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July 22 2014

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Perfume, A Love Story

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When D.S. met Durga on the street last year, neither was particularly involved in the fragrance industry. He, a Brooklyn-based musician, and she, an architect living in Chelsea, both lacked the pedigree and family name that seem essential to becoming a scent star these days. But a communal love for “dorky domestic stuff,” as D.S. puts it, caused the recently engaged pair to start experimenting with tonics, flowers, herbs, and seeds at his apartment-turned-lab in Bushwick. “We made a bunch of toners and aftershaves for our friends for Christmas,” he says, “but realized that few of them shaved, so we started with colognes and perfumes.” With the bearded-Brooklyn-bohemian archetype to thank, their nascent company was born. D.S. & Durga boasts standouts like Bear Trapper, with notes of cedarwood, tarragon, and leather, fashioned after a sixteenth-century Russian alchemist’s hunting potion, and Rosa Americana, a scent that draws on the wine-infused air above the rose, along with its green stems and thorns, and is stocked in a few choice boutiques from New York to Portland. But the olfactory up-and-comers have big dreams for their little company. “I would love to make this our family business,” D.S. muses. “Maybe start a collective upstate with friends in fashion, jewelry, art, and music”—and get into bigger stores, of course.

Photo: Courtesy of D.S. & Durga

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