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Miller Harris

Fireworks on snow: Chanel No.22

in Reviews by

For Party People, New Year’s Eve is the night to break out the bling, leopard print and high heels and souse yourself like a herring with the most delightful scents you own – and that’s just the gents. If you prefer to stay home and go into hygge-overload, which has a lot of merits too, I still think you should be fragranced to the hilt – what could be more cosy?

Recently I luxuriated in the utterly snuggly Dr Zhivago fur hat, vodka and tobacco of Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe, which has left a warm deliciousness on my coat collar I’m still smelling a week later. This transference and longevity makes it a sneakily clever party fragrance as well as a hygge hero, because everyone you hug hello will smell of you for the next week. I had a huge bearhug from my fragrant Uncle M over the holidays that left my scarf trailing Eau Sauvage for a few days, and every time I caught a whiff I thought of my lovely uncle, who I don’t see often enough. KEEP ON READING

Smoke, Woods, & Resins: Top 15 for Fall/Winter

in Lists/Reviews by


2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths and an even worse one for celebrity presidential elections, so I’ve found myself craving and wearing mostly woody, resinous perfumes that perform like one long howling basenote, working my tired neck muscles like a Russian massage therapist. This year, no roses, no leathers, and no ambers – just a long line of calming, resinous woods that make me feel like I’ve slipped into the Nirvana of a silent forest, isolated from all the problems of the world around me. KEEP ON READING

Tea with (smelly) friends

in Thoughts by

Two weekends ago I went to London with a good friend I’ve known since I was in my 20s – that’s her in the photo with me – Sam who writes the I Scent You A Day blog. We went to hang out and drink tea with a group of perhaps twenty people, many of whom we hadn’t physically met before. What did we have in common? Perfume. How did we know these people? The internet.

Now some people get upset when I refer to them as Smelly Friends, so I may need to use some other terminology, such as Fragonerds, Perfumistas and Perfumisters, or just fragrance afficionados, but it all boils down to the same thing. We are people who love perfume. You, dear reader, may very well be one too. KEEP ON READING

Iris Quest: The Beginning

in Reviews by

Chandler Burr writes that iris is “liquid good taste” and that description has stuck in my mind when thinking about, and wearing iris fragrances. I am not a natural lover of the note, but lately I’ve been charmed by the silvery elegance it brings to any fragrance, as well as by its ability to manifest itself in a myriad of ways ranging from violet, leather, vegetable roots, cosmetic powder, wet earth, metal, rising damp, and even (disturbingly) dirty, unwashed hair. Depending on what notes iris is matched to and what materials have been used to recreate the smell of either the iris root or petals, iris can mean a hundred different things. KEEP ON READING

Roses Volume II

in Reviews by

Today, we’re looking at a few of the fresher, lighter rose scents out there – L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and Eau Rose by Diptyque, Rose en Noir by Miller Harris, and Elisabethan Rose by Penhaligon’s.

L’Ombre Dans L’Eau by Diptyque

In January, 2013, alone in a small niche perfumery in Rome and armed with birthday money, which is free money, I made my first niche perfume purchases, among them Diptyque’s L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I ended up selling all but one of those bottles (I kept Borneo 1834), and the first on the chopping block was L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. I always have a moment of hesitation before selling on a perfume, but not this time. KEEP ON READING

Mona di Orio Lux-light, darkness and the shadows in between

in Reviews by


It is evident to me that Mona di Orio had a special kind of sensibility. Her esthetic is very soulful, partly melancholic, partly elegant glamour and partly discrete eroticism, and that shows, particularly in her later perfumes.
Les Nombres d’or Collection has gained cult status among perfume lovers for its sophisticated interpretations of various raw materials, Vanille, Ambre, Musc and Cuir being amongst the most popular ones.

Lux is part of the reissued perfumes with which Mona di Orio made her début under her own name. Luca Turin, he of the “Perfumes-The A to Z Guide” fame was particularly harsh towards both Mona di Orio’s person and work. He awarded only one star to all her three launching fragrances: Carnation, Lux and Nuit Noire, which were released in 2006. His review for Carnation really is rather cruel: “Di Orio describes herself in her press material as a living Modigliani, which, desirable or not, is clearly delusional. She also says she studied with Edmond Roudnitska, but her creations suggest she paid little attention. The good news about Carnation is that it does not smell of cloves, as most attempts at that elusive flower do. The bad news is that after teetering for a few moments on the edge of something interesting, a sort of leathery Chinatown, it settles into an awful fruity-chemical mess“. And about Lux, which he calls “dire citrus” he says it’s “the world’s most expensive cheap lemon sorbet flavor“. I don’t know what prompted such a vitriolic reaction, because in fairness Lux or other Mona di Orio creations I’ve smelled are far from being bad, in fact Mona’s delicate and elegant touch comes through in each and everyone of them. Of course, Turin’s negative remarks only made me more curious about those elusive first Di Orio releases, so when I found out some of them were going to be reissued I made sure to obtain some samples. I thought I had a Nuit Noire one as well, but that performed a disappearing act on me, so I had to just soothe myself with some Lux. By the way, the name is the Latin word for light, and indeed it’s a luminous fragrance, at least in the beginning. KEEP ON READING

Miller Harris L’air de rien-coming home

in Reviews by


How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to move my soul so much?  How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to smell so human, so warm, so alive and yet so nostalgic? How is it possible for a handful of scented molecules to feel like the aura of a beloved? or the glow of a place where we were once happy?

L’air de rien it’s not a perfume. It’s a distillation of human skin and hair, of the crumpled cotton bedclothes that still retain the aroma of the one you love more than you love yourself, of the snuffed beeswax candles, of the creaky well worn honey colored wooden floors, of the old, yellowed fairy tales books that you used to read as a child and that you still leaf through sometimes, of the warm and soft rabbit furs that lined the small sleigh pulled by a pair of laughing mother and father, of the comforting woodsmoke from the fire that was awaiting at the end of the snow ride. KEEP ON READING

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