Perfume Review: Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel
Fleurs de Sel, a new fragrance from Miller Harris, was inspired by the village of Batz sur Mer in Brittany and by the happy memories the perfumer Lyn Harries has of the place. The name of the perfume probably refers to
“… hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French fleur de sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, and is slightly grey due to the sandy minerals collected in the process of harvesting the salt from the pans.” (Wikipedia)
I find salty perfumers, the ones that are not aggressively aquatic, to be very appealing. The association between the sea and the salt brings a certain uplifting, dare I say, almost spiritual quality to the note. As Pablo Neruda noted, in salt “we taste infinitude”. And another quote by Neruda sums up the composition of Fleurs de Sel for me: “the savors of land and sea”…The scent is simultaneously evocative of the sea and very earthy and comfortingly “solid”.
The beginning is certainly salty, but also very herbal…evoking an image of thyme, sage and rosemary growing on a sand, among the salt crystals, somewhere by the wintry, grey sea. I also smell vetiver right from the start, and the note adds cool, green rootiness to the blend. The top notes strike me as cold and, in a way, transparent, but the next stage – floral and woody- warms up the perfume considerably and also brings a substantial, “feet firmly planted on the earth” quality to the composition. The heart of Fleurs de Sel has a very noticeable orris note, the powdery aspect of which is accentuated by the warm, balsamic woody accord and the rose. The scent has a slight muskiness and an even slighter almost-fruity undertone, which I associate with ambrette seed. The base is resinous, the tiniest bit leathery, with woods aplenty. I swear that at this point I smell cinnamon, and the combination of the spice and the dark, warm woods makes me think of Rousse. Salty Rousse. Fleurs de Sel is primal, wind-swept and at the same time very elegant. Lovers of woody and “savory” perfumes should be delighted with this new Miller Harris offering.
Fleurs de Sel is available at millerharris.com, £95.00.
Please visit Aromascope to read Ina’s take on Fleurs de Sel.
Image sources, tourismebretagne.com, millerharris.com.