June 18, 2017
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz photo 2010
I have known Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes since 2007. She is my friend as well as one of my favorite perfumers. All who have experienced her fragrances and have met her would agree that she is a national treasure; a multi-media award winning artist that has a nonstop creative mind, prolific and produces exceptional perfumes. Many of our readers are intimidated by so many scents. Dawn is reachable by phone or email and can give you advice. She ships worldwide as well. The new website offers sampler packs and arranges her perfume by category. My favorites are Belle Saison the most realistic lilac perfume ever, Vanille Botanique and Fleuriste, which reminds me of the open flower markets in Paris. Of course, I can’t leave out Hamsa Yellow and the bespoke fragrance she created for me based on Edmond Roudnitska Rochas Femme…Reveries de Paris.
Onycha a top ten Art + Olfaction 2017 finalist
She is a 3x Art and Olfaction Award Finalist; this year for Onycha. In 2012, I wrote, “If the Indie world didn’t have Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes they would have to create someone in her likeness. Dawn is the most creative person I know and the embodiment of all that is good, kind, and gifted.” We feature Dawn regularly and she is incredible generous with her time (which is very special as she is a mother, a perfumer, a wife, a teacher, a shop owner and a historian) and sponsoring draws. In 2015 we awarded her Best Artisan Perfumer of The Year. Since we began ÇaFleureBon in 2010, her work has been highlighted in dozens of perfume reviews (most recently French Lily), Behind the Bottle, and Perfumer’s Workshops.
Become The Shaman Art by Dawn
The entrance to Giverny in Bloom
She also works regularly with the Denver Art Museum and has 8 artistic collaborations including Giverny in Bloom In 20015. Dawn was the 2nd in our Profiles in American Perfumery Series July 8, 2011 that now numbers 125!!!
Today we feature Dawn Spencer Hurwitz in our “Perfumer’s Spotlight”.
“Since I started in perfumery, way back in 1991, I have been asked tons of questions about fragrance, aromatherapy, the art form, and changes in the industry. Of course, how I got my start in fragrance is one of the most frequently asked, but another that comes up very regularly is this: “Why so many?” (i.e.: why do you have such an extensive body of work?). I realize that as I am a very small, boutique perfume maker it is quite unusual to produce and sell such a wide variety of fragrances, formats, and sizes; especially from a business standpoint.
There is a simple answer and a slightly more in-depth answer. For this spotlight, I thought that I would go into both.
Dawn’s Gallery of Vintage fragrances
The simple answer is that I’m crazy for perfume. (Just like so many of the aficionados and connoisseurs that are my clients, and readers of CaFleureBon). I not only feel like I need to smell “everything*, I want to work on every style, from every age, with as varied a palette of materials as I can.
Behind the Curtain Dawn’s work space
I am a perfume collector and amateur historian, to the point that I have created a small museum project (the ArtScent Museum) to curate and present fragrance themes to the public and promote the appreciation of the myriad art forms that come together in the fragrance industry. I truly love everything about it and have an insatiable appetite for smelling, and experiencing aromas of (nearly) every kind.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes
The more involved answer is about my deep need to engage in the creative process. It’s like I need it to breathe.
DSH Perfumes all lined up on shelves
At a time when so many commentators and perfumers lament the avalanche of fragrance launches and the need to justify the existence of a fragrance, I don’t.
DSH Essence Studio
Maybe because I come from a visual art background, I approach creating perfume the exact same way. I am just an artist in my studio working at my art form. So when ‘the ‘Muse’ comes, I welcome her…and when a piece is complete, if the feeling is right, I release it. If not, I’ll feel for the ‘pulse’, and wait until the right time. It’s pretty simple. I realize that there is the business of selling and people who want your work. And if I had illusions about wanting to create a business giant in the field, I might approach it all differently. But my love of the storytelling, compositional challenges, the plethora of new materials made available all of the time (!), and inspiration… it keeps me endlessly engaged and creating.
Archipelago by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
I am utterly grateful that over the years I have developed an audience for my work and I truly relish the opportunity to present new ideas and new designs. I like trying to push the art form forward, if I can I’m sure that to many this all seems completely crazy and I know that some shy away from my work because the catalog is so large. I’d like to let your readers know that I’m always here to help answer questions, and for guidance toward scent choices that would fit a specific style and aesthetic.
Last Summer I felt inspired to explore the ‘eau fraiche’ genre within the context of vegetable notes and unusual “gourmand / edible” accords like various lettuces, wasabi, and shiso leaf. This Summer, I’m starting a series of floral fragrances designed especially for men. “Il Marinaio da Capri” is the first and feels a bit like eau fraiche cologne but is ultimately an aquatic, green chypre with a honeysuckle heart note.
I’m also releasing the second in a series of perfumes inspired by moonlight as seen through the lens of Japanese culture and environment, called “Tsukiyo-en” (Moonlight Garden). It’s an airy and fresh scent, with a humid greenness, as well as a diffuse balance of herbs and mikan fruit (a type of mandarin). There’s more to come this summer, but I’ll save that for another day…and you will read it here most likely first at CaFleureBon.
–Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, perfumer of DSH Perfumes
Some favorites from DSH Perfumes
Dawn is holding her annual summer sale June 19, which will offer 15 percent off anything with the exception of (The Scent of Hope.) Today and through July 2, CaFleureBon readers will receive 20 percent off with code of cfbluv20 (case sensitive). Over the years, I have read our readers’ comments and keep noticing “I have never tried a DSH Perfume”. How can that be? Dawn ships worldwide and a sample is less than two Caffe Lattes at Starbucks!!! Her new website is easy to navigate. Support and save- Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief