Miller Harris shout-out for brand’s soap donations

Miller Harris have announced they’re donating hand wash, hand lotion and soaps to those most vulnerable in the UK – and are calling for other brands to join in if they can

In these unprecedented and troubling times, amidst much worry, people ARE doing good things. We’ve already highlighted how some beauty and fragrance brands are helping, and will be showcasing some more next week. But right now we want to join Miller Harris and their shout-out for brands to donate soap, where possible, to help the most vulnerable in our community.

We’ve just spoken to Sarah Rotheram, CEO of Miller Harris, and she explained this felt like a positive thing they could give back to the community – to ensure those most vulnerable – the elderly and the poor – can wash their hands. We know that soap and water and good hand hygeine can destroy the virus. We’ve been contacting brands ourselves, but we’d also like to post this shout-out so that if there are ANY brands out there who’d like to get involved…

In a letter sent to fellow brands, Sarah says:

‘Dear Friends and Colleagues.

LETS GET SOAP MOVING!

As the apprehension around the COVID-19 virus spreads globally, I felt compelled to write and try to help in anyway that we possibly can. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected, our friends in China, Asia and Italy who have been affected for some time, and everyone globally now feeling the shock of the virus.

We do believe that the pause on the world is here for a reason and to remind us we are ‘all one world’ and together is how we will overcome this pandemic. As you all know, I am a huge optimist and there will be a silver lining as the world emerges from this a different place.

We are seeing huge acts of kindness amongst the gloom of the news, and it is these acts of kindness that bring us hope. As a small business we are aware that the next few weeks and months will be a huge challenge for us and all of our staff and partners and we will look to work together through this crisis.

We are partnering with Age UK to address the demand in the most at-risk sector and whilst we await more detailed stats, what we do want to do is urge other businesses who can help, to act now.

As a brand we will be donating our entire stock of hand wash, hand lotion and soaps to those most vulnerable in the UK. Our soaps will leave the warehouse tomorrow to reach the elderly and we are asking other brands to join us. It will be a sin if soap is sat in warehouses rather than reaching people where it can be of some help. The most venerable in our society will be the most affected and the best advice is to wash your hands regularly, so we need to donate what we can and get soap to those in need.

If others join us we can make a much bigger difference.

Our larger beauty colleagues are generously giving to hospitals and assisting governments and often as a small brand we can feel that it is hard to make a difference. Collectively we can have a huge impact.

We are a small brand so have 11,000 units, but I am writing to other small businesses to request if you can join us in making a positive difference to lives. Its time to give back and I think as a community we can make a difference.

This week we have already donated soaps and shower gels to food banks, as they are also facing shortages of supplies as people stock pile. They need support. Again, I am writing to see if you can possibly spare some soap to these organizations that are caring for those in need in these uncertain times.

Please join me in donating generously, and lets get the soap moving. If you are able to help please get in contact with Emma, Laurel and SJ via [email protected] who will share logistical information and link you with Age UK.

Best wishes,

Sarah Rotheram
CEO, Miller Harris

If you are a small brand with stock to spare, or know of brands that might be able to get involved, please do share this information with them. Let’s all pull together in this troubling time and make sure the most vulnerable are helped.

By Suzy Nightingale

Miller Harris get Lost with Violet Ida – try sample sizes here!

Miller Harris are one of our most-beloved British niche fragrance houses, and they continue to breathe colour and life into the classic perfumer’s art – complex fragrances ‘designed to tell vivid urban stories.’

They start with nature, with distinct greens and woods, with carefully sourced floral notes, iris from Florence, French violet leaf, jasmine from Egypt, Tunisian orange flower – but frame these precious botanicals in complex and unconventional ways, often inspired by artists, or more recently, urban foraging escapades and ever-cool, cult novels.

 

As Miller Harris puts it: ‘We honour nature by sourcing the finest raw materials and preserving the delicacy of our ingredients, then curate, combine and harmonise them to create perfumes that combine Parisian elegance with London’s eclectic street styles.’

We wanted to celebrate the fantastically diverse and always-exciting scents Miller Harris are producing, and so as part of our curated selection of Launches We Love Discovery Box, are thrilled to include samples of not one but TWO Miller Harris fragrances we think you’re going to love… Lost and Violet Ida.


Inspired by urban foraging, Miller Harris’s trio turned city greens into scents of dreams. Lost (in the city) is a celebration of that sharp pink ingredient, rhubarb, splashing fruity blackcurrants across a bed of wild rhubarb, rose and geranium. Earl Grey tea, crisp amber and musk settle in –but not before you’ve had your fill of bright fruits. It’s tart, fizzy and moreish – do prepare to have your inner child brought out by this one.

Lost (in the city) £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Brighton Rock’s big-hearted Ida Arnold is the muse for this proper-handbag, lipstick-kissed, buxom embrace of a scent. Think glamorously disordered dressing tables and delightfully déshabillé dames up to no good (but with best of intentions) amidst a powdery orris, carrot oil and heliotrope affair. The amber-rich and vanilla-infused dry down is something to snuggle up to and savour for simply hours, and we predict this will be a huge hit…
Violet Ida £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Both of these incredible fragrances were composed by brilliant perfumer Mathieu Nardin, and you can read our exclusive Working Nose interview with him, here.

Before deciding which (we predict BOTH) of the Miller Harris fragrances you’ll be indulging in a full-size flaçon of, and exploring their delights in your own time – why not try them out at home in sample-size, in our Launches We Love Discovery Box – along with thirteen other scents, two scented shower gels and a full-size Nails Inc. nail polish (our extra gift to you), that’s worth £15 on its own?

For only £19 for the whole lot (£15 for VIP Club members). You know it makes sense…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Bertrand Duchaufour – A Working Nose

As part of our ongoing Working Nose series, we were thrilled to meet up with one the busiest and most talented of perfumers – the incredible Bertrand Duchaufour.

We met with Bertrand at the launch of a new trio of fragrances for Miller Harris, for whom he created Hidden (On the Rooftops) as part of the Forage collection. Inspired by urban foraging and the joy of happenstance, these scents focus on seldom used ingredents which we may overlook or even tread on as we traverse our cities.

Miller Harris chose Bertrand along with fellow perfumer Mathieu Nardin (who made Lost (In the City) and Wander (Through the Parks), and you can read Part One of our perfumer interviews with Mathieu, here.

I began by asking Bertrand how he went about translating an original brief into a final perfume. How does that alchemical process actually begin…?

Bertrand Duchaufour: ‘Well this is my interpretation of foraging, and I think the original concept was to take the idea of humans foraging – you know, wandering through parks and gardens in cities and coming across this incredible array of plants, herbs and flowers we don’t normally stop to look at. In fact we came to London with the Miller Harris team and went foraging with a professional forager. It was really very eye-opening to take this practical trip as a creative exercise.’

So, did you end up using ingredients in Hidden that you’d never used before?

‘No not really, but here’s the interesting thing – although I’ve used all these ingredients previously, it depends on the way you work with them, how you make your accords, what else you put them with, and then you can make new smells that replicate the ones you were inspired by. As a perfumer it’s not always a matter of just writing a list of ingredients you come across and then using them to re-create a scene, because often that doesn’t work.

I try to translate certain plants and herbs I found, the smell that came from scrunching up their leaves, and it was really quite amazing to try and accomplish this. Foraging for me was something completely different, and for this fragrance I tried to look at it from the perspective of a bee. I imagine the route the bee takes, all the flowers they visit in that area. It’s a bee’s eye view of a city!’

‘I only recognised one plant I could eat while foraging, the Wild Garlic, which we also have in France – and I used that to make a homemade pesto!’

Why do you think we so often overlook the plants growing around us and think of exotic ingredients for fragrances?

‘Well I guess we are just not that curious! We tread on them almost every day, but we worship the expensive materials we don’t have access to.’

Do you have a set routine for working on a fragrance, or does this change depending on the project?

‘Too much focusing on just one project is never good as a perfumer, you get lost in it and can’t see clearly anymore. Spending all day long on one fragrance is not healthy. I’m always working on many things at the same time. Sometimes you just happen on an idea, it comes to you just like that [snaps his fingers] and those ideas are usually the best!’

Are there visual stimuli used to help with the creation of each perfume?

‘Sometimes yes, sometimes no. For Miller Harris they gave me a moodboard made up of photographs, and this is a starting point, I found it very inspiring because ideas start to form in your head right away. It gave me the idea of having the bee’s eye view, foraging from the bees, just from the photographs. I thought that because honey can taste very different depending on where the bee forages, the same should be true of this fragrance.’

Do you prefer to get up early in the morning to begin?

[Bertrand looks utterly aghast at the word “prefer” in regards to getting up early, so I modify the question as ‘Is there a time of day you work best?’]

‘Again, it depends with each project. I have so little time to just sit and think, so there is no going for a long walk to find my muse or anything like that! I work on perhaps twenty or thirty different fragrances at once, so sometimes you just have to get your head down and get on with it.’

People have the idea that any creative person must use the luxury of time to be inspired…

‘Maybe Jean-Claude Ellena can use the luxury of time – you know, wandering around his garden – especially now he is retired, but the majority of perfumers cannot!’

Miller Harris seem very good at allowing perfumers to interpret the brief in their own way. How do you find working like that?

‘It’s a different way of beginning, certainly, and really interesting, but in the end you still have to go through the same process, and so I always work the same way. You have a concept, and there are many ways to interpret even one word of a brief, or the way you are inspired by a picture. I like to talk about synaesthesia, the way these things cross over in our senses, the millions of ways we can each translate something. Synaesthesia is the art of making correspondence between one expression of a sense to another one, and it’s not that easy. For me a patchouli, for example, might be likened to violet or something purple. I might be convinced of that, but Mathieu might have a completely different idea. It always has to be personal.’

Miller Harris say: ‘High above the city, London is home to countless hives of diligent honeybees. A whoosh of fresh honeyed floralcy leads you to the crisp green privet of a HIDDEN rooftop garden. The hazy yellow sun warms new flowers, motes of pollen and seed buds dance lazily.’

Top notes: Bergamot, lime, angelica seeds, violet leaf absolute, clary sage, red berries, black pepper
Heart notes: syringa, privet flower, pollen, honey, honeysuckle, Turkish rose oil, tea
Base notes: vetiver, ambergris, sandalwood, driftwood, musk

Miller Harris Hidden (On the Rooftops) £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
millerharris.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Mathieu Nardin forages for Miller Harris

We tend to think of ‘noses’ insisting on using exotic ingredients to be found growing in vast jungles, or atop far-away, mist-shrouded peaks only reachable by particularly gutsy mountain goats; but the truth is, we all overlook those fragrant materials growing – often literally – right under our feet. Mathieu Nardin is a talented perfumer from a family of noses who hail from (where else?) Grasse, and has been doing some incredible work for Miller Harris, who asked him and fellow perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour to concentrate on the concept of foraging – searching for unusual ingredients to be found peeking through cracks in concrete, lurking beside pathways and creeping over buildings: nature always finding a way.

We were lucky enough to attend the launch of the Miller Harris trio of fragrances that resulted from this fascinating creative exercise, two fragrances from Mathieu – Lost and Wander – and Hidden from Bertrand (we’ll publish our interview with him, later, as Part Two); and we asked both of them to explain exactly how they work on a fragrance.

So, how does a perfumer take a brief and turn it into that final fragrance we so enjoy wearing…?

‘We received the brief from Sarah and she wanted us to go forgaing with an expert who knew what to look for. It was actually really cold – we were in a graveyard of all places, in Tower Hamlets! – and I wondered what we could possibly find. It was actually amazing. We found many ingredients, like violets, magnolia, something called sweet woodruff which is incredible and smells and tastes like tonka beans. If I hadn’t have been with the forager, I would never even have looked at them, and certainly not felt confident to pick them up and eat them.’

How does Mathieu structure his day, I wondered – can he devote an entire day to working on a single perfume?

‘Well, we have plenty of projects to work on at one time, but actually I find that’s a good thing, because it helps me not to focus too much on one thing. If I’m too immersed I cannot see the whole picture, so sometimes it’s good just to put it on one side and work on something else. Then I get another perspective – perhaps even the day after something will occur to me about that fragrance I put aside, and that gives greater clarity.’

So how does Mathieu balance these projects, then?

‘I continue working on things in my mind even when I leave the office, these ideas are there all the time, so in a way I don’t stop thinking about it even if I’m not actively engaged in working on it. All the time. There are moments when something suddenly becomes clear, what I have to do with it, and I can be at home reading when it happens. It becomes obvious.’

What about using visual stimuli, like photographs or notebooks?

‘Well we have mood-boards usually for the fragrances we are working on, they can be photographs or things from books and magazines, they help set a mood or give an idea of direction. But for me I take the idea of it everywhere, and like I say, I think the best ideas happen when you’re thinking about something else.’

Is there a time of day you prefer working on the ingredients?

‘I’m at my best, my nose works best, in the early morning because we are fresh – sometimes at the end of the day the nose can get tired. But you know, I also really like working late at night because my colleagues aren’t around and I can just do my own thing! I can really dig down and work on a project then, because often during the day you can get interrupted. So what I prefer is to work on the formula alone at night, and then be ready to smell it in the morning.’

‘There’s always a lack of time, because we’re working on so many projects. So what I try to do is allow myself, alone at night when everyone else is gone, to have maybe one hour that is not connected to any project at all, but is just experimenting. It’s free creativity. It could even be half an hour, but it’s so important for me.’

What did this experience, working on the Miller Harris fragrances, bring to Mathieu?

‘I feel that it’s always a learning process, and if a project isn’t moving or going in the right direction, then we just stop and experiment. My whole time is spent constantly working, experiementing and learning. So for me this foraging was an amazing experience – it’s quite rare to get that luxury of indulging in a project that way. To smell and taste new things, and then you try and describe these unknown things and liken them to things you do know. This is always what we do with new ingredients, we have to learn to describe them accurately.’

Was there something particular on the foraging trip that Mathieu was inspired by?

‘There was one herb we smelled and tasted it, and it was exactly like melon. It blew my mind really. And then magnolia blossoms – when they are dried I had no idea they tasted gingery! I knew the smell of magnolia blossom, but not the ginger taste. Things like this really help with my work because it gives you new ideas, new ways of thinking about ingredients and how they can be used…’

Ferns force their way through walls and concrete, their green intensity splashing vibrantly against the grey backdrop of buildings. In Lost, this intense verdancy is contrasted with the sharp pink snap of wild rhubarb, making the senses fizz.

Miller Harris Lost in the City £95 for 50ml eau de parfum

Stinging nettles spring up all over London, producing a unique, sparkling green scent. Before they flower their spiky greens are smoothed, the sappy earthiness of the stems blend with zesty fruits. A beautiful unisex fragrance with fresh notes of Pink Grapefruit and Juicy Mandarin to balance the green, sappy Nettle.

Miller Harris Wander through the Parks £95 for 50ml eau de parfum

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Just for our V.I.P.s – 20% off at Miller Harris


We’re delighted that from now on, our Perfume Society V.I.P.s will receive a special monthly privilege discount that we’ve negotiated for you with the most fabulous perfume websites.
So: until 30th April 2018, our very first offer is with Miller Harris. Simply visit their website and when you’ve chosen your fragrance/s, add the code PerfumeSociety20 at checkout. Hey, presto! You’ll enjoy 20% off the price of the perfume.
Longing for a bottle of Petit Grain – so perfect for a spring scent wardrobe? Been thinking about trying the new Scherzo and Tender, each inspired by a passage in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night…? Or, if you’ve enjoyed a Miller Harris in one of our Discovery Boxes, there’s never been a better time to treat yourself to a full-size bottle.
Enjoy! With love from us (and Miller Harris) to you…
 

Miller Harris limited editions return – which was your lost love?

Is there anything worse than your favourite being discontinued? Lipsticks – well, you can probably find a similar colour, but a discontinued fragrance is a whole new world of scented anguish.
Miller Harris have listened to the pleas of perfumistas bemoaning the loss of their all-time faves, and have – for ‘a limited time only’ – brought back some of their most iconic fragrances for fans to stock-up with. Created by brilliant perfumer, Lyn Harris, it’s the perfect time to buy back-up bottles, or to try for the very first time and find a new love.
But you’d better be quick, or be ready to yearn once again, for these are only available in limited quantities. Is your favourite on the list? The four original fragrances are as follows…
Figue Amère
‘Top notes of bergamot and mandarin combine with a heart of narcissus poeticus, rose and green violet. As these notes unite, a heady base of cedar, amber and sea moss evoke an experience of fig by the sea.’
Fleur Oriental
‘Fleur Oriental is the olfactive equivalent of a daring new arrangement of a jazz standard. Speaking of the seductive opulence of golden age cinematic glamour, with a bohemian twist. The powder and cream of the base is present throughout the development, created by sweet heliotrope, golden amber, animalic labdanum and musk with a touch of vanilla. Atop the base is an translucent and evocative blend of orange flower, spicy carnation and velvet Turkish rose, lifted by bright bergamot.’
Terre de Bois
‘Terre de Bois’ green and fresh tones contrast with a sensual and woody base composed of vetiver, Malay patchouli and verbena. Galbanum, a resin from Persian fennel, juniper and clary sage create a full and rounded heart which is completed with accents of citrus and spice.’
Geranium Bourbon
‘Geranium Bourbon evokes an English garden after summer rain; wild and rosy geranium is given mystery and depth with palmarosa and cassis berry. A heart of French violet, Turkish rose and spicy black pepper is sealed with vanilla, amber and the rich patchouli of a Kashmir bazaar.’
Miller Harris Limited Editions £75 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy them at Miller Harris
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Miller Harris invite you to join their scent trail with Treasure Hunt across London for two new perfumes!

We all love a scent trail, but most particularly when it’s a clue-strewn walking trail with possible prizes of Miller Harris perfume!
In an exciting-sounding event this coming Saturday, 4 June; Miller Harris will celebrate next week’s launch of two brand new fragrances – Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir – by staging a Treasure Hunt across London.
Starting in Covent Garden Market, perfumed participants will receive a special map and instructions for tasks across London, with the final destination being Bruton Street. Miller Harris state that you’ll need to take photos along your journey to take part – sharing them on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #MHShadowsAndLight
map-mh-1
Those taking part are to receive rewards at each ‘check point’ when showing their photos to the Miller Harris store teams. And what’s more – the first ten people to fully complete the treasure hunt will win a 50ml fragrance of both Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir, before they have even launched!
PrintMiller Harris say: ‘Comfortably androgynous, one is a reflection, the other is its mirror image. Lumière Dorée is the golden aura that every morning enfolds the night. Etui Noir is the magic shadow that each night sets free the day.’
Print‘Etui Noir and Lumiere Dorée are two sides of the same person: night and day, and dark and light. They work beautifully individually or layered as a pair, where they reveal new shadows and facets.’
We are always on the hunt for new fragrances, and love this idea of actually following a scent trail across London! Do let us know if you’re lucky enough to win, and of course what you think of the new perfumes. Indeed, we can’t wait to sniff them out ourselves…
9101530_miller-harris-lumiere-doree--etui-noir_ae1a514e_m
Miller Harris Lumière Dorée and Étui Noir will be launching on June 2nd at millerharris.com and at Miller Harris in-store.
Written by Suzy Nightingale