Hey there crew, I’ve spoken about taking my FragranceNet 8ml decant of La Fumee Ottoman by Miller Harris on holiday to South Korea and did a very short thought bubble on it. Wearing it yesterday I thought it really deserves its own post. I really like the Miller Harris brand. The perfumes feel well thought out, mostly very comfortable wears and the price point isn’t all the way through the roof. Their bottles are very comfortable in my hand, hefty and well balanced. Plus they give good spritz. Of course this doesn’t matter when you’ve bought an 8ml decant. Interestingly La Fumee Ottoman is celebrating a decade of production this year.
La Fumee Ottoman by Miller Harris 2013
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cumin Cardamom Rose Bergamot
Heart: Incense Cedar Patchouli
Base: Amber Rose Fruits Vanilla Sandalwood Tonka Bean
Straight out of the gate I’m smelling cold woody incense sticks. They are not like Christian, Indian, Korean or Japanese sticks, much darker, less reverential. It doesn’t feel like I’ve experienced in temples and churches. I love it. Really interesting. This explosive opening quickly morphs into a lovely sweaty patchouli and here I do smell hints of roses. Kind of like potpourri. Dry, dusty rose petals and I also smell anise seed pods. WOW! Every time I wear La Fumee Ottoman it takes me by surprise how beautifully tapestried the fragrance is. This heart lasts well too. Not a top heavy behemoth that collapses on itself in 40 minutes.
As I move further into the heart the incense becomes much more like I grew up with in Roman Catholic church. That very particular joining of smoke, incense, cold building, old wooden pews and humanity. While not being a church going person anymore this smell still brings me comfort and makes me think existential thoughts. Good ones. I even offer up a little prayer of gratitude for my great good fortune in life.
After an hour or so the woods have taken centre stage. Patchouli still keeps them dark and earthy. La Fumee Ottoman has by this time quietened considerably. Still fragrant but the fireworks are now merely embers. The sweetness doesn’t arrive till much later. Dry down is a mix of woods, vanilla heavy amber and tonka. It’s melded perfectly and I’m sure there are other nuances I miss. What is important to me though is that La Fumee Ottoman stays lovely and interesting till I can’t smell it anymore.
Fully unisex, projection and sillage are above average and longevity is excellent. I would really like to wear this while wandering an art gallery with a friend. I think the cool airy spaces, beautiful and interesting art, conversation and coffee afterwards would be served well by this beautiful scent.
So, does La Fumee Ottoman read like something you could wear and love?
Sadly, no, Portia!!! It’s the thought of the cumin. I can’t seem to like cumin and even the merest wisp of it turns my stomach. But we’re all different and that’s what makes perfume such a fascinating concept, with culture, perception, DNA and the way the nose works skewing our likes and dislikes. I like incense though!
Super bummer Jillie,
Oh well. Money saved.
Great overview, Portia. I’ve not tried this one, but it does sound like something I’d enjoy. There are quite a few Miller Harris scents I enjoy including Tea Tonique and the brilliant green scent Wander Through The Parks.
Ooooh! I’d looked at Wander through the Parks but didn’t spritz. Next time I will.
There is something in “church” incense that gives me a blinding headache.
I’m pretty sure it’s psychological. I went to a CE Primary School but mum was a lapsed Catholic. Her church didn’t recognise her marriage & declined to baptise us kids. So did the CE church. So there I was shunned by all, with the CE Canon trying to make me get confirmed. I used to have a headache, bellyache or made myself vomit every Wednesday. Went I did go in it was with mum’s reminder not to say anything or we’d be expelled ringing in my ears!
Not sure who were the biggest hypocrites, the Canon being a bully, the school re expulsion of non practising high church CEs or Mum for sending us to a CE school & asking me to lie.
Whatever, a whiff of churchy smell & Im 8 again with my head & heart breaking
Ahhhh Alityke, they were not very Christ like at all. Sadly it’s a very common complaint. Sorry to read they were assholes, even more sorry that it’s left such a scar.
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Religion is often the root of evil. Yep it’s a scar that still isn’t fully healed over 50 years later. I do have a decant of Bois d’Encens but I very rarely give it a spray.
Mum wanted us in the best school, not realising the religious bullying present
Yeah, I hear you.
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I love and own Fumée Ottoman. Such a lovely scent. I’m an incense fiend in general so this was bound to be up my street.
Woo Hoo TarC, A hearty fragrant high 5!
I’m thinking now that I’d like a whole bottle but won’t till finishing this decant.
Hmm, I am not quite sure whether I would wear this, though I do love incense-forward scents as a rule. I would definitely give it a go if I saw it, as I like a lot of the Miller Harris line.
Hey Vanessa, Good to see you.
I reckon this might fit into your purview but it would definitely need sampling.