Geranium Bourbon was launched in 2005 as part of Miller Harris’ Nouvelle Editions and quickly became one of the most sought after perfumes in the Nouvelle line, a line reserved for a small number of handpicked locations. As a result, Lyn Harris decided the perfume deserved a place in her Ligne de Parfum collection. She also couldn’t resist the opportunity to replace the fragrance’s austere black Nouvelle packaging with a geranium red colour, bringing a new vibrancy to the Miller Harris boutique walls. For this creation Harris said she was inspired to create the scent of an English garden after a summer shower. When I visited the perfumer’s Bruton Street boutique in London I couldn’t help but fall under the spell of this fragrance. I’ve always admired the way Lyn Harris uses rose and Geranium Bourbon is one of the best examples of this that can easily be worn by men. Whilst minty green geranium from the Ile de Bourbon gives this scent a garden feel, it is the inclusion of Turkish rose, a favourite essence of Lyn Harris that made this a winner for me. And although this was created with summer in mind, I am looking forward to wearing this later in the year as I head down to the snowy town of Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island.
Geranium Bourbon feels like a hushed Terre d’Bois with an overload of geraniums, musk and roses. Geranium Bourbon begins with lush greens and cassis berries. Violet and palmarosa build on this fresh dewy theme as the geranium notes begin to take over. Many geranium fragrances are more geraniol, an isolated plant alcohol that smells of metallic rose. Lyn Harris’ geranium is raspy and green, a smell I remember well from the geraniums that grew in my mother’s garden. Turkish rose is paired with musk creating a feminine powdery midnote. Vanilla, amber and patchouli lie in the base, adding to the Miller Harris signature that sings at different volumes within all her works.
I like to wear this on a handkerchief instead of skin. Generally speaking, I am not one someone who find perfumes drastically change on my skin, but this is one that I do find will change in ways I prefer it didn’t. I am a big fan of rose fragrances for men and Geranium Bourbon pushes this theme in a more masculine direction, say in comparison to Harris’ Coeur de Fleur, which even for me reads as feminine and I would not wear. This is a great dinner or formal fragrance that could be sprayed on a pocket square or carnation boutonniere.
Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur, Miller Harris Fleur Oriental, Miller Harris Terre de Bois, Hermes Terre d’Hermes
Perfumer: Lyn Harris
Bottle designer: Stock adapted by The Nest
Release date: 2005
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Floral