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I've been fortunate to have been given a number of sample perfumes to try this week and following on from the 'Earth-driven theme' I'm reviewing la pluie which given my poor French is 'Water?' Either that or rain. It's another perfume from the Miller Harris group, a London company that has some very exclusive perfumes and scented candles, though they are very expensive. This is where quality should be paramount and I have found the samples to be extremely well packaged with the colour card backing the sample in a small book, a bit like a matchbook, but with a strong clasp for the bottle. The card has the same floral design as on the bottle of perfume shown on the website. It's a deep midnight blue and looks oriental in design.
Once again the description is beautifully done with an almost poetic grace. ' It's a story of tropical showers and the balmy climate of a far away island. Top notes of tangerine and lavender refresh a heart of wet, white flowers. The centerpiece is a tropical accord of ylang ylang framed by jasmine absolute and Tunisian orange flower. The warm and sensual base reveals vetiver bourbon and vanilla bourbon from the island of Réunion.'
Strangely I had been reading a book a few weeks ago when Reunion came into the story as a woman castaway from a storm. Would the perfume be as startling as a tropical storm?
Unfortunately I don't think this suits my own skin. I tend to like oriental perfumes with a warm, earthy base but I also like some floral tones, but I couldn't find a lot in this. Certainly there wasn't a hint of lavender anywhere at all. I dabbed some on my wrist using the dipper in the bottle. The scent was delicate and although I expected it to get stronger it stayed very faint, so I added more to both wrists. I'd washed in a clear soap so there wasn't any contamination. This time the scent of tangerine was stronger, though I still couldn't smell anything like lavender.
I left it a while expecting the top notes to die back and the heart to come through. I love ylang ylang so was waiting for this to take over; instead I still got a hint of jasmine and more of orange blossom. I have a mock orange tree and this was very similar in scent. Perhaps it had something to do with the vanilla and vetiver base?
I was thrilled with the scent of the other perfume, la fumeé so decided to do a bit of research on this one.
I didn't need to look up tangerine or lavender but looked up the heart notes.
Ylang ylang has many uses and as an essential oil has many calming properties. As a perfume it's very sweet and floral mixing well with jasmine, lavender, grapefruit etc. Tunisian orange flower is delicate but long lasting so I was right in detecting the power of the orange blossom.
Finally I checked the vanilla bourbon and vetiver. Vanilla bourbon is from Mexico but is also a native of the island of Reunion and smells sweet. I struck gold with vetiver as this plain looking grassy plant has so many uses in both perfume and aromatherapy. It is said to be like patchouli, but also can be used on its own and as a fixative for perfume bases. It's cool and moist and very calming. As oil it's very good for rheumatism so I'll be looking into that.
So overall the perfume is an eclectic mix with a subtle scent that starts gentle and lasts a long time but so faint I wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't kept checking my wrist. I know it's not the best place to try a perfume but I needed to check it for the review.
I am sure it doesn't sit well on my skin as although it is very pleasant it didn't make me feel as good as la fumée. Since this is classed as a 'wet' smell, then perhaps it clashes with my fire sign! It's still a lovely scent and one that I would recommend you try for a few hours to a full day before purchase. It's expensive at £60 per 50ml, but what a wonderful way to treat yourself or someone special.
Thanks for reading and happy perfume hunting.
Miller Harris brings together the finest quality raw materials with the artistry and instinct of a true performer / Having a distinct and iconic style regarding all their products, Miller Harris is one of the most luxurious fragrance houses in the world / Lyn Harris, founder of Miller Harris, offers you different scents to suit different seasons, occasions and moods, there really is something for everyone / '