Reviews of Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris

    Find out more about Fleurs de Sel by Miller Harris in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


    Showing 1 to 16 of 16.
    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    14 June, 2014

    Sniffmonkey's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    25 April, 2013 (Last Edited: 26 April, 2013)

    d_l_esmond's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    17 November, 2012

    dollars&scents's avatar

    United States United States

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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.

    04 February, 2012

    rickbr's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    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.

    19 January, 2012

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    27 May, 2011

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    18 April, 2011

    pussinboots's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    02 November, 2010 (Last Edited: 18 July, 2012)

    orrisboy's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.


    09 July, 2010

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    12 April, 2010

    pippedydee's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    12 October, 2009

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    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.

    26 August, 2009

    Nukapai's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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

    FloatingPoint's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    06 July, 2008

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    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

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    26 December, 2007

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