Tag Archives: Miller Harris La Fumee

Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang: A Perfect Balance

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 I have been wearing Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang today and I am more than satisfied with this tender golden treasure.  Sometimes I want some heat and spice, but not too much. Yesterday I went overboard with the very robust La Fumée, and today I wanted to tone things down a bit.

Amber Ylang Ylang does what it says on the tin.  However, it doesn’t end there. The genius here is not just in matching these two, but in the expert blending so that one enhances the other without taking over.

Amber is one of my favourite notes for Autumn: it’s the gentler side of the Oriental genre. Ylang Ylang is one of those flowers that rarely overpowers.  Estee Lauder wisely held back from using dominant Jasmine in this one and played a gentler card alongside the rich Amber.

Longevity is very good.  I tried this not long after 9am and it’s there, although close to skin, eight hours later. It reminded me of sparkling ginger ale in that it is both spicy and refreshing at the same time.

There is Bergamot in the opening notes, which probably gives this its sparkle, whilst Cinnamon, Incense and Sandalwood warm up the Amber without getting heavy handed.

Overall, this is a delightfully warm and cosy scent, but what makes it stand out for me is the restraint used.  It’s an Oriental Lite pleasant enough for daywear.  In fact, daywear should be positively encouraged. I would love more people to wear this.

Miller Harris La Fumée: This’ll Put Hairs on Your Chest

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 Miller Harris La Fumée is a butch, smoky delight full of resin and hard edged spice.

If you like Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan or Tauer’s L’Air du Desert Marocain, then read on.  

Whilst I admire La Fumée, I find I am not as fond of it as I am of another Miller Harris that I reviewed recently: Feuilles de Tabac, which has delightful leather and a papery scent that I enjoyed.

 La Fumée has that resinous dried smoke effect that is prevalent in both Ambre Sultan and L’Air du Desert Marocain (aka LADDM). However, whilst I liked the ecclesiastical feel of LADDM, I did not like Ambre Sultan.  In my review, as I recall, it reminded me of the cloud of smoke you would find above a group of insalubrious youths. There is a dryness to Ambre Sultan that catches at the back of my throat, like cigar smoke. That same dry note is present in La Fumée . However, my disliking of La Fumée was a near miss since I would consider scenting my (non smoking) home with this, but I would not put it on my skin. Call me fickle.

 I admire its richness: it has strong Birch, and Elemi ( a substance used in cough mixtures) and it does indeed remind me of a cross between cigar smoke and rum, but as much as I like a bit of Butch from time to time, this was a tiny bit de trop for my taste.  It’ll put hairs on your chest for sure! Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of.

Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac: Smoke and Brasseries

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 I asked my seven year old son what he thought of Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac. I didn’t prompt him, just told him to say the first thing that came into his head.  This is not always without risk and is usually about Star Wars, but in this case he said “Some sort of spice: it smells like hot sand”.  I was pretty impressed, although it’s usually L’Air Du Desert Marocain Imagethat makes me think of hot sand.

Giles Deacon, no slacker when it comes to good taste, is a big fan of Feuilles de Tabac and scents his home with it. Feuilles (pronounced “Foy”) means leaves or pages or layers. Feuilles de Tabac is marketed as a masculine, but I say knickers to that, being a fan of Old Spice and Dior Fahrenheit.

I have finally got around to reviewing this treasure because the hot weather just doesn’t do it justice.  In the cold air of Autumn, this can come out to play and hit the open road.

Feuilles de Tabac was created to “take you to the romantic brasseries of St Germain”, and if you’ve ever been lucky enough to go to Paris on a chilly day, you may recognise a fug of tobacco, spice and old books. Paris also smells of tarmac, body odour and garlic, but let’s not break the spell.

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taken on my last trip to Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual with Miller Harris, quality and longevity are outstanding and Feuilles de Tabac gives a rich, leathery spice trail with sillage that is around arms’ length but would be very welcome in even a small space.

Top note is Chilli, and middle notes are Sage and Pine. Basenotes are Tobacco, Patchouli and Tonka bean.  Unlike other fragrances who claim to have notes that are not there, with Miller Harris, every note listed is very much discernible, despite being seamlessly blended.

The overall impression is one of green sharp herbs, Patchouli and deep aromatic smoke.  It’s more attractive than the other Miller Harris masculine La Fumee, which I found a bit dry. Masculine or feminine, this is fabulous for Autumn and I feel quite sorry that I only have a small phial of it.

I’ll leave the last words to a great Parisian, and one of my idols, now sadly in Pere Lachaise. Edith Piaf’s beautiful song, Autumn Leaves popped into my head whilst writing this review.

Since you went away, The days grow long, and soon I’ll hear old winter songs. But I miss you most of all my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall

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