Monday, August 20, 2007

Miller Harris Coeur d'Été

I seem to be mostly recovered from my summer cold, so I thought I would circle back and sample the things I picked out what now seems like weeks ago. One of the scents I chose was Miller Harris Coeur d'Ete, and while we are now on the backside of summer's said coeur, I think the scent is still perfectly fitting.

Everywhere, I'm reading that people are ready for fall, and I am no exception. Although I wore light and summery scents last week to counteract the heat (and my cranky disposition), mentally I wanted something more. I had planned to wear Miel de Bois and ended up with Eau d'Hadrien instead. It was all very light and refreshing, but as soon as I realized my nose had recovered, I went straight back to my sample of Coeur d'Été, which I'd worn for several days before I got sick.

Something tells me that if I owned a bottle of this, I would wear it non-stop through late summer and into early fall. With notes of chocolate bean, licorice, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, banana, white pear, lilac, cassie, heliotrope, sandalwood, benzoin, and vanilla and fruity musk, this scent may sound either too fruity or too sweet to be borne in the heat. It made me think of this, from The Secret History: "Trees creaking with apples, fallen apples red on the grass beneath, the heavy sweet smell of them rotting on the ground and the steady thrumming of wasps around them. Commons clock tower: ivied brick, white spire, spellbound in the hazy distance."

I don't know that I'll ever be able to let go of the idea of back to school and how promising it always felt. I hope I never do let go, because that must be the key to thinking of fall as a beginning rather than an ending. The turning of leaves, a hint of crispness in the air, the changing light, all of these things are evoked for me in this fragrance. To me this scent is both melancholy and uplifting, because it has an overripe quality that speaks of decay, and beneath it a depth that's dark yet comforting. The sandalwood and chocolate bean come through even in the top, tempering the sweetness. The lilac and heliotrope both serve to deepen the scent of the fruit, and I think they actually lend a bit to the dark quality. There's nothing sharp here--the edges are smooth, like finely sanded wood.

Apparently Lyn Harris created this scent while she was pregnant, so it seems odd to speak of decay or darkness. But heightened senses must be some part of embracing the larger part of life, or the cycle of life, I suppose. That may seem a bit over the top, but this time of year always makes me feel a bit more pensive. I wonder if it wouldn't have been more apt to call this scent Fin d'Été, but the heart reference speaks of the depths found here.

*image from Luckyscent