Miller Harris describes its new floral fruitstravaganza as ‘a delicious and wistful flirtation in a fabulously cinematic perfume of rose swirling with strawberry liqueur.’ I would describe it as more like drinking cassis liqueur neat through a silver straw while doing the rodeo on a gigantesque disco peach melba.




Whichever way you look at it, this is a busy perfume.




From Fragrantica:


Head Notes: Pink Pepper CO2, Coriander seed, Davana, Cinnamon, Green Mandarin

Heart Notes: Iris Concrete, Violet, Rose absolute Morocco, Rose oil Turkey, Carnation, Hawthorn, Strawberry Liqueur

Lasting Impressions: Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Vanilla

If I was taken a little aback by this perfume for its in-your-faceness, I also thought it was quite unobvious with its sweet frictions of unexpected ingredients (oil of davana segueing into hawthorn and strawberries etc ); fun and out there; a  bit different. I can imagine a dressed up young diva of various persuasions rocking it quite happily until the early hours.
I often wear perfume in the dark watching cinema. And last night while we indulged in the grotesque decadence of Federico Fellini’s colourful Casanova (1976) I randomly reached out for the the bottle of Violet Ida I was given last year.
(It was also strange, in the opening scene of the film, seeing Dr Whom and Burning Bush in the crowd at the Venice carnival  – I had no idea that we were so old)
While the name of this scent might evoke a scene from the Bloomsbury set, rather Virginia Woolf writes a postcard to her second cousin on the coast of Hove, and the ‘iris beurre’ melts like suede into a vanilla ambered cushion on skin with a delicate carrot’s breath at the gentle opening, on me at least, this perfume, though pleasing (and very wearable: I will certainly get through the whole bottle ; the orris note has a pleasantly grey mauve temperate fullness, the end note very me in its ambered, hot simplicity) somehow it still doesn’t quite capture my image of what the Miller Harris brand used to embody: a subtle Englishness  – pared down, clear; nature-inspired; a tad severe – that has ceded to a more technicolour frivolity. Yes, there were Noix Tubereuse and Figue Amere in the original MH range, which embraced the nightlife and the occasional feather boa, but since the perfumer and founder Lyn Harris left the perfumery in different hands, the company seems to have veered in an entirely different direction – which can be enjoyable ( I know that brands under different artistic direction must evolve with the times ): but also a little jarring.


Filed under cinema + perfume, Flowers, Fruity Floral, Iris

7 responses to “FRIVOLITIES: : : : : VIOLET IDA + BLOUSY by MILLER HARRIS (2019)

  1. In case you were worried I have suddenly lost my visual sense, I haven’t: the computer just won’t let me do the precise spacing I want right now. I can’t edit freely and it is driving me INSANE: it is not supposed to be all blocked together halfway through like this.


  2. Robin

    It’s pelting rain here, dark and windy and cold, and reading this and looking at the extravagant technicolor images altered my whole mood. Nice. Hmm. I might like Blowsy. (My ears always perk up when I hear hawthorn.) You describe Violet Ida delectably, too.

    Burning Bush? That really IS you, isn’t it?

    • No. That is why it was so startling and I had to stop the film and take a picture of it. It was taken from the first scene in Venezia! Bizarre.

      Blousy would sicken you I think : I love hawthorn but not when it is buried under blackcurrant syrup. Violet Ida I know you would feel as I do, that it has some gorgeous elements, but feels very unfinished, way too simplistic. Earlier Lyn Harris perfumes like Terre De Bois were disconcertingly strange and beautiful: there was always something else going on beneath the top layers. This new range is totally unrelated, as when some fashion designers move to a holy house like Dior or whatever and wreak havoc.

      • Robin

        I meant that it really WAS “you” even if it wasn’t you!

        I know what you mean about Miller Harris 2.0. I am very fond of older things like l’Air de Rien and Rose en Noir, odd and lived-in and complicated, but still comfortable to wear. I like your fashion house analogy. Very true.

  3. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    Cher M Ginza
    A very happy New Year and (I’ll warrant) rather a full one!
    I have to have a second boudoir all peopled by your pictures and haunted by your perfumes!
    Various persuasions sounds soo much more welcome to my ears than LHBTQi! Too many flags spoil the party.

    • The LHBTQ+ topic would take a book; I am the same as you in refuting and not needing a label, but I know a lot of people who feel they must have a clear identity like that. I am instinctively drawn to mystery, so

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