What happens when you give two perfumers the same passage of text and ask them to make a fragrance with no olfactive brief? The answer is two fragrances that are as different as day and night and it’s an experiment undertaken by a surprising house: Miller Harris. Now, if you’ve not been sniffing the recent launches from Miller Harris you have been missing out. They’ve been very quietly doing some phenomenal work (I point your noses in the direction of Rose Silence and Le Cèdre,to name just two, but trust me when I say that there are many more exciting things to sniff) and it really seems that they are forging an identity for themselves, after years of muddled direction. Miller Harris now has a personality and a character, and I’m here for it.
For their latest project (launching in January 2018), Miller Harris is releasing two fragrances inspired by a passage of text from F.Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. The idea is that the brand handed this passage to two perfumers, Mathieu Nardin (the creator of lots of their recent works such as the aforementioned Rose Silence and Le Cèdre – check him out, you must) and Bertrand Duchaufour (y’all know who he is) and asked them to make a fragrance each inspired by the text. That’s it. No olfactive direction, no concept, just simple literary inspiration. The result is Scherzo (Mathieu) and Tender (Bertrand) and they really are quite surprising.
It’s taken about two years of intense rose-sniffing but I have become wholly and completely obsessed with rose perfumes. I’d even go as far saying that rose is my favourite note. In fact, I’m going to say exactly that: rose is my favourite note in perfumery. I simply cannot get enough and whilst I’ve already written a guide to rose perfumes and even battled them on Fume Chat, I feel as I haven’t quite got my adoration for the note out of my system yet. So with that in mind, here’s a bit of a different approach to an article that allows me to wax lyrical about roses once more.
Roses are one of the most versatile ‘notes’ in perfumery. I say ‘note’ but there really is a vast array of rose materials used in perfumery, some to give a rosy impression and others to add complexity to other compositions. I want to celebrate this versatility of rose but instead of just compiling a guide to roses I’ve decided to showcase the many gradients of rose by creating a day of roses. The idea is very simple: these are roses for morning, noon and night and if you want, you could simply pick one for the time you need it, or if you’re adventurous you could transition through all nine during the day. Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll agree that there really is a rose for every minute, moment and mood.
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.
It’s Valentine’s Day today and if you’ve forgotten to get your loved one a gift and are within the vicinity of a Miller Harris store, I may have just saved your bacon – you can thank me later! This year, MH are encouraging us to ditch the idea of a dinner out, or a cinema date, or even a romantic stroll in the park, no, they want us to stay in bed and you know, do the stuff you do in bed (you know, crocheting, sleeping, antiquing etc.). To aid you in your romantic antics, Miller Harris have created a beautifully fragrant and niftily customisable scented candle featuring one of their most stunning scents: Rose Silence.
As of today, there are just under two calendar weeks until Christmas day! If, like me, you have neglected your Christmas shopping entirely up to this point, or if you simply have a few tricky gifts left to buy, you will more than likely be scouring the blogs for some gift inspiration in the form of fragrance gift guides. These pieces can be pretty helpful in guiding us to some special presents for those special people in our lives, so this year I’m bringing you two gift guides; a luxury fragrance guide in my Escentual column and today, this very guide that you’re reading right now!
This year I wanted to do a little something different with my Christmas Gift Guide. Instead of picking out scents for him and for her, or for mums and dads, or even personality types, I just wanted to gather together a selection of beautiful things that smell great. So that’s exactly what this gift guide is – a collection of fragrant things that are just gorgeous and will make wonderful gifts for those people in your life that like smelly things. They range from fragrances to shower gels, shimmering powders and candles, and whilst they may vary in their style, they all share one thing in common: they are drop dead gorgeous in every way!
I have a confession to make: I’ve always found leather perfumes difficult. They’re just so damn demanding most of the time and one has to commit to wearing them for the whole day, which can be a chore if they start to get annoying, which I find they often do. Don’t get me wrong, the smell of leather in fragrance is often beautiful, but with time it can become dry, harsh and tar-like, suffocating a guy and sending himm reaching for a mouthwatering cologne to quench the nose-thirst. So yes, I like leather, but it’s not often that I find myself loving a leather fragrance, and whilst there are exceptions (Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leatherbeing the most notable), leather just isn’t my thing as a rule.
With that in mind, I’m always very happy when a scent comes along to convince me that I do, in fact, like a style I’m slightly averse to. In terms of leather, that very scent is the new Étui Noir by Miller Harris. Described, rather fantastically, as being “like a well-worn leather jacket shared by lovers with comforting flashbacks of each other” and “as deep as the night”, Étui Noir is a leather with a difference. This is a leather fragrance crafted with an emotional point of view, speaking in nuanced and eclectic tones. It’s representative of the new style of Miller Harris, which is much more focused than it has been in recent years and to put it simply, Étui Noir just is an interesting fragrance to unravel.
As I walked up the Crawford Street in Marylebone, London, towards the new Perfumer H store, I must admit that I had a fair few butterflies in my stomach. I’m a nervous person at the best of times, but I was especially so on this occasion because I was on my way to meet Lyn Harris, the nose that puts the ‘Perfumer’ and the ‘H’ into Perfumer H. Harris’ CV precedes her, having built the hugely successful fragrance house, Miller Harris, from scratch in her early twenties, to the global lifestyle brand that it is today, Harris has a knack for making unfussy perfumes with a spirit of clarity. This spirit is not lost in Perfumer H however, it is presented in an entirely different way.
Stepping across the threshold of Perfumer H, I needn’t have been worried or been nervous at all, as the whole experience was an entirely relaxed affair, from the setup of the shop to the rather insightful chat I had with Harris herself over a cup of hot bergamot tea. As I enter the store, I’m greeted by a dog snoozing calmly on the chair. His name is Pop and he’s a handsome border terrier who, quite rightly, appears rather at home amongst the inviting, yet surprisingly minimal decor of the store. The presence of Pop cements the fact that Perfumer H is not a brand in the typical sense, with a pre-defined personality or ethos. Instead, Perfumer H is an extension of Lyn Harris, and its personality is Lyn as she is today, and it says what she wants to say, all through the medium of olfaction.
It’s been a busy week here at The Candy Perfume Towers, hence the lack of posts. I’ve been a busy boy with work-work, university work and a writing project that all seemed to come to a head at the same time. But I’m not complaining, there are worse things in life than being busy right?
Busy is good as far as I am concerned. I am a perpetually lazy person by nature so I need to have lots to do to prevent me from staring at the television or keeping my nose in a book all day. But when there is lots of work to do and deadlines to meet I find that I have to take some time to relax and re-organise my head. In other words, when things get a bit too busy and hectic, it is time for tea!
Tea to me is relaxation, it is also my other vice after perfume. Weirdly, I only drink tea in the evening and at weekends, I never drink tea at work, perhaps because I enjoy nothing more than coming home, throwing on my pajamas and sitting down to some serious blog writing with a nice, hot cup of tea.