Post by Portia
Hi there Independent Fragrance Lovers,
It’s no secret that I’m a Dawn Spencer Hurwitz fan boy. I love her aesthetic, the fragrances are mostly a perfect fit for me and I also love that being an independent perfumer the fragrances are more alive and interesting than a lot of the modern, ultra smooth, panel tested to mediocrity fragrances available in both the mainstream and niche lines. Dawn is free to use ratios that would be unheard of in the mainstream and is allowed to let her own charisma show through in the fragrances. Add to that how lovely she is to deal with and the obvious delight she gets from creating fabulous scents and I am lost. I bought a dram of Mata Hari after a sample I had positively sent me gaga.
Mata Hari by DSH Perfumes 2010
Mata Hari by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Photo Stolen DSH Perfumes
DSH Perfumes gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, coriander, fruity notes No.1 (botanical accord), green mandarin, neroli, orange blossom, sweet orange, blood orange, tarragon
Heart: Blackcurrant, champaca, cinnamon, cloves, lilac cocktail (botanical accord), Moroccan rose, orris root, marigold, davana, may rose, otto rose, osmanthus, nutmeg, angelica root, honey, Sambac jasmine, tuberose, vintage orchid ( botanical accord)
Base: Sandalwood, ambrette seed, peru balm, cumin, cedar, myrrh, tobacco, benzoin, Buddah wood, cassis bud, labdanum, patchouli, green oak moss, vetiver, leather (botanical accord), musk, tonka, cade, vanilla
If you have read anything about Mata Hari by DSH Perfumes you’ll know that the scent is Dawn’s recreation of Greta Garbo as Mata Hari in the 1931 film. Mata Hari (1876 – 1917), an artistic name taken in 1897 is Malay for “sun” (literally, “eye of the day”, was a Dutch born erotic dancer who was accused of being a German spy in France in WWI and was executed by French firing squad.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
Mata Hari has a really old school, vintage fragrance feel and is a second cousin to things like Rochas Femme and Guerlain Mitsouko. It’s a parfum concentration so you get a thick, rich and syrupy opening full of fruit and herbs but already backed by balms, resins, woods and leather. It’s hard to believe that there is no animal product because Mata Hari is as feral as you can imagine, maybe the honey.
As the initial blast calms to a dull roar the bittersweet heart comes through and the spicy notes, rose, honey and white flowers are only noticable when I put my mind to finding them, really Mata Hari is a spicy, floral bouquet with dark green broken leaves and some snapped twig. Then Mata Hari becomes softest moss, leather and amber, it hovers lightly on my skin for a couple of hours before I lose all traces of it.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
Who is your favourite independent perfumer? Have you tried Dawn’s work?