August 21 2014

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7 posts tagged "D.S. & Durga"

The 411: D.S. & Durga


David and Kavi, the duo behind the utterly lovely small-batch fragrance brand D.S. & Durga are a pair in life and art—and art is truly the best way to describe their thoughtful unisex scents. Created with only the finest raw materials, each eau in the petite collection has its own story to tell, like the bright, gritty Boston Ivy, which is inspired by David’s memories of his hometown (and ours) in the early ’80s, and Bowmakers, the unusual woodsy amber that seems to mimic the varnished scent of violin bow resin (we played for 13 years so we are all too familiar). After setting aside paths in music and architecture, respectively, the Brooklyn-based couple turned their personal fragrance fascinations first into a hobby, cooking up tinctures for eager friends, and finally into a business. Here, the perfuming pair (well, Kavi speaks for both of them) shares their own beauty black books.

The Fave Fragrance: Personal Best
“We are always testing out new things that David brings home from the lab. David loves to wear Sir if we are out on the town and free from testing anything. I am in love with a scent that will be the fourth one in the new line and won’t be out until winter 2013—it’s a rich tuberose, honeysuckle, orrisroot blend.”
Available at

The Hair Oil Index: Amla and Rodin
“I’ve been using coconut oil in my hair since I was young. In India, everyone massages warmed oil into their hair. [Now] I use Amla hair oil from India, but David hates the bad-’80s-Bombay scent. He likes to use Linda Rodin’s hair oil mixed with any old gel.”
Dabur Amla Hair Oil, available at; Rodin Luxury Hair Oil, available at

The Lip Saver: Vaseline Rosy Lips
“David was recently stuck in Belfast for two dreary days while on a research trip for our next line. He got this kind of gross and gloppy lip balm in Boots called Rosy Lips by Vaseline; he loves it.”
Available at

The Best Bloom for the Body: Wild Rose
“I use Weleda Wild Rose Cream and Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing Cream, too. I love rose-scented anything! It all started with loving my grandmother’s perfume, Joy by Jean Patou, when I was young. It stayed with me.”
Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Natural Day Cream, available at; Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream, available at

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Rave-Inspired Beauty Lives On At Madrid Fashion Week; Hunger Games Hair, Take Two; And More…


First grunge, then goth, and now rave—that other nineties subculture that has remained largely unmined by the fashion set of late—has turned up on the runway at Madrid fashion week replete with extra long, art-inspired talons. [Getty Images]

The former stomping ground of Natalia Vodianova, Calvin Klein’s coveted Euphoria campaign will be fronted by Lara Stone beginning in October. [Daily Mail]

Blake Lively’s provocative commercial for Gucci Premiere isn’t the only big-budget ad visual making the rounds today. In Natalie Portman’s latest campaign for Miss Dior, the actress wears a black cat-eye and suggestively stares into the camera while Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s “Je t’aime…moi non plus” plays in the background. [NYDN]

According to Hunger Games head stylist Linda Flowers’ Twitter account, there will be plenty more colored wigs and general hair confections in the Capitol when the film’s sequel comes out next fall. [Examiner]

Ten Brooklyn-based beauty brands grow in Paris: The City of Light’s hip haven, Colette, will host ten BK-born beauty brands at its Rue Saint-Honoré digs through October, including lines like MCMC, D.S. & Durga, and Sprout Skincare. [WWD]

Photo: Eduardo Parra/Getty Images

Oh, Pioneers


D.S. & Durga has been on a collaboration kick of late. The Brooklyn-based husband-and-wife duo’s latest perfume releases have included Staghorn Sumac, a project with Joya’s Frederick Bouchardy, and CO/FL, the signature scent they created for Shipley & Halmos back in September. But David and Kavi Moltz are putting the focus back on their niche brand’s core collection with their latest effort, Bowmakers. Inspired by the violin shops that dotted Pioneer Valley in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1800′s, their first unisex offering is a spicy, resinous eau with an interesting violin varnish top note that’s tempered by mahogany essences, amber pine rosin, cypress, cedar, and moss. It’s a dream come true for those of us who prefer our perfume on the musky side, devoid of the saccharine sweet floral and fruit accords that make so many women’s offerings so cloying these days—and a wonderful addition to a small catalog of 14 fragrances that’s already proving quite collectible. “I was on eBay the other day and someone had listed all of our original samples,” David told us a few months back. “It was up to $60—and there were two bids!”

$110, available beginning April 2012 at

Photo: Courtesy of D.S. & Durga

D.S. & Durga X Shipley & Halmos


After meeting at a party and discovering a mutual appreciation for all things quirky, modern, and carefully tailored, the founders of niche brands D.S. & Durga and Shipley & Halmos seemed fated to work together. So when Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos decided to debut a limited-edition fragrance—the first for their fashion line—they knew exactly who to call. “Sam and I wanted a scent inspired by the places where we grew up, since these areas are still near and dear to our hearts,” Halmos said at a launch party for the newly unveiled CO/FL (as in Colorado and Florida) fragrance last night at Bird in Brooklyn. “As we met with Dave [Moltz] and Kavi [Ahuja] from D.S. & Durga, we realized that these places actually have a lot in common in terms of the notes and scent associations.” The ensuing eau, which is meant to be worn year round, channels the cool alpine Rocky Mountain air on one hand and warm, sun-splashed afternoons spent in the coastal South on the other. When creating the atmospheric blend, Moltz layered four “regional” accords, including Florida sand pine, crisp snow, and suntan lotion (specifically of the Coopertone variety), as well as a trio of myrtle, juniper, and lavender. “I went through about 30 different versions, then narrowed it down to four, which we presented to the designers,” he recalls. The final scent is hand-mixed, packaged in a stitched cloth pouch, and stamped with its number in the fragrance series. “We only created 99 bottles,” says Moltz. Why that number? “I don’t know, actually,” the perfumer laughed. “But it sounds cooler than 100, don’t you think?”

CO/FL, $98, available at and in-store exclusively at
Bird boutiques in Brooklyn,

Photo: Courtesy of D.S. & Durga

Staghorn Party


Our favorite kind of collaborations are those in which we have nothing but love for both brands involved. Such is the case with the latest meeting of the beauty minds, which has allied two New York fragrance collections with serious cred together in olfactory harmony. On one side there’s Joya, Frederick Bouchardy’s uniquely-imagined fine fragrance and candle line; on the other is D.S. & Durga, the indie perfume label with a story-driven approach to scents. Their first release: Staghorn Sumac, which boasts hints of wild lily and bison grass, along with its namesake leafy shrub for an effect that’s meant to mimic the “windswept grasslands of the Great Plains and the inner air of a Dakota teepee.” It has an immediate sharpness, but dries down to an appealingly earthy aroma that seems to meld with the skin. Each of the limited-edition porcelain-plated bottles has been sewn into a swatch of vintage dead stock fabric—a thoughtful finishing touch that makes us hope that this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the brands.

$120, available at and

Photo: Courtesy of Joya