Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

Total Reviews: 26
I start to smile when I get that back of the nose spiky salty herby rush, and feel like I'm in my element every time I get a waft of bracing seaside. Nothing pina colada about this one - it's the sea I know and love - based on Brittany which is similar to my home ground in the West of Ireland. This scent has a lovely grounding effect on me. Wearing it, I feel at home on the planet and I swear it makes me feel physically fitter! It reminds me in a way of peat smoke, along with the briny sea. I also love the dried gorse herby edge which reminds me of winds blowing on clifftops or dunes. FdS is one of a small group of 'virtual reality' perfumes that evoke a landscape or environment for me rather than recalling specific memories related to people or events in my life.
16th May, 2017
I opened a sample vial of Fleurs de Sel expecting a rosy bouquet of fresh triteness to greet my nose and was summarily knocked on my bottom. The floral notes in this composition are utterly subjugated by clove and leather in a way that instantly brought to mind the Marquis de Sade fragrance, and the texture and scent combined made me feel that FdS may very well have been inspired by aftershaves from the 60's. Yes, clove writ large, with its buddies leather and moss, the latter giving off that tiny suggestion of wintergreen, dominate this fragrance, while the flowers are lovely echoes in the back end of a dark cave.
I have now reviewed two Miller Harris creations tonight (and my first two at that) and I must say my interest is piqued.
19th February, 2016
This begins on me as orris, soon supported by clove, and it stops right there.

None of the other ingredients in the note tree come to my nose. The clove is done sparingly, so I do get the dryness. Sadly, nothing else develops but these two notes.

It's a pleasant scent, but very simply constructed, and therefore without much interest on my part. I'm reminded of the spice notes in both Bel Ami and Equipage, but this is a mere skeleton, almost a starting point for scents such as those mentioned.

Not a winner.

25th January, 2016
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Um, really? Lots of salt and dry herbs, a pinch of oregano, and not much more. This is essentially Acqua di Gio with the vague artificial melon replaced by vague artificial wood. It smells mostly of unadorned calone. Not a bad smell but there's not much here to love, either.
09th December, 2015
This opens as a dry, sharply aromatic, antiseptic-smelling vetiver, & the "grass-topped sand dune" vibe suggests the presence of immortelle, although I don't actually smell it here. After an hour the vetiver fades, making way for a softer accord of salty florals. This accord reminds me a little of Lys Mediterranee, or perhaps Donna Karan Gold, without the amber. It lacks the quality or intensity of either of these however, & it fades to nothing in only three hours.
I'm not a lover of prominent vetiver notes, but that's not my only reason for giving this one a negative rating. There's the lack of projection, longevity or any kind of base. And it just doesn't seem very well-blended; it's like two different perfumes layered on top of one another, neither of which impress me.
07th July, 2015
This convincing salt and salty composition of 2007 develops into a pepper and salt floral with a green lactonic character built around clary sage and the natural exaltolide found in angelica; very unusual, and if you strip out the base accord not a million miles from the current musk based minimalism of Lutens & Sheldrake.

Salt is also found - in a rather tentative form in Rock Samphire and Driftwood (2011) by Icon Partnership for the UK National Trust, and there is also the Jo Malone release Wood Sage & Seasalt (2014), but this Lyn Harris work is the most resolute and just about as far removed from the mainstream as you can get from a department store.

Fleurs de Sel puts me in mind of a piece of abstract jewellery; striking, provocative and best worn on black for maximum effect.
09th May, 2015
The Fleurs de Sel's initial floral-green-salty sharpness is immediately an olfactory flashback (a deja vu) conjuring me more than vaguely the classic and unfortunately "set apart" Nino Cerruti By Nino Cerruti (an unmatched classic of perfumery full of class, melancholic floral-ambery warmth and romanticism). I'm in a while smitten by a game of intense floral sharpness (probably geranium, orris root and lily of the valley unfold their rooty-lymphatic intensity) and warm ambery muskiness with a touch of swirling ghostly suede. I suppose that probably a well calibrated fir resins implementation has been afforded providing that typical intense dark-green mossiness around. I catch the aromatic patterns (a starring rosemary and thyme in particular) and a stout rootiness provided by patchouli (may be fern) and vetiver. The aroma on its complex is really musky, floral, earthy, astringent, vaguely smokey and with a touch of saltiness (counteracting the floral mildness) provided by the encounter of rosemary, leather, vetiver and (possibly) subtle ozonic molecules. Finally the leather emerges but is always subtle, mossy and floral-salty, never disconnected by a reigning grassy-floral (salty) vegetal aura. Absolutely classy and poetic I recommend this Miller Harris languid juice for a spring time romantic night date.
23rd January, 2015 (last edited: 24th January, 2015)
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I'm getting salt, herbs and an earthy sort of vetiver. It's sorta bitter (narcissus), no sweetness. Imagine you've just been to the beach on a sunny day. It doesn't smell like that. OK, maybe a rock pool under the pier. Sillage is kinda weak, but it lasts ok. So yeah, go ahead and try it if you like oddball scents but don't wanna stink out the room. 7 hours from 7 sprays.
10th October, 2014
A bit artificial and delivering nowadays' niche signature "mono-dimensionality", in other words lacking a bit in depth, charme and substance, but a remarkable a partially well executed idea. Basically, Fleurs de Sel is a sort of subtle, icy, sharp and sheer leather scent with a bold salt note, some pepper, dry "culinary" herbs and light floral notes – those also, delicate and cold, all wrapped up in a synthetic aura of Iso E and eugenol (the pungent cloves note). I said the idea is remarkable because the concept of an icy, grey-azure scent is not that common, and the peculiar personality halfway austere and shady, but also cozy and quiet like "before the storm", is unusual and fascinating, and somehow "works". Sadly the notes themselves are materially barely decent, all a bit pale and dull (not in a creative way, I fear: just more because of quality limits), and the light leather accord is honestly fairly depressing – as it basically smells like something any novice can build with a $20 purchase from Perfumer's Apprentice; but apart all of that, the concept itself is so nice it almost "saves" the scent from smelling cheap. Worth a try, not a purchase unless it's really a good deal on the price.

14th August, 2014
Well, this is another triumph for Lynn Harris... A scent which evokes the outdoors (specifically a little town in Brittany called "Batz sur Mer" where Lynn Harris used to spend her childhood holidays). The name "Fleurs du Sel" relates to the process of collecting the top grains of salt from the salt making process. So the idea is to evoke a setting where people are sitting by the sea, in the midst of nature, making salt.

What I get from this is a great mix between salt, earth and dry herbs. It's a very dry, aromatic fragrance. Herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme all dry and sprinkled with salt. There is also a floral backup to "soften" the whole composition. Even though this has salt and herbs, for some reason I find it very refreshing. It's incredibly well blended and softened by notes such as rose, iris and vetiver. It's not as harsh as you would think, and it has a great drydown of vetiver and sweet leather. A really great fragrance. It's not all about the salt (and to be honest I've tried much drier/saltier fragrances than this and this is quite soft and subtle in comparison).
11th August, 2014
The arrestingly dry, dusty green opening of Fleurs de Sel smells to me like a variation on the aggressive vetiver theme of fragrances like Vetiver Extraordinaire or Etro Vetiver, but soon turns toward the floral arrangement promised on the label. The sharp, rasping opening accord continues to cut like a bone knife, even if it’s concealed in a bouquet of wildflowers.

There is a beautiful, if somewhat forbidding, austerity about this stage in Fleurs de Sel’s development that keeps me mesmerized even as I cringe at its starkness. Like Yatagan, though by very different means, Fleurs de Sel’s first hour paints the olfactory equivalent of some parched, desolate landscape. In the case of Yatagan it’s an arid pine forest, while Fleurs de Sel conjures up barren, windswept dunes, sparsely sprinkled with seaside grasses and a smattering of stalwart scrub.

Unfortunately, this phase does not endure more than an hour, by which time the floral elements take over. The result is a more conventional sweet green floral scent, albeit one distinguished by a crisp, dry woody-aromatic foundation and a mysterious wisp of smoke. The projection is limited and the sillage quite mild, so that Fleurs de Sel functions mostly as a skin scent. Its lasting power is more than reasonable for so light a scent, and I’ve gotten a solid four or five hours’ wear out of it.

Two details of Fleurs de Sel’s composition stand out to me. One is the way the normally volatile and relatively fleeting aromatic notes are retained well into the development, and the other is the success with which this fragrance manages to evoke the seaside with nary an aquatic note or a drop of suntan lotion. While the drydown lacks the bracing novelty of the opening and heart accords, the scent is always beautiful. Hats off to Lynn Harris for composing "beach" scent that avoids all the hackneyed gestures that mar this over-exploited genre!
14th June, 2014
Wow. This is full-on, savoury, sun-baked salt, on a soft vetiver base. How did she do that?! I can't in all honesty pick out the other notes except maybe the narcissus - it's very well balanced. I agree that this brings to mind tequila salt at the start. I was concerned that this was a scent that I would appreciate for its uniqueness but not actually enjoy wearing. Do I really want to smell like a salt marsh? The answer is, surprisingly, YES! This is a beautiful, earthy, unisex scent.

EDIT: Although I was impressed by this scent I found I couldn't enjoy wearing it - just too salty. I gave it to my dad, and it smells like a lovely, dry vetiver on him. Much better as a masculine, from my experience.
25th April, 2013 (last edited: 11th September, 2014)
Incredibly complex, dynamic fragrance. If shifts between herbal, fresh and green spice that leads into something medicinal, and also strong leather and whiskey. Very hard to pin down as it keeps changing, although the leather remains a constant feature for me. The initial opening impression is whiskey, but one can immediately unpack that into the thyme, rosemary, clary sage, all coming together into a bracing medicinal or herbalist vapor (a similar impact as in Terre de Bois, currently my favourite from MH). The leather is there, a bit stronger than I would like, probably amplified by the iris. The salt comes later, not marine, but more imbued with vegetal and woody undertones, although a bit of table salt with iodine surfaces now and again. It manages to convey at the same time freshness (the green herbs) and some kind of confinement (the leather), with the salt coming into it more as an effort of the imagination and maybe tying the two together.
Excellent staying power, good projection. More of a daytime or afternoon wear, but would work in the evening, too.
There is some confusion about whether this is a feminine or masculine or unisex fragrance (currently, on the Miller Harris website it is listed for men). I am more inclined to say that this is predominantly masculine, but very appropriate for assertive, strong, sensible women. Definitely not girly, but not hyper-masculine either, as far away from fragrance gender stereotypes as possible. A serious grown-up scent, sophisticated and a tad complicated.
17th November, 2012
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Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris - Initially, one is pleasantly immersed in an herbal deluge of red thyme, with its camphoraceous and woody facets, rosemary, with its linalool and coniferous aspects as well as clary sage, with its dry greenness and salty character. This remarkable accord conjures a parched, salt marshland, and meanders to the awaiting middle. Here, in the majestic heart, free-spirited wildflowers are added to the mix with the rich, floral elegance of narcissus, the spiciness of rugosa rose, as well as the stateliness of iris. The revised melange takes on a seaside splendor. Majical ambrette, with its fruity and oily, inoffensive muskiness supplies a benign undertone. Transitioning to the waiting base, a refreshing medley of relaxed and aged driftwood, luxurious and scented suede, smoky and green oakmoss as well as dry and salty vetiver, coaxes to the alluring drydown. This bewitching composition is basically a skin scent, with average longevity, but is nonetheless singular.
04th February, 2012
This is an amazing scent from Miller Harris. For me, it`s simple and complex at the same time, and always chic and structured. The main impression that i have is of a leathery fragrance wich is in the midway of the heavy leathery aroma of classics and the soft suedish touch of modern fragrances. And orchestrated with the leather you have a complex bouquet of herbs and flowers that creates an aura which is always green but with different aspects of green during the evolution: starting more sharp and herbal and going towards a green musky, slightly flowery aroma. The salty touch of ambrette seed is noticed during all the fragrance, but more after one hour. It does a beautiful bridge between the leather impression, the herbs and the flowers used. One of the bests from the brand and a incredible unissex frag.
19th January, 2012
An aromatic mix of wild florals and herbs gives this beautiful leather fragrance a civility and wearability that is rare with leather. The fragrance smells like a fine pair of scented leather gloves that were so popular during the Victorian era. The interplay of florals (iris, rose, narcissus), green aromatics (clary sage, rosemary, thyme, vetiver) and dry leather gives this fragrance almost an abstract identity that is hard to sort out. The balance differing notes is so precise that you can almost pick which aspect you are going to smell the most. For me it is all about leather. A beautiful fragrance.
27th May, 2011
According to Miller Harris, the brief was to recreate the sense of flowers growing at the edge of the Brittany salt marshes. I have sampled many attempts at creating the saline note, and making it both palatable and credible is a tough nut to crack.

There is undoubtedly a saline seam running through Fleurs de Sel, but it’s never really dominant. Within a couple of hours matters soften considerably, with the floral dimension of FDS nudging it towards the performance of a more conventional fragrance. A fairly conservative base ensures that the marshlands quickly become a distant memory.

Lyn Harris deserves much kudos(and a thumbs up) for creating something so original, and for fulfilling that initial brief. However, as much as I applaud the vision and production, it is sadly not something that I would actually want to wear.
18th April, 2011
I was looking for a perfume that smelled of the Northern California coast, and thanks to Hanunani's generosity I've found one. Fleurs de sel smells very much like the dry, golden aromatic hills on the coast - with just a tang of salt in the air.

Fleurs de sel is not an exact match to California's coastal hills - there are other elements here. What I notice most of all in this perfume is the presence of Vetiver. An aromatic, herbaceous, dry, golden Vetiver. Plus salt. Personally, I'm not a nut for Vetiver - but if it's your thing - give this a try.

Overall, this perfume strikes me as extremely GOLDEN and DRY - it also conveys a sense of strength or power (not in being overbearing, but in its character). Often, when wearing it - I am struck by the image of a lion. All the dry, golden yellow tones of the savannah, and of the lion's coat and mane.
02nd November, 2010 (last edited: 18th July, 2012)
orrisboy Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I bought this for my partner, a Breton, to remind him of home. I think Lyn Harris is very talented, her olfactory work is charming, sly and so pretty. I don’t like some scents, but others are glorious. L’air de Rien is filthygorgeous and Feuilles de Tabac is dark and autumnally slutty. Fleurs de Sel was created to remind Lyn of Batz-sur-Mer where they manufacture world famous sea salt. The conjuring up of salt water edged with grasses, iris and narcissi is remarkable. The vetiver base with moss is perfectly judged and the whole scent comes together with tremendous power. It is incredibly heady and on the skin has that magnificent dried down sea salt on hot skin scent that hardly anyone has truly managed to pin down in fragrance form. Like a painting by Corot, dry and green, drenched in warm pixillated light, textured to perfection. You can hear birdsong, reeds rustling; smell the iodine from the salt in the air. Breathe; Lyn has made her finest scent.

09th July, 2010
Salty indeed, I smell roses and whiskey as well.. it smells very sharp and metallic in the opening. Stays quite close to my skin, but because it's so sharp you can still smell it even without sniffing your arm. The smell from the distance is far better than up close, but for somebody like me who has a tendency to smell my arm or wrist, this is a no-go. As it dries down a little bit it becomes quite herbal and smells like a mixture of green spices. I was gonna rule this out because I didn't like the opening so much, but give it 10-15 minutes and it calms down into something more tolerable. Not great, but not horrible. Not something I would buy more than a decant of.
12th April, 2010
I get Tequila from this to begin with - it must be the salt connection in my mind! Then it dries down to salty driftwood, dried flowers and leather. Delicious and I love it.

I can totally see where the whisky connection comes from.

This reminds me of bleak Welsh beaches in Autumn.
12th October, 2009
This is a very good scent. It is in three stages, and in my opinion if it retained more of its first half characteristics it would be a superb scent. The first stage is an excellent green herbal chord, just the sort of thing I love. The clary sage gives the usual dusky dry note. Thyme is prominent but handled well and does not suggest salad dressing. The rosemary is minty, almost like eucalyptus. Together these three elements make a striking, even unusual combination. It is somewhat medicinal, a bit suggestive of lineament – and yet very compelling (at least for lovers of green notes). The floral heart seems very brief to me. Clearly iris is the dominant note, and it too is well done – a bit fleshy and earthy but not oppressive. The base alternates between a sweetish leather and a salty moss. I don’t find this to be a VERY salty scent, I just get a hint of salt. The scent is restrained, complex, and classy.
26th August, 2009
Nukapai Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Fleurs de Sel smells like a very good, aged whisky, which might be very nice for some, but unfortunately I hate the smell of whisky. I think the smoothness and artistry in this fragrance is clear, so I'm going neutral, purely for appreciation purposes.
10th August, 2008
This is a remarkable scent, beautiful and unique. The only other fragrance I've sampled that attempts to recreate the smell of salt is Sel de Vetiver (which I do like), but this nails it so much more convincingly. It really does make me feel as if I'm at the seaside, surrounded by herbs and flowers. And in case you're wondering, the salty and medicinal notes keep the flowers from getting too flowery, making this a definite unisex fragrance in my book.

I can't say much else to add to flathorn's excellent review--I agree with every word, except that I crave this scent, not just in the winter, but all year long. That "fresh, salty bewitching air" is habit-forming, and I've come to find that I need a regular fix. I hope more people try this under-appreciated beauty and buy it so that it stays in production.
06th July, 2008
At first I dismissed this as interesting rather than pleasing and not really me, and thought Sel de Vetiver was the only salty fragrance I needed. But I've been on a salt kick this summer and they're different enough that I'd like bottles of both - SdV wet and green, FdS dry and brown. It's herbal, but not in a green way, more like scorched herbs on scorched earth covered by a layer of salt. The salt is very pure - just salty, no scary seaweed or fake aquatic notes - and refreshing. I was a bit wary of the sage, a note which normally doesn't work for me, but this is not a dense and bitter aromatherapy-style herbal/aromatic scent, instead it's a "natural and wholesome" theme rendered in an elegantly transparent haute perfumerie way. I love thyme and rosemary and I'm always looking for herbal scents which truly smell like the living thing rather than turning sour, sharp and stale on my skin, and this is it, only with a heap of salt on top! I don't feel the "fleurs" except as a hint of tastefully restrained sweetness, but I do feel the wood and vetiver in the basenotes, which combined with the salt smell more like driftwood than any deliberate "driftwood accords" I've come across. Or like a herb garden surrounded by a wooden fence in a seaside town. This is a wonderful alternative for those looking for a summer scent that is not synthetically "cool" and "clean".
10th June, 2008
Notes: Red Thyme, Rosemary, Clary Sage, Rose, Narcissus, Iris, Ambrette, Vetiver, Moss, Woods.

I haven't tried all the Miller Harris line, but this is my favorite so far. It is herbal, salty, twiggy, and grassy, while possessing enough well-integrated floral to recreate the sense of small wild flowers in a salt marsh.
From red thyme and rosemary it gets the bracing freshness of ocean marsh. From clary sage, moss and vetiver, it gets both a moist earthiness and grassy dryness. From rose it gets a light lilting summer note - a rose not damascena, but rugosa. The narcissus is a bridge between the more floral rose and the earthier elements. Ambrette and iris soften and diffuse the medicinal herbs enough that they play nicely with the florals. I like that this fragrance didn't cop-out and throw in token citrus notes to 'freshen' it. It went for uncompromising blooming salt marsh, preventing the sameness that results when you let citrus predominate in the opening of a fresh scent. All in all, it has a fresh, salty bewitching air.
I thought I would like this best in summer, but I like it better now in winter, perhaps because it recreates a fresh summer quality my nose craves in the dead of winter.
26th December, 2007