For a long time now I have wanted to smell the works of the American indie perfumers that light up the blogsphere. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz‘s (DSH) perfumes fall into this category. I have read so many favourable reviews of her perfumes and am really happy to finally try her work.
Hurwitz has been creating perfumes from her base in Boulder, Colorado for many years now and is well established as an indie perfumer. A quick browse on her website shows that she has many perfume lines and also works with the Denver Art Museum and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art on aroma-art creations.
I recently read a great review on The Scented Hound of a DSH perfume that sounded as though it was going to lead me down a few garden paths. Rendezvous is that fragrance and is categorised as a retro nouveau. Here is a synopsis of the perfume from its creator.
“I let my imagination go to a time and place when animalic perfumes reigned supreme. Of course, I included the four traditional animal notes: musk, civet, ambergris, and castoreum with added elements of aged oakmoss, and botanical “animalics”; ambrette co2, labdanum, and hyraceum tincture (aka African Stone). The heart is filled with indolic juhi jasmine, orange flower absolute, and gardenia balanced by a slightly sharp and spicy white pepper and aldehyde top note. The result is a lush, provocative, and thoroughly sexy perfume for both men and women.” (DSH)
Rendezvous : Nose : Dawn Spencer Hurwitz : Year : 2016 : Notes : Top : Aldehydes, ambergris, ambrette seed, bergamot, brown oakmoss : Middle : Bugarian rose absolute, castoreum, civet, costus, French beeswax, gardenia, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Juhi jasmine absolute, labdanum, musk, mysore sandalwood, oppopanax, orange flower absolute, oud, peru balsam, sambac jasmine, tuberose absolute, vanilla absolute, white pepper : Base : Africa Stone Tincture
Wow that’s a huge notes list and I’d be fibbing if I said I can smell them all or want to even try and pick this perfume apart. Rendezvous is one moody, atmospheric scentscape. It’s dirty and gusty with an undeniable reek of mystery. Think of an illicit rendezvous that may only happen once in a lifetime, but for all that is truly memorable, etched with desire on skin and heart.
At first spray this perfume holds me close until parting. Rendezvous is besieged by beautiful notes that pretty much make me weak at the knees. It also has the wondrous Africa Stone I smelt at Pitti Fragranze in its raw state and in Papillon‘s beautiful Salome. In fact Rendezvous shares some carnal attributes of Salome, but does not get quite as filthy. The aldehydes and pepper translate as a bitter tang in the top notes. However pretty much straight away what I’m smelling is unbelievably good. Rendezvous actually heats up as it goes on and gets a little more loved up when all the good stuff hits.
There’s a golden hue here that’s treacly and suggestive and also resinous and warm. It also smells like there’s a dash of a lightly bitter tobacco too. The florals are gorgeously dark and deep with a particularly memorable jasmine. The animalics tread that line where they are ever present but not over blown. You won’t be worried about scaring people on the street.
When wearing Rendezvous I instantly felt that this perfume was drawing me to the 1930’s and 1940’s as part of an illicit love story, wrapped in beautiful clothes, with a dash of melancholy. It’s one of those doomed love stories that translate so well to the screen. I think of the scene in Atonement where Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie (James McAvoy) share a moment of passion in the library or the English Patient where Katharine (Kristen Scott Thomas) and Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) catch a dangerously brief moment against a cupboard. You get my drift. Like these encounters Rendezvous is a perfume to get lost in and I felt as though it had entrapped me and was sinking to somewhere entirely pleasurable.
As you can probably tell I highly recommend Rendezvous as an alluring, sexy scent and it was such a great way to discover the DSH range of perfumes. I have smelt a few others now and I can say that Giverny In Bloom is another favourite and world’s apart from this perfume, but just as gorgeous.
The Low Down : A foxy, sexy perfume that is the perfect accompaniment to an illicit rendezvous.
For where to purchase : Please see the Dawn Spencer Horowitz website for further details. There are a variety of sizing and pricing options available. A 3ml spray can be purchased for US$24 and a 60ml voile de parfum spray is US$305.
Notes : Images : Reworked image from UK Vogue by Mario Testino.
Disclaimer : Sample gratefully received from DSH. Opinions my own.