Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘perfume’ Category

Can I just say how much I love studio visits??  ❤ ❤ ❤

Really, one of the best things about having a little shop (and my up and coming little museum!) attached to my studio is that I get visitors…pilgrims of a sort, to come for a visit.  In fact, although I have a nice local following in Boulder, there are times of the year when the majority of live people to walk through my door are out-of-towners who heard about my studio..or read about my work online…or have been buying things from my website for years and I will FINALLY get to meet them in person.  It’s really a huge treat for me, to show them everything  they could want to smell and even some things they don’t even know exist.

A couple of weeks ago, a wonderful writer, musician, and budding indie perfumer came for a visit and fortune smiled on us: it was a quiet afternoon in the shop (as it usually is on a random Tuesday between March 1 and April 15).  I got to show him bunches of exotic (and some vintage) raw materials, pieces from my upcoming mini-shows in the ArtScent Museum, and even some of my favorites that haven’t been catalogued yet but are sitting on shelves in my design room.  We talked about white floral constructions, aldehydics, retro-nouveau, and of course animalics (since I have been working on a series of animal / fur / texture fragrances).  What bliss!!

So, this is just a little shortie post to say *THANK YOU* to everyone who has come, who is planning to come, and who just wish to come check out my world.  I love sharing and it’s pure pleasure to see you. ❤

ps: Here’s a link to the article, just published, about ‘the nosey artist” ‘s visit.  I hope you enjoy his tour.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been really, really busy this year.  I know it’s only mid March, but for the first quarter, it’s been crazy.  I mean, I’m always busy working on things but this is different.  I’m not sure if it’s just that the world is accelerating… or something in me that’s “making my bees buzz” even more intensely.  No matter.  I like whatever this is.  It also means that I have more Spring launches in my line up than I had originally planned.  But that’s ok, too.

Foxy (digital taxidermy) DSH 2017

I started working on a new animalic almost on the heels of Chinchilla.  The fur accords have really had me jazzed and I am sketching out two new ones with different textures now.  (WHAT FUN!!)  Exploring texture as well as ‘flavor’ in scent is something I really enjoy and get deeply involved in.  With Chinchilla, I wanted the design to feature musk / muskiness as well as a palpable coziness and intimacy.  With Rendezvous it was indolic jasmine and an even more explicit intimacy that I had in mind.  With the newest animal in what I am now calling “my menagerie”,  I had a textural shift and an animalic feature note shift in mind.

Foxy, which will be officially released on my site on April 1, has a few inspirations.  First, of course, is to portray and speak to another animal  note, this time ambergris / amber, which I felt spoke to the color of the red fox perfectly, and to create a slightly more rough and feral fur accord.  The second source came from the time I’ve spent this past winter watching Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with Xander.  I REALLY love bringing my experiences with him into my art practice… he is a continual source of inspiration.  (See Vert et Noir for some more fun 4 year old inspiration in fragrance).  The movie is a delight, if you haven’t seen it.  And although there are some themes that don’t seem suitable to a 4-5 year old, there’s a lot to enjoy.  From my perspective, I loved the (always) attention to detail in the art direction that Wes Anderson movies contain.  I used some of these fabulous details in the design of Foxy and I think that they work well in telling the story of the smart, sexy, creative, wild animals that foxes are.  And stylish… always, intelligent and stylish.

As portrayed above, the very topnote is of the ‘golden star apple” / apple whiskey that Farmer Bean basically lives off of.  And the very next in the line up is Mrs. Bean’s famous “apple ginger snap”, which gives a wonderfully playful introduction to what becomes a much more sophisticated fragrance as it develops.  To balance what could be a densely sweet perfume, notes of mitti attar (a co-distill of baked earth and Indian sandalwood) and Oak co2 extract are brought in to give an effect of their tree / house and how foxes live underground. After all of this fooling around, as it were, in the topnote, it was time to get down to business.

This is where the third and fourth inspirations come in, which is the retro slang term foxy as in “Foxy Lady” (Not that Foxy is at all a feminine fragrance; it’s totally unisex) and a wonderful writer who is sometimes called “Foxy”  (classic fragrances are very much appreciated by him and I am delighted to say his nickname kept coming up as inspiration when exploring fur notes).   The animalics trend seems to have stemmed in part from the great interest of late in the perfume styles and classics of the past and with that comes a retro-nouveau quality that sticks to even new or modern versions of the animalic genre.  It’s difficult to talk about animalic perfumes without bringing up its historical context and pedigree.  And fur fragrances will have that reference to the much more commonplace and accepted practice of fur wearing in the past.  Nowadays, it’s faux fur that is chic; to wear the real thing is to many to condone animal cruelty, but this is not meant to be a political post.

Because I *DID* want a retro nouveau vibe in there (but less Marlene Dietrich and more Farrah Faucet, or even Jimi Hendrix), I gave Foxy a bit more leather, sweat, and skin in the accords I created.  I wanted you to really sense that this is a wild, sensuous animal that could be a bit scratchy in places.

At a time when I know that comfort is needed and longed for, I couldn’t help wanting to make something slightly more provocative.  I’m not sure how it will be received… but I think we can all use some smart, sexy, playful energy in our world, too.   ❤

image credits: some are my own images; other were found and gathered on the web; most were pinned to my “foxy” pinterest board .

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

 

This is just a quickie post to announce the launch of “Become the Shaman” at the site. It’s in conjunction with the (formerly secret) Project Talisman at CaFleurebon.com.  Check out the full scoop at CFB and enter to win one of the “Eau de Protection” perfumes. ❤

Read Full Post »

moon_goddess_selfie_92

“moon” egg tempera on paper , 1992 DSH

Some say that artists are always making ‘themselves’ in their work.  Much of my early visual art work was indeed self portraiture.  It makes sense since I was studying the figure from a very classical point of view, and as I was the model who was always available any time I was ready to work, self portraits were a common occurrence.  It was also a form of self exploration…you know the kind one does in their early twenties (and for many, well beyond).  In my last year of art school I started creating more symbolic work and incorporating the self-portrait into various forms.  I’m blown away at how these images and objects from what feels like a past life have found their way back into my consciousness and into my current work.  These older images have become the fodder for making new images for a new perfume and holding space for the energy behind what will be the first launch of 2017 for DSH Perfumes.

“moon, 2” egg tempera on paper, DSH 1992

“lilith” egg tempera on paper, DSH 1992

I can’t yet announce the name and the full concept, but later this month I’ll be able to spill the beans.  ( I clearly can’t wait!)  It’s for a ‘mystery project’ that really resonated  with me and how I feel I am navigating the world right now (slowly emerging from the early childhood phase of mommyhood, and post-election).  The project also prompted a major ‘looking inward’ and even, a digging into the past to find these artifacts.

“totem” clay pot 1992, DSH

I thought that for this post I would just share some of the images that helped inspire what’s coming out next.   It’s all art work from the early 1990’s that is coming back around to feel perfectly relevant now.  It’s amazing how these pieces fit seamlessly into the project and the visual story telling of the design.  And in terms of the kind of artistic and spiritual integration that I am going through right now, these couldn’t be more powerful.  I hope that you like them.  ❤

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

onycha_extrait_111

It took over twenty years to finally get Onycha into ‘clear enough’ focus to start work on a formula.  One of the things that made it clearer was the arrival of traditional ‘Choyas’ on the aromatics market.  I am sure that in India and many parts of the ‘olde world’ these fragrant beauties were nothing new but to western artists, they were something exciting and new coming our way.  Choyas, like traditional ‘attars’ or ‘ittars’, are co-distilled essential oils.  Whereas, attars are generally co-distills with Indian sandalwood (Santalum Album) as the partner to flowers, herbs, and the like, choyas have charred Himalayan cedarwood (Cedrus Deodora) partnered with incense / resin materials, and in the case of Choya Nahk, seashells.  Yes, that’s right: roasted seashells.   🙂  The first time I saw this oil offered I immediately began considering it for Onycha.  Perfect, right?  Well, part yes, part no.  Choya Nahk has it’s beauty, but it is dry…really, DRY.  Intensely so.  I don’t generally like sugary perfumes, but this was a bit beyond the pale.  It was going to need some help.

dsh_shell_art_totem

partial: shells in a clay sculpture c.1992 – DSH

As I worked in some resins that I thought would balance the intensity of the charred nuances, and of course high doses of benzoin and labdanum as the other two notes in the “onycha” triad, I wondered if there were any aromatics sellers that had the actual seashells that were used, before they were roasted.  A quick internet search found some incense purveyors with something they were offering as ‘onycha seashells’.  SOLD.  I ordered them and began tincturing.  At this point in the formulating, I decided to make this perfume an ‘all naturals’ project instead of mixed media.  Not just because it’s depicting an ancient concept (the Secrets of Egypt collection is all mixed media, with the intent on creating updated interpretations of the ancient designs) but using an all botanical palette seemed to give the ‘antiquity’ feeling I wanted to convey and I wanted some of that murky, slightly inky quality that many all natural perfumes have.  (It’s not a bad thing to be murky / inky, at times).

After introducing the seashell tincture, I vacillated between a densely smoky incense perfume like being in a temple filled with burning censors…but this just didn’t work (nope, too much in the vein of Axis Mundi, which I also released last year) plus, it is way too easy to just make ‘smoky smoke and more smoke’.  And a sweeter, purely resin-based kind of incense scent seemed kind of bland.  Then the whim to just push it toward woods and amber came and I followed the impulse.  Choya Loban (cedarwood and frankincense) and Choya Ral (cedarwood and sal tree resin) both made their way into the design in subtle proportion as well as precious woods (eagleswood, Siam wood, more Himalayan cedarwood, and amyris) and ambery resins ( more benzoin, labdanum, and oppopanax).  Yes, this push of the ambery aspect brought out even more of the salty / umami and subtly briney aspects of Onycha that I was hoping for.  As well, I love what the woods did to build the space to allow the resins, smoke, and oceanic pieces to move around and ‘swirl’ in the way I later envisioned it.

“family” egg tempera on panel 1992, DSH

In creating Onycha, I had to dig deep into my past and remember all that had inspired me about the concept when I was first falling in love with fragrance and seeing it as the art form that it is now, generally, recognized to be.  It’s also allowed me to examine some of my early work, universally, and bring it full circle.  ❤

This post gives me the opportunity to give thanks for some of the lovely reviews of Onycha:
Thank you Trish at Scenthive for her wonderful words for Seve de Pin and Onycha;  and the immensely poetic review from Lauryn Beer at CaFleureBon.  I am blessed by your beauty.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

famil_shell_study1

Something interesting is happening…  it’s not the first time that I’ve experienced this phenomenon of having some fascination or inspiration from my past circle around and make its way into relevant, “in the now” creative endeavors and projects.  Last Summer, when I started the design and development of Onycha, it was the coming to fruition of a perfume that I began contemplating way back in 1993 when I first read about it in some esoteric book on Kabbalah and aromatics.  (I was crazy interested in Kabbalah back then, before it became trendy, but that’s a story for another day).   I had just graduated from Art School and had begun my first perfumery with Sarah Horowitz-Tran (Gaia Perfumers – since we were both earth signs – known to everyone else as Essense on Newbury Street), and I was into reading anything that I could get my hands on about aromatics, essential oils, wacky New Age whatnot, Aromatherapy, Perfumery, Incense… I mean ANYTHING that had any info to be had about fragrance, I was into it.  So, this Kabbalah ‘perfume’ book was (and is) dog-eared all over the place.  The only thing that has stayed with me and commanded my imagination long-term was Onycha.

First off, I was just blown away at how the word LOOKED and how do you say it anyway?  In the days before the internet you’d either have to screw it up, make it up, or find a scholar who could tell you for sure.  Now, you can just go online to see (and hear) it.   Amazing.   I also loved how the book spoke about some rare mollusc from the Sea of Galilee being used as an aromatic in…perfume?  WHAT???? Hold on, I love the ocean and sea air and Calvin Klein’s now infamous Escape had just launched to great success, but seashells?  Um, that sounded fishy to me (bad pun intended).  I really had to push the boundaries of what I thought perfume must have been in the ancient world, and what it could be, to imagine it.  ( I still couldn’t … which is part of why it stuck with me.  I really wanted to create a fantasy that fit how I was trying to imagine it ).

 

axis_mundi_watercolorstudy_web

 

Yet another piece to this story is that during 1992 – 1994 I was painting lots of still life images with seashells.  Kind of like ‘family’ units.  I was into Sacred Geometry and the spiral was a big influence.  Ammonites, and seashells from the beaches of Cape Cod, found their way into my visual art and was moving, oddly, into my perfumery art.  At that time, there were WAY fewer materials to work with; especially as an indie perfumer.  The artisan / indie perfumery movement hadn’t really begun yet (that was later in the nineties) and there were essential oils, some absolutes, and perfume compounds to work with, if you were small-scale.  Now, there are more wonderful boutique distillers, distributors, and specialty molecule purveyors than you can imagine and it’s an INCREDIBLE GALAXY of nuanced ‘colors’ and textures to create olfactory art with.  It took over twenty years of ruminating around the idea (and waiting for the right materials to arrive) for “Onycha” to come.

Ok, I’m going to end there…with more to come of course.  Soooooon.  Have a great rest of your weekend ❤

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

filter_flower_2-20-17

{filters that look like flowers. i love those.}

Mondays are supposed to be one of my ‘days off’.  😀  LOL.  I’m not only like most business owners who never have enough time to do EVERYTHING that 1) needs to be done 2) you want to get done 3) you think should get done, but I’m like most artists I know who are always ‘working’.  This isn’t bad or unwanted; I like to work.  In fact, I love my work.  (Well, all of it except accounting and filing reports.  B.O.R.I.N.G.).

Mondays are instead my ‘creative day’ in the (aroma) studio; I relish them.  I think about and write down ideas all week just to get a day when no one can come in and I don’t answer the phone.  It’s bliss.  I make a mess.  I spread out…wide…all over the place.  Then I come home smelling like a million things and scare my family.  (AWESOME).

dawn_winter_studio

I guess I’m getting excited about what’s coming out next and it’s too soon to start talking about it in detail but I’m nevertheless wanting to share.  So, for now I’ll just add some pics from the day and keep jotting down ideas.

dsh_notebook_2017

(You can also see my working notebook so far for 2017.  I’ve had one of these every year since 1994.  I think I’m gonna need a library soon ❤ )

Hope you all had a great start to your week ~ oxox

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: