D.S. is cometh! Mecca Cosmetica has finally answered my prayers and brought D.S. & Durga downunder. The Brooklyn-based husband and wife team are part of the trailblazing, self-taught tribe of perfumers throwing the rule book out the window to create scents based on objects, memories, melodies (see: Byredo). The ‘D’ of the brand, David Moltz, is an ex-muso, and explained to Into The Gloss “I realized the stories I was telling with lyrics could be told with scents … and Kavi could design products that wouldn’t take years of construction planning to build.” Kavi, an ex-architect (is ex-ie the new slashie?) is the Durga of the partnership (note to self: look for a guy that thinks you’re an invincible Hindu goddess). Her vision has enabled D.S. & Durga’s ambitious scent structures and insta-worthy design.
If you’re coming at D.S. & Durga for the first time, here’s my advice: you need to know the stories. Each scent has a tale to tell, and it’s like unlocking a secret scent code that has the power to transport you to Bombay or Odessa, to recreate an experience or a moment in time. You won’t smell one of these fragrances and label it as “rose” or “wood”. But once you get in the groove of, say Radio Bombay, you’re humming a tune not easily forgotten.
D.S. & Durga Hit List
The word “radiant” is used repeatedly in the official description of Radio Bombay and for good reason. Opening with the most incredible metallic copper note you can almost taste, Radio Bombay broadcasts loud for the first 30 minutes or so before settling into a salty, resinous, sexy sandalwood that’s like a stroll along Bombay’s electric Chowpatty beach after hours in the markets.
Radio Bombay, $256 from Mecca Cosmetica
So you know when you hear a song that transports you back to an exact moment, one that you can see, feel, smell? If that moment happened to occur in the summer of 1989, you were probably listening to The Pixies sing this iconic number. Debaser. For D.S. & Durga, this memory translates into luscious green fig and milky coconut with a veil of soft iris. Fans of Santal 33, you will love this.
D.S. & Durga Debaser, $256 from Mecca Cosmetica
So, Spirit Lamp gets points for its handbag-friendly rollerball and wallet-friendly price point. It also gets points for being inspired by a topless psychic. It’s silvery, soft with peach, warmed by tropical ginger and with a liquidy character that is such a pleasure to wear.
D.S. & Durga Spirit Lamp, $105 from Mecca Cosmetica