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I am quicksilver, the fox in the night, emotional about the poetry, love & desire in scent, read me.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Loving The Fur You Are In, Forever & Ever, Amen - ‘Chinchilla’ & ‘Foxy’ by DSH Perfumes (American Trilogy II)






I was wrapped in black
fur and white fur and
you undid me and then
you placed me in gold light
and then you crowned me,
while snow fell outside
the door in diagonal darts.

From ‘Us’ by Anne Sexton


...For Michelyn...


Do I wear real fur…? Will I tell you about the grey fur jacket that makes me so wicked and strange when I slip into it come freezing Edinburgh winter? Maybe. A little. It’s the softest, most beautiful rabbit fur, dyed steely grey and it matches my silver fox hair. It was second hand from a city emporium of vintage clothing piled high with tweed, sequins, militaria, tartan, cashmere, patent leather, Lurex and racks of memories and dreams.

Each time I shrug it on and flick up the lavish collar I feel torn between guilt and sensual naughtiness; it’s a garment you have to stroke, nuzzle, caress and lie against. It is decadent and of course melancholy, created as it is from bunny skins but I’m afraid I can’t help myself. As the temperatures plunge here in the Athens of the North I search out my silvered pelt. I took it off once and lay it on the bed… my babyboy black cat flung himself on it, squeaked like a possessed fool and promptly falling asleep purring like a muffled road compacter. It is partly the guilt that gives the wearing of it such a frisson.


When I open my wardrobe to fetch or store, I stroke the grey silken sleeve; hold the fur to my face. It’s an addictive impulse. I know there is everything wrong with the world of fur and the global industrialisation of its farming and manufacturing processes. The wearing of it, support and criticism of it is riven with bitterness, obfuscation and hypocrisy. Yet for me, it comes down to question of odiferous suffused texture and my not so guilty love of fuck you gestures as I wander the streets, head full of music. Over the years, the fur has garnered an array of odours like potent daring encounters. Tabac Blond extrait by Caron, M Mink by Byredo, Salome by Papillon, Muscs Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens, Antonio Gardoni’s luscious filthy Maai and Cuir de Russie by Chanel. These faded strata of musks, vanilla, roses, civet, leather, gaiuaicol, oakmoss, costus, ambrette, iris, woods, honey and amber fade in and out over time making each time I reach for the fur, pull it on, disturbing the pile. I inhale ghostly transient echoes of differing moments. The garment feels somehow inhabited by differing versions of me.

Taking it off I feel I flay off the scents, discarding the strange, compelling animal moods that accompany my silvered fur. Some of us have deep, growling passions for the world of animalic scents: form the softest iris-dusted supple suedes, lipsticky luxury bags to the tight, sweat-stained twists of horse tack, Cossack riding boots and petrol-tainted sex of motorcycles, seats and jackets, horse-flank, aroused damp groins, armpits, balls, cunts, soaked hair, post-coital collapse and slumber. Our relationship with this challenging and erotic hinterland is fraught with taboo, memory, nature and nurture. Many of us are eroticised by what are perceived by some as the dirty, unclean and somehow subversive sexual desires that fall outwith the normal remit of teaching, conversation and adolescent banter. Odours and sensations we discover in private alone or with likeminded others. Others revel in the normality of secretions and reeking surface.

'Happy To See You' by Ivan Kislov

Now I have two more imagined olfactive pelts to wear and obsess over: Chinchilla and Foxy by DSH Perfumes. Both utterly magical and addictive, I find myself wishing my skin could smell always golden, feral, sweet and truffled. They are even more precious to me because they spring from the mind of a devoutly talented artistic perfumer whose work I have fallen deeply in love with, Colorado-based artisan perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Despite a relatively prolific creation rate and her intensive application to her beautiful painting and drawing, Dawn’s work is always unique and awash with emotional intelligence. She only creates work if an idea or brief moves her and her personal work is innovative, constantly evolving technically and introspectively.

Foxy Samples

I was initially sent a complex and sensual gathering of her work thanks to my friend and passionate lover of American indie olfaction Michelyn Camen, the Editor in Chief at influential US perfume blog Cafleurebon who tirelessly supports the work of US perfumers. 

Michelyn Camen

I’d like to pause here just for a moment just to talk a little more about Michelyn and her fearless contribution and support of some key US indie houses like House of Matriarch, Olympic Orchids, Aroma M, Shelley Waddington’s En Voyage and Dawn’s own work at DSH amidst a vast array of others. She recently drew on this reservoir of connective influence when she decided to commission a limited collection called Cafleurebon Project Talisman, seven fragrances from some of these closely inter-connected houses of emotion and artistic charm to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Cafleurebon. Perfumes to wear like juju in these contentious, dark days. That creators like Amber Jobin of Aether Arts, Christi Meshell of House of Matriarch, Dr Ellen Covey of Olympic Orchids Perfumes, Catamara Rosarium of Rosarium Blends, Shelley Waddington at En Voyage and Patrick Kelly at Sigil Scent would compose unique inventive formulae for Michelyn speaks olfactive volumes about not just about her influence, which is considerable but to the esteem in which she is held by her peers in the industry.

Project Talisman Digital Artwork
by Dannielle Sergent

As an esteemed perfume editor and what I like to term as a scentpreneur, she has also among other things collaborated on two perfumes, one with Shelley Waddington at En Voyage Perfumes, the other with Dawn. She worked as Artistic Director on Zelda, Shelley’s darkening hymn to the glittering moth and light bulb life of Zelda Fitzgerald. The other one can be interpreted as a more personal concept, Reveries de Paris, a collaboration with Dawn at DSH Perfumes, essentially the tale of a beautiful and slightly naïve young American girl who goes to Paris a la Sabrina to study and learns to love and appreciate the allure and detailed joy of living the French slow way, food, fine wine, objets d’art and of course l’Amour. This parfum d’histoire has echoes of Michelyn’s own past experiences and it demonstrates her innate awareness and understanding of perfumery’s emotional effect on our psyches.  

I worked with her as a writer for Cafleurebon and she allowed me carte blanche to create my essays the way I wanted to. We disagreed from time to time; she is a force of nature, driven and demanding, pushing herself and therefore expecting high standards from others. And I am an emotional writer and essayist, creating work in a relative wilderness of my own making. Such sparks are always to be expected with people with concentrated artistic temperaments, but as grownups we apologise and move on. We have both seen darkness and to me she is a dear and deep friend, someone I trust implicitly. Although I now no longer write for Cafleurebon, we are still instinctively, honestly connected. I don’t think either of us is particularly easy to know or work with sometimes, but you know what? Meh.  

The reason I have diverted for a little while to talk about Michelyn is that I only got to sample the perfumes of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz thanks to Michelyn. I had been writing on US indie and niche houses like D.S.& Durga, Arquiste, Imaginary Authors, Kerosene, Olo and Hans Hendley for a while and I had worn some lovely work by Shelley Waddington and Mandy Aftel. But Michelyn asked people to send me samples, not explicitly to review but so I could familiarise myself with more indie US work that was hard to source in the UK.

Foxy's Giverny samples ...

Michelyn kindly asked Dawn to send me some samples of her work and one day out of the blue a box arrived from Boulder, Colorado containing a bouquet of samples in beautiful tissue and Dawn’s lovely bespoke envelopes. The perfumes included a variety of exquisite florals and the descriptive work Dawn created for the exhibition In Bloom: Painting Flowers In The Age Of Impressionism at the Denver Art Museum in 2015. The scents were exuded by hi-tech motion-triggered diffusers allowing visitors an experience combining hi-res visual stimulation, technology and sensual encouragement. Three fragrances: Giverny In Bloom, L’Opera de Rouges Et Des Roses and La Danse Des Bleues Et Des Violettes were designed to slow waltz together in the specially created space to suggest the intoxicating ambience of Claude Monet’s famous garden at Giverny in Northern France. This is one of only eight (count them…) to date of collaborations with the Denver Art Museum who are I think are unusual and amazingly generous in their support of these olfactory projects.

My 1989 L'Art de Cartier catalogue

Another set of samples was from another collaboration, this time, Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century; Dawn created a quartet of dazzling perfumes to reflect the iconic gems on display. I was lucky enough in 1989 in my early twenties to see an exhibition in Paris at the Petit Palais entitled L’Art de Cartier. The jewels were obscenely lovely, almost surreal, but one of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition was the wealth of detailed studio drawings and designs on display, allowing you to see commissioned piece form start to finish. Some of these drawings, delicate watercolours and gouaches were works of art in themselves. The cases and jewels were lit with great skill so the entire echoing space danced with reflections and flashes.

My 1989 L'Art de Cartier catalogue

Three of Dawn’s perfumes, Deco Diamonds, Rubis Rose and Jacinthe de Sapphir are olfactory raisings if you like of key jewels (The Duchess of Windsor Pink Flamingo Brooch clip, a ruby necklace given with deep love to Liz Taylor by Mike Todd and a flawless blue sapphire owned by Queen Maria of Romania in 1922.)

The fourth part of the quartet is a sultry sfumato imagining of the metal-threaded leathery air in a goldsmith’s workshop. This perfume, Fumée D’Or is my favourite, a hazy smudge of sweet smoke over rose, jasmine, shrubby immortelle and mucky civet. The key is careful aldehydes placed in the top, glittering in the hushed vapour like glints of worn Rembrandt gold.

Painting by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

I ended up spending over two weeks lost in Dawn’s nuanced palette; such is the allure and asking of her imagination. This is what she does, providing aromatic ideas, each one riffing off another her mind ablaze with perfumed and artistic conflagration. She is a gifted painter, indeed it is what she trained as, her abstract canvases display an powerful belief in the dissection of colour and line, creating a world of floating chroma that feels like dream and solid land. Dawn is a meticulous planner of projects; there is projected deliberation and odiferous connection in her launches and teasing of future projects. She mentioned this to me in a message once, she seems as I guess she is, quite prolific, not that there is anything in the slightest slapdash or churned out concerning her work. I think when you are as artistically diverse as Dawn, as immersed in scent and as passionate about your olfactive call of duty, your mind is always searching for things to settle upon.

Painting by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

I understand this fevered flitting, I have notebooks everywhere, all numbered; I need to be able to write down ideas for blog pieces, essays and photo shoots whenever I have them. I sketch out plans for photos, save words, pin magazine images to pages. I find things scrawled out in them come morning that I just don’t remember and to be honest I’ll be lucky if I can decipher them. I tend to feel a bit panicked and queasy if I don’t have at least six to eight essays on the go at once and I return to each of them, uncovering them like canvases in a studio and start working away, sometimes reworking or starting from scratch. Sometimes the half-written canvas stalls and I can go no further, words fail me, the perfume somehow loses it hold and I have to metaphorically burn the piece in my mind. I carry notebooks and pens with me at all times, take photos of things that might become images to accompany posts or just form part of the Foxy Wandering Instagram feed.

Foxy notebooks...

What fascinates me so much about Dawn is the sheer diversity of subject matter that roams so beautifully through the landscape of her work. There is a comforting sincerity to her storytelling. She tells us of painters, kings, queens, courts, royal gardens, shamans, mysticism, geography, sex, seasons, blooms, weed, mountains, smoke, marriage, beauty, Zen, chromatics, ancient Egypt, Versailles and the mysteries of the sea. Fragrantica currently lists 246 DSH perfumes/creations in its database dating back to 2008. It is an astonishing level of creativity and always a genuine sense of heartfelt realism, a kind of bound signature marked out in researched brushstrokes.

Dawn is based in Boulder, Colorado at the foot of the iconic Rocky Mountains, a place she moved to after living in Boston. She studied to be a painter and this has never gone, the desire to place on canvas in paint and assorted media the floral abstractions and other dreamscapes that flow from her imagination. Dawn is not an amateur painter, her canvases are far too beautiful and enigmatic; I feel she is compelled to paint in the spaces and vacuum of olfactive hiatus in order to be occupied artistically. I do something similar; unable to write and words just eluding me I take photographs of flowers, their multitudinous forms both calm and resurrect my impetus. Artistically speaking, painting and perfumery will reflect and expose things within the aromatic processes allowing Dawn to access more intriguing and detailed aspects of her palette.   

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
(Carnation Montage TSF)

In 1991, after graduating she worked in a shop called ESSENCE in Boston alongside Sarah Horowitz, located on Newbery Street selling custom blended perfumes and designer fragrance lines. When the owners wanted to sell up, Sarah and Dawn decided to buy it and ran the business between 1992-1994. The friends decided to part ways, Sarah heading off to California and eventually setting up her own eponymous line, focussing on custom blending materials for clients, a deeply personal operation she refers to as The Fragrance Journey.

Dawn on the other hand moved to Boulder, this was somewhat health motivated, as an asthma sufferer; she found the clear high Colorado air a vast improvement on the Boston city atmospherics. I hadn’t realised before researching to write this piece that there is olfactory-visual synaesthesia in Dawn, she perceives the perfume materials as shapes; but this actually makes rather graceful sense in terms of the careful chromatic emotions in her paintings and the way she approaches collaborations with the Denver Art Museum. The use of scent in spatial projects is tricky; diffusion, interaction, timing and impact are difficult concepts to contend with in terms of the perfumery build and then there are the technical challenges of delivering the fumes into a gallery or venue. If you view scent and its multitudinous components in a more offbeat, structural way, line, shape and scented form I feel perhaps the arching request of a project might be more thrilling and sensual than daunting.

Painting by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Taking some time to look at some of her paintings, there is such a beautiful sense of line that winds, whiplashes and scrapes through paint layers. Delicacy is floated on febrile sheets of blotted bruise; flicked lines and drops suggest flowers or tears. Impressionist ochre and white are used to present quiet roses, a flower that floods through her social media like a waterfall of petals. Dawn is emotionally very grounded in family, her marriage and community; this shines out of her Instagram images. I am lucky enough to be connected as a friend on Facebook and an image popped up recently of her marriage twenty-three years ago to deeply committed and loving hubby Edwin. The two of them embracing outside under green leaves in the sun, flower crowns in their hair. Dawn looks like a carefree medieval princess. It is such a joyful photograph, suffused with that quality that you only get with analogue pictures. She told me they were married in the eye of a hurricane: ‘storming all around us and we got sunburned…’.



The more I looked at this image of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz getting married; I thought how much it presaged the florescent olfaction to come. This complex woman, wedded to a man she loved deeply and differently, the elegant simplicity of vows and commitment in a setting that speaks of connections to nature, flora, trees and weather. If it were a Disney movie the woodland creatures would be there throwing petals, squealing, bowing furred heads in quiet respect.

Out the maelstrom of Dawn’s immaculate floral imagination suddenly emerged something quite differently, one of these mammals made glorious, pelty odiferous flesh if you like. As soon as I read about Chinchilla, I thought…if Dawn is applying the same rigourous detail and sensual imaginative power to fur accords and animalic petting musks I have to have it. Chinchillas are such freaky, silky little things; sweet mellow pets and lightning strike me…beautiful coats.


What strikes you first when you apply copious amounts of Dawn’s remarkable Chinchilla is the oozing, almost and I mean almost, (Dawn really isn’t one for smut) porno-generosity of palpable beeswax and tactile honeyed musks that rise and flow in the air around you. All is golden, dirty and strikingly animalic. Yet parallel to this startling strain of perfumed thought runs a quiet ecclesiastical ambience of polished pews, hymnals; church doors opening onto wild gardens alive bees ravaging roses and lavender for vital pollen.

I find both perceived facets of Chinchilla fascinating, the malleable musk-laden wax vs. the more austere and rigid tenets of a religious toned olfactory message. This duality of fur on bold shoulders, under a slash of crimson lipstick and eyes like mirrors in comparison to quiet fur, caught in candlelight as someone kneels to pray in a darkened chapel; it is a powerful and alluring feeling and one that gently reverberates throughout the lifespan of Chinchilla.

During a horrible, mercifully short stint at a brutal sports-obsessed boarding school, as an unlikely choirboy one of my weekend tasks was to occasionally polish the pew end finials with pungent tinned wax before another smug sermon from a man who eventually walked into the ocean rather than face his demons and impending police charges of paedophilia. The petrolic scent of the hazy, hivey wax lingering on fingers and embedded in the small dark green hymnals and religion-loathing woody air is a powerful memory and one that is hard to shake off once it floats back up. It is this woody, waxen recollection that I finally realised I could smell in and out of Chinchilla. 


Beneath Chinchilla’s composition is a mix of three key animal signifiers: hyrax, civet and castoreum, celebrated by a technically subtle assembly of notes demonstrating I think a push in a more feral and unsettling direction for Dawn. She is not a sexual perfumer, it is not a vibe she rocks, as a devoted, mother and wife, her perfumery needs no overt theatrics to be compelling. And while the early feral overture to Chinchilla is genuinely arresting, a startling… Am I really smelling this fuck-honey moment, the unexpectedly bared flesh is clothed again quickly enough.

The descent from this fleetingly uncovered skin is deftly handled into a state of burnished intensity where the three wild musks rouse themselves a little more, yelp, paw and pace over the skin before settling themselves again, exuding heat made flesh and gold.

Ben Cobb,Editor in Chief
Another Man Magazine

These potentially overt, slutty naturals have been oh so well handled; their journey calibrated by Dawn with consummate skill, allowing them to be just impure and sullied enough but tempered beautifully with her beloved carnation with its weird mix of dental ambience and clove scented dust. There is a lovely touch of ambrette seed, the haunting musk mallow tone that has an echo of amber and iris but a sugared vegetal dust all of its own.

In the later stages Dawn’s conjured fur accord frissons into view. The delicious rose de mai and oakmoss have an odour of bruise and vanishing as the whole arrangement cedes from that guilty bee-porn overture. The slightly stale rose riff is lovely, maybe I’m the only one who can smell it, but even so it captures certain roses as they fade. If you can imagine ragged, weary petals dropping into honey peppered with dead bees, leaves and windborne scraps of fur; you have some small idea of how strange the developmental beauty of Chinchilla is.

Why Chinchilla you might ask? That really is for Dawn to answer. Her description when it launched was:

At the Grand Hotel, where the elite and gorgeously tailored meet for soirées, dancing parties, and other hedonistic meetings, the elegant always wear their chinchilla. Dreamily soft, sensuously cozy, and yet so chic; only the finest would do.’

The animals themselves are crepuscular rodents and currently listed as an endangered species in the wild due to continued illegal hunting for the fur trade. They are high maintenance pets, neurotic and susceptible to upsets, illness and their own form of depression. Their uniquely structured fur requires careful attention, they need constant exercise and their teeth grow throughout their little lives. The fur trade has almost wiped them populations of wild chinchillas whilst domesticated animals are still bred for the morally dubious purposes of the fur and fashion industries. 

Chinchilla by Pavlychev

Dawn’s description implies a vintage dreaminess and look back I only perceive in certain places with the structure. I haven’t asked Dawn, I often don’t ask perfumers. Partly because their inspiration is theirs, end of. And I prefer to navigate the perfumes within the realms of my own experience. Inspirations aside, the notes must stand alone. The musky drydown and Dawn’s faded rose and fur effects produce for me a deeply comforting honeyed pet aroma; that warm, mammalian, gathered-from-the-cage scent that so many of us find so addictive. Chinchillas have a funky hay-tinted aroma and of course the little things feel amazing. Their ultra-dense mega-soft fur has a particularly silken feel; your fingers glide over it like glass.

Chinchilla is a concept scent, allowing Dawn to explore a distinctly more animalic facet. I think it is one of her finest creations; the tension and moments of calm between the materials are beautiful. But at the end of the scented day it is a perfume of tawny honey and waxen animalic nostalgia, just enough to recall a bygone era of whispered decadence. I adore that slow fall of rose into exhausted musks. It is an odour for skin. It dies on card. I wear it so often that even when I not, I smell it everywhere.



I was of course utterly delighted by the news of Dawn’s Foxy eau de parfum. I couldn’t quite believe she was launching a scent named after vulpes vulpes; I couldn’t think of anyone more suited to write his perfumed biography. I wasn’t arrogant enough to believe it had been created with me in mind but I hoped hoped hoped it would be vulpine beautiful wonderful and I could make it a signature. And oh it was and is.



The original musky, coppered inspiration was Wes Anderson’s definitive version of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox, where the dapper and decidedly fanciable finger-clicking Mr Fox was voiced perfectly by gorgeous George Clooney and his long suffering wife by Meryl Streep. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve watched the movie; I know people fall over themselves to dissect and fawn over the Cult of Anderson but IMHO, Fantastic Mr Fox is his best film (strictly speaking it’s a tough call between that and The Royal Tenenbaums…) and the purest expression of his themes, quirks, preoccupations and human emotions. I think people often forget in the midst of his colour palettes, humour, archness and style tics he writes and portrays the complex minutiae of love with often brutal clarity.

Fantastic Mr Fox is deliriously funny and heart breaking in places, but always vibrantly furred, animalic and alive. It is a much loved film chez Hurwitz and tripped off in Dawn’s mind something of a very particular style of perfume, something again fur-inspired to compliment Chinchilla, but perhaps more autumnal, bountiful, sleek and feral. And so Foxy began to rummage and scamper in the Hurwitz perfumed imagination.

The careful creation of Foxy and his various inspirations has been exquisitely rendered. As soon as you start wearing it, you begin to glimpse flashes of copper fur all around you, fleeting and magical. A nutty, stained oak CO2 extract stands boldly in the composition for Foxy’s beautiful tree house and mitti attar, a co-distillation of baked earth and sandalwood lies deep in the base to literally provide a wondrous and palpable sense of invaded soil and shifting weather.

Fox fur...

Dawn has created a sable fur accord using amber and this tangibly suggests Foxy’s burnished pelt, catching soft fire in the autumn light amid resins, benzoin, musks, castoreum, costus, salty roasted cumin and ruffled oakmoss. These poignant and undeniably confident materials have been applied with nimble artistry and calm focus to layer a sweet rut to Foxy’s fur. This becomes a little more provocative as the perfume develops like spoor on trees and leaves.

The other big sensual theme is a boozy one; Dawn wanting to reference the apple tree and cider motif from Fantastic Mr Fox and the rust-toned palette that radiates through the film from bottled cider, through golden leaves, fox fur, foxy furniture and turned earth to Foxy’s rust-toned corduroy suit.

The top unfolds with this strange mix of liqueur and herbs: cognac, whisky, apple and thyme simmered together with just a whisper of furred peach skin. This delicious and controlled formation is supported by a very unique ginger snap (ginger biscuit) accord that smells incredible as it opens on skin. I love this section of Foxy and remnants glow on for hours, spicy, chewy, flesh-warmed and fruity.  

I can really smell the beeswax in the middle section, it is a particular note I am very drawn to and always recognise in scent. Here it smells a little dirty, mixed as it is with the cigarette ash indole mean girls of jasmine and orange blossom. Foxy’s ingredients might lead you to think that the mix should be more floral but Dawn is too gifted a perfumer for that, her floral materials while blatantly beautiful serve to effloresce and exalt the aurous fur she has conjoured into wonderful life. Some orris and liatrix or deer-tongue another material I really love, provide further 3D texture and vibrancy to the fur as it lies down on skin.


The balancing act Dawn plays with a diverse and exacting palette is quite a feat of elaborate olfactive tapestry. Nothing is out of place; all is harmony. It warms and runs on my skins like I was born to wear it and I adore it to furry foxy pieces. While I doing my usual exhaustive research for this piece, my name & vulpine nom de plume popped up quite frequently. Foxy fragrance. Fox fragrance etc… so I’d like to think this was the case for Dawn and maybe subconsciously there is a tiny silver fox paw print somewhere in Foxy.

It is a perfume I love. I have fallen hard for its mellow copper mix of svelte spices, balsamic booziness and diverting fur and woods. It feels like a private scent. I crave it at night; it is always by my bed in case I need it, falling asleep with my wrists and forearms foxed. It is different in style to Chinchilla despite the fur accord link and the pelty shudder of echoing recognition. Chinchilla is more sensual, in its hot-hay and hyrax in the sun aura around those cinnamon roses and beeswax. There’s a whiff of sleaze, just a whisper on the wind, a rumour almost. My skin damn well loves it, soaks it up, reflects it back up, gauzy, soft and fabulous.

Foxy's Foxy..

It has been a wonderful journey, travelling through the creative and emotive perfumed universe of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz; there is truth, faith and a real sense of offering in her olfactive work. She is obsessive and determined in her desire to translate stored perceptions, sketches and ideas into perfumes that continually surprise and delight us. Earlier this year Dawn created a perfume called Become the Shaman as part of Michelyn Camen’s Project Talisman that I mentioned earlier. Dawn made a milkweed accord to balance her cleansing fire, smoke of copal, Palo santo, white sagebrush and bitter swirling tobacco. It is a scent of quiet power; the skin feels washed in fumes and anointed.

Become The Shaman demonstrates the dexterity, intelligence and power present in the oeuvre of Dawn. There is fun too though and a sense of the private family woman, with a loving husband and child. Most of all is the relentless artistic passion she channels through her drawing, canvases and olfaction. Her imagination is a wonderful thing and I will be wearing her perfumes for as long she as continues to make them.. now I’m off to put on more Foxy & Chinchilla….


For  more information on Dawn and DSH Perfumes, please click the link below:

DSH 

TheSilverFox 27 August 2017







6 comments:

  1. Dearest Foxy: I think subconsciously DSH made Foxy for you!!! This is a brilliant homage to Dawn; her aesthetic, her fragrances, her collaborations with MAD, her multi-sensorial artistry. I wish you could meet her in person, hear her voice, see her jewelry, her paintings and tour her musee of vintage fragrances. DSH "Scent of Hope" is the most amazing and lovingly faithful reinterpretations of Jacques Fath's Iris Gris; you must smell them side by side to understand. Sucha meeting would be one of the most memorable of events-- both of you are unique artists. Her Belle Saison, another, for you to try...(just buy it blind and trust your ex-Editor:) I am humbled and thankful to be included in this brilliant essay, that shines a spotlight on one of the greatest perfumers of our era, American, Artisan or otherwise.

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    1. Ma Chère... thank you for this beautiful comment... I loved writing this essay on Dawn, it has taken me a while, but I really wanted to take my time to explore and understand Dawn's work. Your support of this wonderful, erudite and rewarding indie scene has always deeply impressed me. I love this artisan strain of work and these perfumers are very special to me. You are important to this thriving scent as a gallery owner is to artists. Nowhere else can readers find info on and discover the new names to watch out for in US perfumery. I think Cafleurebon has transformed how people view American perfumery. I felt a strong connection to Dawn as I wrote. It was a great pleasure. Foxy... x

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  2. Dawn is a magnificent artist and perfumer. I adore Chinchilla and wish I could afford to bathe in it. It was a blind buy and I went through my bottle so fast. I'm husbanding the remaining, precious portion. I recently won, via The lovely Michelyn and Cafleurebon, a 10ml rollerball of Dawn's latest, il Marinaio di Capri, the first "aquatic" I can get behind. With it she scent me a sample of her gorgeous vintage style floral Rendezvous. I am dying to try Foxy, as Chinchilla has my heart.

    Your characteristically artful and stunning essay does full justice to Dawn and her artistry. I was compelled to climb out of my bed and douse myself with my beloved Chinchilla, so I might savour it along with your words and images. Such voluptuous magnificence as Dawn and you provide enriches my life. My respectful thanks and affection to you both.❤️

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  3. Dearest, Foxy~ I think that I will have to send you a picture to show all of my emotions just now as I am rendered absolutely. speechless. Words truly fail me as I attempt to express my gratitude for this incredible essay... so spellbinding and hauntingly beautiful and to think that I would have had anything to do with it's happening, much less having such poetry written about my world is just... (there really are no words).
    Thank you. Thank you for loving the work, and loving my world. Thank you for sharing how important Michelyn is to the world of perfumery, fragrant writing, and so, so much to the world of indies and artisans. I completely agree with your assessment of CaFleureBon's contribution. (And I LOVED the image you created for her portrait! It captures a sense of Michelyn's elegance and essence. It's wonderful!)
    I feel we have so much in common; truly. Even the notebook thing... I love knowing that about you.
    I am so honored, and so HUMBLED by your words. I can only hope that we will meet at some point in time.
    With love, oxox

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  4. I savored this article on my favorite perfumer, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. She is such a talent and I own more bottles and samples by her than any other house. Your words truly did her talent justice. I always enjoy your articles, but this one was special.

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    1. Dear Cynthia ... thank you for your comment and kind words... this essay took me quite some time to assemble as I really wanted to try and capture something of Dawn's olfactive personality ... but i loved writing it and wearing and sampling so many of her beautiful fragrances. Foxy. xx

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