(Scent Stories)

Floral Artist Maurice Harris On The Scent That Puts Him “In The Best Mood Ever”

It smells like joy.

Collage of artist Maurice Harris in a green floral shirt holding a flower and a white candle box

Every scent evokes an emotion. In Scent Stories, TZR asks tastemakers, celebrities, and industry insiders to share the stories behind the smells of their past and present.

Calling Maurice Harris a florist is like calling Beyoncé singer — correct, technically, but a huge understatement regardless. Since launching his LA-based floral design studio Bloom & Plume (which now also doubles as a picturesque coffee shop), Harris’ vibrant, opulent arrangements have amassed a viral following, with fans from Beyoncé herself (who featured his designs all throughout her visual album, Black Is King) to brands like Louis Vuitton and The Row. But unlike other artists, Harris isn’t a shadowy, mysterious figure hiding behind his creations. All you have to do is scroll through his Instagram to get a feel for his vibrant personality (we particularly love his in-depth personifications of his floral arrangements, from “Winter Wendy” to “Robust Rhonda”) — or, tune into HBO’s floral arrangement reality competition, Full Bloom, or his Quibi show, Centerpiece (warning: both will inspire you to purchase garden shears).

Harris’ larger-than-life personality made him the perfect artist to collaborate with Diptyque on the fragrance house’s new Unleash the Rose collection, featuring a brand-new Eau Rose Eau De Parfum, along with three new rose-scented candles infused with notes of chamomile, lychee, and artichoke. “When working on floral designs, I try to create something that is organic, intoxicating, and memorable,” says Harris. “The rose is one of the most iconic flowers of all time, but I knew that I wanted to take this very traditional scent and squeeze something unexpected out of it.”

Ahead, TZR asked Harris about the various scents in his life and what power, creativity, and comfort smell like in his day-to-day.

The Scent Of Strength

“Rose makes me think of two powerful women in my life. [First,] my grandmother, who often mixed her rose with gardenia and lily of the valley notes — there was something so memorable about her scent. And then I had a former boss who wore the most intoxicating rose fragrance I have ever smelled. You could smell her coming before she entered a room and it lingered when she left. There was something so powerful about that. It was never overwhelming. I think of power, beauty, and grace when I think of rose and of these two women.”

The Scent Of Duality

“Chamomile and lychee are unexpected notes for me — they spark very distinct emotions in me. Chamomile tea always makes me feel warm and fuzzy and is calming and relaxing. On the other hand, I find lychee to be very invigorating. I was down to try mixing those two scents and I think they ultimately complement each other beautifully.”  

The Scent Of Creativity

“Creativity smells earthy and musky — because most of the time, creativity is a hard day's work.” 

The Scent Of His Home

“Every room in my house has a particular scent because I feel like fragrance helps to cement memories. When you smell rose with [pine], I want you to think, ‘Oh, that smells like Maurice's house and I always feel welcome and warm there.’ Or if you make it into my bedroom, Diptyque’s Feu de Bois is usually burning, which, in my opinion, smells like a library of sensuality.”

The Scent Of Comfort

“For me, comfort is sitting in my Kente cloth-covered wingback chair wrapped in cedar planks while sipping a cup of fresh mint tea. So, it’s cloth and cedar and mint with just a dash of canine because Leroy, my standard poodle, always has to be nearby.”  

The Scent Of Joy

“Herbs! Herbs all day long. I grow a lot of them in my garden — all the different geraniums, pineapple mint, sage. One of my favorite things to do is run my fingers through the lemon verbena and smell my hands after — it is so incredibly fragrant and puts me in the best mood ever.”

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