It’s not often that I bring things to you on The Candy Perfume Boy before they launch, after all it’s not much fun writing about things that people can’t get their noses on yet, but right from my very first sniff of Le Cèdre, the brand new fragrance from Miller Harris (launching in May), I couldn’t not share it with you. I’m not a massive fan of woody fragrances as a genre and on the whole they very much feel lovely, but not for me, therefore it’s also rare for me to sniff something distinctly woody and be head over heels for it. So now you understand just why I’m so excited to be writing about Le Cèdre!
Le Cèdre is the latest addition to Miller Harris’ Perfumer’s Library, a capsule collection of scents created to play to different seasons and moods, and coming together to create a fragrant wardrobe filled with scents that cover all bases. This is a sort of IKEA approach to perfumery where one can purchase a flat-packed collection of scent ready to be assembled and worn throughout the seasons. Le Cèdre joins the collection as 2017’s seasonal entry and I’d suggest that it’s the unconventional scent for the summer season. Miller Harris describes Le Cèdre as an “audacious and escapist fragrance” that is softer than one might think. Well, for someone who finds cedarwood a touch on the solid side, that really does sound like something rather fabulous indeed.
Top: Pink Pepper and Black Pepper
Heart: Black Orchid and Mimosa
Base: Cedarwood and Musk
How Does it Smell?
Le Cèdre opens with a rush of prickly pepper and the cedar that takes top billing within the composition. The impression is luminous and grey, with flashes of salty vetiver to add an earthy nuance. Initially, Le Cèdre feels completely immaculate, in the sense that it gives the impression of a modern room with furnishings and decorations placed precisely and accurately. It’s the sort of scent that makes one think of minimalism, wide spaces and neutral colours.
The character of cedar is ever present throughout Le Cèdre which, given the name is a very good thing. What’s interesting about the fragrance though, is how it veers off down interesting paths along the way, all the while remaining in cedar country. The most surprising fork in the road is most definitely the addition of mimosa in the heart. I do love a good mimosa note and I really think that it’s a material that doesn’t get the love it deserves. In Le Cèdre, the mimosa softens the cedar adding a subtle plushness that turns it from being an arid, angular material to something sunny and buoyant.
Underneath all of that is a stealthy animalic accord that reveals itself slowly as Le Cèdre develops on the skin. There’s something distinctly sweaty about it, in the good way, like the sweaty smell of a lover in bed rather than the smell of an unfamiliar person in passing who has a limited understanding of personal hygiene. This spicy warmth blends perfectly with the spiky nature of the cedar, adding a tougher edge to the mimosa softness that came before. Metallic musks carry this through right until the far dry down, which is where hints of spicy cedar warmth bask lazily on the skin. Ahhh, lovely.
Le Cèdre is a beautiful take on cedar. Somehow it feels entirely in line with the Miller Harris minimalist style, whilst also displaying remarkable complexity. It’s this complex simplicity that the brand seems to be really nailing at the moment (I really think they’re doing some wonderful stuff and not just boring citrus things like before) and it takes a familiar note, but manages to do something new with it. Sure, Le Cèdre is completely accessible and easy to wear but that’s not to it’s detriment. In fact, I’d say that what makes this scent so special is the fact that it’s just so darn effortless, which makes the ninja animalics all the more exciting when they do appear. Keep up the excellent work, Miller Harris!
Le Cèdre launches in May and will be available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £155.
Sample, notes and quotes via Miller Harris. Images are my own.