I’m sure it has become redundant but my admiration for the breadth of independent perfume Dawn Spencer Hurwitz never flags. If you need evidence just look at the number of top 25 perfumes of 2017 lists her DSH Perfumes brand made. Then look and see that they are different perfumes from her prodigious output. I was with everyone else in naming one of her perfumes “Best of 2017” but I also was attracted to a particular series she released this year; the Haiku Series.
It seems like when Ms. Hurwitz works with a Japanese aesthetic at the forefront that it is what appeals to me most, too. In the spring she began the Haiku series with Gekkou Hanami which captured the cherry blossoms under moonlight. It is among the best work Ms. Hurwitz has done and was my choice as the fifth best perfume of 2017. The second Haiku was Tsukiyo-en capturing a moonlit Japanese garden in summer. The third Haiku which was for autumn, Tsukimi, arrived in the fall; but the pattern was already full for the end of the year. So now I’m finally getting around to writing about it.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Tsukimi is subtitled “Moon Gazing” continuing the moonlight theme of the previous Haiku. It is inspired by the autumn festival in Japan where you gaze at the moon. It is a meditative kind of gaze which Ms. Hurwitz turns into a more meditative style of perfume it centers around a resinous central accord of CO2 extracted frankincense and oppopanax. This is the full moon upon which the rest of the perfume gazes.
Ms. Hurwitz has constructed the Japanese wooden shrine accord in other scents inspired by that region. It consists of cedar and hinoki along with sandalwood to make it less raw. It is a place to sit and cross your legs while breathing in deep breaths. What you experience in the first breath is a mixture of light floral, amyris and rosewater. A creamy peach skin accord provides a lilting fruity floral effect. Fig intensifies the fruity character. The frankincense and oppopanax come together as a focal point quickly after that. From there it is a series of different spices and musks both botanical and synthetic which bring you to a final accord around vetiver and benzoin.
Tsukimi has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Tsukimi reminds me very much of a previous release in Ms. Hurwitz’s perfumed Japanese shrine, Bancha. Tsukimi has the same beautifully calming effect as that earlier perfume does for me. In preparing to write this I wore it for the second time on a single digit moonlit night recently. As I looked up into the vault of the sky Tsukimi gave me scent to meditate on the universe. Which is a glorious place to enter 2018.
Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.