Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Coeur d’Été by Miller Harris

Having kids, some days you'll be very very tired. There are lots of reason for that, they might have stomach ache, teething, nightmares or sometimes they just wake up for no reason at all and refuse to go asleep again for hours and hours. I recently had a day like that. I felt there was just no way I could bear putting on another Serge Lutens to try out, I wanted something light, subtle and undemanding. I thought about my stash, wasn't there a sample of Coeur d'Été by Miller Harris somewhere? According to the sales talk: "Lynn Harris (their perfumer) made that perfume during the early stages of her pregnancy when her already acute sense of smell became heightened". Great, I thought, that should deliver what I'm looking for.

I occasionally wore this perfume while I was pregnant myself last year, and liked it. I remember it smelling of chocolate, bananas and lilies of the valley, a strange mix but it worked for me. Now it felt different, I mostly smelled inky lilacs, anchored to a curiously heavy base I couldn't make out.

In the end I looked up the notes on the internet:
Top notes: cacao pod, mandarin orange, grapefruit, licorice and lemon
Middle notes: banana, white pear, cassia, lilac and heliotrope
Base notes: sandalwood, musk, benzoin and vanilla

The citrus and liquorice I can't detect at all. The other fruits and gourmet notes I can detect as I now know they are there, but this perfume does not stand out as a gourmand scent. The flowers are load and clear though. The other notes are near seamlessly integrated, creating a firm background for those heady florals.

Pregnancy is a funny thing, it completely distorts your sense of smell. I remember all of a sudden not being able to stand the smell of plastic bags and green herbs. It was so bad I forced my husband to keep our kitchen herbs (mint and Thai basil) out on the balcony, which nearly killed them. However, the notes in this perfume do makes sense. I had huge cravings for fruit, ice cream and chocolate. My guess is when creating this perfume, Lynn Harris put together all the things she could stand the smell of, just to see what would happen.

If you're looking for something light and delicate, this is not it. This scent reminds me of something both my mother and grandmother might wear. Makes sense to connect to earlier generations of women while you're pregnant, I suppose. It's a comforting and a bit old fashioned scent, but not very exciting. I'm rating it 3 out of 5.

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