I almost never speak about perfume here…
And it’s not because I don’t like perfume, far from it!
But I would describe myself as a real perfume snob, a true eau de toilette fundamentalist. Ah aha ah, I told you I was posh! wink
But I want to believe that the time I spent at ISIPCA, a perfumery school created by Jean-Jacques Guerlain was kind of useful…
So for me, there is perfume and… perfume.
My favorite ones are usually classics. They reflect a certain golden age of perfumery, they’re complex and captivating potions crafted by skilled artisans called nez (nose).
Unlike them, the majority of current fragrances are the same, or even worse, a watered down version of a successful perfume. (How many versions of Shalimar will Guerlain release, honestly? There is a new every year now! And besides, why distort such a masterpiece? Leave my mother’s and grandmother’s Shalimar alone!)
These are not necessarily perfumes that I would wear but the Shalimar/ Habit Rouge/ Vétiver by Guerlain, Coco by Chanel, Eau Sauvage by Dior are vibrant, powerful scents that speak to me and that move me.
You may have noticed, I don’t really care about whether they are for men or women, as long as the scent is beautiful, that’s fine with me! smile
If you review the fragrance pyramid / perfume notes of these great perfumes (the ingredients in them), you’ll notice that they’re much more complex than the pyramid of the current fragrances.
The current scents are made to be switched. It’s not unusual for people to change perfume depending on their mood of the day. It has become a real fashion accessory. So no need for them to last long on the skin. Actually, it’s better when they don’t last more than a few hours.
My vision of perfume is quite different.
I love the idea of the signature scent. This idea of having your own scent, unique.
Well, in fact, it’s complicated to keep a fragrance all your life, you will likely want to change at some point.
But I like the idea.
Little more than 10 years ago, when I was in my olfaction course at ISIPCA, it was the opportunity to make a shortlist and find the ideal contender for the perfume of my life.
And that’s when I discovered the fascinating world of niche perfumery.
Niche perfumery or alternative perfumery refer to brands wanting to restore the former glory of perfumery, offering more exclusive perfumes, usually quite rare (and yes, also more expensive) and obviously less frequent in number than more classic perfume brands.
Many of these niche perfume brands work with one perfumer, who will take time to develop a fragrance that may not appeal to everyone but it’s actually the main concept! In the niche perfumery, exclusivity is required and tailor-made perfumes are quite common.
These brands are logically less famous than others; brands like Serge Lutens, Diptyque, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Frédéric Malle, Mémo, Jo Malone…
And then there is also Miller Harris. (#longestintroever)
The Miller Harris brand:
When I received the invitation to discover the new perfumes of the brand Miller Harris, I was delighted!
I knew the brand by name because it was sold at Le Bon Marché, where I worked for several years but I never really got a chance to look into it. (shame on me, I know)
We were invited by the brand team to the prestigious tea house Fortnum and Mason across from Dubai Mall (perfect for the occasion) and they introduced us to their latest collection, Jardin d’enfance.
Yes, Miller Harris is an English brand but all the perfume’s names are in French. To quote my girlfriend LuAnne from the blog Weesha’s World, most perfume brands need to hire at least one French person in their team, otherwise they are not credible. bigsmile
Joking aside, the founder of the brand Lyn Harris started her career as a perfumer in Paris and Grasse before founding Miller Harris in 2000. And you can totally feel the influence of the beautiful French parfumerie in her creations.
But the brand also has a very British twist that combines the love of nature with a sophisticated style.
The obsession of natural essences is palpable in her creations, and some of them even have almost a botanical side. But they’re obviously sublimated and they are overall beautiful creations.
Lyn Harris left the Miller Harris ship a few months ago but she still remains a shareholder in the company even if she’s no longer the perfumer of the brand.
It’s now the company Robertet in Grasse which creates the Miller Harris creations and Jardin d’enfance is a result of their work.
The collection Jardin d’enfance:
Jardin d’enfance is the collection that celebrates 15 years of the brand.
On this occasion, the perfumers at Robertet created, with the help of Lyn Harris, a walk in an enchanted garden, very flowery and colorful, the reminiscent of the childhood garden of the founder of the brand. She used to spend the holidays in the family house and her grandmother owned a beautiful garden full of flowers, fruits and aromatic herbs.
This garden has always been a major inspiration for the founder of Miller Harris and the 3 fragrances of the collection Jardin d’enfance are their interpretation.
The inspiration and the story behind a perfume is a really important part of the product itself.
Successful perfumes (start with a scent) rely on a meaningful story to support these invisible scents we wear, connect with and love, scents that become part of our own life story.
Each perfume has its own story, capturing the essence of the perfume and intertwined with the choice of scents. Good stories behind perfumes are not closed books, nor the personification of some celebrity, they are authentic, honest, timeless, have personality, but are also open enough for consumers to build on them and create stories of their own.
Cassis en feuille:
Cassis en feuille is my favorite of the 3 fragrances in the collection.
If I had to get it into a category, I’d say it’s an aromatic floral scent, with a rather green, woody and musky side.
Well, that makes 5 categories. But with a complex perfume like this one, it seems rather normal! wink
When I attended the presentation, I thought it was more an Eau Fraîche or a Cologne. But no, it is a true Eau de Parfum (the fragrance concentration rate is higher). So it lasts longer on the skin than than a fresh fragrance.
The top notes (what you smell when you first spray the perfume) are very green, fresh and tangy. You smell some Sicilian bergamot and peach for the freshness and the sweetness as well as blackcurrant leaves that give the tangy acidity.
The heart notes (present on the skin after a couple hours) are a continuity of the top notes with green tomato leaves (my guilty pleasure, I’m crazy about this scent) and aromatic notes with galbanum and a floral bouquet with geranium and rose.
The fragrance settles in base notes (the most persistent, it can even lasts several days on the skin) with musk and Virginia cedarwood that give the fragrance a more sensual and animal side. I can also describe it as creamy on me (you can’t chase the cosmetic addict away with me ;) ).
By detailing the perfume pyramid, I realize that my crush for this perfume is not at all surprising.
I haven’t told you but the contender to the role of perfume of my life is Mûre et Musc by L’Artisan Parfumeur, and you have a lot of similarities with certain notes in this ‘Cassis en feuille’. It’s not just because I worked at L’Artisan Parfumeur, it has been my go-to perfume for over 10 years.
It also reminds me of a perfume that I literally adored during my adolescence, Les Belles Liberté Acidulée by Nina Ricci, a fragrance that was composed around the green tomato scent.
Anyway, I’m still not sure ‘Cassis en feuille’ will become the perfume of my life, but it will certainly be the fragrance of my summer. I’ll probably be back to ‘Mûre et Musc’ soon, but you know what they say about escapades, once you start… wink
And you, what is the perfume of your life or your crush of the moment? Did you already know Miller Harris fragrances?
*the perfume Cassis en feuille by Miller Harris was given to me by the brand to do a review on the blog.
Photo credits: bonnie-garner.com
Cet article est aussi disponible en français: Le parfum Cassis en feuille de Miller Harris