Q&A With Miller Harris CEO Sarah Rotheram
Miller Harris has been a brand that we have admired for a long time at ALSO Home. It stems back to years ago when Anna, our Founder and Owner first started the business and read the story of how Miller Harris was created as a business and felt so inspired. So, when the opportunity to collaborate came up, we obviously jumped at the chance.
If you haven’t heard about Miller Harris, you are missing out! This luxury fragrance company breathes colour and life into the classic perfumer’s art, with complex couture perfumes designed to tell vivid urban stories. Inspired by London life.
We had the pleasure of doing a little Q&A with their CEO, Sarah Rotheram – so sit back, grab a cup of tea and enjoy the read.
What is it about Miller Harris that drew you to the brand?
Firstly the perfumes themselves, they are beautifully constructed, you can smell the quality of the natural ingredients and the complex structure means they shift and evolve on the skin. I loved the fact that it was a niche British fragrance house, there are not so many British brands out there doing what we do. I have to love the product I am selling , so it all starts with a great product.
Describe MH in 5 words.
London, Modern Bohemian (is that two words??), natural, luxury, niche
Who/what inspires you?
My London life and other creative fields from art to fashion, to interiors and of course nature – the most creative inspiration. I travel a lot, always find inspiration when away – if you open your eyes and really see, everything can be inspiring!
Who/what couldn’t you live without?
Apart from my son , which goes without saying… my iPhone, books, the balance in my life between city and the country. I thrive on the energy of being in the city and urban life but the country offers me escapism, time to reflect and the opportunity to connect with nature. This balance absolutely keeps my equilibrium just right. Finally travel, I love to travel and my life would feel incomplete if I suddenly stopped seeing the world.
What do you most like about what you do?
I love the creative process of bringing a story to life through fragrance, it makes my fingers tingle! This alongside the people – everyday I work with and meet the most incredible people.
What has been the most important lesson learned?
That the people you surround yourself with, is the most important factor. The right people mean you can achieve a lot. The right people make life worth living and fun.
Tell us about your ultimate dinner date. Where would you go? Who with?
With my husband, for Korean Clam BBQ, in Seoul. The best places are often the least posh! You cook on the BBQ at your table and flavour your food with Korean spices. My favourite way to eat, simple food , where you eat with your fingers , cooking as you nibble.
If it was closer to home, then my favourite resterant in London right now is the Marksman on Hackney Road, my brothers place , and the menu is ever changing. Modern British food , cooked with integrity and probably the best food you can eat in London.
My other favourite discovery right now is XU, on Rupert Street. Amazingly good Taiwanese food. The food not only tastes amazing but its very pretty too – one for Instagram.
And what would you eat & drink?
Oysters, crab, my favourite food is anything from the sea. I like unpretneious food made with natural fresh ingredients. All of the above places fit this style of food.
I would drink gin and tonic to start, a bottle (most probably two) of Sancerre and finish with expresso martini’s, whilst my husband prefers to finish with a grappa.
Do you have a favourite scent?
No, I love perfume so I enjoy wearing so many different fragrances. However, you will always find me these days wearing a Miller Harris fragrance. My mood changes and my perfume preference changes. I tend to wear fragrance that matches my day, where I am going, what I am wearing , how I want to feel and what I want the perfume to say about me. For example, if I am wearing an evening gown, I need a fragrance that conveys sensuality and wraps around me like a cloud, then I would wear Miller Harris La Fumée Alexandrie. It is a fragrance that elicits a response, with subtle fruit notes, woody and peppery with this sensual heart of rose, like warm sun drenched roses. I like that it is unexpected.
My preference is for woody florals, but sometime when I am wearing my sneakers and jeans I will pop on something lighter and more fruity, or those early days of spring, for example, I will want something with Jasmine, or Orange Blossom like Miller Harris Lumière Dorée.
That said, when we are developing something new, I wear it a lot, I live with it, so I can see how it wears on the skin. I will travel with it, so I can wear it in a hot climate and understand how it performs. I always fall a little bit in love with the perfume in the development stages.
What’s the favourite room in your home?
My sitting room, it has the most amazing huge windows that look across the garden, it is filled with sunshine in the summer months and becomes cosy when you light the fires and draw the curtains in the cooler months.
Describe your interior style to us.
I am not sure I have a style , its more like an evolution of our life over the years, but hopefully it is a personality. I like bold colour, velvets , silks and textures but I am not a huge fan of too much print. My home is full of vintage pieces, items collected on my travels, books and artwork and a few modern pieces. Vintage sofa’s covered in plush velvets, mid century next to victorian. lots of things that have memories.
What is your favourite country to travel to and why?
India. I love the people, the diversity between different regions, the colours, the immense culture and history. The busy streets, the craftsmanship, the vibrancy of everything, the food! A few years ago I worked with the Maharaja of Jodhpur on a fragrance and visited frequently, so there is also a personal attachment to India , memories of some amazing places and people I had the pleasure to meet. I have travelled across the country to many cities and everywhere is so different to the last city, yet there is an underlying Indian way. Everything has a story, a reason, rooted somewhere in history.
What’s your decorating tip?
Wait for something. Its is always worth waiting to find the right thing for your home rather than rushing to find something and buy the best you can afford. One of the first things I ever bought for my first flat was a hand made table, I needed to save for. 20 years later I am still using it.