Walk down Bruton Street, towards Berkeley Square, past the tempting portals of Stella McCartney, Diane Von Furstenburg and various art dealers and you will come across a glowing little gem of a shop – namely, Miller Harris. I’ve had a bit of a thing about this brand for years. Many moons ago I caught sight of the delicate floral printed square bottles in a very stylish friend’s home. I furtively had a bit of sniff at the contents and had an immediate affinity with the Lynn Harris aesthetic. Feminine, modern and with a touch of the francophile – I couldn’t help myself and purchased a bottle of Tubereuse. This then graduated to a bottle of Geranium Bourbon which then graduated into a candle and then…..yes, well you get the picture…..
What many people might not know is that attached to the Miller Harris shop is an elegant little tea-room where you can sip on delicately scented tea, munch on delicious baby cupcakes and pastries from the Primrose bakery, all the while surrounded by a sea of colourfully distinctive perfume bottles and other goodies. Lynn Harris has expanded her empire into wallpaper, olive oils, teas, jams, incense burners, travel bags and even tea towels – all with that distinctive flower motif. Presents galore appear everywhere and with prices starting at £10 for a tea-towel, you don’t have to go crazy on the purse-strings here. The wallpaper came about as a collaboration with famous wallpaper designer, Karen Beauchamp, who worked with Lynn to create three designs in different colour-ways reflecting the brand – “Bunch”, “Triple Sea fig” and “Pom flower”. These actually bring to mind William Morris – my dad had an original William Morris in his old office and it always brings back ripples of nostalgia. These are £75 a roll, so not exactly a steal but even one wall of this would make a serious impact in beautifying a room. My personal favourites were in grey and duck egg blue. Something else that caught my eye in this shop was the Astier de Villatte ceramic collection which Lynn has brought over from their St Germain stockist. Fired in black clay and then finished with a white glaze, these are delicate, quirkily pretty, with an individual unfinished look to each piece. I quite honestly want the whole collection.
Which brings me back full circle to the perfumes – where it all started. Perfume is such an individual and emotional thing – everyone who knows me, knows full well that I am a major perfume obsessive and something of a perfume snob. I have a table in my bedroom of them which looks like some kind of insane smelling shrine. I smelt about ten different ones here, although there are more in the collection – like wine tasting, you get to a point where you have to stop. As I said before, I cannot be without my seductive smelling Tubereuse and the warm freshness of Geranium Bourbon but I smelt at least seven others that I would be happy to wear – going from the very feminine to the woody more unisex smells of the bois collections. The Citron is a good crowd pleaser for the less adventurous male and for the more adventurous you can find something truly distinctive like the L’Air de Rien body lotion which was created for Jane Birkin. I hate the word “lifestyle” but you do get a strong sense of Lynn Harris’s taste in this shop and I want more of it. Please.