Friday, February 27, 2009

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien- Dirty, Dirty Girl

When Miller Harris launched L'Air de Rien in 2006, some of the discussion around it was about the muse for its creation, 60s sex icon and singer Jane Birkin. But when the hype dies down and people seem to forget or stop caring about the information in the press releases or the celebrity interviews that accompany such event we are left with the juice.

Does it matter that Jane Birkin did not wear perfume until Lyn Harris created L'Air de Rien for her (funny, I thought she'd smell like what's left of patchouli oil after three days), or that Birkin wanted to smell like old houses, chests of drawers and her brother's (hopefully clean) hair? Is this another case of us buying a perfume because we cannot afford the other luxury item associated with the celebrity, the Hermes Birkin bag? Is any of the above even relevant when trying to assess a fragrance?

I don't know if I can answer any of this. what I do know is that I didn't get to try L'Air de Rien until about a year and a half after its release (another case of so many perfumes, so little free skin). Once I started testing it, I knew I was going to need it. I have a thing for musky skin scents with a hint of a dirty, dirty girl. Rumor has it that there's vanilla and maybe amber in the composition, but for once this is not what my skin and nose are telling me.

I get a lot of dry, polished wood here, quite similar to one of the notes in Chene by Serge Lutens. This part is almost prim, austere and masculine. But the musk makes it a lot more human, cuddly and quite tactile. You'd want to touch the skin that radiates L'Air de Rien.

I've learned that if I spray it, the scent becomes a bit disturbing. It has so much personality I feel haunted. But when I dab it, the perfume melds with my skin and becomes part of me. I have to say, it's a very pleasant sensation.

This clip is of , a duet by Jane Birkin and Beck is cool (and despite what Luca Turin says, her music is worth checking out):

Photo of Jane Birkin from

L'Air de Rien ($160 for 100 ml) is available from Luckyscent and Saks 5th Avenue, which is where I bought my bottle, but if you're lucky, FragranceNet sometimes have it in stock and there's always a coupon code available for them. Just Google.


  1. I adore L'Air de Rien...but boy oh boy is it stinky!! I get raw animals - musks, civet, leathers, and smoky incense. Easily the best form the Miller Harris line.

  2. I've only tried this once--I sprayed it in Bloomingdale's. It was the filthiest thing I've ever smelled. Dirty stables & sickly sweet incense. Maybe I should try dabbing!


  3. I love L'Air de Rien! I get wood and spice and ... a tang that reminds me of animal pens at the zoo. It SO should not work. It does kind of stink. But I really really love it.


  4. Of course as indicated by my own enraptured review, I am another fan of the "dirty" cozy L'air de Rien which is the last word on sexy. Even 30 years later than ms.Birkin's sighs....

  5. I like how you say, "It has so much personality I feel haunted." I definitely feel that way on occasion, though I haven't gotten around trying this one yet. Keep meaning to, but like you say, other things get in the way.

  6. Dane, I'm almost jealous of you for the zoo! I agree about LAdR being the best in the line. I'm also fond of Fleur de Sel.

  7. Liz, it's significantly less dirty when you dab. Somehow when you spray and cover quite a bit of skin with LAdR it's just too much for polite company.

  8. Fountaingirl, I totally agree. With all the stuff inside it should be as repulsive as Secretion Magnifique, but somehow it works beautifully.

  9. Helg, I remembered you are also a fan. It's nice how Jane Birkin manages to define sex even after all these years. I'm also fond of her daughter, Charlotte.

  10. Dain, drop me a line if you want a sample.

  11. Do I need to tell you that I love this? I think it's the only bottle of perfume that I've bought in the last couple of years that is in the "depleted to the point of replacing" zone.

    Now, Scent Twin, I spray it and think it's totally nummy. A snuggle-in sort of scent. Is that hopelessly Morticia Addams of me or am I neutering it? Then again I liked the cumin-fest that is Serge Noir, so you never know.

    I'm going to go spray this on right now..

  12. Just came back from London, where I visited the M.H. boutique. It was empty, when I arrived during the best shopping time on Saturday and remained empty the whole time I spent there. I tried some fruity scents (like "Mandarine Vert" - smelled like bathroom air freshener ...). L'Air de Rien is very faint on my skin. I liked the name of "Fleur de sel" - but not the scent. At the end I bought one of Lynn Harris' ridiculously expensive teas...


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