A pleasantly warm, mid-registered, and very berryish confection by Miller Harris, Myrica Muse, the latest release from the popular British house, is a lightly spiced, woody musk-vanilla with fresh notes of tangerine, pink pepper, bayberry and a very vivid strawberry that cedes gently to a base accord of amber, benzoin, and rum.

Created by perfumer Emilie Bouge, and described by the brand as being

” A stolen pause, enjoyed alone, quiet, elegant and in reflection for the joy to come..

Myrica Muse is one of those easygoing, medium-heat perfumes (in the mode of, say, Dior’s Eau De Dolce Vita) that work well at this time of year as we go into winter; a little tingling, perhaps, but not too spicy; present, but not overpowering (and thus perfect for the workplace); a little flirty and fruity, but not juvenile. Although I sometimes wonder who Miller Harris’ intended current audience is – the brand’s previous incarnation, under Lyn Harris, created perfumes that were far edgier, actively different and strange (both dark and transparent – think Terre De Bois), whereas the Miller Harris releases of recent years have been much sweeter and more commercial, in thicker, more vanillic and powdery releases such as Violet Ida, Blousy and Brighton Rock,; yetthe brand still has an intrinsic appeal. ( I fell in love, eventually, with the tulip-inked saffron and cinnamon Bertrand Duchaufour oddness that is Tender. )

I can see Myrica Muse doing well here in Japan (the genus myrica refers to a variety of medicinally used berries such as myrtle and bay as is quite an appealing concept), in a place where perfumes with a woodier, but not oud-threatening, vibe, are quite popular. As a bay lover myself (coincidentally, the neighbours across the road recently felled the beautiful bay tree out on the street that I have been surreptitously pinching leaves from at night for years to put in chicken and vegetable stews – I was actually planning to do a piece called Levelling The Laurel ; the other night, seeing that the precious leaves would just go to waste and be discarded in Wednesday’s biotrash, I quietly carted off whole bayleaf branches that are now drying nicely in our kitchen).

I would have liked a little more herbal depth; more contrast with the fruit and flowers, and definitely a more pronounced note of bay, which provides a fuzzy backdrop in the perfume here, but is not directly tangible.

Then again, it’s often difficult to satisfy the more demanding perfumistas such as myself in tandem with the casually browsing man or woman on the street : our wants and needs are probably slightly different. I must say though that the overall ‘kind and positive aura’ this scent gives off – an unseamed, general sweetness that I was quite pleased to walk back into the room for – worked rather well on the D, who has taken to wearing many different kinds of perfumes recently that stray slightly outside his comfort zone (he is quite adventurous in this regard and was open to this one immediately). As the current balmy Autumn weather falls to a late Autumn chill, I can easily imagine Myrica Muse – worn lightly on a scarf or under a sweater – as the breath becomes gradually more visible in the city night air and you cup your hands to your face at the chosen meeting spot, being an optimistic, heartlifting buffer to the cold.


Filed under Flowers


  1. I have never seen Miller Harris fragrances on offer anywhere except online. I too am a laurel lover and wish bay leaves were used more often in modern perfumery. The California Bay tree has a very similar scent to the Greek Laurel and reminds me of breezes on the Pacific coast.
    My 2019 bottle of JM Bay & Blackberry has sadly devolved into something that smells like celery and grapefruit. I think I’m done with Jo Malone perfumes, seems overpriced for a product so cheaply packaged and short lived.

  2. This sounds lovely. I wish I had given Miller Harris fragrances more attention when Lyn Harris was actually at the helm creating them. I just never bothered, and there were some great ones I missed out on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s