This is quite simple, really. I like Fleur Oriental because I love Shalimar. It has a very similar vanilla-amber base that I find delectable and easy to wear. While this Miller Harris creation from the Classic line is not a substitute for vintage Shalimar in all its glory, it is a modern take on this very classic theme and would appeal to fans of well-crafted powdery scents that aren't too sugary.
The original Fleur Oriental EDT version has a significant floral body, and I get plenty of carnation and heliotrope. If it were a classic Guerlain the perfume would have also featured a violet note, making it more feminine/ethereal/old-fashioned (choose your point of view). Instead, there's some musk here that keeps Fleur Oriental from going all feather boa. I've never tried the pure parfum formula of this Miller Harris, and now I'm kicking myself for not trying (and buying) it when it was around. I have a feeling that it would have been just the thing for me.
Instead, I tried the new(ish) limited edition Eau Parfumée version. The name is misleading because it's not an EDP concentration. The Eaux Parfumée (created for the four classic scents that include, other than Fleur Oriental, Couer de Fleur, citron Citron and Terre de Bois) are actually cologne-like, which is why they come in 200ml bottles. In Fleur Oriental's case, there's a distinct difference in the note balance. It's much less floral and has quite a bit of citrus in the opening. Personally, I prefer Shalimar Light or even the less tenacious Eau de Shalimar, because it's rounder and lasts a lot longer on my skin, but Miller Harris has done this genre justice and Fleur Oriental Eau Parfumée is still a pleasant summer alternative (and far better than the most recent Shalimar EDT you find at Macy's).
Miller Harris Fleur Oriental ($95, 50ml) on all its versions, body products (the bath oil sounds heavenly) and candles is available from MiN NY (including online, but the 117 Cosby Street store is a must-visit if you're in the area). Luckyscent also has it, but they only seem to stock the larger 100 ml size. I've gone through several samples of the EDT that came with various purchases. The EP samples was sent for my consideration directly from Miller Harris.
Images: fashion illustrations by David Downton