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.—Fiorella Valdesolo
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 www.dsandsurga.com.
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 www.amazon.com; Rodin Luxury Hair Oil, available at www.barneys.com.
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 www.us.boots.com.
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 www.usa.weleda.com; Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream, available at www.sephora.com.
The Celebratory Ritual: Tea for Two
“We go to afternoon tea at the St. Regis hotel for any special occasion. We’ve been celebrating things there for years. David is a tea fanatic (he orders direct from Mariage Frères and Tea Trekker), and though their tea is good, the actual experience is exemplar—tea sandwiches, lilies, and a harp player. Whenever we are in Paris, we go straight to Mariage Fr—res for tea sampling and strawberry crème brûlée.”
St. Regis Hotel, 2 E. 55th St., NYC; (212) 753-4500; Mariage Frères, 30 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris; +33 01 44 54 18 54.
The Brow House Rules: Threading
“I get my eyebrows threaded at The Threading Place in Fort Greene near my home, but really I will walk into any threading salon. It gives the cleanest shape. Then I fill in my brows with Bali eye shadow by Nars.”
The Threading Place, 262 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 622-0883; Nars eye shadow in Bali, available at www.narscosmetics.com.
The Makeup Must-Haves: MAC
“I’m a huge fan of MAC. Years ago they were the only ones who had good foundation colors for Indian skin and probably still the best today. I use MAC Fluidline Gel Liner in Blacktrack—it’s the blackest and most matte black—and I always come back to their Ruby Woo because it’s a great color and I can’t wear anything glossy; I don’t like the weight of it on my lips.”
Available at www.maccosmetics.com.
The Muscle Relaxers: Foot and Body Massage
“We love massages at Essential Therapy on 25th street. I also like a good foot massage at the Relax Foot Spa in Chinatown. It’s kind of like the places I went to in Beijing when I visited there.”
Essential Therapy Day Spa, 122 E. 25th St., NYC (212) 777-2325; Relax Foot Spa, 202 Hester St., NYC, (212) 226-8288.
The Art-Filled Getaway: St. Paul de Vence
“One of our favorite vacation spots is La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. It’s completely magical. You wander through old stone rooms filled with art by Calder, Klee, Miró and Picasso; the artists used to trade their art for rooms. In the bar is a great picture of Jean-Paul Belmondo playing pétanque there. Some of our best memories were over aperitifs and dinner in their courtyard in the summer. You can even pick up the scent of orange blossoms from the balconies.”
For more information, visit www.la-colombe-dor.com.
Photo: Courtesy of D.S. & Durga