You may not think of wearing your fragrance like you do your fashion. But perfumer Lyn Harris wants to turn that notion on its head. “Everyone is looking for his or her signature scent, but I always rebelled against that,” she tells us. “How can you just wear one fragrance all the time, day in and day out? If you’re wearing the same outfit but simply change the fragrance, you’re changing who you are.”
Having established Miller Harris in 2000, Harris is almost a year into her second venture, Perfumer H, in Marylebone. There are 30 fragrances to choose from and you can even work with the perfumer to create your own bespoke blend. “We want them to experience the fragrances and experience the craft,” Harris says.
It’s the summers she spent in Scotland with her grandparents that drew her into the world of perfumery. “My grandparents grew their own vegetables and my grandmother had her own flower garden. She used to bake all the time over open fires and you could smell the wood burning at night and the embres in the morning while she was making jams and bread… it was just idyllic.”
This week, Harris launches her Spring Summer 2017 collection with five new unconventional fragrances – Orange Leaf, Rain Cloud, Patchouli H, Ink and Musk. The collection also includes candles, and all the glass has been hand-blown by Michael Ruh so they can be reused. “With Patchouli H and Ink, there’s a little bit of intrigue but some timelessness and I think that’s very much what you’re feeling with fashion as well,” she says. “That’s how I feel about fragrance – there should be some stability but also intrigue.”
We spoke to Lyn to find out what she does when she’s not busy working:
MONDAY – Victoria Park, Grove Rd, London E3 5TB
I travel to see clients a lot, and because of this, I don’t have much spare time. So whenever I do have time, I need to spend it with my family. We love going for walks with our dog, Pop. This summer, we’ve been trying to explore all the different parks in London and Victoria Park has become a new favourite.
TUESDAY – Mouki Mou, 29 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PL
I don’t go shopping often but I go to my destination places. I’ll pop into Margaret Howell or I’ll go to Mouki Mou on Chiltern Street. I like finding places where there’s a story behind the shirt. When I go to Mouki Mou, they tell me this was worn by such-and-such – for example, this inspired Faye Toogood and she got this material from here. That’s what I love to hear and that tells me why I would buy it.
WEDNESDAY – Polpetto, 11 Berwick Street, W1F 0PL
Recently I’ve been going back into Camden. I live in Primrose Hill and my son is getting older, so I’ve been going into second-hand shops in Camden, which I really enjoy. I like to go to Rokit, I go to all the trainer shops, and afterwards we will go into Soho for something to eat and pop into Polpetto – the one on Berwick Street. I really like the castelfranco, tomato and burrata dish. For dessert, my son loves the Nutella pizzetta.
THURSDAY- La Fromagerie, 2-6 Moxon Street W1U 4EW
On Thursday, I’m going out with clients. We’re probably going to go out quite early because I wanted to take them to taste some interesting wines. La Fromagerie on Moxon Street is great because they’re open early evenings and I thought it’d be quite nice to sit outside. They want to experience London and they love Marylebone so I think we will start there for an aperitif and then we will probably end up going to the Chiltern Firehouse.
FRIDAY – Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
I love going to late nights at museums because I often don’t get a chance to see them during the day. So Friday night, I thought I might do the Royal Academy’s late night and take my son. Every week, we do something different but we always have a great time going to the Royal Academy and I really want to see the David Hockney exhibition (David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life, on until 2 October 2016).
Perfumer H fragrances are available only at Perfumer H, 106A Crawford Street, W1H 2HZ.
Text by Steph Nowak