Perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has a large and impressive body of work with something for everyone. I personally find her bracing green perfumes, chypres, and bold animalics completely irresistible. Oh, and iris. Always iris. Another reason that DSH Perfumes are my catnip is Dawn's extensive knowledge and deep understanding of vintage fragrances. The complexity and richness of quality raw materials shine in her hands and give me the satisfying experience I'm craving in my perfumes.
Rendezvous, a recent release, was a love from first sniff. It felt like watching one of my favorite George Cukor movies: black & white, full of beautiful and witty heroines in gorgeous gowns by Adrian. Watching them you just know that each actress is wearing a wonderful perfume full of personality, oakmoss, and civet. And had they been lucky enough, they may have been wearing Renezvous. DSH has created a narcotic perfume that combines both heady and indolic white flowers and a superb animalic core that growls at you even before you go for the first spritz, right under the classic aldehydes that let you know that this is a very perfumy fragrance.
Structure-wise, Rendezvous is an animalic chypre. But I don't think of its construction when waves upon waves of opulence wash over me. I do not and will never ever own a fur coat, but this is what I imagine a floor-length vintage one would feel like if it were carefully draped over my shoulders. The sensuality of indolic jasmine and its classic companions, orange blossom and tuberose, makes a statement. There's something in that wonderfully dirty floral barnyard that calls to mind one of most treasured perfumes: Ferme tes Yeux by JAR. It's there in the way Rendezvous gains momentum and charges at you like wild animal who's been hiding in the pleasure garden. The descent into a thick-coated sweet and slightly sweaty musk is another thing these two beasts have in common. I luxuriate in it, savor every moment, and dream of Jungle Red.
Notes: bergamot, aldehydes, white pepper, jasmine, tuberose, Bulgarian rose, gardenia, orange blossom, ambergris, ambrette seed, oakmoss, labdanum, musk, Mysore sandalwood, oppopanax, agarwood, Peru balsam, castoreum, civet, costus, beeswax, vanilla, hyraceum.
DSH Perfumes- Rendezvous is available in various sizes, concentrations, and presentations ($6.00–$305.00) from dshperfume.com. I was sent a sample by the perfumer and promptly bought a small bottle.
Art: Le rendez-vous des chats by Édouard Manet, 1868