Coeur d'Eté (heart of summer) by Miller Harris starts off as if a garden full of gentle blossoms had suddenly and magically materialized before your eyes and quivering nostrils. You cannot quite make out the colors and the shapes of the flowers but you sense their abundance, their freshness, their loveliness. It evokes for me Claude Monet's Garden being rendered with touches of impressionistic and not so vivid, pastel coloring.
A description of the notes in this case does not help capture the personality of the perfume. Coeur d'Eté is seamless, a perfectly woven tapestry of notes that support each others and contribute to the final impression of the perfume.
For example, there are chocolate bean and licorice notes in the top notes but they are by no means felt individually. These notes just make the scented music of the perfume soar gently and mysteriously in the air. Sometimes a lilac note or a pear note will emerge fleetingly and fall back into the transparent, calm, and creamy folds of the fragrance. It is to my nose a rarefied and precious juice. The word that best describes its nature in my opinion is "delicate" pronounced softly please.
Coeur d'Eté starts like a beautiful fresh spray of flowers and then becomes slightly warmer and fruitier suggesting the passage from a garden to an orchard. There is also a tinge of the animalic that reminds us of our sexual nature in the midst of all this contemplation. Then, at some point, your skin starts to smell as if you had just stepped out of the ocean. Then, oh unexpected further surprise, you seem to be holding a baby in your arms and smelling its sweet-smelling head. The perfume reveals an extraordinary drydown which only improves with time. It is a superlative skin scent.
Lyn Harris composed this perfume while she was pregnant with her first child. Pregnancy is a time in their lives when women develop a heightened sense of smell. The perfume captures very well this experience, in reverse. This is the recreated ideal scent environment of a woman expecting a child, a barrier against the disturbing smells one notices particularly well at that time of life. I would recommend it as an ideal gift for moms-to-be and new moms. Beyond that, this perfume will make a beautiful perfume gift for anyone.
Top notes are chocolate bean, licorice, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine
Heart notes are banana, white pear, lilac, cassia, heliotrope
Base notes are sandalwood, benzoin, vanilla, fruity musk.
A 100 ml bottle retails for $120.