Mostly, I’m a fan of Miller Harris fragrances but somehow these two are a million miles from my personal taste in scent. So, the challenge is to review something I don’t like in recognition of the fact that fragrance is like art or literature – subjective and personal. Both Lumiere Doree and Etui Noir are intended to be light and shade fragrances with Lumiere Doree being a sun drenched, carefree morning and Etui Noir being a darker more sombre olfactory cityscape.
Lumiere Doree has all the right notes to be the sunshine – if you can say there is a scent to the sun then I definitely get it in this but there’s something in the backdrop that is opressive and heavy. My nose will hoover Orange Blossom out of anything, but not this time because the bit that I don’t like overtakes everything. So, the note line up is Bergamot, Petit Grain, Orange, Neroli, Sambac Jasmine, Orange Blossom Water, Cashmere Wood, Vetiver, Crisp Amber and White Musks. I have no idea why it has taken against me – because I am dying to love this.
Bizarrely, though, and as a sneaky peek, the forthcoming (and returning) Bath & Body line contains a scrub and shower gel in Lumiere Doree that is perfect and I genuinely like (you won’t see the new line til Autumn). So, what is in the fragrance that isn’t in the body products is anyone’s guess. But it does speak of sunshine, high heat and a woody warmth.
Etui Noir is as dark and deep as the name suggests, so if you love a dominant and strong scent with patchouli and leather, it’s yours! It’s the more unisex of the two I’d say although I think asigning notes to gender is on its way out, but traditionally speaking, it is more masculine. The line up is Bergamot, Tangerine, Elemi Gum, Iris Butter, Incense, Cashmere Wood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Leather, Labdanum, Amber and Birch – the latter six sounding like dungeon equipment – yes THAT kind of dungeon. It’s a bit ‘antique furniture’ smelling for me but is a wrap around of aromatic leathery depth.
Each is £65 for 50ml – I’d suggest that you try before you buy, but if you’re all guns blazing they launch on 2nd June (or are already in Duty Free at airports).
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