New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Taj Garden- Indian Wedding Garlands

There is nobody who I admire and enjoy spending time with more than independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Our connection started with her perfumes, but it has deepened because we are perfume dorks when we are together in the same place. She is one of those people who is the kind of friend where we can pick up where we left off even if it has been a long time since we talked. Our talk is mostly about perfume. Which is why when I found myself in Colorado a few weeks ago I had to finally visit the Essense Studio in Boulder where Ms. Hurwitz works her magic. I spent a too short time with her but in the process, I had her walk me through her nine new releases. Upon my return home there was one which had burrowed into my consciousness and wouldn’t let go.

Perfume Dorks Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (l.) and me

That perfume is called Taj Garden. I have mentioned in my previous reviews, and to Ms. Hurwitz, that she seems to have an intuition when she is working on Asian inspired perfumes. My very favorites of all her perfumes come disproportionately from this. She has been successful in Japan with a line called Dawn Perfumes of which Taj Garden is one. If you look at the name you will realize this perfume is not of the Orient but the Indian sub-continent. Ms. Hurwitz wanted to capture the Paradise Garden which surrounds the Taj Mahal. That sounds too staid for what has ended up in the bottle. Taj Garden is more like a rollicking wedding ceremony where the participants wear these Indian floral garlands during the celebration. Taj Garden is a fragrance of exuberance as florals bust out everywhere which Ms. Hurwitz tames with the use of an especially inspired choice of spice.

Taj Garden opens with a citrus blast of orange as bergamot, mandarin, and clementine nestle inside a leafy green accord. The green is equal partner, not supporting, which gives it a very natural overall feel. Neroli begins the transition to the florals. First up are a limpid water lily paired with the green floral nature of marigolds. This picks up the leafy accord while transforming from citrus to floral. It explodes into life with an accord of three jasmines. Before this party gets out of hand Ms. Hurwitz employs turmeric to act as the wedding planner getting everything back on track. There is a giddy over-the-top quality as the jasmines, marigold, and some rose start to take hold. The turmeric dries out some of that as it desiccates the floral effect. Ruh khus accentuates the earthiness within the turmeric. This sets it up for the sandalwood base of Australian and Mysore versions. These have an arid quality which the turmeric brings the florals in line with; just in time to celebrate all night long.

Taj Garden has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

The other Asian-inspired perfumes I like so much are more restrained. Taj Garden is the wild relative in relation to those. It still stands out among the best of Ms. Hurwitz’s work because of her ability to translate those influences so deftly. Taj Garden is a party where we are all wearing flower garlands dancing with joy.

As I mentioned above I came home with all the new releases there are others which I also think are remarkable. I’ll be writing about those over the next few weeks.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review: DSH Perfumes Lilas de Minuit- May Lilacs

One of my favorite things to do on a spring evening is to sit among the lilacs. It was not by design but happenstance that lilac has become my spring harbinger. When we bought our first house in the Boston-area it came with fully mature lilac bushes. It also came with a blizzard in the first month which had the effect of pruning them via nature. Over the eighteen years we lived in that house I would sit on our little patio in the spring and enjoy watching the lilacs once again regain their fully-grown glory. I knew our current house was the right choice when I found a similar growth of lilacs. The lilacs have provided me multiple moments of Zen for over twenty-five years now. One of the great things about perfume is it allows me to extend the May lilacs into the rest of the year; DSH Perfumes Lilas de Minuit does a great job of capturing my lilacs of spring.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz groups her perfumes in different series. Lilas de Minuit is part of her “Flowers for Men” collection. It is the follow-up to last year’s Il Marinaio Da Capri which was honeysuckle focused. For Lilas de Minuit Ms. Hurwitz must find a careful balance with lilac. Lilac is used in so many air fresheners and detergents it can unintentionally communicate “cheap”. By pitching this as a masculine floral Ms. Hurwitz has a bit more license to turn the floral more butch. It is those choices which make Lilas de Minuit a fully rounded perfume.

There is a smell of the early spring as the newly defrosted top soil carries a kind of peppery scent. Ms. Hurwitz picks up on that along with a sunny flare of citrus. That grounded-ness is reinforced through a nucleus of oakmoss. From this the lilac can bloom unfettered. Ms. Hurwitz uses a set of other florals to tune her lilac accord to blend with the oakmoss. This combines into a wet soil and lilac accord which was lovely. A set of resinous and animalic notes provide the base accord. Incense swirls up through the heart accord. Civet and musks give an animalic heartbeat which livens the final stage up.

Lilas de Minuit has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Lilas de Minuit is an exceptional lilac perfume for spring. I had held off reviewing this until I could compare it to my lilacs at home. On one of the first days where I could sit out well into the evening Lilas de Minuit provided harmony to nature’s natural lilacs. When it gets to be July and I want the cool of my May lilacs I know which bottle to pull off the shelf.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Shimotsuki- Moonlit Snow

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has such a diverse imagination I am always impressed when I receive a new package of her latest releases. Within are usually three very different types of perfume. I must admit for the past year one of the seasonal releases has been more anticipated than the other. Last spring Ms. Hurwitz began her Haiku Series with Gekkou Hanami capturing the cherry blossoms of spring under the moonlight. Since then with Tsukiyo-en and Tsukimi she has provided similar moonlit vistas for summer and autumn. Which meant winter had to be coming. When my package arrived, I opened it and looked for the vial with the Japanese name, what I found was called Shimotsuki.

I have mentioned in my previous reviews within this series how much I have come to appreciate Ms. Hurwitz’s Japanese aesthetic. Of any of the four Haiku releases Shimotsuki might be the most equivalent to the actual poetic inspiration. Shimotsuki is meant to capture the diffuse light of a full moon on the snow. The way moonlight interacts out in the Maryland countryside has always been an enjoyment as I spend time on my back porch during full moons. The winter version on a snowfall is special as the moonlight is doubled by the reflection off the white stuff. It is the ultimate light diffuser and amplifier. It is also coming in the depths of winter when the smell of the outdoors is scrubbed clean of all that vegetal green floral interference. The light comes with a diffuse cleanliness. This is all captured in Shimotsuki.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

The chill is provided by yuzu and a familiar Hurwitz ingredient, rice. In the past when she has used rice it is accompanied by steam or powder. In Shimotsuki it is accompanied by the citrus making it seem frozen in place. The moon is represented by artemisia which is named after the goddess of the moon. Ms. Hurwitz adds seaweed underneath the sage-lite nature of artemisia to provide a light green patina. Out of that arises the slightest hint of the spring to come as a lilting hawthorn arrives along with the sturdiness of hinoki wood. As the moon moves across the sky allowing the light to dim and fade with the dawn sandalwood, orris, and white musk combine to form an accord heralding the changing of the light.

Shimotsuki has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

There are only a few perfumers from whom I would want a bespoke perfume from; Ms. Hurwitz is one of them. If you had asked me when I first discovered her fragrances I would have desired something spicy and floral. Now after this final Haiku I realize I would desire something Japanese-inspired and simple. Shimotsuki is as good a closing of the loop of the Haiku series as I could have imagined; austere perfumery which leads to beauty.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

-Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Tsukimi- Universal Meditation

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.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Chataignes du Bois- Urban Christmas

It is this time of year when I get reminders of time passing by. Most of them come via those update letters which accompany Holiday cards as you find out the young child you last saw has graduated law school. A much more pleasant reminder of the passing days comes courtesy of independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Every year since 2000 she releases a Holiday perfume; for 2017 the release is called DSH Perfumes Chataignes du Bois.

Chataignes are chestnuts and this perfume strongly reminded me of my first Holiday season running around Manhattan. In 1984 I had just started my first real job in September. One of my best friends from college was living in the City and I could go in and spend the weekend. It was an ideal situation for a young man. I was looking forward to the Season in the City because I knew there would be amazing things to see from Rockefeller Plaza to the Empire State building lit up in red and green. My friend and I drank it all in as I dragged him all over experiencing everything we could. If there was a scent to the city streets during those days, it was the street vendors roasting chestnuts. As we waited to cross streets or were running somewhere to catch something the predominant smell was chestnuts roasting. Whenever I smell it I am immediately transported in my mind to December on 5th Avenue. Which was exactly what happened when I sniffed Chataignes du Bois.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Ms. Hurwitz has become very textured within the accords she creates and the chestnut accord at the heart of Chataignes du Bois is one of her most accomplished. When I talk about smelling chestnuts on street vendor carts I am also talking about there being a charred undertone which goes with that. Ms. Hurwitz captures that by using the pure chestnut and wrapping it in burnt sugar which provides the char and the sweetener. The dual woods of cedar and sandalwood provide the promised bois in the name. Stitching it together is a gorgeous co2 frankincense and patchouli. It gives the scent of resins and earth for everything to grow in.

Chataignes du Bois has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

This year with Chataignes du Bois Ms. Hurwitz made me feel my age and remind me of my youth. A present wrapped in a perfumed bow of roasting chestnuts on an urban Christmas Day.

Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Tsukiyo-en- Magic by Moonlight

Especially with independent perfumers I feel there is sometimes a more personal connection which adds to the pleasure when things click. For as long as I’ve been writing about perfume independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and I have clicked. Her aesthetic along with the meticulous style of composition has always brought a lot of joy to me. Even within the collection of someone like Ms. Hurwitz there are still things which really resonate. It was only recently that I realized my very favorites are ones in which she is inspired by Japan. Bancha has always been the one which would be my “desert island” DSH Perfumes choice. Earlier this year she released the first in her Haiku series Gekkou Hanami which captures cherry blossoms in the moonlight. This has also become a favorite in a short time. In my most recent package of samples there was no doubt I was going to go straight for the latest Haiku called Tsukiyo-en.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

For this second Haiku the theme of nature under moonlight is still present. This time we are in a Japanese garden lined with bamboo as we sip tea while the moon above provides light and shadow. In Gekkou Hanami Ms. Hurwitz captures spring. Tsukiyo-en evokes the middle of summer with everything in full bloom. Walking through a garden at night is a different experience as the humidity of the day dissipates, a little bit. The scent of some of the flowers remains as memory of the daytime while the night-blooming varieties begin their ascendance. On the cusp between waxing and waning floral motifs is where Tsukiyo-en balances itself.

Our walk opens with a Japanese variant of mandarin orange called mikan. It has a bit less of the sugared effect while still being recognizably citrus. The watery green woodiness of a bamboo accord comes next. It captures the cooling of the day with a hint of dampness. The light green wood which is the focus of the accord acts as a frame for the nighttime scents to be contained within. The moonlight effect comes as certain notes seem to be caught in a moonbeam only to retreat into shadow. There is a specific herbal mint note that acts as a will o’the wisp throughout the middle phase of Tsukiyo-en. The floral notes of the garden all lilt softly and transparently. I found jasmine, champaca, violet, and rose most prominently but there were others acting similarly to the way the mint did. A delicate white tea accord provides a centering place among the flowers. It is joined by an earthy patchouli to represent the soil.

Tsukiyo-en has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Tsukiyo-en has been a perfect choice for the summer. I have spent a few nights on the deck at Chateau Colognoisseur lost in meditation; gathering in the magic by moonlight. I am hoping fall and winter have some moonlight haiku to come.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Gekkou Hanami- Midnight in the Garden of Beauty and Death


Ever since we moved to the Washington DC area we have not taken advantage of all that the area has to offer. There is one thing we have done every spring since we moved here and we do it in a way different than most. In 1912 Japan gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the United States which were planted around the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. It took a lot of care and replacement of trees that died to keep the grove thriving; which it has. There is always a huge cherry blossom festival in the city during March and the area swells with tourists. This is where being local has its advantages as Mrs. C and I avoid the crowds by visiting after midnight on an evening with a full or near-full moon. The moonlight provides what I believe to be the perfect illumination to the spring shower of petals as they rain down with the breeze. As we sip our sake and walk through the trees we are met with the vitality of the young as they seal their attraction with kisses under the cherry trees. Mrs. C and I share a kiss of affirmation of many years of happiness. One thing which has always struck me on these evenings is the overall milieu of scents, there is an inherent delicacy as the grass, the flowers, the wood of the trees, the sake, the water, and the moonlight provide the veil over it all.

I would receive my sample of the new DSH Perfumes Gekkou Hanami a few days after this year’s visit. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz translates that to “sakura gazing in the moonlight” where she seemingly was inspired by the same thought. 

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Ms. Hurwitz mentions that the Japanese reverence for the sakura cherry blossoms is they are a symbol of beauty and death. It is part of the process as the shower of the beautiful petals comes as the blossoms begin to expire over a couple weeks. Ms. Hurwitz captures the delicacy and weight of those two terms within Gekkou Hanami.

Yuzu is the gateway to the grove. Ms. Hurwitz uses it as a tart kiss with which to enter into Gekkou Hanami. First up is the green of the grass with an accord of different green ingredients. This isn’t photorealistic it is the green blades as washed out by moonlight. It is sheer as is almost every phase in this perfume. The stage for the cherry blossoms is set by rose, lilac, and honey. Honey can be a problematic note but recently perfumers have been using it as an opaque effect upon which to float some other notes; which is what happens here. Then a triumphant cherry blossom accord arrives. All too often in a perfume based on this the perfume goes for overtly almost cough syrup sweet. That is not what you experience in a rain of cherry blossoms. What I smell both in reality and in Gekkou Hanami is the delicate sense of petals paired with the green of newly budded trees. Ms. Hurwitz captures it all as beauty has been served. For the death half of the duality she brings a base of cedar and frankincense. These are pitched with a little more strength as they tend to overwhelm the delicacy as the incense in the cedar paneled temple provides a meditative space to end upon.

Gekkou Hanami has 8-10 hour longevity and very little sillage.

Ms. Hurwitz has a special touch when she allows Japan to inspire her perfumery. Many of my very favorites are when she produces fragrance in this vein. Gekkou Hanami is an ephemerally beautiful piece of perfumery capturing midnight in the garden of beauty and death.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes

.-Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Become the Shaman- Creating a Protection Spell


Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is one of my favorite people in all of perfumery. I am not alone in this. The reason I adore her is because her love of perfume is all-encompassing. The first time we met was at a Sniffapalooza. We connected as kindred spirits almost immediately and the largest portion of the weekend was the two of us discussing the perfumes we were finding along our path. Ms. Hurwitz is one of the best independent perfumers in the world. She is also as big a lover of perfume as anyone who reads this blog. There is an adage about other artists that they love their art so much they would do it for nothing. I believe that is true of Ms. Hurwitz. Fortunately, she has made a living from her passion for many years.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

One of the corollaries of this is Ms. Hurwitz will collaborate on anything she finds interesting. For almost as long as I have been writing about perfume there have been projects of one type or another and Ms. Hurwitz has participated in nearly all of them. It is my belief that she likes the challenge of most of them. Whether ingredient specific or thematic she dives in. When Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief of CaFleureBon, told me of the Project Talisman effort I knew Ms. Hurwitz would participate not only because of Ms. Camen but because it is who, and what, she is.

The concept of Project Talisman was to create “eau de protection” to ward off unwanted influences. Many of the participants focused on objects, literal talismans. M. Hurwitz’s interpretation was to create a perfumed spell in which she concocted a fragrance consisting of different important civilizations in the Americas. If these ancient forces could be combined they could keep anything away. This is what comprises DSH Perfumes Become the Shaman.

The first influence comes from the Incas and their use of palo santo wood as part of a spirit purifying anointment. Ms. Hurwitz accentuates the terpene-rich core of the essential oil which provides a pine-like effect but softer. Next, she uses the Native American custom of smudging with sage and tobacco and does the same to her perfume. These twin notes swirl over the palo santo feeling like the center of the spell is deepening in power. The Aztec ingredient for magic comes from copal resin. This recapitulates some of the terpenes from the palo santo providing a bookend to that with a fresher feeling. It is like the magic spell is now giving off tiny points of light. It comes together with what Ms. Hurwitz describes as a “milkweed accord” which is a creamy vegetal scent to tie the spell together and release the energy into the world.

Become the Shaman has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

I will admit while wearing Become the Shaman I had a vision of Ms. Hurwitz in her studio as magical lights swirled around her smoking brazier. The truth is more prosaic if no less powerful. A supernatural independent perfumer has again used her skill to create magic.

To read Lauryn Beer’s review of Become the Shaman on CaFleureBon follow this link.

To read my previous Project Talisman reviews of En Voyage Perfumes Figa and Aether Arts Perfume Touchstone click on the names.

I want to again express my thanks to Michelyn Camen and the perfumers for allowing me to play along on the Project Talisman project. It was a great pleasure.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Dark Moon- Nights of Wine and Chocolate

This coming weekend is that moment when I finally can take a moment to kick back and relax. There are no more parties to attend. No more special meals to prepare. No more places to be; other than on my sofa. This is the weekend where I sit with a bottle of wine, junk food and never get out of my sweatpants. Perhaps my favorite combination of post-holiday cocooning sustenance is a deep red wine and an even deeper dark chocolate. This year it is going to be a selection of Spanish Ribera del Duero reds along with a 15-piece box of dark chocolate confections from our local chocolatier Artisan Confections. This is the smell of recovery. Now I’m not sure independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz agrees with me but her Holiday release for 2016 is a red wine and chocolate gourmand called Dark Moon.

Dark Moon is the sixteenth Holiday release from Ms. Hurwitz. On her website, she describes it as a “chocolate chypre”. The foundation is most certainly chypre but she is leaving out something which really allows Dark Moon to stand out; her red wine accord. In the perfume description she names two; “fragrant wine” and “madeira”. It is the latter accord which I found to be particularly pleasant within the overall structure.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Dark Moon opens with a dry dark chocolate which forms the nucleus of Dark Moon. She uses nutmeg to give a bit of traditional seasonal cheer while also using black pepper for bite. Then her madeira accord comes out. Madeira is a dry sweet wine. The accord is also dry and sweet which harmonizes with the chocolate providing deep thought about sweetness that isn’t the typical pastry gourmand territory. To this a subtle floral bouquet of rose flits through before heading for the promised chypre base. In this chypre accord Ms. Hurwitz takes brown oakmoss, fossilized amber, and labdanum to form something with depth to match the chocolate and madeira. Throughout the later going there are flares of other resins but for the majority of its time on my skin Dark Moon is wine, chocolate, and chypre.

Dark Moon has 6-8 hour longevity and little sillage.

The Madeira accord is the reason to check out Dark Moon because you will not find anything like it elsewhere. It is another example of the joy of independent perfumery. It is also sort of interesting that Dark Moon has a kind of vintage feel even though it is a gourmand which has only been around for as a fragrance style for twenty-five years. I think it comes from the chypre accord but that doesn’t always impart that vibe to me. I look forward to putting up my feet this weekend, pour a glass, grab a square of chocolate and anoint myself with Dark Moon.

Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Axis Mundi- After the Burn

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz still manages to surprise me after all these years. When I eagerly received the package of her four Autumn releases for DSH Perfumes I looked through the names Chinchilla, Vert et Noir, Souvenir de Malmaison, and Axis Mundi. They all carried varying degrees of interest. Chinchilla is a fur coat clad woman, musk and fur colliding. Vert et Noir a watery fruity vetiver which tickled my sense of odd hybrids. Souvenir de Malmaison reminded me too much of the great work Ms. Hurwitz did with the Monet inspired creations of the previous year. Plus, La Belle Saison from earlier this year is an unbeatable floral in my estimation. Which left Axis Mundi.

Axis Mundi is described on the website as, “The ritual censer is lit filled with the most beautiful and costly incense….The smoke rises and releases the sweet and lightly charred aroma.” What Ms. Hurwitz has created is one of the most fragile soft incense fragrances I have ever encountered.


Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

She lives up to her words of using costly versions of incense. Three exquisite resin sources form the axle around which Axis Mundi spins. One is a CO2 distillation of Frankincense. The best frankincense has a slightly silvery quality along with the resins. The CO2 distillation reduces that metallic nature dramatically. The second is an Indian distillation of cedarwood and the resin of the indigenous Sal tree to form Choya Ral. Choya Ral makes a magic trick out of taking cedar and in the combination with the Sal tree turns it into a leather accord impregnated with incense. The final ingredient is Bakul Attar. This is also a leathery co-distillation of bakul flowers and sandalwood. The Bakul Attar is a transparent floral leather. Ms. Hurwitz has combined these three ingredients into a fabulous resinous nucleus.

Before we get to that nucleus Ms. Hurwitz opens Axis Mundi with a combination of rose and champaca leaf. This is a floral harmonic which sets up the entry into the three resinous raw materials. When the frankincense, Bakul Attar, and Choya Ral come together the heart accord is not the moment of burning incense. It is instead the smell of the censer the next day. It is delicate instead of boisterous. It is surprising because it continually drew me in on the days I wore it for that fragility. To keep the resin party going, with a continued serenity, Ms. Hurwitz adds in precise amounts of civet, myrrh, olibanum, and benzoin. They all have slight modifying effects on the central accord but are mainly used to add a long tail onto the heart notes.

Axis Mundi has 10-12 hour longevity and very low wattage sillage.

I am so used to being subsumed in smoke with my favorite incense fragrances Ms. Hurwitz asks a different question with Axis Mundi. Is there beauty in what remains after the burn? Axis Mundi’s answer is most definitely.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes.

Mark Behnke