Is it any wonder that two friends, one with a passion for architecture, the other with a passion for music, found a way to fit a song into a bottle? You’ll understand what we mean when you catch the scent of one of D.S. & Durga’s hand-crafted perfumes. Whether it’s the rare and feminine notes in Siberian Snow or the rich and masculine notes in Cowboy Grass each of D.S. & D’s bottles are filled with notes in harmony. Each fragrance is hand-crafted from a thoughtful blend of flowers, herbs, resins and plant extracts, poured into handmade bottles and individually labelled. In an age of mass-production, this makes a bottle from D.S. & Durga a rare find to be sure. We reached out to the couple behind these unique fragrances to find out more about their passion and their process.
The Chalkboard Mag: When did you first fall in love with perfume?
DS&Durga: I was six years old and went to Children’s Island, a camp on an island in Salem Harbor, MA. There was a raffle. I won a bottle of Pierre Cardin – the only time I won a raffle, I think. It was in a sleek black bottle with red detailing. I was hooked.
TCM: Tell us about one of your most interesting fragrance resources or recipes.
DS&D: Our Cowboy Grass is made with a secret tincture of wild flowering herbs. It’d be nearly impossible to mass-produce.
TCM: Your company crafts every element of it’s packaging. What was behind that decision?
DS&D: Durga designs all of our materials. We are both inspired by the mythic world of early America, the frontier, colonial towns and indigenous people. Along with outdated herbal manuscripts and old records, we craft together our unique aesthetic in a clean, modern way without the minimalism.
TCM: Do you have a favorite ingredient?
DS&D: That’s like asking a trumpet player his favorite note. They are all a means to an end. If I were wearing just a single material (not a perfume), it’d be a codistillation of sandalwood with gardenia (D.S.) or Turkish rose absolute (Durga).
TCM: What experience or scent experience do you wish you could bottle?
DS&D: There’s so many, and by the time I’m dead, I’ll have bottled many of them.
TCM: What inspires a DS & Durga fragrance?
DS&D: Outdated herbal wisdom, legends, lore, half forgotten fables, native ritual medicine, drawing rooms, 20th century American classical music, Americana…
TCM: Favorite DS & Durga product?
DS&D: They are all the ones that “made it”. For every winner, there are 100 losers.
TCM: What is the best way to wear fragrance and make it last?
DS&D: I like 1 pump on the wrist, slight tap (never rub), and tap behind the ears & neck. If I’m going out at night, MAYBE 2 pumps – 3 if you’re getting married. Perfume keeps best when it kept in a cool, dark place.
TCM: What other brands do you admire?
DS&D: JOYA, Ralph Lauren, Serge Lutens, Cire Trudon, RCA Victor.
To find out more about D.S. & Durga fragrances, visit their site here.