If you love walking on the seashore in the depths of Winter when the beach is deserted and the crash of the waves is almost deafening, then this perfume may just be the one for you.
Baies roses, bergamot, lemon, petigrain, cedre bois blanc, accord tabac, vanille bourbon, tonka bean.
Miller Harris are a London based perfumer with some of the most godawful Christmas advertising on the go at the moment. We’ve noticed a lot of weird pictures of people wearing fancy cardboard boxes on their heads popping up on Instagram. Unfortunately that’s the Miller Harris campaign this year.
Not holding that against them though, the company was founded by Lyn Harris, and doesn’t like to say too much about itself on their website. Read their about us page if you don’t believe us. Miller Harris are one of those brands that it is worth keeping an eye out for as they are pretty readily available and indeed sometimes their older lines turn up in TK Maxx for just a few quid.
We’ve previously reviewed Rose Silence by Miller Harris. In many ways this scent reminded us of Wood Sage and Sea Salt by Jo Malone, but without the pine notes.
First things first, read the listed notes and then forget most of them. This isn’t a perfume that you can get any real sense of from the notes alone. If your game is identifying what a perfume has in it then you may well do better than we did when we tested this. If, however, you want to understand what the experience of wearing this scent is like then please, read on.
When you first spray this scent, an expansive coolness lifts off the skin quickly. The scent does evoke a walk on a Winter beach, cold air blowing in from the sea and heavy with moisture.
When you inhale the top notes of the scent, there is the sense you get when you first eat a spearmint sweet; that sort of expansive clarity that makes your mouth feel like it must have been too hot before and you didn’t even realise it. That’s what this scent does to your sinuses when you sniff it. The top of the scent is really very pleasant and the slightly chewy spearminty sweet vibe is really moreish and invigorating.
We tested this scent before we looked at the listed notes, and, in going back to it again, there is a citrusy hint right at the start as well. It’s that sort of citrusy hint that you get when you get a swirl of lemon rind in your G and T, not at all strong, but just enough to give a juicy, mouth watering quality to the background of the perfume. There’s a definite salty, ozone-like accord going on in here as well.
Once the scent opens up properly, we don’t lose that sea-breeze feel that it started with. The scent is refreshing, some may describe it as uplifting. To our minds it smells of aquatic blues, but the ones that are almost grey.
The scent hovers near your skin like an Autumn fog and doesn’t stray very far at all. In the heart, the perfume also starts to develop a clean cotton like vibe which adds to that feeling that it is staying close to the body like clean clothes.
Our testing notes for this scent say ‘a bit like smelling the breath of a marble statue’ and we would stand by that. It has this slightly ethereal vibe which makes it very difficult to pin down. Whilst some perfumes shift and squirm as you try and understand them, this scent is a bit more like smelling a wil o’the wisp, in Autumn, somewhere cold.
The base of L’Eau Magnetic has a slightly metallic note in it. It doesn’t have that brown, earthy quality that iron has, but there is definitely a cool, burnished-metal-that-rain-has-fallen-on feel here. The scent is also salty, very much like sea air, ozonic and fresh and we liked the fact that this theme ran all the way through the scent from start to finish. Despite saying that, there is also a ribbon of warmth in the base (probably the tonka bean) so there is this contrasting hint of warm alongside salty, metallic and cool. It’s a bit like you are nearing home after your beach-side walk and someone opens the door to your centrally heated cottage.
The other stuff
L’Eau Magnetic by Miller Harris doesn’t project very far from the skin when you wear it. It’s ok, but if we are being picky then we would perhaps have liked it to have a bit more projection to it as the second time we tested it, we forgot we had it on. If anyone else could discern we were wearing it, they may well have just thought that we had come in from the fresh Yorkshire outdoors, the scent definitely has that sort of vibe about it.
The longevity of the fragrance was also a little short, moderate at best, it seemed to have mostly vanished by lunchtime or early afternoon.
In terms of being targeted at a particular gender, this perfume could suit both men, women, and everyone in between, which is great. We could see it working on a wide variety of people who like to bring a breath of freshness with them without smelling like they tried too hard. This is definitely not a try-hard scent at all, it’s effortlessly cool, as well as being calm and indeed quite calming.
We tested the scent in late Autumn, and found it suited this weather perfectly. Wear it whenever you like, but for us a Winter beachy scent is fantastic at this time of year – it gave us wanderlust for a Winter break!
L’Eau Magnetic is available from Miller Harris’ website. It is priced at £105 for 100ml EDP, or £75 for 50ml.