Étui Noir by Miller Harris and No.02 Eau Sento by IUNX

Two unassuming beauties…



My mate Tina G from Australian Perfume Junkies  purchased a few fragrances during her recent trip to Europe (naturally). When we met up in London, she was kind enough to share decants of two of them with me. You can read all about the fragrant fun we got up to that day here. We managed to fit in a shed-load of sniffing and it was a total blast.


Étui Noir by Miller Harris

 Top: Bergamot Italy EO, Tangerine, Elemi Gum
Heart: Iris Butter Morocco, Incense, Cashmere Wood, Styrax EO
Base: Patchouli Indonesia EO, Vetiver Haiti EO, Leather, Amber, Birch EO, Labdanum Abs



I know Tina is drawn to both iris and leather – as am I – so although I generally don’t gravitate towards Miller Harris, I was keen to try her decant of Étui Noir (‘Black Case’). It was released this year and is Eau de Parfum strength.

From the little I’d read, I expected Étui Noir to be a rather dry and austere leather but on spraying I find out that couldn’t be further from the truth. The crisp citrus opening is there and then it’s gone, revealing a cosmetic, powdery iris embedded in sweet suede (as opposed to tough leather).

I’d describe Etui Noir as a cosmetic fragrance crossed with a suede scent, in a similar vein to the far drydown of scents like Naomi Goodsir’s Cuir Velours, Ramon Monegal’s Cuirelle and even Chanel’s Misia.  Like Misia, it’s a bit too sweet for me but then I have an extremely low tolerance for sweetness in perfume these days.

The base is predominantly amber and patchouli and lasting power is excellent. Unlike most perfumes in the leather category, I don’t find it smoky or tarry. This along with the sweet iris powder makes it very accessible; easy to wear while still being chic. It stays close to the body, but this suits its ‘second skin’ character. Étui Noir is one of those fragrances that will quietly surround you with the aura of silky soft suede.


No.02 Eau Sento by IUNX


 Notes: Cedar leaf, cypress, driftwood and red seaweed.  

 eau sento


I’m a fan of perfumer Olivia Giacobetti because she has such a light touch, even with traditional heavy materials. Here she takes wood and makes it as airy as wisps of Japanese incense. Eau Sento is the kind of transcendent, contemplative, woody scent that I can enjoy wearing. Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume quite rightly likens some perfumes in this fragrance family to being “trapped in a tea chest”, but this is the exact opposite. It’s all about space and fresh air.

Don’t be unduly put off by the aquatic aspect. That ozone hit of seaweed is in the mix, but it just makes the scent more interesting – it places the wood at the water’s edge. Eau Sento has the soothing quality of incense, like staring out at the sea and finding all your problems suddenly put into perspective.  As with a lot of Giacobetti’s compositions, it’s simple yet quietly compelling: a thoughtful seashore scent.


tina g.jpg


Do you like these kind of quiet yet thoughtful fragrances? 





Filed under Perfume Reviews

16 responses to “Étui Noir by Miller Harris and No.02 Eau Sento by IUNX

  1. Lady Jane Grey

    That Giacobetti sounds really nice – in spite of the fact that those notes wouldn’t be my first choice. It sounds so poetic (or you made it that way 😀). And I’d quite like to be trapped in a tea chest… 😉


  2. Hey Tara! I’m so glad you found these interesting. Your descriptions are spot on, and I love the way you describe Eau Sento particularly. I find myself drawn to Olivia Giacobetti’s fragrances in general – often without realising they are hers. Like this one, I didn’t know! Lovely. 🙂

    xxxxxxx Tina G


    • Hey Tina, great to hear you chime with my descriptions and I hope you’re still enjoying these two. Isn’t it fun when you find out later that a perfume you really like is by a favourite perfumer?


  3. Woo Hoo! You two girls must have caused plenty of heads to turn as you wandered London. I can picture the both of you being the centre of a group of curious onlookers.
    Love the IUNX frags. Have you tried Splash Forte Tara?
    Portia xx


    • It was one of those really great days Portia and all the better because we’d known each other online for so long.
      I must admit Eau Sento is the first IUNX fragrance I’ve tried. I’ll have to see if/where they’re stocked in London as I’ve never come across them. However, Esperanza is kindly giving me a sample of Eau Frappe next month.


  4. What beautiful descriptions of these hard to grasp perfumes, Tara.
    I too prefer my iris and leather to actually be iris and leather, rather than powder and suede. At least if the powder is too candied and the suede too soft.
    The IUNX series though is quite gorgeous. I love Giacobetti, and she’s the only one ( I can think of) who can do airy with longevity. Somehow the fragrance is with you forever, as opposed to those emperor’s new clothes perfumes which seem to be 90% of new releases 😦
    I can’t say that I remember this one, but I do love the quiet contemplative fragrances too, and I still see L’Ether (also IUNX) for myself in the future 🙂


    • Yes, “candied powder” is exactly it. There’s so many suedes with that accord.
      Totally agree about OC being able to combine lightness with longevity, unlike most. What a talent. I need to try more from IUNX and good to get another recommendation from you.


      • I think I used up my sample, and have missed it ever since 🙂 so I haven’t tried it in a while, but I think you might enjoy it too.


        • Just read a little about it and it sounds fab. Though I guess it may be too similar Passage d’Enfer for me to warrant a bottle. Looks like IUNX are only available in Paris which is a shame. How great that they do those travel sprays?


  5. Ooh, very interesting post, and thanks for the tip off about Étui Noir. I had not heard of it and it sounds right up my wispy scent alley. I used to be primarily drawn to this category, but have pushed my fabric gauge envelope no end lately, and am embracing animalic army coats and chunky sweaters. And I can do sweet, no bother!

    Eau Sento I have sniffed a couple of times in Paris, and can’t for the life of me remember it, except that I think I liked it. From your moody description I am sure I would/did. 😉

    And thanks for the mention!


    • I will save you some Etui Noir V as I really do think you’d like it a lot. It’s great that you are you are pushing the fabric envelope.

      I’m pretty sure you’d love Eau Sento too. I recall you writing a fab post about visiting the store in Paris.


  6. Quiet perfumes aren’t my thing. I mean, I have my share of Jo Malones, but even those are more on the “oomph” side of the brand (Pomegranate Noir, Dark Amber and Ginger Lily, Blackberry & Bay). Still, Etui Noir sounds interesting – and I might not even notice the sweetness, thanks to how my nose works with many sweet notes.


    • I seem to be particularly sensitive to sweetness these days so I’m pretty sure you’d be fine with Étui Noir. It wears close to the body but does have substance.
      I suspect Eau Sento may be too subdued for you though.

      Liked by 1 person

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