Who: Mathieu Nardin, perfumer. Mathieu is a super talented perfumer who has created some of our favourite Miller Harris fragrances recently. We caught up with him at the launch of the brand’s very lovely three-scent Forage collection, which has looked in some unusual places for interesting new ingredients to use.
Today I’m wearing the new Miller Harris fragrance Wander, as in ‘a wander in the park’. It’s a fragrance that’s all about green notes, with lots of herbs and a very bright green nettle accord. All of these ideas combine to give the fragrance a modern freshness.
This collection from Miller Harris is all based on the idea of foraging, which is something anyone can do, even in the city, along paths and in parks.
It’s what I did a while ago in London, I went to an old cemetery and spent an amazing day with a forager. As a perfumer it was a fantastic experience as I discovered little plants and simple basic herbs, when I tasted them, I was able to identify different olfactive emotions and profiles. It was a unique experience for me.
I remembered tasting something – a little herb – that was just like melon, I was thinking you could could put that in your salad and have the scent of melon in your food! Then I smelled something called sweet woodruff, which smelled like tonka bean, it was divine!
We know the smell of magnolia when its blooming but I tried the dried petals and it tasted like ginger, which is so unusual. So as a perfumer the whole foraging experience gave me a new perspective to create and explore new ideas. That was the case with Wander, and how I ended up creating this olfactive nettle accord.
When I wear it, it feels like I’m a little bit lost in nature, as if I’m out for the weekend and transported into a very natural place surrounded with herbs, flowers and grasses.
I don’t wear fragrance every day because of my work as a perfumer, but every night after working I put a couple of trial perfumes on my skin, to test how they are performing, how they project, how long it lasts and so on. Its a good way for me to follow the perfumes that I’m creating to make sure I’m happy with them and to identify where I need to moderate them.
At the weekend I’ll wear a fragrance on my skin, but what I really like is to scent my closet because I like clothes that are scented. I usually do my own thing and put some fragrance on a tissue, or on a stone to dissipate. Also now you can get little beads that can be loaded with fragrances, they create a soft scented micro-atmosphere which feels very luxurious and unique. Also you can change it whenever you like, there are no rules! I have access to a lot of fragrance oils so that’s fun to play with.
Fragrance is a little bit of joy you can have with every day. I think what makes fragrance special and unique is that it’s difficult to talk about – its hard to describe and explain. But that also makes it unique and magical, sometimes we can’t explain whats going on and that’s often the point where people fall in love with a fragrance. There is no rational, it’s like love.