Posts Tagged ‘Dawn Spencer Hurwitz perfume art’

Last May I started thinking about an idea that I call “the retrograde files“.  It came as a little brainstorm about taking the time when Mercury is retrograde (an astrological phase that makes it look like the planet Mercury is sliding backward in its orbit when seen from Earth) to look back at projects that I haven’t completed, perfumes that I once launched but for what ever reason decided to discontinue, and the like, and to consider re-imagining.  Thus, using the ‘energy of the times’ to good advantage and taking what was good and making it better, clearer, and ultimately new again.  (Art, if nothing else, is recycling and filtering inspiration through one’s unique lens and the exact time and space it’s created in).  So as Mercury has gone into its retrograde phase I started looking through what is now a surprisingly growing section of my notebook.


Passionflower Perfume Poems was a small collection that I started releasing around 1999 – 2000 with a young, ‘millennial’ audience in mind.  It never quite hit the target the way I wanted it to… although a few of the perfumes have lived on in the form of special orders and requests by devoted clients who have loved the perfumes as their signatures for the past – wow – almost 20 years.   Lately the requests have come in with more frequency and something sparked: these Passionflower Perfume Poems scents seemed to be the perfect first candidates for inclusion in the retrograde files.


Say hello to April.

I didn’t rework this design too much, as it’s fans would be pretty bummed if I’d changed it a ton.  I did add some cool, humid notes via some molecules that I didn’t have in my studio c.2000, like cyclal-c and cucumber aldehyde.  It’s just as fresh and lively as the first design but with an additional pump up of the sweet pea and the green clover notes.  I’m really enjoying the energy of April with its clean but not soapy freshness and soft fruity-floralcy.  Fruity-florals aren’t usually of great interest to me (maybe that’s why I missed the mark with my first attempt at a ‘youth’ collection) but this one is fresh, green, and ‘unsweet’ enough for a more grown up audience and to keep me coming back for more.  I hope you like it and the other two heading your way this Spring. ❤


I thought I’d share one of the original stream-of-consciousness poems that went with the original launch.  I still think they’re fun:

April (poem)
green    clear    soft    white    frosty    dew  •  ethereal    morning    fresh  •  delicate    blossom    dawn    breath

emerge     enlighten     evolve  •   imagine     breezy    serenity     rain   •   shining     meadow     flowers    dream

sublime    veils    smiling   senses  •   relax    renew    refresh  •  awaken   cherish    clean    bright    light   pools

glistening    shower    sweetness  •   invite    pure    beauty    april    be    spring


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I think that it was last Spring that the flowers started calling.  More than ever before, I’ve wanted to engage in the realm of the flora.  Perhaps it started with Instagram coinciding with my daily walks with Xander.  I suddenly had an incredible visual outlet to use that was so easy, fun, portable, and interesting.  It was a way to make art on the spot when, these days,  studio time is so difficult to come by.  The flowers infiltrated my psyche through visual art and now it seems that my whole world, in perfumery as well, is just FLOWERS.  {I’m in love, can you tell?}





Last years White Lilac, Peony, Scent of Hope, Jacinthe de Sapphir, and Rubis Rosé have given way to a flood of floral inspiration around the studio.  I’m just beginning to complete some of the new designs for release, but I promise you, there are some big bouquets in my future.  🙂  If you follow my facebook stuff, you’ve already seen the first glimpse of the new “Fleuriste” perfume that is all carnations and chilled rose leaves.  I’m really enjoying the modern aspects and variations on the carnation theme and it’s so different from one of my best loved florals:  Oeillets Rouges, which is a warm, honey-kissed carnation.  {By the way, have you noticed the HUGE resurgence of interest in carnation perfumes?  It’s outrageous.  Now that Malmaison, and Blue Carnation are no longer in production and Bellodgia isn’t what it used to be, the carnation lovers are on the hunt for a new love}.  We’ll see how the cool-green / modern Fleuriste fares compared to the classic style of Oeillets Rouges.  I’ll be interested to see.





I’m also really excited that at last (!) we’ve had a stellar lilac season so that I could complete an all natural / all botanical perfume based on the French lilacs that bloom in my front yard and the Persian lilacs that bloom just outside the back door to my studio.  I’ve been working on this design for about 5 years now, since the lilacs in Colorado haven’t fared so well over the past few years {with all of the late Spring snow we get, so many lilac seasons are doomed!}  But this year, even with a Mother’s Day snow storm – Yes, I did say MOTHER’S DAY – we had a fabulous crop and I reveled in their glory.  Anyone who loves lilacs will know that they are heavenly, but oh so temperamental, and vexingly  chameleon-like as the scent changes from the first bloom on the tree, to a later full bloom aroma, as well as how they change their fragrance after they have been picked.  I had to go through many a lilac season to attempt to nail them down into some kind of formula.  It’s been an intoxicatingly wild ride but I’ve arrived at something that *I* think is beautiful.  And really speaks to late Spring in all it’s splendor.  I’ll be writing more about “La Belle Saison” soon.




For now I’m hoping to spread the love and flowers.  They make me happy and I hope that they do for you as well.  ox


image credits: crab apple blossom image, from dsh_artscent; carnation image found here; Persian lilacs and French lilacs images from dsh_artscent.

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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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It’s already the end of July?  Where is the time going??  I start so many posts with this question.  I am forever amazed at how fast time moves and how it seems to be spinning faster and faster.  I was on such a ‘blog roll’ (hee hee)  earlier this month with the PLAP project (which is still going on!) but then a big creative and work push came in and it’s just been nose to the scent stone ever since.  I’ve been working… working like MAD!!!  It’s been great, I have to say, albeit intense.

Something new and wonderful just now is this very cool correspondence I’m doing with Mandy Aftel called “Letters to a Fellow Perfumer”.   It is a series (I am number 3 in the line)  hosted at Nathan Branch’s blog out of which Mandy and I will each create a perfume while exploring our process of creation and materials.  It’s proving to be an exciting and  lovely exchange.  Another biggie on my plate has been working out the full-fledged conceptual scope and materials for Carrie Meredith‘s bespoke creation.  I don’t want to go too far into the details of this just yet, but I have “broken ground” and the first samples will be sent off to CM this week, so there will be much more on that, you can be sure. 🙂  Then there’s the new DSH website that is full steam under construction, plus, are you ready: the construction the ArtScent Museum room is complete.  I’ve hand-painted and worked on this room (with a lot of help, you can bet!) all July and it’s finally ready to have the display cases brought in.  Oh joy! 🙂  My labor of love is moving forward at last.

the room that will house the ArtScent Museum: all hand-painted gold. It's a jewel-box... with lovely prism-rainbows reflected on the wall. pure magic.

But what’s really topped my list this week is not a current work that I am designing or a new project but the official launch and beginning ‘reception’ if you will, of a collaboration that started almost a year ago with Jane Schub, a fascinating mind and exceptional designer.  Jane has been involved in many creative endeavors over the years and her latest work is creating remarkable nail colors under the name ‘StrangeBeautiful‘.  I have had the pleasure of making manifest some of Jane’s incredibly creative ideas in the past, but our latest mingling of the minds produced “Richly Perverse”, a true perfumed nail polish.  Richly perverse is a clear coat nail polish that has a fully designed fragrance; it’s not the kiwi or pear or bubblegum scented stuff you might find in regular ‘scented nail polish’.  It’s a richly perverse dream.

This week it launched at anthropologie.com and has already made it to the Today show!  How rad is that?  I am sure you are wondering…what the heck does it smell like?  Well… it’s an outrageous violet / leather with notes of absinthe, tuberose, orris, ylang ylang, sandalwood plus incense and tobacco in the drydown.  The leather note is black leather; yep, like a motorcycle jacket.  And the violet is powdered candy violet, all French and demure.  Mixed with the boozy breath of absinthe and narcotic tuberose, oh yeah, it’s a badass.  It’s sheer elegance riding a Harley.  If that messes with your head it’s par for the course.   That’s what happens when Jane and I get together.

Check out some of the ‘brief’ Jane sent me for inspiration:

“Richly Perverse

As we removed our clothing then inched our way into the unknown dark inky lake the conversation escalated, she said you don’t get it nor comprehend what I am saying; this is not a philosophical perspective but a way of life. Only when it is strange do I see something beautiful. She then said; I may not respect someone when they do not see it my way but I will never forget your thoughtful act of delivering my request for a freshly boiled lobster shell. Her ideas were a concept that took everyone by surprise.”

Oh, yes, Strange is Jane but so beautiful.   I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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