This Deliciously Indulgent Fragrance Will Transport You To Middle-Eastern Souqs
D S & Durga isnt’ like your regular perfume. It’s chaos packaged in a minimalistic bottle. Their fragrances aren’t a combination of your basic, safe notes. It’s a riot, and a fun one at that! Created by husband and wife David Seth Moltz and Kavi Ahuja, this niche perfume brand is a labour of love, shared by the couple.
I caught up with Kavi at the launch of D S & Durga at Scentido and she told me a bit about their journey and process. “We started as a side project, a hobby, like (sic) an art project with both of us working other jobs full time. David makes all the fragrance formulas. He started by tinkering around with fragrance oils. He’s a self-taught perfumer which is quite rare in our industry. And I’m an architect and now I do all the packaging, design, anything visual. There’s a lot going on inside of the bottles: some of them bizarre, a little crazy, quite unique. So the packaging reigns it all in and has the restraint. We kept the packaging really simple to focus on the juice inside. It’s not about the vessel, it’s about the content inside.”
I’m smitten with how this brand interprets fragrance. Not only do they create a compelling brand story, but they mix some funky fragrances together that somehow work. I genuinely had a hard time picking my favourite from their collection. I’ve been wearing the notorious OUD – one of the house’s signature fragrances that is an homage to Brooklyn music legend, Biggie. Oudh is a fragrance I’ve known and loved my entire life. It’s strong, lingering notes brings back memories of one of my dad’s favourite ittars. But, with Notorious Oud, what David has done is balanced the oud with a world of floral yet spicy notes. The fragrance draws from the Middle East, with its inspiration: Afghani Saffron and papyrus but tosses it up with camphor, Bulgarian rose and lavender – in the words of Kavi, it’s got a “worldwide perspective”. Trust me, you’re going to want to sniff this to believe it, it’s an intriguing mix. You’ll also be surprised how the fragrance settles.
A spray in the morning left me smelling amazing all day long. The fragrance wasn’t cloying, it stayed on my skin without overpowering a room. Although you get strong musk vibes when you first spray it on, it settles down into a restrained, modern floral-yet-interesting fragrance. The reason I recommend it? If you grew up smelling oud, it’ll help you stay close to those memories, without smelling like an ittar shop. If you didn’t have that kind of childhood, this will conjure up memories of walking through an Arabian souk.
Also, the brand is undeniably cool. D S & David’s line of fragrances and candles are available at Scentido India.
P.S: Each fragrance has it’s own playlist, how cool is that? Check out Notorious OUD’s playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2opeWb60AtIjArf0ySpbiF?replay=1