The Playful (Perfume Thoughts, Scherzo, Miller Harris)

o.54020I stayed at a friend’s mansion in San Francisco recently and, of course, while I was there, raided to use his perfume collection. He pointed me to his ‘new acquisitions,’ which were the bottles he recently got from his trip to Paris. I immediately gravitated towards Scherzo, from Miller Harris. I knew nothing about it, and upon first spritz, fell in love with it.  I did not even know what the word meant, and was fascinated by its meaning:  a vigorous, light, or playful composition, typically comprising a movement in a symphony or sonata.

But first, the perfume’s  very beautiful back story. Miller Harris, for inspiration, gave two perfumers, this quote from F Scott Fittzgerald’s ‘Tender Is The Night:’

When this died away on the summer air, she walked on, between kaleidoscope peonies massed in pink clouds, black and brown tulips and fragile mauve stemmed roses, transparent like sugar flowers in a confectioner’s window-until, as if the scherzo of colour could reach no further intensity, it broke off suddenly in mid-air…”

Scherzo is Mathieu Nardin’s interpretation, and he first impression is a bit literal, with the burst of sweet rose from the top notes. I don’t know if it is necessarily too-sweet as sugar flowers, but on my skin, the darkness quickly comes in, in the mixture of oud and patchouli that’s instantly heady and cashmere-like. It was perfect in the windy cold deceptively-sunny San Francisco weather, and it added a lot of mystery to our day’s adventures there. I wonder if, had the weather been a bit warmer, the sticky rose would have lasted more, and this makes me want to wear this again when the temperature is higher. But as it is, this is a great scent that has character. It is strong and massive, with great sillage and lasting power. I know this would be a great addition to my wardrobe, and now want to test ‘Tender,’ which is Bertrand Duchafour’s take on the same Fitzgerald quote.


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