In the last post I mentioned that a theme that has been showing up for me is the “remix” and now I am ready to let the proverbial cat out of the bag (cats were BIG in Egypt, right?) and reveal that the first launch of 2013 at DSH Perfumes will be for the Secrets of Egypt collection. Yeah, yeah, I know. No one wants a “collection” after last year’s plethora of collection releases, but you know how I do. I can’t help what wants to come out of my head and therefore, my studio.
And I have to say that I am excited by these perfumes. Not only because I loved the first incarnations but with the addition of new materials they feel fresh and full of life.
Back in 2010, when I was first asked to create something for a lecture event at the Denver Art Museum in conjunction with the KING TUT exhibit, I was really inspired to research authentic ancient formulae and make them as true to the spirit of the original scents as possible so as to give the “smeller”/wearer as clear a vision of what these perfumes would have smelled like in their heyday. The first “Secrets of Egypt” collection did have a few modern adaptations and original works (1, 000 Lilies, Arome d’Egypte, and Cardamom & Khyphi) but most were meant to be purely based on early ingredients, ancient methods of extraction and even early formats (the “Egyptian oil” or “Unguent”). As any one who has read the posts about the Egyptian perfumes from 2010, you know how fascinated I was by the brilliant galbanum/bitter almond (Antiu), incense / lily (1,000 Lilies) and marjoram/oreganum/spice (Sampsuchinon) accords that come to us from the ancients. They knew their stuff for sure.
Yet, there was something academic about a few of these designs to me. I wanted more. Now I’ve got what I wanted but didn’t know it until now. Welcome back Antiu, Keni and Megaleion. Plus, I went ahead and created the design idea that I had edited out of my collection back in 2010. Welcome Iridum.
What’s the big deal you ask? New materials and a true fusion of ancient and modern. These perfumes are fully mixed media instead of nearly all-botanical and the feeling and energy that this shift imparts is a cleaner, clearer, more modern sensibility. I’ve also shifted the emphasis notes to push and pull on different chords and brought these perfumes out of the “oils and unguents” and into the world of alcohol based sprays. There is a greater coherence that makes them a true collection. The tonality of the perfumes all resonate harmoniously and they also have a common “chord”, which is that all of the ancient perfumes have (at least) three sacred essences : cinnamon, cardamom and myrrh. Every one. So, there is some similarity that is palpable yet, I hope each stands alone with a unique vibe. ( I’m sure you’ll let me know).
I am very proud to be releasing these new ‘remixes’. They didn’t have to go into the afterlife to breathe again. They have been reborn into the modern age.
image credit: Ra and Osiris images found here : http://4esoalbagautier.blogspot.com/2011_12_01_archive.html
Cairo images found here : http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=449673
Posted in perfume | Tagged black agar perfume, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz perfumes, DSH Perfumes, DSH Secrets of Egypt, green conifer gourmand perfume, spiced wood perfume, woody incense orris perfume | 2 Comments »
Yes! I have been spending some real time in my lab (or studio, or whatever you want to call the place that I go to create and work out ideas) and with all the changes and challenges that have come in the past year, I have begun to notice a theme: transformation. It is not enough, it seems, to feel inspired and to sit down to create. More often than not these days some “old” idea comes to the forefront of my consciousness asking to be looked at, considered and worked on again. It is asking to be transformed. And so I listen and I consider. I respect that some ideas are worth breathing new life into, allowing them to shed old skin and begin again. It is also a metaphor for my inner (and outer) life, as well. I, too, am being transformed.
It might seem boring or uninspired to look at defunct or “out of circulation” designs with reworking in mind. I mean, why look back? Haven’t these thoughts, these works, already had their day? Aren’t there enough new ideas to burn brightly in the psyche that compel one to give them life while leaving the old behind? Well, maybe. But contrary to what I might have once believed, it *is* inspiring to see with new eyes and bring a new perspective. And so that’s what I am doing alongside working on some new formulations. It’s a whole new way of experiencing the creative flow.
The first of these “remixes” will be ready to launch any time now, but I want to save delving into more detail for another post (soon). For today, I am just happy to share a moment in the flow with my blog peeps and say hello.
I hope that your day is filled with new beginnings~
image credit: image found here: http://everygoodandperfect.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/blog_what-you-see-house.jpg
Posted in Art, perfume | Tagged DSH Perfumes, transformation | 4 Comments »
I suppose it’s not a new beginning in everyone’s mind, but as it seems that we all made it past the ‘end of the world’, aka December 21, 2012, we all have something to celebrate and if we wish to, have a brand new slate with 2013. I can’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of turning a page and it’s a very good thing. I don’t want to get too philosophical so I’ll just get simply to my point, to wish everyone a very HAPPY New Year and that we will find peace, and joy and love this year. These are blessings to great to truly and fully conceive of; they are my heartfelt hope for us all.
Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »
First: Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! <3 I, for one, can’t believe that the Holiday season is here, but I say that in every post just about. I guess I still have no handle on how to perceive time. Fast or slow. All I know is that it feels like yesterday that I posted about Happy New Year, 2012, and another new year is almost here again. One thing that IS different when compared to last year is that I have a new NEW, functioning (yay!) website and I think it’s even better than ever! It’s very interactive, with facebook likes, reviews and even a button to email a scent idea to a friend should you find the perfect suggestion for the ones you love… or want to make sure that they know what’s perfect for your wish list. Please do check it out. I sure had some fun “liking” things when I first saw those buttons.
What’s even more to like? The return of a beloved and longed for beauty: Mata Hari Perfume. This perfume was and still is talked about with reverence and adulation; like a long lost lover who has never been forgotten. It was originally released as a very limited edition, as I used materials in the formulation that were vintage and many from my personal “stash”. I hadn’t exactly expected that I would be receiving calls and emails asking for samples, drops even, of this precious liquid for years after the edition was sold out. So, I made it a personal mission to re-source new materials that would match as closely as possible the oils that I had used in the original. And I am happy to report that after about a year+, I have found what I need and made a new batch with the new materials and it came out just as beautiful as ever. Hallelujah! I still love it and she holds all of her seductive charms.
Now, Mata Hari is back and with plans to have her be a permanent addition to our offerings; glorious flacon and all. I have missed her. I hope that Mata Hari is a welcome sight (and smell) for those who have wanted more and those who have only heard the legend of this beautiful creation. Happy Holidays indeed.
image credit: Mata Hari Image found here
Posted in perfume | Tagged botanical perfume, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz perfumes, DSH Perfumes, DSH Perfumes website, exclusive presentation perfume, femme fatale perfume, Mata Hari Perfume, natural perfume, Vamp perfume | 6 Comments »
That’s just how it is around the studio these days. You might think by the title that we have christmas music playing and elves in the windows, no, but we are getting into a vibe. We’re, of course, making new batches of many, many things to be sure to have everyone’s beloved scents in stock for Holiday gift giving but the most dominant aromas are those of our Holiday offerings.
Part of the fun for me, has always been, creating our Holiday perfumes each year. I look forward to it and I try to come to a design concept that is not only true to the spirit of the season but also is unique in some way. I mean, who needs the same sugar cookie or christmas tree scent every year? This isn’t always easy but since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I don’t dread it like some of my friends. I have many happy memories to work from and growing up in the country, many outdoor and indoor aromas that permeate my reveries. And maybe it’s having a baby for the first time at the Holidays that sent me into a warm, cozy, serene place with one of my favorite aromas, caramel. In fact, caramel is right up there with chocolate for me as a treat. I. LOVE. IT.
I don’t always love it in fragrance, mind you, as it can be cloying and rather plasticky (since most of the construction for caramel comes from synthetics). I have been working on a mixed media (naturals and synthetics) caramel base that is really warm, creamy and delicious while not going completely over the edge into a saccharin lake of fire. It wouldn’t be like me to stop there, though. While contemplating the construction, I swung to the other side of the gourmand pendulum (and into more adult territory) and started thinking about something boozy. A sort of wassail or toast of good cheer. Yes; I like this. So, that’s what I did.
Cordial, a little play on words, has a friendly feeling and a warmth implied in it’s name and also gives a hint to the booze reference. I wanted to convey that kind of happy golden light that surrounds Christmas in old movies; like the original Reginald Owen version of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Golden candlelight, bells ringing and a happy hearth and home. I suppose that is my sincere wish for myself and everyone: for a sense of comfort and warmth. I hope I have conveyed it.
And as if this caramel delight wasn’t enough, we had to bring back our Coffee Absolute. Oh yes, dry, rich coffee without sweetness added. It is so sexy. You would potentially think that it would be like spilling a starbucks on yourself but, oh no, it’s smoldering and delicious and COFFEE. If you are a coffee addict or know one, this is for YOU.
We have some other treats on tap for the Holidays, too, but I think that I will share more about that in another post. For now, I’ll just recommend that you check out the newly updated “top picks” page for our current faves and suggestions.
Lastly, shall I finally announce the winners of the draw for paradise lost solids?? everyone who commented! Please contact us via email: email@example.com and give us your address to ship to. Congratulations!
Posted in perfume | Tagged Caramel perfume, Christmas gifts, Coffee Absolute, Cordial perfume, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz perfumes, dsh holiday sampler set, DSH Perfumes, Gourmand modern vintage perfume | 5 Comments »
I wish I were in NYC tonight. Something magical is happening… a rare event that I imagine will be like walking in a dream. The Clarimonde Masquerade hosted by MiN New York, produced by Lucy Raubertas, is taking place and if only my perfume, who will attend in my stead, could send me a post card from beyond the mighty river to tell me of the delights.
It was nearly a year ago that the first unveiling of the Clarimonde project perfumes and sundries happened. I was just beginning the pregnancy and a bit preoccupied, so didn’t really get the chance to talk about the project, the wonderful concept and inspiration or the perfume when it first came out. So, what am I waiting for?
The Clarimonde Project is the brain child of the wonderful Lucy Raubertas (of indieperfumes blog fame) and again she is the same visionary who put tonight’s Masquerade together. But what or who is a Clarimonde? you might ask. Well, to begin Clarimonde is a who and the starring persona of an incredibly beautiful, haunting gothic tale of an obsessive, passionate lover and his object who commands his very soul… until she reveals herself as an act of true love and he rejects her and thus their paradise is lost forever. I don’t want to give away too much as it’s a wonderful read or even to listen to and you should, you really should take the time to either read or listen. Please go check out Lucy’s blog dedicated to he project to get the whole story : and here’s a link to a very special version of the story: http://soundcloud.com/ondynesdemise/clarimonde-recitation
Lucy got this image perfectly right in it’s color, sensual feel and mysterious glance when choosing an image to speak to the perfume that I created to tell the story of Clarimonde: Paradise Lost. It really does feel like what I had in my head as I was designing it… although this Bronzino portrait an integral part of my design as well. It was my original visual inspiration, as well as the many visual images, colors, spacial designs, textiles and textures alluded to in the story itself.
Paradise Lost, of course with the other literary reference to Milton, seemed the perfect to fit the story for me. An ardent love is indeed a paradise until something comes to break the magic spell. Then all is lost. It can never be the same again. There is a sense of loss in this perfume; an opulent yet melancholy tone. It speaks to the time in which the story is written, during the first decade of the twentieth century, as well as the otherworldly and altered sense of time and space woven into the story. I would describe Paradise Lost as an Oriental perfume, as there is an exoticism and spiced warmth about it but it also has a distinct animalic nuance in the drydown and a very unusual twist in the opening notes. I designed a number of accords to accommodate qualities in the story that I wanted, such as “sable fur, pressed violets, faded flowers, candlewax and bloody sweet”. Certainly there are no essential oils or even compounds readily available of such notes. This was half the fun of the design and a challenge: how to create these accords and then stitch them together to make a tapestry that is complete and distinctive. (I have to admit that the bloody sweet note did double duty as it found it’s place in some multi-sensory art works I did for the Dairy Center for the Arts at Halloween last year as well…but that’s another story). The proof will be in the pudding as Lucy and the lovlies at MiN show the perfume to the party goers in NYC tonight. We’ll see what is said at the Masquerade.
Here’s the little bit of verbiage that I state at the website about Paradise Lost: “The phrase “A twilight blue oriental perfume” most captured my imagination from the first time I heard it along with the image of faded flowers along side a bed of gold and silver, attended by a negro page wearing black velvet holding an ivory cane; and the satiny hand of “Clarimonde” as she lay dying. This cool, almost misty scene that might have been a last glimpse of Clarimonde paired with an alternate universe of warm opulence in Venice were always shimmering in my mindʼs eye as I created “Paradise Lost”. Paradise Lost is a limited edition.
Paradise Lost won’t be alone on a mantle at beautiful MiN… the stage will be shared by a singer, a dancer and number of other Indie Perfumers: Ayala Moriel, Alexis Karl and Maria McElroy, Mandy Aftel and lip stain by Monica Miller of Perfume Pharmer. If only I could transform into a butterfly myself tonight and flit my way through the ethers. I would land on a lace mask and sip champagne from my hosts glass. I believe I will have found my paradise.
Now for the commercial AND a little draw:
Paradise Lost in a limited edition that found it’s way into two antique bottles: one a Parisian charm bottle with an Art Nouveau motif that is wearable on a chain and the other our classic French 5 ml flacon. Both are lovely and available at our site.
Now, since you’ve read so far, I thought that it would be fun to create a limited edition of three Paradise Lost solid perfumes and give them in a draw. To enter just post a comment about your favorite part of the Clarimonde story or a favorite aspect of the Clarimonde Project blog that Lucy has so beautifully created. Three winners will be chosen at random on Halloween, October 31.
Posted in perfume | Tagged Alexis Karl, Ayala Moriel, clarimonde project, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz perfumes, Gothic scent event, Indie Perfumes, indieperfumes blog, Lucy Raubertas, Mandy Aftel, Maria McElroy, Masquerade, MiN New York, Monica Miller, Oriental perfume, Paradise Lost, Violet blood fur candle perfume | 8 Comments »
Where can I start? Maybe I should start where I left off back in January wishing everyone a beautiful new year. I hope that 2012 has been filled with greatness for everyone so far. It’s practically October and by now, many people know that my little “baby new year” image in the last post was a bit of foreshadowing… as I have been away in my own world, away from much of the internet and this blog for months creating something (or someone) new. Welcome, my dear dragon baby Xander. He is a bright shining light in my world.
And he’s not the only creative shift that’s come this year. I am just now getting back to my work, aromatically, visually and otherwise, it seems filled with new vision, new beginnings and a new way of looking at old things. (We’re planning some re-vamps and other re-launches by the end of the year).
One very new thing that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time has been opening a little etsy shop to showcase the jewelry art work that I have been creating since 2008 and showing at a Boulder gallery since 2009. This week it has finally come into being. It’s just a little something but I am so very excited about it. Maybe it feels like a big thrill because it’s my first step out after the baby has come, who knows. For now, I am just ecstatic to be showing my work to a wider audience. And hey, if anybody wants to buy some, I won’t say no. Click here to check it out.
So, I’m also hard at work at the studio preparing new works and launches for the later Fall and for the holidays. I don’t know if everyone does, but I find this time of year very stimulating and I’m feeling good about creating new designs. The very first of these is Indus, a petite homage to India and it’s blessed elixir: chai tea. (I could have meant mango lassi, as blessed elixirs go, but that’s not terribly Autumnal). I’m really feeling the spices right now, all that warmth is like an attracting glow for me and I think I need it. Of course, this is just a start. Other delicacies are on the horizon to be sure. But that’s for another day and post. Today, I just want to say that it’s great to be back.
Posted in jewelry / gem art, perfume | Tagged baby xander, dawn spencer hurwitz jewelry, DSH etsy shop, DSH Indus, DSH Perfumes, Fall perfume, spice perfume | 10 Comments »