Salty Marshes and exuberance

*standard disclaimer you can insert here for most of my posts — I do have the scents I’m reviewing in my little sample/decant store, but since I sell hundreds of things, it doesn’t impact whether I love/like a scent, though I’m more prone to buy scents I like/love, oddly enough*

Every now and then you get lucky enough to have some great scents pass your desk on the same day, and you spend the rest of the day wondering whether you should shower, just so you can put them on again and make sure they have the same magic or should be worn just by themselves, but you can’t resist putting on the other one because it’s so darn great too!  I wish I had more days like this.  

Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel — Created by Lyn Harris to evoke her memories of the salt marsh at Batz sur Mer, it has notes of red thyme oil, rosemary, clary sage, wild flowers – iris nobilis, narcisse flowers and rose — ambrette seed, woods, vetiver grass and moss.  Okay, look at that list of notes and tell me how in the world this would ever be a miss for me.  Well, it’s not a miss, it’s a   –I fall at your feet, Lyn Harris, you are brilliant and perfect and made a scent that reflected those things. This shit rocks me to my core.  It is the perfect blend of salt, flowers, little spice and vetiver. If you love Sel de Vetiver or just a salty feel in your perfume, you will be over the moon about this one. I don’t think I’ve ever spent any time in a salt marsh in my life, but now I want to go to Batz sur Mer and smell this in person.  (photo from a Batz sur Mer tourist site).  Currently Saks in NYC only had a couple hundred bottles available as a pre-release. You can call Christina @ 212-940-2072 to see if any are left.  Otherwise, it should be in general release in July — the perfect summer and always scent.

Nasomatto Absinth — No notes are listed for this scent, we are just told that the perfumer, Alessandro, is a very experienced perfumer who “believes that our senses are the primary instruments which generate our instinctive reactions and drive our process of judging and choosing.”  *rolls eyes* No duh.  Absinth’s marketing blurb says, “The fragrance aims to evoke degrees of hysteria. It is the result of a quest to stimulate irresponsible behaviour.”  You guys have been reading me long enough to know that just the above claims were enough to send me into degrees of hysteria. But, WTH, I figure, let’s give the whole line a go and see what we think.  Of course the first one out of the box that I must put on is Absinth.  I’m old enough now, that stimulating irresponsible behavior can be a chore.

When I put Absinth on, I burst into laughter. Not because it stimulated irresponsibility, but because this scent is perfection, like Fleurs de Sel is perfection. Vetiver and some kind of nutty thing, probably a little absinth. They don’t list notes anywhere (boo, hiss!), so I’m on my own. It feels a little salty too.  Lord, I  adore this one with a passion.  I’ll talk about the others later, and I really liked a couple of them a lot, but this one is the clear Triple Crown winner for me. Earthy — check.  Rich — check.  Fun — check.  So help me, I did not want to really like these scents, I fully intended to have them only for my merriment in poking fun at them. This could be for either a man or a woman, there is nothing particularly masculine or feminine, y’all get the chance to fall in love with it.  This is currently only available from First in Fragrance, I believe.

There are times when only a Flannery O’Connor quote will do.  “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Damn that Nasomatto Absinth.

BTW, I won’t be reviewing French Lover. I really like it, but the occasional anosmia I have when I hit certain compounds is in effect in this one.  Starts out love, then I hit the anosmic brick wall and it goes to alcohol. This is a failing of mine, not the perfume, so you’ll have to rely on other people on this one, sorry! 

  • Absinthe fan says:

    Just tried my decant of Nasomatto’s Absinthe and hell yes, it smells like Absinthe – but as an Absinthe connoiseur, I can say that it smells like the Czech Absinthe that I am not so keen on. It’s a very fresh, herbal scent, with the bitterness of artemisia absinthium, which I suspect is an ingredient – but it does not have any anise that I can detect, which in many absinthes is there to sweeten and to soften the bitter wormwood. It’s also got great staying power. But because it reminds me of the cheaper absinthes I don’t like to drink, I don’t think it is for me!

  • chayaruchama says:


  • Lee says:

    As a perfume wearer who uses scent to touch his primordial, if not protean, self, and bring out that which lies within, I believe I have the sensory sophistication and je ne sais quoi for Nasomotto.

    and all BS aside, Absinth and Duro (hard – nice name!) sound my cup of tea. But the MH sounds better (it should’ve arrived today – as a sample – but damn delivery driver wanted a sig and no-one was home…:-w )

    • Lee says:

      This message was thrown into spam, which shows that Patty’s crapometer is working at full force. Hurrah!=d>

    • Patty says:

      Are you out running around again? Don’t you know you’re supposed to stay home and pick up your packages?!?!?

  • Robin says:

    Would you call the Miller Harris heavy or dense? It sounds so lovely, but I find that her style doesn’t suit me (with a few exceptions).

    • Patty says:

      It’s pretty dense. Not thick or sludgy at all, because of the composition, but it’s not really a light scent, though it sounds like it should be. Its salty flowers of substance! I find it completely different from L’air du rien, which while I admire the effort, I found about as revolting on my skin as HE. 🙂

  • tmp00 says:

    As for FL, Barneys says they won’t have it for a month, and the Malle people have totally managed not to send me a sample. Feeling quite left out here!

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, Patty you were kind enough to include a smidge of the nasomattos in my last purchase, so a review will appear on PST in a couple of weeks. I tried a smidge of the Hindu Grass and liked it, even though I was prepared to bit$h-slap it into next Tuesday because of the general dippiness of the website. :d

    Fleurs de Sel I’d like to try. I like l’Air du Rien, but not enough to buy: sometimes the opening went horribly sour on me. C. O. Bigelow (my old pharmacy in NYC) has some of them in smaller bottles, I wish Saks did..

    • Patty says:

      I know. Don’t you hate it when a good slapping gets sidelined. I probably could have worked one up if it hadn’t been for absinth.

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh lord, you can’t smell the FM?…At all? 🙁

    Nasomatto, huh? WTH…I look forward to reading more about them. I’m going directly to the FIF site to read up on them.

    Hugs and love!

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I can smell it, but the anosmic note that smells like alcohol is tough to work through. 🙂

      Nasomatto’s marketing material is just dumb, the stuff I despise, WITHOUT notes. I hate them.

  • sybil says:

    Birth of 2 lemmings, but thank heaven I ordered the Nasomatto sampler from you…and I am ready to swoon!

  • Arhianrad says:

    Hiya Patty–

    I tried on FdS at Sniffapalooza, and then blind-bought it via phone on plastic (and wow, did THAT hurt) the day Lyn Harris visited the NY saks…so I have an autographed bottle 😀

    I LOVE IT too! But didn’t you get a slight Vick’s Vaporub note with the clary sage? Cuz I am….

  • Kelly says:

    Hey Patty, how’s the vetiver in this? Sounds delightful but the “V” word terrifies me. I WANT to love it, I SHOULD because I love its cousins, but my nose just can’t tolerate “smoky” anything.

  • Marina says:

    I am in two minds about Fleurs de Sel, and at the moment leaning towards not liking rather than liking it. Dunno…

  • Elle says:

    I really wish they would post photos of the people who write stuff like the Nasomotto descriptions next to them. I would love to know who actually sits down and writes stuff like that. I’m actually sort of grateful to them because it cracks me up so much, but I still wonder what sort of drugs they’re on or if they just have a natural inclination to engage in irresponsible writing.
    The Absinth sounds amazing. And I’d love to see salty as the new trend in perfumes.

    • pitbull friend says:

      Elle, that’s it! They put on the Absinth & now they’re writing irresponsibly! It works! :d It’s hard to believe, really, that folks are putting out perfumes while being cagey about the notes. If they’re being marketed at every discount chain, then at least folks can take a whiff before buying them. But if they’re marketing to our niche, well, what niche buyer wants to take this plunge? Yet ANOTHER way for perfume companies to make decanters absolutely essential. –Ellen

    • Patty says:

      I think I have my next installment of FF7849. 🙂

  • Solander says:

    I discovered Fleurs de sel by accident as I was on the Miller Harris website a while ago and was captured… Must go to a Miller Harris boutique and smell it (and a bunch of the others, the more masculine ones like the vetiver and leather and forest one) I can’t say I’m generally a fan of salty perfumes (Eau des Merveilles – yech, POTL – salty/sweet play-doh…) but I’m madly in love with Sel de vetiver!

    The Absinth sounds nice too – I visited the Nasomatto website and I like the look of the “masculine” bottles with the square wood caps. The lack of note listings (or just descriptions that make any kind of sense or give any kind of idea about the scent..) bugs me too though! :-@

    • Patty says:

      I’m pretty sure all Sel de Vetiver fans will adore the MH. I haven’t found a MH yet that I swooned about, though the l’air du rien is sure interesting! The rest seem to fall in that area of nice, but they don’t move me in one direction or the other. I’m hoping with this release and the l’air du rien, that they are now headed off in a more interesting direction with the nouvelles.

      No notes should be a beheading offense. I mean, I can guess generally, but us people who need a roadmap get frustrated easily. 🙂

      • Judith says:

        I must add that I really love MH Vetiver Bourbon–and I am very fond of Geranium Bourbon, too (and layered, they are wonderful). The others are not great on me (I really like Rien on the strip and on some other people, but it doesn’t work on my skin):(–but it sounds as if the Sel is a sure thing for me.:)

  • Nina says:

    The descriptions of these Nasomattos on f-i-f are hilarious; I was hugely tempted by ‘Narcotic Venus’ just for the name, and ‘Silver Musk’ for the ‘quest for mercurial liquid love sensation’. But if the Absinthe is actually nice….hmmm…. patty, have you tried the Contessa di Castigliones that have appeared on f-i-f recently?

    Sorry about the FL anosmia. Bummer when you can’t smell what everyone else is talking about, isn’t it? Omnia, oh Omnia, where art thou?

    • Patty says:

      Aren’t they? You should read the website, it’s worse. But the absinth and duro so work for me great, the rest in varying degrees or either not at all or a little.

      Never have tried the contessas. I went to look at those, and they scare me. I have my solid rule never to get something that’s named after royalty, they seem to make up in pomp what they lack in substance. 🙂

      Well, Bryan and lee are goign to help me out with FL, so look for that next Wed on Fourplay Wednesday. I get enough of it to get the right feel, but then the alcohol smell on me warps my smell perception, so I know I can’t accurately do anything with it. What I get is really interesting, before it goes bad!

  • Judith says:

    Ack! You are killing me! I must have these. I was pretty sure I would love the MH, of course (adore Sel de Vetiver), but you have made me lemm it all the more! And, I have to say that (being a bit of an irresponsible hysteric myself), the Nasomatto absinth description always appealed to me. So, I know you are probably saving your comments on the other Nas’s for later reviews, but could you tell me briefly whether you think I would like the others (so I can plot my demise)>:((

    • Patty says:

      You *need* that MH. 🙂

      As far as the other nasomattos. I’m trying to remember, how are you on green? The Hindu grass is very, very green, little earthy. Silver musk, I’m trying to figure that one out, it starts out pretty great, then goes to a clean smell, a little soapy during part of the drydown, I think my skin might mess with it, it starts off a lot better than it ends up on me. If it does the same thing on you, I don’t think you’ll like this one at all.

      Duro, I really like. This one may work for you, mostly because I get a little hint of that alcohol anosmia, not a lot, but it’s the same one I get with French Lover, Le Labo Rose and Vetiver. This one isn’t as strong, so I can still smell it pretty well without that interfering with my perception. Duro is the second favorite, behind the absinth. I’m *guessing* this one will probably work on you too.

      Narcotic venus, it appears to do a Mona thing, going on fairly sweet and proper and then getting skanky. I’m not sure it gets stanky enough for you, though! 🙂

  • Maria B. says:

    When I got the e-mail from Sniffapalooza about Fleurs de Sel, I knew I’d have to try it–and that I’d probably like it A LOT. It’s a current trend, putting salt in perfume, but it sure beats frootyfloral. Shoot. You’d think I’d have enough salt in the air, but I guess I can’t ever have too much. 🙂

    I’m glad you waded through the Nasomatto gibberish for us. I’d dismissed them just for that. So do you detect any artemesia at all in Absinth (or maybe anise or licorice? Or do you think they just gave it the name Absinth because the alcoholic beverage used to cause madness? (Think of Hemingway’s paranoia in his later years.)

    • Patty says:

      You can’t go wrong by throwing salt in a perume, I always say. Sorta like cooking, makes it better!

      There’s definitely some absinth in absinth. I think it’s what my nose wants to call nutty, but it’s not really nutty. Make sense?