Image: Mary McCartney
December 14 2012
I get up early as it is Christmas party day in our household. It’s the Miller Harris Christmas dinner tonight, and Henri’s last day of school before the holidays.
I am out the door at 8am. I drop Henri off at school and make a quick detour to Melrose and Morgan for a decaf cappuccino and croissant with my sister, Julie, who works with me at Miller Harris. Julie helps me develop all the products and packaging and keeps everything in order – including me. We are very close and only live a few doors from each other, which is also wonderful for both our boys. We sit and plan for tonight.
I drive over to the lab in Notting Hill as I have lots of final tweaks I want to do for a fragrance I’m working on to surprise Christophe. He has the perfect skin to test fragrance on, and wears it extremely well (as the French do). It’s an interesting formula as I’m trying to challenge myself by creating something simple around a material that I love, so I’m only adding a few beautiful elements. My goal is a fragrance that is sparkling amber with incense and a little bit of lavender, rose and lots of expensive musks… I’m nearly there. I smell each material that makes up the composition again and again, and write notes with my lab assistant, Caroline.
I decide to go for a walk to buy lunch for us both and bump into an old friend – it is just the tonic I need to take my mind off work. I come back with some goodies for us – Ottolenghi double chocolate chip cookies – and we make a big pot of tea.
Then it’s time to start smelling the latest trial of Christophe’s fragrance and compare it with the other trials that we’ve done. I’m very happy. I feel I’ve got the sparkling magic I wanted but retained the chic mystery it has to have, which is thanks to both the incense and wood.
The shop is very busy. I adore this time of year as it is a great opportunity to catch up with all my regulars. I love to hear what people think about my fragrances – the great and scary thing about scent is that people can’t help but be emotive and very honest: after you smell something you react instantly. I think it’s my Yorkshire roots that allow me to be so open and hear everyone’s point of view – whether good or bad. It makes it all worthwhile.
Every day I feel that time goes too fast – which I guess is a good thing. I’m reminded by Christophe that I’m going to be late for the Christmas party if I don’t hurry up, so I quickly put on my new H&M Maison Martin Margiela heels that I absolutely love (I bought them at the H&M collaboration launch, which I went to with my best friend. She guided me through the whole, rather scary, experience. There were far too many people, but I have to say it was worth it as I got some fantastic pieces.) I put on some foundation by Fresh and my favourite Guerlain black eyeliner and I’m ready to go.
I have such a great evening with the team. I’m always shocked at how many people are part of the company now, and it’s wonderful to get everyone together and have some fun. But I leave early – so they can have even more.