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Happy May Day everyone! ❤

It seems that May (or Spring, really) brings out some part of me that makes being here in this particular space important.  It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve been here on the blog…but I have been thinking about this space a lot over the past few years wondering how I might re-integrate it into the creative endeavors happening in my studios and on Instagram, in particular.  I love the visual extravaganza that Instagram is and its ability to take you into whole worlds, behind the scenes, and everywhere with everyone.  It’s immediate and palpable.  Really unlike a blog.

The blog somehow feels more intimate and I like that.

The main focus at IG has been the livestreams. If you haven’t popped in to check them out, I invite you to. (Monday afternoons, at slightly variable times from 2:30-4:30 EST at @dshperfumes ). It’s all about sketching out ideas and being interactive as we go. It’s super fun. I can’t tell you how much I love this practice and seeing where these designs go. **I’m all about gathering concepts for the livestreams, too, so if you have some design that you’d like to see worked out, I’d love to know all about it in the comments. Generally, I haven’t released any of the designs for public consumption, except to give some away to lucky winners. Which isn’t to say that no one has wanted them. So, I had an idea: to share a new series of work called “dshnotebook” that would be limited offerings for readers of the blog and our IG family. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll be sharing the interactive work from the livestreams here as well as visual art works that follow, and links to get to the ‘secret doors’ (password protected) at the website to get to the dshnotebook releases. 🙂 Cool, huh? (I’m a huge fan of secret doors and passageways… so this really appeals to me).

The design that we’ve been sketching in the last 6 livestreams has been about Muguet (or Lily of the Valley). This is how it fits directly into May Day, as it is the custom in France to give a sprig of Muguet to loved ones to wish them happiness and as the official start of Spring. It’s my pleasure to wish you all great happiness (in spite of the current state of the world).

And in so doing, I’ll introduce you to the first release of the dshnotebook series: Mirroirs de Muguet – our modern muguet design that, hopefully, has little reference to the classic / vintage stye lily of the valley perfumes.

This is the picture that was ‘painted’ in my mind during livestreams: the rain has just left after an early morning shower… a bit of fog is still floating. Droplets of water, like glass beads, cling to the edges of flowers and leaves.
Bits of earth and warm spring sunshine imbue the overall impression. (That is the most naturalistic part of the design). And then this: like that of a futuristic garden, maybe on the top of a skyscraper, where enclosed in glass and chrome sweet lilies of the valley grow and bloom for May Day. The dirt is still there as is the Spring sunshine, even in this space-age setting.

Simple pleasures are still the best ones.

To check out Mirroirs de Muguet (and get your May Day flower, if you wish to try it): go here. The password is ‘ modernm ‘ (case sensitive).

It will be fun to explore, more in depth, the concepts and creative initiative happening at IG live. I look forward to sharing on both of these platforms.

With love & blessings,

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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.

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It’s another new year and with it there are resolutions and intentions to be set.  I have found since about 2011 that each year I have resolved to find more time to blog.  After many fits and starts, I think I’m finally ready to attempt something like regular writing.
One thing that I found rather inspiring was the fact that I had started almost 150 posts over the last couple of years, so I’m going to revisit these posts.  It’s actually kind of exciting to look at works through the lens of time.  And lord only knows that I have a pretty crazy list of perfume concepts, paintings, drawings, and gem art pieces in my notebooks to get to work on this year.  I hope to get it together and share it all.   {We’ll see}.

For now I am wishing you a wonderful new year filled with new beginnings, creative endeavors, and most of all, LOVE. ❤

ps: Oh yes, and this is perfect timing for a New Year post: Happy year of the Fire Rooster!

fireroosterimage credits: all images found on the web



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I don’t usually just blurt these kinds of things out (well, I do if you’re someone I know quite well and feel very comfortable with) but I just can’t fight the compulsion to cyber scream it. (!!!)  Why, you may ask?

It’s. This. SMELL.

I find it so upsetting when things, especially medicines, have added absurdity; like dyes, weird flavors that do not mask the medicine taste, and the worst:  horrid perfumes that give you a migraine and instantly make you feel queasy.  Why, why, why, why, WHY?

Of course, it’s spider season and as I’m allergic to most of the natural world I’m also allergic to spider bites.  Every year my reaction gets just a bit more severe.  This morning I awoke with multiple bites that are huge, swollen, and itchy.  Calamine!  I need Calamine.  Apparently everyone in Boulder also needs calamine lotion as well since most was sold out at the store.  I had to get this one:


There are no words to describe the enormity of how awful I smell.

And what’s worse, the scent is growing.


I have noticed this phenomenon with a number of mainstream perfume releases in the past few years where the scent is pretty bad but not too strong when it first goes on.  Then it snowballs into the fragrance blob that ate Manhattan.  Poorly created rose accords do this frequently, as do weird musk compounds.  This horror has both and some kind of floral bouquet bug spray mixed with weeds and decaying fruit.   I say again: WHY?  I’d like some medicinal smelling medicine please.   There needs to be a skull and crossbones symbol on this can next to the words : Fragrance.  It’s worse than the smell of a walk in my neighborhood on Sunday afternoon when every college student is doing laundry and the entire world smells of tonalide, berryflor, lyral, and floralozone.  It’s this sort of thing that gives “perfume” a bad name and drives me completely insane.

image credits: found on the web.  skull and crossbones found here; environmental hazard pictogram found here.




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Mercury has just gone direct.  (woo hoo!)  I’m sure that a bunch of you have heard of the astrological term “Mercury Retrograde” which basically means that the appearance of Mercury, as it moves in its orbit when seen from earth, looks like its moving backwards.  Symbolically, it means that everything you are trying to do to get ahead on projects, move through traffic, deal with communication of any kind, etc, will also be moving (or feel like it’s moving) backwards, too.  Travel goes haywire, electronics get goofy, and the basic gist is to stop working on moving forward as it’s time to do a re-wind so you can reexamine old ideas, old projects, and or older works to see if they can or should be updated, made more perfect, or reworked in some way or just tossed on the heap.  It’s great for clearing out and making room for the new as well.  So while now is the time for getting back to the *new* stuff, as this phase passes I’m still working on something I’m calling the “retrograde files”.  Its actually kind of exciting.




I’ve been slowly compiling a list of materials, oils, single notes, and older designs that I used to sell on my website that people still write in and ask for.  Usually clients can get these items by special order or what have you but I’ve been attempting to create some “Archives” pages for the site so as to make the process easier.  And instead of getting annoyed at the apparent cosmic slowdown, it’s been a wonderful journey, like taking some extra quiet time to look at a scrap book or an old photo album.  It’s the scented equivalent of “This is your Life”.




As I’ve looked around in my notebooks and dug out some old bottles I’ve rediscovered some very interesting ideas and lovely perfume names (you know I love that) that I had sort of forgotten about.  Some of these designs are from very early in my body of work and I see now that had I had some of the materials available now, the concepts might have been realized very differently.  So, my big idea is this: when Mercury goes retrograde I’m going to set myself down to re-imagine some of these older works.  It’s a go with the flow and artistically grow kind of thing.  I don’t know if I will release the new visions or not but I know that I will enjoy the process.  I like this looking back / looking forward notion.  We’ll see how it goes and I’ll keep you posted. ❤

ps: here’s the next retrograde phases for 2016: August 30 – September 22; and Dec 19 2016 – Jan 8, 2017.


image credits: I found these images on the web: beautiful mercury planet image found here; moving backward image here; berlin 1994 photo album here.


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It’s day three of rain and fog, and it’s beautiful.  Misty, subtle color saturation, and soooo much green.  I never know how long this part of Spring will last.  My garden loves it and so do I.




It sets me to thinking about art, image making, new perfumes, and setting my heart free.  Lately there has been so much busy-ness, travel, and so much to do.  The sound of the rain and the feel of the mist make me want to slow down and….dream.




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Wishing everyone a new year filled with brilliance, surprising moments of light and clarity, health, creativity, and most of all love.


Let’s not forget laughter, too.  Happy Year of the Sheep my friends (starting in February, of course).  oxox

image credit: I found this Shaun the Sheep image here.

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As promised, I have shown up again to announce the winners of the (long-awaited) drawing for the 3, preview, 3 ml samples of Seve de Pin.  And the winners are:

• Michelle H

• Anita

* Linda

Please email me at:  dsh at dshperfumes dot com with your address and it will be on its way!  I hope that you will love them and that you’ll let me know what you think.
Be back soon  ~ox

*image found here with a poem (that evokes perfume no less … though I’m not so keen on the musical choice).

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Germany Lunar Eclipse


It was worth it to stay up way late to see the blood moon lunar eclipse.  Wow, was it incredibly beautiful and quite magical to see the transformation from a luminous, golden disc to a deeply shadowed gem.  At the total eclipse it made me think very much of a deep crimson Mexican fire opal gemstone.  It also reminded me that I had not posted the winners of the fire opal 3 ml deluxe sprayer drawing.  My bad.  But not for long… here goes:

Congratulations goes to (drum roll, please):

* Joe

* StephenMC

* Devon H

Yay! 🙂  Please email me at dsh@dshperfumes.com to send me your address and claim your prize!  And thank you again to everyone who shared a comment about their happy smells.  I really loved it.

Have a wonderful day everybody!    ox

image credit: I found that moon shot here.

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I’ve thought a lot about the concept of acceptance;  in the last couple of years especially.  It is easy, as you can imagine, to accept what is beautiful, sweet and glowing but not so much what is unruly, misshapen, dark, and even tragic.  And yet so much of life is made up of these ‘less than perfect’ experiences, things, people (ourselves)…and it is acceptance that makes happiness possible in this world.  I am still working on all manner of acceptance but doing the work involved brings me opportunities otherwise unavailable.


So, it is with many meanings in mind that I gratefully accept the privilege of the “Dragon’s Loyalty Award”.    I had never heard of it until Dan, from Apothecary’s Garden nominated me but I am very glad to know about it.  It feels very human and real to me after having read what Dan had to say about it:  “The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is self-explanatory, though there is loyalty given, loyalty received, there is also a loyalty one sees in others who are authentic, or genuine in their writing.  They maintain a loyalty to self.”  I don’t mean to imply that there is anything less than perfect about the award, but I do get the sense that loyalty and true authenticity come with all the beauty and the warts, together.  At this point, I am coming to accept and cherish that.

It has taken me a surprisingly long time to even figure out how to share this honor and I feel that I should start by mentioning that I have had very little time to read / enjoy blogs since getting pregnant and having a baby (two and a half years ago).  But before that *I did* have more free time to enjoy blogging and reading blogs and so these are my nominees to pass this award to (there won’t be nearly 15, I’m afraid , it’s more like 5 but you will surely notice a theme in the blogs I’ve read):

Ayala’s Smelly Blog:  Ayala Sander has always been an inspiration to many bloggers as well as aspiring Artisan Perfumers.  She shares her joy and her passion on her blog as well as incredible amounts of information.  Her Smelly Blog is always a joy to read.

The Clarimonde Project Blog / indie perfumes blog:  Lucy Raubertas brings an incredible amount of vision and otherworldly aesthetic to her blog indie perfumes and something that I can’t even explain, it’s so lovely, in her Clarimonde Project Blog.  Her dedication to art and artistry is unmatched and her sensibilities are a palpably gorgeous.

The Alembicated Genie: Doesn’t the name tell you something?  Sheila Eggenberger *is* a genie.  She conjures unique realms and universes with her words so beautifully crafted they make one swoon.  Her portrayals of what perfume can do and where it can take you are some of my favorite writings. period.  She is very passionate and tells it just like it is, but in the most graceful and gracious way.

Olfactoria’s Travels: Olfactoria (aka Birgit) has a wonderful perfume blog but even more what I love about it is how she has created a sense of community within the realm of the blogging / perfumista community.  I just love the sense of sharing the passion and love of great perfume and how it fits into our lives.  She’s just fabulous.

Perfumes in Progress: Laurie Erickson’s blog is a lovely insight into a fellow aromatic artist’s world, thoughts, creativity and journey.  She writes with great sincerity and shares so much of what the perfumer’s life is.  It’s always a pleasure to read and I have to thank her for being an inspiration for me to start my blog.  She gave me some wonderful advice when I was contemplating DSH Notebook back in 2010.  {A heartfelt thank you to Laurie!}

I send much love and blessings out to everyone in the blogosphere and again, with gratitude, accept and share the Dragon’s Loyalty Award.  oxox

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