“I’ve got this yearning all the time to do things simply and properly – and from the heart. And that’s how I live as well,’ says British nose Lyn Harris, who launched the fragrance house Perfumer H in 2015. “I guess that’s what people respond to in the brand.”
For Harris, who had previously founded Miller Harris with partner Christophe Michel in 2000, it was vital that the new brand answered some fundamental questions and that everything was done on her terms. “I do think it’s important being in touch with the consumer,” she says. “It’s really interesting how people shop today and what they spend their money on. It is about an experience. We’re beginning to question materialism in our lives and what we’re doing to the world – the greed aspect: do we need things? That’s what I thought – why do I need to bring another brand into the universe? I’d done that before [with Miller Harris]. So I guess that’s why this took me so much time and energy. The whole process of where we source everything from is quite labour intensive.”
As Britain's first classically trained nose, Harris, whose olfactory journey began with a determination to bring naturals back into perfumery, is unwavering in her desire to create refined, beautiful fragrances that resonate life and her own personal style.
The raw materials that go into her candles and scents are sourced from around the world and combined in her shop-cum-laboratory in Marylebone, London, utilising skills that Harris learned under the legendary Monique Schlienger in Paris, before spending five years at fragrance house Robertet in Grasse.
The attention to detail extends to the bottles that are hand-blown by glassmaker Michael Ruh. “When you’re going to the best, they have a process and you have to work with that,” she says. “and I enjoy learning from and collaborating with other creatives.”
For her new Winter collection, Harris has collaborated with artist Jason Line, who has taken one ingredient from each product and created a still life of it. “I’m not exactly making it easy for myself but I’m totally loving every minute,” she says. “I’m unusual because I’m a creative but I am an entrepreneur at the same time, which can be really hard to juggle at times.”
Harris attributes her new lease of life to ‘stepping away from the industry for two years and looking at it from the other side. That made me really think and set different, unconventional codes: I’m going to stand by this, I’m not going to conform!’
“Stepping away from the industry for two years and looking at it from the other side, that made me really think and set different codes. I’m going to stand by this, I’m not going to conform!”Lyn Harris