The Art of Storytelling
London-based perfumer Miller Harris is that rarest of things: a truly boutique fragrance house with a fully international presence (the brand is stocked in over 60 outlets internationally).
‘We’re in a very unique spot,’ says Miller Harris CEO Sarah Rotheram (who took over the reins in 2017, two years after founder Susan Harris left the business). ‘There’s only a handful of British fragrance houses anyway – most who play on the historical – but we’re telling urban, contemporary stories through perfume and our target audience is the modern bohemian.’
That targeting is apparent in everything the brand does. For while Miller Harris does indeed create stories around its perfume – something that’s almost de rigueur in modern fragrance houses today – its perfumes are also created around stories (quite literally at times: see below), in the sense that they are very much an engagement with the Miller Harris world.
Take Scherzo, which was inspired by Rotheram’s re-reading of that ultimate Jazz Age bohemian F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920s-set classic, Tender is the Night. Delighted by the word (definition: a vigorous and light composition), Rotheram invited two perfumers to create a fragrance inspired by ‘scherzo’ and the passage it sits within in the text.
The eponymous sweet, vibrant tangerine citrus and pink roses scent has been a best-seller since its launch two years ago and is joined by a sister perfume, Tender (a seductively ‘darker’ mix of pepper, peonies and black ink). Each are accompanied with yet another inspired Miller Harris touch: printed pages of the passage from the novel in question that have been spritzed with the relevant fragrance.