DS & Durga By The Half Dozen

“The power of scent is equal to that of sight and sound. A great scent is a world you can return to over and over–a keyhole into another realm. You can travel via the mind-nose connection to larger collective spaces…Our scents are fragments of half-remembered myths and imaginary landscapes that invite exploration. They are an invisible soundtrack that you can carry on your body throughout the day.”

HOUSE: DS & Durga
NOSE: David Seth Moltz (and Kavi Moltz*)
SIZE/COST: 3 Sizes / $72-260

Burning Barbershop, El Cosmico, Jazmin Yucatan, Mississippi Medicine, Notorious Oud, Radio Bombay

Burning Barbershop: Lavender and lime with a bit of smoke. It’s like a fougere on fire to some extent. I’m not sure I like it, and that says a lot as there hasn’t been a single fragrance from this house, to date, that has not wowed me or made me sniff twice. To me this sort of reminds me of an old perfume that’s been sitting at the bottom of a wooden crate for a very long time, as if you had forgotten it and when you pop the box top a waft of residual memories escapes in a darkened plume. Once it starts to wind down after about 30-40 minutes though you do get something that is a bit akin to a fresh shave. For me, however I try and defy all gender constructs, this has a masculine silhouette that I cannot get past. Like heavy punctuation. For those who like old school vintage scents this just may light your fire. (2010, 73%)

Notes: spearmint, lime, vanilla, lavender notes, burnt note

El Cosmico *: I’ve really held off on intaking this one, I have a certain conceived notion of where this may lead. But after opening it I get something that surprises my senses. Potential wearers take note: this may shake your foundations – after all it contains creosote (bush that is). It’s altogether dusty and dreamy, slightly medicinal and a bit marine-like. It’s woody/spicy, but windswept as coastal as can be, and to me that does make it a bit cosmic – not in that 70’s Panavision way (Zardoz, Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, Omega Man, Westworld – oh – I ‘could’ go on), more like looking into the spectrum of crystals of fine sand under a scope. I’m getting visions of the airiness of cotton candy without any stickiness, high tide and white caps by starlight, and driftwood. Yeah, it’s like that. Truly unique. (2015, 90%)

Notes: Pine, Pepper, Oak, Khella, Creosote Bush, Sand

Jazmin Yucatan: This is an exciting jasmine jam (as in spreadable, and like a Janet – Miss Jackson – shoulder shaker). This is sweet and floral with a balanced greenness and a pinch of spice. A pleasant wearing experience that will fit like a puzzle piece into anyone’s life, it just melds and melts into place. It’s sunny and gorgeous without being too forward of too complicated like oh so many florals out there. There’s a light resinous aspect to this that delivers a sense of renewal, a little like Palo Santo but cleaner, with the most delicate essence that reminds me of Concord grapes freshly picked, coated in dew. The warmer this gets the more and more it becomes this incredible intimate skin scent. It’s like a lush, soft bed of wildflowers under your tippy toes. An easy go-to. (2020, 87%)

Notes: Water Notes, Bergamot, Passion Flower, Jasmine Sambac, Cloves, Snake Plant, Copal, Vetiver

Mississippi Medicine (also EDC version): A symphony for the trees, tender and bittersweet. This goes deeper into the great forest, into the evergreens and all it’s contiguous, ancient shades of green. It’s like a natural path into the past, step by step, revealing itself at a turtle’s pace. And it’s all fueled by a most elegant layer of incense that is uncommonly buoyant. The silken thin petals that float through here are presented in chiaroscuro, so faded and free. Plant a tree, save an apple. Temptation will reveal itself at the abyss of this long, winding road. I’ll take a spoonful of this medicine. (2011, 88%)

Notes: birch tar, violet, white spruce, cypress root, incense

Notorious Oud: If oud and rubber had a baby….this has all those luminous deeply balsamic feels, that rich and thick resinous accord that can seduce on contact. My simple advice would be to watch where you wear this, unless you are casting a wide net of potential suitors (wink wink). Heck! This perfume is bold and bad and brawny and brazen – yet incredulous in terms of the way it would fit into the average person’s repertoire. It’s the polar opposite of average with a leathery edge (none here though) – this is a singular fragrance that would accompany the most adventurous at heart, body and mind. Yes, yes, yes. I’m stumbling in my own senses over here – Notorious Oud is aptly named for its smoky/woody/spicy resonance. You might want to drop the needle to the old Colonel Abrams funky ditty ‘Trapped’ (1985), brace yourself as the groove is built-in. Oh, it’s not all that, I mean, it’s got that satin sheen reflecting from the petals and pistils of the deepest red rose, exhaling in mentholated excess. (2019, 91%)

Notes: Saffron, Camphor, Galbanum, Oud, Bulgarian Rose, Lavender, Papyrus, Cetalox, Civet

Radio Bombay: When I quickly sorted through the notes it would seem this would take me to the southern shores, but never assume anything with DS & Durga. While there is a touch of coastal sun and surf, this is not as warm as you might envision, and that’s likely due to the iris note which sings its song like a coloratura in mid crescendo. But the twist is the sultry sandalwood, which courses through the veins of this unique composition. This plays on the in/outdoors so well. And even though it contains at least two fruit notes the accord built from the woods and balsam here are the stars, so elongated, stretching the length of the stepped horizon line. Embedded here, too, a light green herbal note is suspended in an uncertain mist, so ephemeral and intermittent. Don’t change the channel. (2016, 89%)

Notes: Cedar, Sandalwood, Peach, Iris, Boronia, Sandalwood, Coconut, Ambergris, Ambrette, Balsam Fir, Musk

Recommended Soundtrack:
Cluster & Eno (1977)


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