Having held key positions at previous perfume houses such as Penhaligon’s, what do you personally love about Miller Harris?
SR: “I love the fact that we can be inspired by all these things around us. It’s so amazing that we can one day be inspired by a book and the next day by a poet and the next day by a person or a plant; that’s what’s so beautiful about the brand. It’s building a strong personality and we can dip into all these things that are all relevant to the modern bohemian. Anything goes, but we always start with stories and we never quite know how the perfume is going to smell. On a personal level, it’s great fun. I’m constantly learning and meeting amazing, creative people. It’s like a melting pot of creative ideas every day.”
What’s the next big thing in perfume?
SR: “I think there’s probably room for a surge in sophisticated gourmand because gourmand (see: synthetic edible notes, such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy) hasn’t moved on in a couple of years. The emergence of fruits and berries is also going to be really interesting because they’re used a lot in an accord (see: a balanced blend of notes which lose their individual identity to create a completely new, unified scent) but they’re never really the heart of the fragrance. Rather than an ingredient, I think that there are going to be really interesting new technological developments that revolve around natural extractions. This means that the ingredients that have been smelled for a long time will now smell completely different, and that’s where it gets really exciting. A familiar ingredient now smells totally different and that opens up fresh creative processes. We’re working on a fragrance now that won’t come out till next year and it has pepper with a whole new extraction method, so it’s like nothing you’ve ever smelt. I think there isn’t going to be as much of a trend in a particular ingredient, but you’re going to see a trend in new interpretations of naturals.”
What’s the creative approach behind the making of a Miller Harris perfume?
SR: “For starters, we don’t design in labs. Of course, our perfumers work in a lab, but for the start of our journey, we usually take them out of the lab and give them a story to interpret, so that it’s challenging them to think creatively and differently. We don’t give them any cost restraints, we just allow them to create. We’ve just launched a perfume called Dance Amongst The Lace, which has a weed that grows abundant in the UK. When you smell the plant, it has no scent but as soon as you break the leaves apart, there’s this fizzy bergamot smell. By taking our perfumers out with us, we go on this journey of exploration together. We never ever could’ve breathed that perfume had we not been out on a wet day in the middle of London parks, sniffing this natural ingredient. Everyone that was walking past us thought that we were all completely crazy, but it’s really nice as a CEO to go out there and get your hands dirty in the middle of London City. I think what sets us apart is this exploration of ingredients and trying to stimulate our perfumers.”
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