate attention to detail, each of his complex scents aims to evoke the olfactive notes of a specific moment in history.

Have you ever wondered how the most fragrant festival in the Aztec calendar in 1400 smelled like? What about the moment when Louis XIV saw his future wife Maria Teresa, the Infanta of Spain, for the first time? Thanks to Arquiste, you can time-travel with each spritz. Read all those little stories. Your fantasy will take you on a beautiful olfactive journey.

Flor Y Canto


Notes include: Mexican Tuberose, Magnolia, Plumeria and Marigold
Developed with Rodrigo Flores Roux



Notes include: Calabrese Cedrat, Myrtle, Date Fruit and Vetivert
Developed with Rodrigo Flores Roux & Yann Vasnier

Fleur de Louis


Notes include: Orange Blossom, Florentine Orris, Jasmine and White Cedar Wood
Developed with Rodrigo Flores Roux

Infanta en flor


Notes include: Orange Flower Water, Spanish Leather, Citrus Resin and Immortelle
Developed with Yann Vasnier

Anima Dulcis


Notes include: Cocoa Absolute, Mexican Vanille, Cinnamon and Chili Infusion
Developed with Rodrigo Flores Roux & Yann Vasnier



Notes include: Neroli, Violet Leaf, Fir Balsam and Russian Leather
Developed with Yann Vasnier


The success of Arquiste is incredible. In only six months, those extraordinary fragrances have found many fans around the globe. Arquiste – Fragrances that transport you to another place in time, for men and women. My favourite is the opulent floral scent “flor y canto”.

In Switzerland available at Osswald. For other stores worldwide, please click here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Arquiste and © Sandra Bauknecht