*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
It’s easy to forget, with the current pre-Christmas bombardment of advertising, the difference between mass market fragrance and artisan creations. I’ve never been a perfume snob, preferring to flit from scent to scent as the mood takes me and never so much as giving a thought to their history. But after a visit to the new Miller Harris store in Monmouth St, Covent Garden, the concept of a fragrance created by a ‘nose’ rather than in a lab is suddenly very real. Lyn Harris is a formally trained (in France, where else?) perfumier and works surrounded by phials, glass bottles, weighing scales and rare essences to create her scents. She doesn’t work to a ‘creative brief’ as mass fragrances do – they often appoint a ‘creative director’ who leaves it to technicians to interpret his or her ideas – and uses the finest possible raw ingredients. Mass fragrances are such a money maker for the corporations that ingredient quality is the least of their worries; preferring often to use celebrities to ‘sell’ their fragrances rather than focussing on the smell itself. Generously, I was given a bottle of Noix de Tubereuse; an exquisitely light blend that I’ve fallen instantly in love with, and the very fact that I now know how much detail and care went into the creation of it makes it very special indeed. In a surprising twist, Lyn used to create fragrances for one of my favourite beauty brands, Fresh, so unwittingly, I’ve been a fan of hers for a very long time.