Life aboard a colonial tea clipper, with its motley crew sweating on the sails by day and swigging ale come night, might not have been particularly … fragrant. But a romantic notion survives of those 19th-century voyages; clippers racing across the Indian Ocean and around the Cape of Good Hope to deliver decadent commodities to London from the far-flung Orient. Now historic English perfume house Penhaligon's has bottled what it imagines was the aroma of those ships as the fragrance Lothair, part of its Trade Routes Collection. The Lothair was a 792-tonne ship built in Lavender Dock, London, in 1869, and named after the titular character in a novel by British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. As well as sailing to Yokohama, in Japan, and New York, in the United States, the clipper took tea to London, making the journey from Hong Kong in 1873 in 89 days. The unisex scent, created by French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, contains notes of the "smoky heart of black tea", which sail into a wenge wood base "reminiscent of the varnished decks of the elegant Lothair". There are also lighter notes of vanilla, musk, juniper berry and lavender. After the opening of the Suez Canal, in 1869, steamships became more practical and clippers were gradually confined to history. The Lothair was one of the last four tea clippers afloat, but was lost in 1910. Other perfumes in the Trade Routes Collection are Levantium, evoking the rum and spices found in colonial lands, and Empressa, which celebrates pearls and silks. Lothair is available, for HK$1,700 a bottle, at Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central.