By Suzy Nightingale, Senior Writer for The Perfume Society and The Scented Letter Magazine
Mud baths at Glastonbury, Wimbledon being rained off, summer dresses accessorised with wellies - notoriously unpredictable, it's no wonder we British are often seen as a bit weather-obsessed. At this time of year we often fall back on zippy citrus Colognes and other, breezier affairs in the hope that grey days will be brightened momentarily by a spritz of sunshine in a bottle.
But momentarily is the word, for there's something about the fleeting freshness that can leave many of us wanting something with a bit more, well... oomph. For just such occasions, I like to reach for fragrances that convey the heat of exoticism while taking you on a proper olfactory journey, surely the whole reason we wear perfume is to be enchanted and entranced - to be taken somewhere other than where we happen to be?
Miller Harris excel at transporting the fragrance wearer to all manner of locations - from rambling cottage gardens to cliff tops overlooking the sea and pear orchards at dusk - but exoticism certainly plays its part alongside the more well-known olfactory experiences, So I thought I'd take a wander through the perhaps less often explored La Fumée Collection, currently offering four fragrant expeditions to far-flung places. And more specifically, their La Fumée Ottoman, because right now? Well, I feel like being transported to Constantinople and the mysteries of the Ottoman empire...
Top notes: cardamom, rose, cumin
Heart notes: incense, cedar Maroc, patchouli
Base notes: rose Maroc, sandalwood, vanilla bourbon, tonka bean
Described as 'A modern tribute to the incense road of antiquity, a trade route along which precious resins were transported to Mediterranean ports,' you can almost feel the heat haze shimmering as rose rises, succulent at first, freshly picked and dusted with aromatic, almost anise-like crushed cardamom pods and the underlying animalic fervour of cumin. Tendrils of incense smoulder as the more voluptuous Moroccan rose joins patchouli in the dance - all hip-swivelling sultriness infused with dark speckles of vanilla and the toastiness of tonka bean. All this sashaying could very well lead to alarming palpitations, of course, had the composition not been so expertly harmonised by genius British perfumer, Lyn Harris, and with everything underpinned by the cool, calming smoothness of sandalwood. Phew!
Quite frankly, wearing La Fumée Ottoman makes me want to sink languorously in to a plush pile of velvet cushions while being gently fanned and sipping a refreshing beverage – and that already feels like a holiday in a bottle. Oh, just take me there right now…
Miller Harris La Fumee Ottoman £115 for 100ml eau de parfum