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IN CONVERSATION WITH JON GRAHAM OF MILLER HARRIS
Miller Harris is a couture British fragrance house, founded in 2000, with a spirit of bespoke fragrance creation at its heart. The brand is committed to using beautiful natural materials whilst pushing creative boundaries. The brand was founded by ground-breaking perfumer Lyn Harris who worked with world-renowned fragrance house Robertet in France in her early career and was one of the first female master perfumers. The aesthetic of her perfumes was inspired by stories, memories and the very finest natural ingredients.
When creating fragrances, they start with nature, framing precious botanicals in complex ways and finding richness in simplicity. They strive to use natural ingredients (which are all ethically and sustainably sourced), rather than synthetics, which they will only use where there is no raw alternative. Miller Harris breathes colour and life into the classic perfumer’s art, with couture fragrances that combine Parisian elegance with London’s eclectic street styles. They start with nature – with distinct greens and woods, with carefully sourced floral notes – but they frame these precious botanicals in complex and unconventional ways, harmonising them to create striking contemporary urban stories.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Jon Graham, CEO at Miller Harris about his background working for British brands such as Floris, Molton Brown, and Whittard of Chelsea. 12 months ago, he started his latest role at the modern heritage brand, Miller Harris London Perfumer, which has two stores in central London. Our host Peter Brooker and Jon talked about the emotional connection of fragrance, how the brand has adapted through Covid-19, how picking a scent is a personal choice, how to choose fragrances for occasions, and how their latest product release aims to capture optimism in a bottle.
“I joined Miller Harris about a year ago and I have a long history of working with British brands in a few categories. Miller Harris is a modern heritage brand but it has been around for around 20 years. It was started by master perfumer Lynn Harris, and we continue that legacy with a couple of stores in the UK, a generic online business and via third party retailers such as Selfridges. We also have an international business, operating in Germany and Japan. Fragrance has the power to transport you back to a moment in your life just like music, but it's more powerful. There's so much emotional nostalgia that can be enmeshed with certain fragrances."
"With our scents we look for the natural beauty in an urban landscape because we're very much a London brand. Whilst we are inspired by the concrete environment, we also have a need to be natural and to see the green in the city. We were pioneering naturals before naturals became cool. We also take a single fragrance, such as rose - which is a traditional fragrance in the perfume world - and we frame that in a complex way or add more complexity to it. Whilst we position ourselves as a luxury brand, we refer to our brand as being accessible luxury. You don't have to walk into the store and be embarrassed by a lack of knowledge. I'm happy to sell my product to anyone.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 128 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Jon Graham of millerharris.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.