October 19, 2017

Autumn with DSH Une Robe de Zibeline and Tsukimi

Drawing by Kris Kuksi
There is a strong and deep flavor of classic European vintage perfume inspiration in Une Robe de Zibeline (Sable Coat) as it carries this style of romantic beauty into today.  Mysterious shades dappled against lightness and comforting warmth.

This perfume reveals a refined animalic bone structure enveloped by contemporary subtlety, softness, intimacy. 

We (especially Americans) don't like big intrusive scent trail perfumes for the most part, anymore, or the idea of animal sacrifice for the sake of adornment. Fur effects attained by other means can be experienced in this perfume. This scent aura is a close halo that is more for the wearer and their closest intimates than a self-presentation that plays to an audience.

The amber is a golden transparency, the slight tang of peppery spice lifts, and the ylang-ylang, rose, carnation and beeswax breathe out as the dominant notes, for me. They lean next to the fantasy accords and beside the warmth-inducing edge of patchouli ambergris and benzoin. 

The Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (DSH) style can be either meditative or a force field of beauty that extends a few inches around the skin, both or either, depending on what the mood and attitude require. It is flexible, while retaining a strong character. As with all the DSH perfumes, there is a lyrical delicacy within the references and sophistication. 

Listed as a spicy Oriental, the note list from the DSH site shows coumarin, brown oakmoss, ambergris, castoreum and civet (as non-animal synthetic accords) East Indian patchouli, labdanum, leather (cade oils) Siam benzoin, blond tobacco absolute, Tolu balsam, Bulgarian rose absolute, carnation, French beeswax, Grandiflorum Jasmine, orris, spice notes (allspice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cardamom) ylang-ylang, aldehydes, bergamot, black pepper, lemon, rosewood, Essense Studio (accords created over time as signatures by DSH) and vanilla.

Dreamy, relaxing, warm, the notes so tightly bound together are an impression of alive-ness that lies calmly as a sleeping beast. The applied perfume is like wearing your own invisible fluffy fur collar and cuffs. Pinned on is a fantasy corsage of vanilla orchids with buds of various other deeply scented florals, held just far enough away to blend together seamlessly.    
Blue birds from the bluest fable,
Bear and hare in coats of sable,
Peacock moth on picnic table.
(Fragment of a poem by Nabokov, "Lines Written in Oregon" )

These sprightly/serious lines from Nabokov's legendary travels across Fifties America occupy a sensory realm exactly referenced by these two perfumes.

These two show two sides of the DSH coin. They make allusions, throw references and prism-y shards of olfactory sense memories in both directions. Heavy/dark beside light/delicate.

These were my two immediate favorites of the last set of samples from DSH, though the rest offer plenty to delve into deeply at another time. DSH's prolific creativity is almost overwhelming.

Tsukimi (Moon Gazing) pronounced 'ski-me' is inspired by the Japanese festival of Autumn moon gazing.  I find it subtle, delicate, uplifting, exquisitely beautiful and transporting. It is meant to be softly warming and meditatively glowing, sheltering itself within a cool night air atmosphere. The scent recalls autumn leaves, a cedar tea infused with aromatic wood tones, lightly balsamic powder and peach skin. There's what I call the "Sandalwood Effect". I consider this a quality of aromatic softness that reaches right into the mind to effect calm. Quiet beauty is lifted by a clear light bright airborne effect. It plays with the warm and cool aspects of the notes.

Listed as an Autumn Gourmand, the notes are amyris, peach skin accord, Australian sandalwood, Brazilian vetiver, frankincense Co2 absolute, Hiba cedarwood, hinoki, oppopanax, ambergris musk,
vanilla absolute, ambrette seed, rosewater, Siam benzoin, spice notes, cardamom seed Co2, fig, fig leaf, nutmeg, Essense Studio accords.

Both come in a wide range of strengths. I sampled and fell for these in Voile de Parfum which the DSH site describes as 10-20% oil concentrate, with a slow evaporation rate. These are handmade perfumes by an American artist who has studied and practiced the classical traditions for a long time and translated them into a modern beauty that can be worn by any gender at any occasion. Autumn is the theme but cool air at any time of year would carry their lyrical warmth to best effect.

Please follow the links above to the DSH website for more information.

Disclosure: samples were given to me by the perfumer but I also purchased larger amounts to have more wear time before writing about these two perfumes.

Copyright 2017, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

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