In the ever accelerating cycle of new releases which overwhelms me it is easy to lose brands underneath all the noise. That has unfortunately happened to Miller Harris. Miller Harris is a British brand who is overseen by the perfumer Lyn Harris. Back in 2003 I was introduced to the line with Feuilles de Tabac and I was immediately drawn in. I would go on to extensively explore the line and Ms. Harris was feeding my frenzy by producing four or five new releases a year. There was a clear bright aesthetic on display and it very much appealed to me.
Releases began to slow down and the last one I remember trying was 2011’s La Pluie. There were plenty of other brands vying for my attention. The allure of the unknown was more compelling than trying another Miller Harris. Then while in Milan for Esxence I attended a breakfast where the new Le Jardin D’Enfance Collection was premiered. There is a television commercial running in the US now for one of the older automobile brands, Buick. In the advertisement I am urged to give Buick “another look” because things have changed. I was thinking a lot about that commercial as the three fragrances, Cassis en Feuille, Coeur de Jardin, and Poirier D’Un Soir were presented to me. It was time to give Miller Harris “another look” because Ms. Harris has definitely changed things up.
This collection is meant to capture a garden at morning, afternoon, and evening. Cassis en Feuille captures the morning with green blackcurrant wrapped around a dewy rose. Coeur de Jardin is the afternoon when all of the buds have attained full bloom. A rich floral trio of tunerose, rose, and jasmine re-create the heady natural bouquet. The final perfume for the evening, Poirier D’Un Soir is the one which captured my full attention. If I was pressed to describe a Miller Harris perfume I would use words like bright, citric, or transparent. The entire Le Jardin D’Enfance Collection breaks with that impression with Poirier D’Un Soir moving the furthest away from that description.
Porier D’Un Soir starts off with a pear poached in rum. The common bond in all three fragrances in the Le Jardin D’Enfance Collection is pear in the top notes. The other two use it in a way I am used to seeing it. In Poirier D’Un Soir by soaking it in rum it transforms the pear from something crisp to something sensually unctuous. It is a rough and tumble boozy beginning. Ms. Harris doubles down as she takes blackcurrant buds and tagetes to make an astringently green floral accord which is made less acerbic with the presence of peony and rose. What truly showed me Ms. Harris was working from a different palette was the next ingredient, birch tar. Sticky redolent birch tar bubbles up gathering all of these notes in a sticky brown matrix. Just when you think this might be getting a little too far afield Ms. Harris reels it all back in with a soothing base of cedar, and ambrette seeds.
Poirier D’Un soir has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
The entire Le Jardin D’Enfance Collection is worth “another look” for Ms. Harris’ willingness to make a break from what has worked so well over the years. If you do give this brand “another look” I think you will be pleasantly reminded of why you like this brand so much previously. I know that Poirier D’Un Soir has renewed my interest in what comes next for Miller Harris.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Miller Harris.