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Friday, February 15, 2008

Perfume Review: Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon

By Tom

Or, led down the garden path by a perfume enabler...

Saturday was a lovely day in Los Angeles, clear and warm. A perfect day to meet Gaia, The Non-Blonde and her husband who were in town for a short visit. Gaia is a lovely little sprite of a girl, with a mass of dark brown hair and huge sloe-eyes that could convince a guy of practically anything. Her husband is tall and good looking and it's evident that they are crazy about each other; they are very cute together. We spent at least an hour at ScentBar, sniffing various things and having loads of fun. Her husband took a bottle of L'Homme Sage, a scent that I love and own, Gaia took a bottle of Bois 1920 Extreme, which smelled so stunning on her twenty minutes after application that I am fairly convinced that I am going to have to get a bottle, since we had previously discovered that we are scent twins. That and I tried it on the stray inch of skin that was unspritzed and yes, it was that good on me. Another reason to give scents a couple of tries and to wait for the drydown; I had dismissed Bois 1920 as sort of "meh" when I tried them. I am sadly (because of my bank balance) going to have to revise that opinion.

Another opinion I had to revise was about the fragrance that is the title of this review. I hadn't given it a try since the description at LuckyScent listed ingredients that read to me as "run, do not walk..": cassis berries and lemon geranium. The cassis and geranium are my usual codewords for scrub brush, dishsoap and at least three extra-strength tylenol but somehow the lemon and hint of rose in the geranium and cassis managed to make this pure, unadulterated heaven on me. Luckyscent describes it as an English garden after the rain. What they leave out is that there's a hunky gardener in there who's had a slug of Jack Daniels or two and a quick Lucky Strike and is interested in some serious Lady Chatterly action.

Gaia didn't have to twist my arm for me to get this one.

We left smelling seriously gorgeous and decamped to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for coffee on the terrace overlooking South Beverly Drive, then bought some incredible Macarons at a new store that sells only them on around the corner on Charleville Blvd. and wandered the South side of Beverly Hills, happily munching away and enjoying the spectacular day. Sated and smelling fabulous, they dropped me by my house and wended their way back to their hotel in Redondo before returning to New York and the three most evil words in the English language: Wind Chill

Moral of the story? Smell everything, you never know. That, or when confronted by Macarons of the caliber of the ones at Paulette, forget there is a word "diet". Better yet, the moral is, perfume people are the best!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that fragrance people are so social. You don't see stamp collectors organizing stampapalloozas.

This scent has been tempting me for a while. I'm a sucker for geranium, so I will have to give it a whirl. Ok, here comes my totally shallow and irrational side: I haven't tried any Bois 1920 scents, and I don't think I ever will--I hate the name, and I hate the bottles even more. They look like sugared candy, and the scent names turn me off as well. Does that make me a bad frag hag? No matter how much we try to deny it, packaging, marketing, and brand planning have a ton to do with how we interpret scents.


10:06 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I agree with you; that's why I dismissed them. Sadly, they are really good.

10:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Billy on the Bois 1920s. Ive finally arrived at the point where Im content with not smelling everything. I dont beat down anyones door to smell anything anymore. If it comes my way or if I happen on it, then I will smell it. Its the reason I dont ever order samples or decants. Ive only ever placed an order for samples once in my life and it was 3 years ago. Sure there are a billion things out there I want to smell, but Im a patient man lately. I like the experience of browsing for scent, even with pushy SAs who I just ignore, anyway. Or there are always the good-natured perfume enabler friends who send samples my way. What on earth would I do without them? If I lived in say, Kansas - I would probably order more samples. But as it is, Im an hour from New York. And christ almighty, I certainly don't need anything else on my to-buy list. let me tell you something - if selling ones kidneys on the black market was legal, I'd have been on dialysis years ago - I would not have stopped at selling just one. I'd be hocking a lung, next. Its anything I have two of, really. My bill for Guerlain come Beauty week at Bergdorfs is going to set world records somewhere, Im sure.

Im sorry, what were we talking about? where am I? Oh, god yes - Geranium Bourbon. never smelled it.

I will though, one day... :)

Love your recap of your scent excursion. My last one was with Neil Morris in NYC. We spent hours in the [elevator] lobby of the Ritz Carlton on a bench smelling hundreds of vials. Good times with people who "get it." No explanation needed. They just "get it."

Have a super weekend, any big plans? Im spending it doing design research and starting a scale model of an upcmoing set design I have in the works for "A Little Night Music." So basically - locked in my room with a teapot and a Sharpie marker. Fine line, of course.

Is this too long? I get so self-conscious b/c I feel like I've been writing novels with every reply lately. My appologies...

2:34 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Sounds like such a great time! I think going sniffing w/ a fellow perfume person is one of the great joys of life - even if they're an EST (which, clearly, Gaia is not for you) or maybe especially if they are since it just adds to the fun and fascination of checking out different skin chemistry reactions. MH Bourbon Geranium was the scent that actually helped cure me of my geranium phobia - incredibly gorgeous stuff. I'm definitely going to have to resample the Bois 1920.

6:20 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I can just SEE you three, sauntering about...
Love that Gaia-
My 17 year-old was smitten by her, in Brooklyn last spring, when we met up with Andy.
Her DH is a lovely man, a real keeper.

A dear friend sent me a samp of the GB-
It's so earthy and lovely-
My only fear, is that it doesn't seem to last very long.
But it's just magnificent.

7:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you, I love GB, though I need to retest t as I sampled it only when I sniffed all the MHs.

Would love to hang out with you and G.

7:34 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having just received a lovely reply to an email I sent Silvia earlier I can only agree with you, Tom. Perfume people are the best! I got the sample programme from MH a while ago but it's taking me ages to work my way through them. By chance I have GB in my stash here at work and so just gave it a sniff. What a beauty! Thanks for the reminder!

9:25 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


No worries about the lengh of the reply, it's always nice to hear from you. This weekend will be hanging out and doing laundry; ah the glamour!

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I would love to go with an EST, just to see what some of the ones that don't work on me smell like when worn by one on whom it does!

I always thought Angel was (to steal from March) Chocolate Vomit, but then I smelled it on someone on whom it just sang...

11:13 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I can see why he was smitten, and yes her husband is a keeper. A charming couple and I was very glad to spend some time with them

11:14 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I really want to make that happen one day

damned wide ocean!

11:14 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


it is lovely isn't it? that's coming from a non-geranium fan!

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Brief note as I'm running: I really like GB, and I like it even better layered with Vetiver Bourbon. Guess I'm just a sucker for bourbon! Haven't tried the Bois 1920.

1:11 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'll have to try that layering tip..

thanks! I think....

1:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I will keep an eye out for that hunky gardener! I always had a soft spot for D.H. Lawrence...;-)

I recently tried the Bois 1920 scents and yes, they are seriously good! I was impressed by how different they all are and yet all of high quality. They seem to be marketed mainly as "masculines" but I would cheerfully wear most of them myself.

3:57 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Now I can't remember why they sort of turned me off? I am losing my mind...

Maybe it's what billy wrote. The bottles sort of turned me off.

6:18 PM EST  
Blogger Gaia said...

Tom, I'll need to stop blushing for a minute so I can comment...

It was such a lovely day and I had a wonderful time. You're the best scent twin a girl could ask for, and it's highly amusing to smell someone who smells like me...

The Bois 1920 Extreme should have come as an edp. I have to use quite a bit of its gorgeousness to make it last. That drydown is stunning and no matter how much I spray, it remains kind of intimate between me and my clothes.

I'm getting a bottle of Geranium Bourbon next time I order from LuckyScent. Can't resist the Lady Chatterly action (and we both smelled so good in that).

Now let's get get everyone to NYC for a reunion. It would be so lovely if Lee could just cross the ocean and hang out with us! (we'll just need to find a good substitute to those divine macarons)

12:26 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like wonderful fun between the perfume, coffee, and macarons. I am staring at a whirl of snow that goes all the way around my bank of living room windows right now, listening to maniacal strings on the stereo and nursing a cold. Thanks for making me envious and providing some escape.

2:54 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I will come immediately to New York for a major sniffathon Can we do it in the spring? Please Please Please! What a wild and wonderful time that would be!

As for the Macarons which I am purely addicted to, if we go to New York I am fairly sure that we can find them at Fauchon.....

What a wonderful day the two/three of you had!

7:52 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's just reporting on my part..

I would looove to have some sort of big reunion (or for that matter union since I haven't met, say, Patty, March, Lee or Chaya to mention just a few)

New York is easiest so I guess the question would be when?

11:32 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


does it help that it's going to rain on and off all week?

I kind of like snow if I don't have to go outside in it. I seriously coveted lotto money when I lived in Milwaukee so I could afford to have one of the grand homes on Lake Drive and the ability to have everything delivered from November to March...

11:35 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


wouldn't it be fantastic?

11:36 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

That sounds like so much fun! And too funny: I read Gaia's blog, there's a pic of her, and the way she writes I thought she was some glamazon, like Wonder Woman. And I did have the general idea her husband was hawt...

I bet you smell delicious.

Do you think they put something addictive in macaroons? I can eat them until I'm ill.

4:18 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know what you mean- I didn't expect Gaia to be so tiny. Anyone who willingly drives in Manhattan. Although it was interesting to be told by someone who has recently done both that LA traffic is worse than NYC..

These are actually macarons, and people will apparently slap you if you call them macaroons (which I adore as well). I think in either case the answer is a resounding "yes they do!"

6:26 PM EST  

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