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Naughty, and some Yellow

yellowAlert readers (which I assume describes all 6 of mine) may have noticed that though DSH has been a big topic in the past here at Unseen Censer, I haven’t talked about it a lot.

Partly that was because I had everything the brand had to offer, and had been a little less than wowed by recent experiences – I was happy to let it be. If you haven’t experienced DSH perfumes before, the size of the collection can seem overwhelming; but in fact the perfumer, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, puts out new releases at a fairly sane pace these days and once I’d smelled my way through her collection, rich and diverse at it is, I didn’t feel a desperate need to “keep up”. I’ve been OK.

I was intrigued to hear through the grapevine that DSH’s new “Rendezvous” was intended to be a rich animalic (read: filthy) floral, and involved a lot of ingredients that today’s consumer is generally too timid for: castoreum, hyracium tincture, and civet being the most notable contributions. (If you don’t know what those are, you might not want to look them up.) A highly indolic jasmine was reported to be the least of it.

When I recently had a chance to try this on my skin, as I half-expected, it made me smile. OH THE FILTHINESS. If you are not the kind of person who enjoys the scent of sheets after you’ve had a lot of sex on them, you really will not care for this.

If you ARE, you don’t have to tell me; anyway, I won’t tell anyone. But my goodness, even if you ARE, I can’t imagine wearing this in public for at least half an hour. It is naughty and raunchy for quite a while.

Eventually on me it calmed down into a creamy rich floral and I bought the thing. I could see wearing it; I still might hesitate to wear it to work, but why the hell not? Life is short, and at least after the first half hour, this perfume is nothing to be embarrassed about. (Or is it? I doubt that co-workers would ever tell me. They might just be jealous of me.) It reminded me of Barbara Herman’s book “Scent and Subversion” and her point that she does not want to smell like a clean baby. She wants to smell like a grown woman.

Well, if you are wearing DSH Rendezvous, you are a grown-ass woman, and a lucky one at that.

The (extremely naughty) floral that it becomes is big and that indolic jasmine is quite glorious. I am saying indolic jasmine because if you’re reading this, you already know if you like your jasmine clean or dirty. If you’re the kind of person who never gets a jasmine deep and rich enough, you need to give this baby a test drive. This is the sort of jasmine that slaps you in the face and kisses you before you agree to it.

The dry down has a bit of “Dawnade” that I associate with DSH scents that I like from the past, a slightly spicy woody base that gives the brand more identity than it might otherwise have given the breadth of the collection. DSH certainly has perfumes that don’t share this base, but to me this smells like a recognizably DSH perfume. It is not an oriental. If you are a fan of vintage Fracas or Bandit you absolutely must try this.

(Postscript: there is no point of comparison with Atelier’s Rendez-vous, which I also own and like very much. That one is a lovely osmanthus with absolutely zero filth in it.)

Some samples came included with my bottle of naughty thoughts and I must report I am really loving Hansa. This one is part of Dawn’s Chroma collection. I don’t see it listed separately on her website but of course if you contacted DSH I’m sure they would sell you some. Hansa is the YELLOW in this collection of intense saturated-color inspired perfumes, and by golly, yellow it is. I am a sucker for honey and I smelled honey and yellow petals and I think I am going to want to wear more of this come spring. It isn’t juicy, it isn’t waxy, it isn’t dripping, but it is BIG (not in sillage, but in personality, in scent), and while it isn’t a soliflore and it isn’t shy, I have a hard time coming up with more positive statements of what it is. Yellow is what it is, that’s for sure. If you like yellow flowers and all the various lightweight mimosa scents out right now aren’t doing it for you, try some Hansa. I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

Image is “Yellow“, by Laura Favrow, via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.

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1 comment to Naughty, and some Yellow

  • Oh, you know… there are such different flavors of naughty. I absolutely cannot do Joy (indolic jasmines skeer me!), just cannot. And there was one of the Lutens things that smelled like warm fur covered in caramel – INNNteresting, but not really wearable. And a Smell Bent musk that Tom at the Posse likened to sweet clean baby skin, but on me it’s a whole locker room full of post-football-practice sweaty men.


    (AHA! Fumerie Turque, that was the one! Nobody else ever mentions the animal butt.)

    But I like Musc Ravageur, and L’Air de Rien is nice, and Soivohle Centennial has got some sexy animalic stuff down underneath everything else. I just never know what exactly going to trip my Nope Button.

    I haven’t tried much of Dawn’s newer stuff, except Giverny in Bloom, which I think is GORgeous.

What do you think?