Miller Harris L-Air de Rien

Miller Harris L-Air de Rien


50 reviews

54% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$$


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on 3/2/2017 2:40:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Okay, this is a review years in the making.

I originally heard of this in relation to Jane Birkin, and was always intrigued by how she described this perfume - brother's hair, old books, all that. But circumstance has always prevented me from my buying it - it's expensive, and I've had other perfumes to have love affairs with.

The histrionic reviews also got me: the cat's piss, the sex, the hippie and barnyard associations it seemed to stir up for everyone. Having come to the end of one of my favourite perfumes (despite its Orientalist provenance), Guerlain's heavy and beautiful Mitsouko, luck had it that I found this fairly cheap (100ml for 50 GBP).

This was an impulsive blind buy, especially as we're moving from Winter into Spring, which ordinarily should bring with it light, breezy florals. However, there's no time like the present to try L'air de Rien.

I've just had my first sprays of it and I have to say... this is a scent that even got Luca Turin, the god, on his metaphorical high horse, going on about joss sticks and burnt food. It might be that he has such a sensitive nose, but I'm honestly puzzled at how much of a flap everyone is over this.

My first impressions were: woody, incense, with something waxy or maybe even plastic, like doll celluloid. It's not a scrubber, and fresh out of the bottle, the smokiness was apparent.

That cedar closet smell is strong, along with the candle association. The incense of it is not as strong as, say, Serge Lutens' Fumerie Turque. I'd say this is because it's off-set by the body smell that everyone talks about here. I can see why this comes as a candle, and it would be a cosily lived-in room scent.

But what surprises me is that it's an edge, not something overwhelming. It's body odour but with something clean to it, or spittle. It's not even extremely fluid-y. It doesn't scream SEX, it's more refined than my own odour at the end of the day.

Sitting with it for a while now, and the prevailing image that it reminds me of is a slept-on pillow, or like my late grandma's hair wrapped up in a scarf - not unpleasant or dirty, just a few days after being washed. The smell of nooks and crannies in my house that aren't dusty or dirty, just lived in, before they're vacuumed and dusted. The smell on you at the end of the day after wearing heavy musk perfume oils you get in Pakistani bazaars or souk stalls. The living room after the guests have left and the incense is dispersing.

There's something like makeup there, or soap - I think it's the oakmoss that comes through, that smells like expensive blush powder.

There's also something watery to it that I can't quite encapsulate. I've called it spittle, but it's musky too. I suppose it's the note that people get hung up on most. But I don't find it all that visceral or disgusting. It's a full-bodied scent, it's has that papery-ness that's actually not as pungent as Lush's Hellstone, another controversial scent

i hope that L'air de Rien can make it through the change in seasons, because I have a big bottle, but also like how evocative and multi-dimensional it is. It's not for everyone, but it's quite a BIG scent. It's not as potent as Guerlain, but I will definitely be wearing it day to day.

So the summary is: you may be pleasantly surprised by this, if you like musky, wintery scents with lots of incense/candle and woodiness to them. The reviews are, by and large, overblown, and don't do justice to what is a rich and exciting perfume.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 2/1/2015 6:47:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Grey, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Yes, it does smell like Bal a Versailles Eau de Cologne...and my long association with BAV in all its concentrations must shape and mute my review of L'Air de Rien, which I find comforting, soft and sensuous. There is no barnyard, for me, but I did get vetiver during the first day I wore it and none since. ?? This is is reformulation of L'Air de Rien purchased in the last couple of weeks and I think it has lost a little punch, which may make it more accessible for some people; fancy there being an upside to a reformulation. It is the end game in a series of musky perfumes which include Narciso R for Her, In Colour, and the NR Musk series. I have tried Khiels Musk, Musc Nomade by Annick Goutal, old fashioned sweet musks such as Alyssa Ashley and strange beasts such as Courtesan by Worth, Habanita L'esprit and MKK. This is my favourite and equal first with Musc Nomade in cost. I am told that Gandini's Blue Musk is beautiful and affordable but I couldn't obtain a bottle. Here ends my practical review, the arty one follows:

When nothing is everything

Whats got your face in a knot? Nothing, you say, but everything has lost its shine when your lover cuts you somehow. Rolling in the deep, the scent of his skin, the beat of patchouli, the astringent slap of oak moss, he should know, he should know.

When nothing is something you have LAir de Rien, yeah, not pretty, what the fluck is pretty when you feel like this. You shout, the accusations are wrung out of explanation. Oh, bruised lips, thighs, rumpled sheets, sleep. Theres amber, vanilla, rolling in the hay, sweet sweat and forgiveness in an oversized t shirt.

3 of 4 people found this helpful.

on 1/25/2012 6:31:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

This is one of those perfumes that clings to your body, mixes with your chemistry and becomes part of you. Like great smelling sweat and other sexy bodily fluids. This type of fragrance (and there's only a few around) are often sought out and worn by individuals who are confident, cheeky and have an intrinsic understanding of the meaning behind the creation of a fragrance like this, designed to enhance your own smell. This is the only fragrance I have encountered which gave me a little insight into what that fragrance would smell like that caused that opulently disgraceful orgy in the final scene of Perfume, Story of a Murderer. Unlike conventional fragrances, it has very little in the way of floral, sweet, gourmand, spice, fruity or fresh notes. What it does have is warm, salty, dry, papery, musty, dusty notes and dirty skin in a sexy way. They've captured the smell of pure, carnal, unadulterated, unwashed skin. Not stinky, grubby, unpleasantness but the beautiful, seductive saltiness of skin that's flushed from exertion or foreplay. As though L'air de Rien has ...ah....licked me on the neck. And let's face it, we all have moments when we long for that old feeling (or if we're lucky, we're no stranger to it still.......) So, now you have the 'feeling' of it, you can decide if it's for you because the bottom line always with this type of fragrance is that it's quite simply, a truly great musk. But it wouldn't be much fun if I told you that at the beginning of the review because you have to understand it to love it. My new BF is quite fascinated by my perfume collection and has taken quite an interest in trying to pick which one I'm wearing of a day. When I have L'air de Rien on my body, especially the body cream, he doesn't pick it as perfume. He thinks it's just my unwashed skin he can smell and can I say, it has, um, just ....... the ..... right ........ impact. You see, he doesn't notice it, he just reacts to it. So beware, the body cream is FAR more carnal than the EDP. They both behave the same erotic way for the first few hours but by the end of the day the EDP dries down to a slightly sweet, musky incense. The body cream remains unchanged and retains every single naughty, provocative, unsweetened element this fragrance possesses. Both are wonderful.

UPDATE: I've started 'dabbing' the EDP onto my skin, the old fashioned way - behind my ears, on my pulse points, the edge of my hairline - and have been receiving a surge of compliments from strangers. A couple of months ago, I removed the spray nozzle from this fragrance. This caused a surprising transformation. I have mentioned in my initial review that I prefer the carnal nature of the body cream. Well, dabbing the EDP achieves the same result. Who would have guessed? None of that soft and cozy, powdery and incensy drydown you get when you spray it on. If you really want to know this fragrance, the way it was designed - to seduce and tickle and lick your skin - then throw away the spray nozzle!

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

on 8/28/2011 12:43:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This smells like an incredibly wealthy and gorgeously tousled hippie who's just had great sweaty sex in some fabulous riad in Marrakesh.

What's not to like??!

7 of 10 people found this helpful.

on 2/24/2013 5:20:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I've been looking for my signature perfume for a while. I wanted something unusual, slightly mysterious and sexy. So after reading many a review, my choice narrowed down to Miller Harris and the L'Air de Rien.
I ordered a small tester size because

a) it is expensive (70 GBP for 50 ml)
b) the various reviews I read (also here) were quite conflicting and based on these, I wasn't sure if I want to be smelling like manure, sweat or "an old lady richly covered in foot powder and ground pepper AND left in the oven too long" (I HAVE seen a review like this)

And even the positive reviews didn't quite have me convinced that I want to smell like bodily fluids (albeit the sexy ones), kittens or old horse saddles.

I was intrigued though so I ordered a tester size. I have to say - if you're trying this for the first time, I'd recommend you don't spray directly on your skin (which is what I did, of course), it's probably best to spray in the air and step into the mist.
Since I sprayed it directly on my skin, for the next half hour I was enjoying these scents and memories connected to them: a disturbing mix of my glamorous grandpa's aftershaves that I smelled when I was a child and used to snoop in his things in the bathroom. Similar smell: CD Fahrenheit but way more pungent with a touch of some generic drugstore aftershave. NOT nice. Like some old gentleman's perfume they've been using all their life and perhaps had success with the ladies wearing this many years ago. Like in the 60's. I adored my grandpa but I don't want to smell like him or smell him on me...doesn't leave me feeling very sexy.

I wasn't going to give up so easiIy, decided to give it a rest and try the next day. Stepped into the mist. Totally different and EXACTLY what I've been looking for! No sweaty feet, no baked old ladies, not even kittens. Baffled still at how it was possible to get such different experiences!

Unfortunately, I'm not very good with describing scents specifically...I think I'll try to explain how it makes me feel and then I'll try to list people we probably all know that I could imagine embody what this scent is.

It's disturbing (in a good way). Slightly warm (but not like "Mum" - being in bed with a very sexy, intelligent person kind of warm). Mysterious (I do think it will turns people's heads, it gives one an "aura" of confidence...and self awareness I suppose, which is sexy, you'll agree).Unique (NOT what you'd find in a top 10 list of most sold perfumes. Or top 100 or 200.. Original).

This is not what I would imagine on a generically pretty, Hollywood-aproved person. No, not even Angelina.
This evokes someone...refined...experienced...with a sexy, velvety voice. Fanny Ardant, for example, especially like her character in 8 Women. Or like Alan Rickman - this would work on a man as well.

Don't get this if you like florals, citrus-based or strongly peppery scents. This is earthy. And I do agree with others that it's naughty. But refined naughty. Not too exposed (so, not naked), rather a veiled nudity. Complex sexiness, NOT vulgar

I will most definitely buy this. I'm in love.

EDIT: So girls (and boys). An update on my actual real-life experience with the scent. As I said, I love it. But I think it doesn't react with my skin chemistry in a way that I'd like - I put it on the other day and my girlfriend sniffed my neck intently couple of hours later (she didn't know I had new perfume, I didn't mention it, nor did I mention what it was) and said: ''What is that, talcum powder?'' She said it in a politely neutral way but I knew that she was not impressed.
Yikes!! This is only slightly less horrifying than my tale above about the baked lady covered in foot powder. OK I confess that I probably won't buy it. I do love it but I suppose scent interpretation is very individual and I want to smell sexy and mysterious as I mentioned, not powdery like a baby.
I think that we would rarely want to actually wear our beloved's scent but that doesn't mean we don't love it ON THEM. I would never wear my partner's perfume but I adore it on her. What I'm trying to say is that while she loves her perfume and I love it on her, I love my perfume but she's very much ''Meh'' about mine and I'm not OK with that.
I can hardly be all sensual and be wearing nothing but the scent when her association with it is baby powder. Bottomline is, of all people, I want her to love the way I smell, not have weird and somewhat asexual associations with it (and by extension, me).
However, this doesn't change the essence of my previous review one bit (except I wouldn't 'buy again'). I still recommend you try this and it may just be your staple niche perfume. Perhaps, after my experience, I'd actually recommend you have it OKd by your partner first if you have one, or have your crush smell it:-) The odds actually are quite high that even if you love it, they may totally loathe it (unfortunately). It does cost 70 GBP after all, so I guess a more thorough research may be in order to avoid disappointment. Ta!

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

on 2/1/2013 10:06:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Amazing!. I really enjoyed wearing it. It is notes scent that you couldn't smell anywhere but your own body chemistry that works together and made an amazing smell for yourself.

If you don't like smell of floral scents, or even spicy. L'air de rien is the the one that you should look into it.

It's pure earthy smell. Fantastic !

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I love Jane Birkin desperately so even though I am a die-hard floral girl I had to try this. And I fully expected to hate it and not want a bottle but try to bring myself to like it because of the person who made it. And for some reason, upon first sniff I was in LOVE. I don't smell mud or feces or anything like that. To me it smells like a particularly hip thrift store, if anything. The top is almost effervescent, and the base is very dark and a way. It reminds me of Jane, and if I had an extra hundred or so dollars I'd buy a bottle in a heartbeat. As it is I'll content myself with her daughter's fragrance by Balenciaga (an urban violet).

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 11/22/2010 6:54:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I never thought there would be something I loved as much as my beloved standby, Egyptian Musk, but this might be it! And I totally agree with those reviewers who said this is a love it or hate it perfume. (i.e. It works with your chemistry or it doesn't.)

First of all, thank you, Crystilica, for the adorable kitten bellies analogy. I get it! And I get the origianl intent of leathery, tobacco-y and yet sweet and perfume-y all at the same time. This scent evokes memories - either real childhood ones or, as the Brazilians say "saudades" - roughly translated as the memory of a possibility. On me, it opens up with a masculine note, not spicy but fresh. Then come the sweet and spicy notes. I don't get barnyard but something between warm nights cuddling by the fire or fishing on a crisp day. On me, this develops very softly and sweetly - with almost caramel or vanilla-like undertones to it. I also agree with the reviewer who said this smells differently whether you spray or drip it on. I'm planning on transferring some to a little roll-on perfume bottle.

So the real question is what kind of chemistry do I have? I'm the type that can appreciate all scents (to a degree, anyway) but most mainstream, popular scents do not smell right on me. The only ones I've gotten repeated compliments on are Thierry Mugler's Angel, Quelques Fleur and my fav, Egyptian Musk. (Forget the Chanels and most designer and celebrity fragrances.) If this is you, give this one a try!

on 8/3/2010 7:10:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Clearly, this is one that must smell radically different to and on different people. I really, really wanted to love this scent; I was so intrigued by the notes and backstory on Luckyscent (Inspired by her favorite smellsof 'father's pipe, floor polish, empty chest of drawers, old forgotten houses'). As it supposedly did for Jane Birkin, this brings back memories of my father, too except the memories are of his familys farm and the smell of the barnyard. Whooo-whee!! Wheres dads pipe and floorpolish and old houses and vanilla and musk?! I loves me some skank, but this tiptoes past the musky territory and galumphs with big old wellies into knee-deep manure for me. To the reviewer a few below who smells kitten tummies Im in major awe and envy of your nose! Thats so lovely and appealing, it almost makes me want to try this again :) Sadly, and with some reluctance, I guess Ill have to keep looking for my own chest of drawers full of kitties

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Notes: French oak moss, Tunisian neroli, sweet musk, patchouli, amber, and vanilla.

This fragrance opens with a sweet floral and animalistic accord: neroli, musk and the smell of horses mingle into an odd concoction that is both strangely appealing and repulsive at the same time. I noticed the horse smell is stronger near the skin; further away it is less pungent and adds an interesting facet to the neroli-musk composition. I could say it is Clair du Musk with an edge, but most of all it smells just like a circus. This is a very cloying fragrance and lasts for more than 6 hours on my skin.

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