Lyn Harris talks personal taste: Part One

Fêted British perfumer Lyn Harris launched her brand Perfumer H and its first store-cum-laboratory this month, in London’s Marylebone

Lyn Harris at home in northwest London
Lyn Harris at home in northwest London | Image: Michael Leckie

My personal style signifiers are trainers. I’m a total tomboy. For smarter occasions I’ll wear Maison Margiela white calfskin and suede ones with a tailored suit by Saint Laurent or Céline. Recently I’ve also gone back to blue Converse, which I might pair with one of the St James Breton fisherman’s jumpers that my partner Christophe brings back from France. www.celine.com.www.maisonmargiela.com. www.saintjamesboutique.com. www.ysl.com.

The last thing I bought and loved was a 1950s Milanese rosewood and brass desk [pictured] with an asymmetrical kidney-shaped glass surface and clever drawers and shelves at the back. Maria Speake at Retrouvius found it for me and it was love at first sight. 1016 Harrow Road, London NW10 (020-8960 6060; www.retrouvius.com).

Lyn Harris’s 1950s Milanese rosewood and brass desk
Lyn Harris’s 1950s Milanese rosewood and brass desk | Image: Michael Leckie

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a bespoke chandelier by glass artist Michael Ruh, who makes my new perfume bottles. He handcrafts beautifully simple shapes in exquisitely nuanced colours inspired by natural light and shade, which is the kind of palette I love. I might commission a huge glass dome and he could tailor it to my design. www.michaelruh.com.

The last meal that truly impressed me was a paella at Cigala in London. Chef Jake Hodges makes it to perfection – moist yet light, and delicately spiced. It’s happy food that’s good for sharing. And the restaurant has a great atmosphere. 54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1 (020-7405 1717; www.cigala.co.uk).

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The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing include Vaishaly Patel for her facials. She has genuinely gifted hands; I feel relaxed afterwards and you can see the difference in my skin. I also swear by Pilates sessions with Gina John, who’s also an osteopath. I get back problems if I don’t see her. Gina John at The Osprey Clinic, The Marriott Hotel Leisure Club, 128 King Henry’s Road, London NW3 (07930-981 215; www.theospreyclinic.co.uk). Vaishaly, 51 Paddington Street, London W1 (020-7224 6088; www.vaishaly.com). www.hansen-lydersen.com.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Yorkshire. I was born in Halifax and have been revisiting the North lately, staying in cottages owned by friends or The Landmark Trust. I adore the wildness of the moors, the simple grey stone walls and the earthy, organic smells. The last place I visited was Robin Hood’s Bay – picturesque yet unpretentious and welcoming.www.landmarktrust.org.uk.

Stanage in the Peak District
Stanage in the Peak District | Image: Getty Images/Flickr RF

A recent “find” is Mouki Mou on London’s Chiltern Street. It’s truly original and a bit hippy-chic. Curator Maria Lemos has brought fashion and beauty finds from all over the world together under one eclectic roof. I especially love the Arts & Science leather bags. 29 Chiltern Street, London W1 (020-7224 4010; www.moukimou.com).

In my fridge you’ll always find strawberries, San Pellegrino, and smoked salmon from Norwegian smokehouse Hansen & Lydersen, which has a smoky but subtle taste. Recently they gave me a bag of the wood they use – beech, with just a bit of juniper to give it a kick. Shelford Place, London N16 (07411-693 712; www.hansen-lydersen.com).

Harris’s skinny diamond eternity ring by Solange Azagury-Partridge
Harris’s skinny diamond eternity ring by Solange Azagury-Partridge

An indulgence I would never forgo is my early-morning walk on Primrose Hill with my border terrier Pop. People are amazed I’ve got a dog with my nose, but he’s a little friend for my son Henri, as well as for me. Our walks declutter my mind and kickstart ideas.

The best gift I’ve received recently is a beautifully simple, Solange Azagury-Partridge skinny diamond eternity ring [pictured], from Christophe. It was a Valentine’s gift but I suspect it was also to celebrate my new journey as Perfumer H. 5 Carlos Place, London W1 (020-7792 0197; www.solange.co.uk).

Harris’s grandfather’s wooden screwdriver
Harris’s grandfather’s wooden screwdriver | Image: Michael Leckie

An object I would never part with is the screwdriver [pictured] my grandfather used to make furniture. The carved wooden handle puts me back in touch with him, his workshop, its sounds and smells. He was a great inspiration.

My favourite websites are Wit & Delight, a lifestyle blog founded by American graphic designer Kate Arends, for its straightforward take on style; and Lili Barbery-Coulon’s Ma Récréation, which keeps me up to speed on recipes and what’s happening in Paris. www.witanddelight.com. www.ma-recreation.com.

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