One of the stops on last month’s London perfume tour organised by Pia and Nick (of Love to Smell) was the Miller Harris store on Monmouth Street, Covent Garden. Unfortunately I missed the talk but got a lovely bag of boxed samples. If you’d like to catch up on what went on that day, you can read all about it on Bonkers About Perfume, Volatile Fiction and I Scent You A Day. It was a great get-together of 20 or so perfume lovers/bloggers. Too bad I was feeling so poorly.
Below are my mini-reviews of the five EdP samples we received –
Cassis en Feuille
Bergamot, galbanum, blackcurrant, geranium, tomato leaf, cedarwood
I always keep an eye out for perfumes showcasing blackcurrant because it’s a note I’m drawn to. However, they usually turn out to be sour and/or too green. Cassis en Feuille starts out very grassy, becoming a tangle of green stems accented with blackcurrant and then finally, a prominent blackcurrant scent with a green backdrop. Like a lot of the fragrances I’ve tried from this line, it doesn’t project very far. I still haven’t found my blackcurrant perfume.
Poirier d’un Soir
Bergamot, rum extract, rose, papyrus, birch tar oil, patchouli oil, white cedarwood
Why aren’t there more pear fragrances around, I wonder? “Pear Tree in the Evening” is a likeable honeyed pear scent. I’m not good with this level of sweetness but somehow I can deal with it better in the colder months. It manages to brighten up a dull autumnal day and fits the concept of sitting under a pear tree full of ripe fruit as the sun hangs low in the sky. It’s not a dupe by any means, but could be worth a try if you fell for the pear tart of La Belle Helene but couldn’t stomach MDCI prices.
Bergamot, tangerine, lavender, ylang ylang, cassis, jasmine, orange flower, vetiver , vanilla
The most surprising of the five is La Pluie. Rather than being a straight-up aquatic, it’s a tropical garden after a rain shower. It starts a little musty/powdery, slightly green and herbal. In the heart, it reveals a carpet of buttery ylang-ylang flowers interspersed with dewy jasmine. The final twist is the soft ylang scented vanilla which comes through in the base. La Pluie stays subdued throughout its development and could be an easy, breezy choice for summer.
Tangerine green, grapefruit, lemon, marjoram, geranium, orange flower, cedarwood, moss, sweet musk
No surprises here. As advertised, we get a lovely tart, tangerine with green leaves in tact. For most of its development it’s a really great zingy citrus which isn’t too sour even though the notes include grapefruit and lemon. Tangerine Vert has the uplifting feeling of a bright spring day and tangerine/mandarin scents always seem to make me happy. Sadly, the feel-good factor ends for me with the arrival of the base. The sweet muskiness is not to my taste however, if you like Kiehl’s Original Musk then you’ll probably be fine with it.
Bergamot, orange flower, spicy carnation, rose, heliotrope, vanilla bourbon, benzoin, amber, labdanum, musk
I have a soft spot for Fleur Oriental. It’s one of the first samples I got after falling down the rabbit hole. This was partly because I was interested in carnation perfumes at the time and partly because Katie Puckrik was a fan of it. Trying it again a number of years later, I still really admire it, despite the noticeable heliotrope. It has a silken powdery feel, the way an old-school carnation fragrance like Bellodgia might have had back in the day. This cloud of scented talcum powder is nicely spiked with citrus and orange flower, giving it a lift. The base even has a touch of the Shalimars about it. All in all, it makes for an easy to wear, floral oriental with somewhat of a retro feel and a pleasing mist of sillage.
Do you like any of these or other fragrances by Miller Harris?