When I was in graduate school, I drove cross-country with one of my roommates from Georgia to California. We picked up I-10 and drove west. Of the 2400 miles of the highway a third of them are in Texas. There was a time when it felt like we would never get out of the state. This was especially true once we left San Antonio behind. There were small towns and truck stops dotting the West Texas landscape. It was high summer in the desert. When we would stop to stretch our legs there was a scent to this part of the world. The access roads were lined by wooden telephone poles soaked in creosote. The dry winds always carried the sharp smell. There was also the scent of the green vegetation that grew and a bit of the flowers that thrived in this environment. DS & Durga Sweet Do Nothing reminds me of all this.
This is the second Texas inspired fragrance from independent perfumer David Seth Moltz. Six years ago he was inspired by the city of Marfa in creating El Cosmico. It was a relentlessly dry woody style impregnated with creosote. It was monolithic. With Sweet Do Nothing it seems as if he is giving it another attempt.
The biggest difference this time is the telephone pole is part of a more complex landscape. Mr. Moltz doesn’t even get to it first. He opens with an accord built around neroli and orange blossom. The green piece of neroli finds some vegetal partners. The orange blossom is made creamier through fig. Incense evokes the dryness of the West Texas air.
It is now where the creosote comes in. Creosote has a smoky terpenic scent profile. It is sharp. It can also be unpleasant. Mr. Moltz finds a place for it to thrive among the green and florals. Cedar rises in prominence over the later stages as if the late afternoon heat is washing things out. This time when it is just the creosote and cedar it feels like a completed journey.
Sweet Do Nothing has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is an interesting contrast to El Cosmico. I enjoyed it much more than the strident predecessor. Sweet Do Nothing seems as vast as the plains of West Texas.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.