Monday 3 September 2018

NOIX DE TUBÉREUSE by Miller Harris

As we head into autumn it’s the time when perfume companies start to release and promote their seasonal offerings. However, this is also the time when it’s good to remember that these brands have catalogues full of impressive survivors. The “newest” might not always be the right fit for you but I can guarantee that within the collections you will find some quiet gems. One such fragrance is Noix de Tubéreuse from Miller Harris. Originally launched in 2003, and created by the company’s founder, this is a magical tuberose and definitely one that deserves wider recognition. Let’s revisit Noix de Tubéreuse.

Miller Harris was founded in 2000 by Lyn Harris, an English perfumer who spent five years training in Paris before moving to Robertet in the French town of Grasse. Being surrounded by the finest quality materials available to any perfumer, Lyn very quickly developed a love for these innovative ingredients and years later this would show itself in the company’s philosophy. In their own words, “whilst respecting tradition, Miller Harris strives to push the boundaries, creating exquisitely crafted fragrances that are innovative yet timeless.” With Noix de Tubéreuse you really do get something that is “timeless” and wonderfully elegant.

Tuberose is a notoriously difficult scent to get right for the simple reason that different customers want different aspects of the flower’s scent. Often described as camphorous, creamy, fruity and even tropical, it’s most often referred to as “carnal” because of its high levels of a molecule called indole. The blogger Nuri McBride describes indole as “the smell of human intimacy” whilst the perfumer Roja Dove goes further by asking us to think of “very, very hot flesh after you’ve had sex.” So, you can see why many people may shy away from this provocative ingredient, even if it does cause temperatures to rise.

A lot of the tuberose used in the perfume industry is synthetic, although in Noix de Tubéreuse it is natural, but this isn’t just because of cost. As I mentioned before, different perfumers want different aspects of the ingredient to be prominent and so the man-made version is often easier to control. The flower is brighter than even the extracted absolute and so any interpretation always needs a little bit of rebuilding to take it back to nature. The beautiful white petals hide a deliciously complex yet sensual secret and, bearing this in mind, which are the qualities that Miller Harris have plumped for in their Noix de Tubéreuse?

The first impression that you get is of a green dewy delicate floral but with the usual expected citrus opening heavily reduced. It’s because of this that the powdery jasmine and mimosa combination that follows has a lovely crispness rather than sharpness, and perfectly introduces the heavier tuberose. This key ingredient appears alongside tonka bean and an amber accord and so does push the more animalic quality of the flower. As it develops on the skin however there’s a whisper of orange blossom that helps to accentuate the headier aspect of the scent that was thought of to “enflame women’s desire.”

Noix de Tubéreuse is available from Miller Harris priced at £75 for 50ml or £105 for 100ml

[Image of Lyn Harris © Maya Glaser of We Wear Perfume]

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