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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Perfume Review: Miller Harris Tangerine Vert, Fique Amere and Fleur du Matin

By Tom

This labor day weekend featured truly ghastly heat: it hit 100 in beautiful downtown Beverly Hills, with humidity to match. Saturday was a trip to the Malibu Country Mart for the largest green-tea ice-blended I could muster up. Sunday I ducked into a showing of the Simpson's Movie (which I liked, but they could have shown me Plan 9 From Outer Space and I would have liked it due to the arctic AC and the icy triple-gulp diet Coke I had) and stopping at every department store on Wilshire Blvd to examine each and every ware I could think of with the care and attention to detail I usually reserve for, well, nothing. Then back home to turn on the totally inadequate air conditioner and pray for death. Monday I had decided that I would keep the AC on all day (I am trying not to be an energy pig, and to keep my electric bill slightly lower than my zip code) and just sit in front of it.

In any case, for my birthday I decided to get a bottle of Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel from Saks in New York, since it is exclusive to that store for a while yet. The very helpful and sweet Rodney included the above mentioned samples and this weekend seemed as good a time as any to write them up. Luckily Rodney (could someone drop by Saks for me and tell him that I love him?) sent three that are perfect summer scents:

Tangerine Vert was the scent for Saturday: a delightful citrus green that reminds me very much of the Hermes scent. The development is quite similar, though the Miller Harris seems to have more depth, and is far more long-lasting. It also travelled well being refreshing in the ghastly heat without dying out in the indoor chill of the coffee shop (because it was even hot in Malibu). The bare hint of Orange Flower and base of woods and musk and a touch of what seems almost like cinnamon make this one a winner.

Figue Amere was for Sunday: It starts off very green and bitter, reminding me (if not smelling remotely like) the first time I tried Campari. It was in a Negroni and the first sip was dreadful: bitter and yet sweet at the same time in a way that was compelling enough to make me sip more. The initial bitterness is cut by the green sweetness of the fig, but this never gets to that toothache-sweetness that some other figgy scents go for. On the sun-blasted terrace of the Century City mall it was a delightful little puff, in the later subzero chill of the movies it was an equally compelling bone-dry woody amber.

Monday was going to be Fleur du Matin and a marathon of "Pasadena", however a friend called to ask me to help her retrieve her vintage 1960 T-Bird from her dad's house in the "Inland Empire" at a college town east of LA, about halfway to Palm Springs. Fleur du Matin lists jasmine, honeysuckle and neroli as it's notes, but they aren't heavy or indolic in the least. There's a fair amount of citrus cutting the flowers making it a fresh, rather delicate scent. Delicate enough that it did not survive the drive back to Pasadena in the un-air conditioned car (It wasn't that bad really when we were moving, sort of like a big blow-dryer). When I got home and re-applied I would appreciate it more: it's a lovely scent, just not necessarily me. It made me imagine a walk in a cool summer garden, voile dress whispering in the breeze. Since you all have seen my picture you can see that I would not fit that image very well, or at least very attractively. I would recommend it heartily to others though.

All of these are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Luckyscent and Bigelow Chemists


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno, I quite like the idea of you in voile dress. Though I now see you morphing into Laura Dern in Lynch's undecipherable Inland Empire...

3:34 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Hi, Tom-Tom !

Nice review-
I like them all-to sniff- but I only have the fig; the others are too sharp on my skin, and I prefer the Cuir D'Oranger to the TV.

I secretly believe you'd love it , too.
Very leathery.

7:16 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I agree with both Lee and Chaya -- you could work the voile dress, and MH stuff in general is too sharp on my skin. You must kill some of that off. And did you find out what that Memoire Liquide (?) skank bomb was that you tried?

7:53 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

One of the good things about the UK's lousy summer this year was that I didn't have to fret about wearing a light summer fragrance when my preference is for weightier numbers. Lovely reviews of these, thanks. To my amateur nose I think the MH scents are well made and a few I like alot (Terre d'Iris, Noix de Tubereuse, Cuir d;Oranger and the Tabac one)but I don't love any yet.

9:37 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I still have that one in my Netflix queue, so I will decide whether I am offended later... :-)~

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'll just have to try then!

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

March- not yet, nut I will stop at ScentBar posthaste.

I think it was a Bois 1920

11:34 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It took me a while to love some of them- I think I was in a different space. But I am crazy about l'Air de Rien and Fleurs de Sel and these three are definite contenders. Happily, Bigelows has some of these in the smaller bottles so i won't go completely broke over them.

11:37 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

The Miller Harris line just doesn't suit me, but do like Fleur de Matin. Too short lived to buy, but I like it. I think of it as an anomaly in the line -- the rest all smell very "Miller Harris-ish", FdM doesn't.

12:22 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I know- the tend to have a bit of "Harrisade" to steal a phrase, but I kind of like that...

1:25 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Like Robin, I don't seem able to do many MHs. I do like Vetiver Bourbon and Geranium Bourbon, though (must be that bourbon:).

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I haven't tried the bourbons yet. I'll have to.

2:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Gaia said...

Figue Amere is already on my list. If there's one note I can wear in any arrangement it's fig. Give me the coconut, the wood, twigs and everything else they couple with it. I wear them all and then go hunting for another one.

2:00 AM EDT  

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