If you’ve been following my reviews this year it has probably become obvious that I am struggling with the new trend of transparent perfumes. I understand why it is happening, but I keep wondering if it is not the type of perfume I can embrace. One reason is most of those perfumes, up until now, have been produced by the large brands. Only towards the end of the year have some of my favorite independent perfumers also begun to make perfume in this style. It is here where I expect to find perfumes I can connect with. Proof of this is D.S. & Durga Amber Kiso.
Perfumer David Seth Moltz released two new perfumes highlighting the “mythical material concept of amber”. I expected to find Amber Teutonic to be more to my taste because it is a fragrance which lives up to the adjective in its name. It is a cascade of woody green which pushed just beyond my level of enjoyment. Which made picking up Amber Kiso, as the antithesis of that, something I was ready for.
David Seth Moltz
Amber Kiso is described as a Japanese inspired perfume. Combining the leather armor of the samurai walking among the hinoki tree forest. It is fused with the scents of nature into something enticingly transparent.
Mr. Moltz opens with a green cedarwood accord. I enjoy this effect especially when used in the top notes. It reminds me of a freshly hewn piece of wood, there is a greener effect than normal cedar. This becomes an ideal partner for the metallic incense which moves through it all. It is like the sheen of the sword on the samurai’s back. As he walks through the forest, he releases a loamy earthy scent. Mr. Moltz constructs this of orris, patchouli, and maple wood. This is a fantastic accord as the rooty nature of orris is combined with the inherent earthiness of patchouli. That sounds like something which would be a strong accord. This is where Mr. Moltz shows me there is a transparent accord which doesn’t trade strength for lack of substance. This continues into the leather accord. It is a rawer leather type which usually means more presence. Mr. Moltz manages to offer a different effect. It is also kept withdrawn which allows the hinoki wood to provide a recapitulation of the rawer cedar in the top with a more refined version in the base.
Amber Kiso has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Amber Kiso showed me that there is a right kind of transparency which I can get behind.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample from DS & Durga.