Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pharmaceutical curiosity; Burning Barbershop by D.S. & Durga

Burning Barbershop by D.S. & Durga

I was on the mood, reading a chapter of my legendary childhood-mate Huckleberry Finn and redreaming cartoons of those days back in school. That was my most favorite cause I have grown up in such plentiful geography. Everything seems denser while in woods, smells, shades, lights, tastes and even sounds and noises. Everything has apothecary in spirit! Today I tried D.S. & Durga Burning Barbershop and it gave me the such chill.

In their home in Brooklyn, the Moltz family - David Seth Moltz and Kavi Moltz - began a hobby which turned into business. Borrowing Mr. Moltz' first initials and the nickname with which he calls his wife - Durga - the brand entitled D.S. & Durga.
Before the house start their trial and error efforts in perfumery upon old medical books, the founders had no experience in the field and as described: I was a musician; my wife was an architect”.

"D.S. & Durga make perfume and cologne in small batches using premium-sourced raw materials. All scents are created exclusively in-house. Some of their inspiration comes from outdated herbal wisdom, native ritual medicine, lore and legends, historical movements and Americana. The scents are the stories of prospectors, gentry, trailblazers, frontier women, drawing rooms, workbenches, cowboys. They are fragments of half remembered legends, movements, events, and foreign lands."

Before I apply the sample the name amazed me: a barbershop in fire! I check for the etymology in the webpage and here's their statement:
"A fire broke out in the Curling Bros. barbershop in Westlake, N.Y. in 1891. All the shaving tonics with their spearmint, lime, vanilla & lavender burned. A charred bottle was found half-full. It smelled like this."
That was fun! Cause the smell seriously imitate the picturesque of a barbershop in pre-industrial american society. Post-burning timbers, evaporated old-school colognes and shaving soaps, crumbled alcohol lamps, charred leather seats, and probably a bin of hair and some aprons. But not all the fire incidents are inferno! The funny part of incident is, back in time, poor Curling was probably struggling to take some loan to reestablish Curling Bros. Barbershop, a century later David Seth Moltz makes the incident's perfume! Curling definitely would be the first hater if he was still alive!

A barbershop, probably back in early 1900's.
Nebraska State Historical Society’s Dundy County Collection

Burning Barbershop opens with intense, green, dusty, aromatic, and pungent fougere style, without that vintage mood. It apparently opens with pharmaceutical lavender, spearmint, unpolished lime, and spruce. Lavender usually is capable to take responsibility for main part of a structure but this volume f darkness is out of its personality.
After a while the scent gradually ages and thickens in more woody and leathery base imitated by burnt oil accord, hay, and intensified spruce's woodsy air: dark conifer, dense fat zestless green/gray; like burning timber extinguished in cold water. It reminds me Norne.

Just came to mind once again that how much B.B. fits to Mark Twian

In overall, Burning Barbershop is a creamy lavender, spruce, and leathery incensy mood. It's not an urban fragrance you can wear easily in Brooklyn but definitely a top seller in Oregon! Wild and edgy woodsy fougere aromatic in opening, and the core it sweet herbaceous dark with type or unpleasantness in smoky theme. It is long lasting with average sillage - that is favorable for such performance. Very American and very 19th century. Burning Barbershops is a winter fragrance, not for cloths, only and only for skin. A burnt, charred, almost sad fragrance that rises from famous American pharmaceutical perfume style repeated in many American indies. If you're looking for a smoky dark sweet, old-school, 19th air witchy, then you better open room for this perfume in your basket. It has great longevity, heavy and long lasting, and almost favorable sillage.
You can also read the Non-Blonde's review on the perfume. She has nailed it thoroughly.

Carpe Odor!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Massive immature jasmine; Amouage Opus IX

Amouage Opus IX

Perhaps among those perfume houses located in Arabian peninsula, the house of Amouage is the most successful and renown globally. This is not only because of their impressively extravagant creations, but also for their tendency to western world and spirits while preserving original Omani atmosphere and their tradition of incense. This, for sure, needs artistic and smart management which we all know who's behind the scene; Christopher Chong.
Less than a couple of months ago the house announced for their new member of the Library collection: Opus IX. The variety of auras in this nine-opera collection is like a bookshelf full of the top sellers of the century. All are impressive, all are remarkable. From the first Opus, back in 2010, to the ninth there's a considerable growth and evolution. Seems Amouage is reaching a summit step by step.
Opus IX as declared in the house's webpage, is inspired by La Traviata; an opera in three curtains composed by Giuseppe Verdi, set by Venetian libretto Francesco Maria Piave and performed for the first in 6 March 1853 in Venezia.

G.Verdi (1813-1901)

The opera is set to Alexander Dumas' novel; La dame aux Camélias (aka Camille) published in 1848. Although the first performance of the opera has changed the novel and narrated a story back in 1700, Verdi and Piave in 1880 could finally reach their goal and set the opera to a contemporary story and in the book. The main character of the play is named Violetta; however, the main character of the novel is named Marguerite Gautier (a demi-mondaine loved by several men and suffering from tuberculosis). The story, is narrated by the other main character; Armand DuvalMarguerite is named The Lady of the Camellias after her habit of wearing white camellia for when she is ready to make love with her lovers, and red camellia for when she denies the lovers for the time her uncomfortable condition intensifies.

A modern poster of the opera performed in 2013

The performance is in three acts: the Act I is Violetta's interpretation: parties, jovial life in which she's the focal point of attraction. In Act II she runs away with his lover to rural life: settled but not joyous. Act III is her tragic fall and droop.
Pierre Negrin and Nathalie Lorson have transferred the trio into liquid form elaborately. The beginning of the fragrance is harsh, strident and inharmonious, with too much pepper and flowers (jasmine and camellia accord; I have heard that camellias have no smell by default). The floral accord is highly dusty, green and indolic like sound of cello in adagio. The beginning shows up a paradoxical feature: a soprano-to-tenor variation of floral/peppery character. Harshness, and luxury. The balance of notes in the opening and in the overall when the animalic nuances appear, reminds me light and extreme darkness in urban sketches of infamous British painter Jeanette Barnes: dark vision of ordinary stuff.

The heart of the fragrance is just the extension of what happened in the opening but with woodsy vibe. Beeswax, leather, and wood; aspects of pastoral life and stability. Then finally the animalic vibes construct the base of the performance and smoothen the throne for Camille's death. It's civet, in cloak of death coming for jasmine. Blackness attacks light.
Now, concluding the perfume. Experimentally, Opus series are not so wearable fragrances. They are massive, brutal, absolute and dense. Many people may not love to smell like that! Opus IX is not an exception.
A friend of mine described it: "Opus IX is like a teenager who wears mom's dresses, wears over-age perfume and silly over-makeup to expose older than her real age". In fact there's a immaturity behind that massiveness and seemingly it tries to not show it behind immense jasmine assault.
The rough texture of smell in Opus IX conflicts with Venetian-red bottle and gold label on it, which signify wealth and luxury. Basically, for a grown house like Amouage, the Library collection is just demonstration of art and culture and I swear they even don't vacillate if you deny it!

Carpe Odor!