It’s no secret that I adore F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work, as well as generally loving books set in the 1920’s. The glamour of the roaring 20’s, especially in the United States, is absolutely fascinating to me. So when I heard that Golden Hare Books, an independent book store in Edinburgh, had teamed up with Miller Harris to host a glamourous perfume launch for fragrances based off of a passage from Tender is the Night, I had to be in attendance.
Arriving at Golden Hare Books was a welcome change from the cold and snow outside, The ‘Beast from the East’ was on its way out but it was still making its presence felt. As soon as I arrived, I realised I was one of the first (if not the first) guest to arrive –as usual – but the heat from the warm, and very real, fire inside of the bookshop, combined with the warm welcome from the staff made me forget about that.
I wandered over to the presentation area and was immediately impressed. There, in front of the fire, was a beautifully presented table full of various Fitzgerald novels in numerous editions and various bottles of perfumes, as well as multiple glasses of fizz. Books and perfume bottles also decorated the mantle over the fireplace.
Among the bottles of perfume and books were free scented books featuring an extract from Tender is the Night and more information on the perfumes.
Whilst waiting for other guests to arrive, I spoke to a few people who were there organising the event, but mostly I spoke to Alex, a perfume expert based in Edinburgh who was there to talk all about the new fragrances inspired by Tender is the Night.
Alex spoke with such immense passion and knowledge about his field – it was a breath of fresh air to hear someone so genuinely in to what they were talking about at an event. Too often I’ve been at events where you can tell that a speaker or guest is only really there because they need to be due to their job obligations, or they are there for a pay check.
This did not seem to be the case with Alex. He was inviting and knowledgeable without being alienating. He was completely open and honest about what he was talking about and cared about what others had to say regarding notes in the perfumes and their reception of the scents.
As the bookshop began to fill, Alex took his place by the fire to discuss the perfumes and the stories behind their conception. Tender and Scherzo, the two fragrances inspired by the same passage from Tender is the Night, were created by two different people. Miller Harris gave the extract below to two master perfumers and each interpreted it in their own way, applying their own unique talents to the
creation of each scent.
“…She walked on, between kaleidoscopic peonies massed in pink clouds, black and brown tulips and fragile mauve stemmed roses, transparent like sugar flowers in a confectioner’s window – until, as if the scherzo of colour could reach no further intensity, it broke off suddenly in mid-air.”
Just as different people can read the same book and take different things away from it, the same is true with scents. Once Alex had concluded his speech, the guests were allowed to sample the scents, and this is where the shop began to smell absolutely amazing and debates were launched. Tender, the darker and more seductive of the fragrances, is described by Miller Harris as “a scent of longing and seduction, Tender is contemplative and delicate” and, from the guests present on the night, seemed to be the favourite of the two new fragrances. Alex has even stated that the scent grew on him and is now one of his favourites.
Scherzo, the lighter and bolder of the two new fragrances is described by Miler Harris as “an intensely vibrant scent, full of colour and a rush of sweetness” and I have to whole-heartedly agree. I absolutely fell in love with the scent of Scherzo. The second it blended with my skin I felt like it had become my scent.
As I spoke to others and smelt their wrists throughout the night, it became apparent that both Tender and Scherzo smelt different upon the skin of different people as their natural scent mixed with the indulgent fragrances, a whole new and unique scent was released, making both Tender and Scherzo deeply personal scents and experiences.
There were other scents from Miller Harris available to smell that night, all from their Perfumer’s Library collection, including La Feuille, Le Jasmin, Le Cèdre and Tuberosa. All of these were exceptionally beautiful scents (with Le Jasmin being my favourite from this collection), but after all is said and done, Scherzo was my chosen scent of the night – I’ve never smelt anything like it.
The night came to a close and everyone ended up smelling amazing and a great discussion had been had about the power of scents.
I’d highly recommend Golden Hare Book events in the future, as well as all of these perfumes from Miller Harris. The night was truly glamorous.
Alex runs a perfume focused blog, which you can find here.
You can find out more about Golden Hare Books here.
To find out more about Miller Harris perfumes, and to buy Scherzo (or any of the other perfumes) click here.
I’d like to personally thank the staff at Golden Hare Books for a wonderful evening and Miller Harris for making it possible and introducing me to a world of amazing scents. I’d also like to thank Alex for his amazing insight and delightful conversation.
[PLEASE NOTE]: I was not paid or sponsored to write this event review. All the opinions are honest and my own.