Tuesday 13 May 2008

Fleur De Sal

By chance the power had to be turned off at work recently, so I found myself unexpectedly but very happily out alone for an hour in Mayfair.

It was a cold, crisp and shining London day, perfect for walking down side streets and chasing warm patches of sun on the shaded pavements.

I decided to go the Miller Harris boutique because I have never made it there. The combination of my long work day and their Bond Street area early closing time don’t mix well.

I have tried most of Lyn Harris’ scents in fragrance departments and did once take advantage of her company’s excellent sending samples service.

However since then a new and right up my street scent has joined the Miller Harris perfume library and I have longed to sample it. Fleur de Sal is the fragrance’s name and I finally had the chance to test it thanks to some work men in W1.

I love salty scents, they seem to be becoming more popular with perfumers and customers alike, but at the moment I treasure their relative rarity. I particularly like Hermes Eau de Marveilles, which smells like beachy skin, but I thought Fleur De Sal sounded equally fascinating.

Perfumes should, of course, never be judged on sillage from the bottle, infused pieces of card or even their initial smell on your skin. This scent proved what I already knew to be true. In the bottle it was nice but not remarkable, on the paper the same. On my skin it initially smelt heavy and earthy but didn’t move me. Then after about two minutes it became very medicinal and I was concerned that my high hopes for the scent would be dashed.

Hiding my disappointment I told the charming lady that I would let the fragrance settle, which I would always do anyway. As I walked back down Bruton Street, then along Bruton Lane (past Rupert Sanderson’s grey courts- oh my!) with it’s old London mews quiet, still, knowing calm and back along Bond Street the Fleur De Sal started to bloom on my skin. By the time I was back at my office I felt as if I was walking towards a quiet beach, strewn with driftwood- and Fleur de Sal was high up on my wish list.

It is all the name implies; salty of course, crashing waves and disturbed rock pools, with hints of damp but drying wood and there are fleurs and rosemary and cold air with a hint of summer just gone or still to come. To me Fleur De Sal smells of days when you walk along the beach with your feet in the waves but it’s too cold to get in and swim. When the sun isn’t fully out or when it has been very hot and dusk is coming and might bring rain; when there are only a few people for miles but they are all enraptured with the day like you; days when breezes blow in your hair and curl it a little and you walk for miles through the ripples of surf before stopping at a beautiful cottage to eat fresh fish by a fire and when you finally go to bed your hair still smells of salt.

Driftwood picture courtsey of http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/64/Driftwood.jpg/800px-Driftwood.jpg

Miller Harris bottle picture courtesy of http://dieline.typepad.com/blog/images/2007/12/30/mh3.jpg

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