Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DSH Perfumes- Vetyver

I'm still in a vetiver and gender-bending moon, hence tonight's review of Vetyver by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes. This one is a natural perfume, labeled as a masculine (like most vetiver scents) and has both suave and urban facets as well as a hint of the wild.

Don't let the long list of notes deceive you. DSH Vetyver is focused on vetiver, complementing its dry and grassy nature with incense and smoke and creating a sweet background for it that includes an almost gasoline-like note. I'm not sure if it's a light or dark perfume, weird or friendly. It just... is. The opening is a bit airier than the dry-down, maybe a little misleading- you might think you've smelled all that vetiver perfumes have to offer and know the drill- green grass, baked in the heat grass, a little citrus and a touch of swamp. But Dawn Spencer Hurwitz takes you further, into luxurious hotel rooms in exotic locations, expensive vintage luggage, lacquered boxes holding incense and trinkets and custom made shoes.

It's the combination of incense and vetiver standing up to each other that wins my heart completely. There's an incredible warmth when they develop on skin, and while I have no doubt a man would smell irresistible in DSH's Vetyver, it has none of the men's cologne or aftershave vibes that might keep vetiver-loving women from wearing it and reveling in the power and comfort of this beauty.

Top notes: mugwart, bergamot, bitter orange, lime, mandarin and petit grain. Heart: geranium, clary sage, patchouli and rosewood. Base: amber, vetiver, leather, myrrh, Mysore sandalwood, olibanum, peru balm, styrax, tobacco and treemoss.

Vetyver by Dawn Spencer Hurvitz ($27 for 0.25 oz refillable purse spray, currently on sale for $21, samples and other sizes also available) can be purchased from dshperfumes.com.

With apologies to the husband who never got to actually try Vetiver on his own skin.

Photo of Cary Grant from stirredstraightup.blogspot.com


  1. My brother has a small bottle of Vetyver (but in parfum concentration, so really it's quite a lot) which he wears frequently!
    (We actually grew up in Boulder, though I now live in England and he lives in Taiwan.)
    He loves Vetyver. He's not someone who has tried a lot of fragrances or who has a strong vocabulary for expressing what he likes about them or learning to distinguish different notes, but he likes it because it's "not harsh and unnatural smelling like most men's cologne".
    I've dabbed it on myself, and I really like it too (I'd wear it if I had it) but it smells better on him than it does on me.

  2. Proximity, me thinks your brother is a good candidate for more of Dawn's masculine creations...

  3. I just had to tell someone: I've had Vetyver for a while and have enjoyed it a lot, though it never became a love for some reason. But, suddenly this winter, I decided to put something on top of it --I have so many little samples of things I'll never wear --'traditional' (to me) perfumes that are all beautiful but on me too this or that, too sweet, too powdery, too fruity, too much vanilla, too perfume-y , too man-cologne, etc.. but on top of Vetyver, they are all transformed into something wonderful! Rubj, Mitsouko, Nuit de Noel, Vanille Gallante (?), Tumulte, and many more, all become perfumes I can wear. It just occurred to me that this is a very dangerous development for my finances. Rachel


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