Three More from D.S. & Durga

Hey, friends!  I was walking around downtown, passed a shop I must have strolled by dozens of times at this point, and – lo and behold – through the open doorway I saw a fragrance display.  It turned out to be D.S. & Durga, so … here we are!

I like their scents in general, they’re interesting, although they seem more targeted at fashionable hipsters who want something “different,” and at their price point, you’d need some disposable income … I’ve reviewed a few before, here are some additional thoughts. I’m always happy to run across fragrance in Santa Fe; this is not a fragrance-forward town (in fact a lot of venues ask you not to wear any), which is fair enough, and/but my little perfumista heart sometimes longs for more scent on passersby, even if it’s too much cologne choking me in an elevator.

El Cosmico – “The desert airs of Marfa, cosmic axis of West Texas. Creosote shrubs and sumac primed with Chihuahuan mesa woods–mesquite, oak, and pinyon pine.” I was really expecting to like this, and hoped it would be something like the New Mexico-esque The Faraway from L’Aventura.  Sadly, there’s an odd metallic note on the top, at least to my nose, that lasts awhile and I don’t care for at all.  Maybe this is more like an Area 51 / Roswell alien situation? A bit of space-dust and UFO note? The SA described it as “more in your face” and I concur.  As always, your mileage may vary.

Radio Bombay – I’ve smelled this one before, and it makes me think of takeout curry while standing next to a radiator.  A milky curry note and something warm … I don’t know that I want to wear it, it’d probably annoy me eventually, but it’s not boring!  Falls into that category of “great smell but maybe not great personal scent?”  On the other hand I like all sorts of oddball things, so who am I to judge; you do you, nobody else is going to.  Notes: radiant wood, copper, cedar, sandalwood, radiant iris, boronia, balsam fir absolute, coconut musc, ambergris.

Coriander – “Cool spices & Black Sea breeze—like the hills above Odessa.” This was the SA’s favorite and gosh is it nice, and very wearable. I read a bunch of online reviews and people are all over the place on this one, with some folks swearing it smells exactly like coriander oil (I wouldn’t know) and others complaining it smells nothing like the listed notes.  I had two immediate thoughts: 1) this is a wonderful, easy-to-wear unisex scent, and 2) I can’t think of a single fragrance it reminds me of, which is tough to achieve for something that smells so … accessible, if that makes sense. I found it spicy, vegetal and floral simultaneously.  I dunno, folks, I want a travel bottle of this for fall, it was great.  Notes: coriander, pepper, juniper needle, geranium, clove stem, clary sage, musk, magnolia, mace.

Have you tried this line, and do you like any of them?  Browsing the website there are quite a few at this point.

I think these are generally listed at $190 for 50ml, $280 for 100ml, and $75 for a travel (don’t see a size on that). Photos are mine.

  • Tom says:

    I know I haven’t tried these and it’s just because I am a lazy sot. They’re in a store over on 3rd Street by the Beverly Center, basically in the same block as le labo AND Magnolia Cupcakes. So you know there is some serious laziness going on here if even cupcakes won’t get me over there.

    • March says:

      I think you should try them at some point, largely because if they irritate you, your review of them would be hilarious to read. They’re a Brooklyn outfit, and make of that what you will.

  • Musette says:

    I hate you so very, very much!!! I nearly choked! reading about Radio Bombay! You fiend!

    Alas, I’ve never really ‘got’ DS&Durga. It’s just… perfume… me. Alas.
    But the sniffage sounds marvelous. BECAUSE YOU COULD SMELL IT!!


    • March says:

      It was indeed fun to smell them, even if one was NOPE and one was “man, that’s weird.” Let’s face it, we are not the Durga demographic.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Never tried this line and don’t know why. Maybe due to the fact that nothing has really caught my fancy. Good to see that your nose is in working order.

    • March says:

      Well, let’s face it, there are PLENTY of frags in the sea, and we can’t get to all of them. I feel like my nose is sometimes pretty “on” and sometimes not, and I try to do some sniffage in the “on” periods.

  • Alityke says:

    DS & Durga have never tweaked my interest. I’m not their target market.
    I’m pleased your nose is back in working order. I can’t imagine a whole town not wearing fragrance or no one rebelling! That seems really alien to me

    • March says:

      I should add a disclaimer — sometimes my nose seems to be working, and sometimes not! But I felt like I was taking these in … this is a smaller city with a lot of woo-woo mysticism and a wellness culture, and for a lot of folks, fragrance is not something they’re interested in. I knew that coming here, so I try to make peace with it.

  • cinnamon says:

    None of the DS & D have done much for me, but I remain hopeful with each new release. I agree with Dina that it is a very hipster house. Maybe I’ll have some luck with the candles …

    • March says:

      Those candles looked interesting! And yeah — Brooklyn house, very strong branding that doesn’t feel aimed at me. Hasn’t stopped me from sniffing though, hehe.

  • Dina C. says:

    I think I always sensed that D.S. & Durga was too cool and hipster for me so I didn’t dare approach it. 😀 I’m glad to read your reviews, March. So delighted your nose is cooperating! I’ve been to the Black Sea, on the Turkish side, back as a kid, so I’m curious about Coriander.

    • March says:

      I think the fact that I first ran across them in Anthropologie (if I’m remembering correctly) made them less intimidating lol. My nose does seem to be working better but it comes and goes, so I try to get out and sniff when it’s “on.” I would love to visit the Black Sea!

  • Maya says:

    I haven’t thought of D.S. & DURGA in quite a while. Years ago a friend gave me a bunch of samples of D.S. & DURGA – more than a dozen. Every single one lasted between 10 and 25 minutes on me and then was gone. I never could figure it out. I did wonder if they used a regular/standard base and it was something in there?
    I am very happy that you are smelling more again!

    • March says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some common base, and for sure there are lines that just don’t work for us individually — you hate the base, they never last, etc. In general I think the line is more “modern” and less heavy than some. I’m happy to be smelling more as well!

  • Tara C says:

    Coriander sounds intriguing, although I don’t generally like herbal or vegetal scents. I own and love Radio Bombay, which smells like straight sandalwood on me. Also have Bowmaker, White Peacock & Lily and Freetrapper. It’s an interesting line.

    • March says:

      That’s so interesting, other folks online saying Bombay smells like sandalwood as well, I kept waiting for it to show up! And I remember liking Freetrapper from years ago, although I can’t recall its scent … I do appreciate a line with interesting fragrances you don’t feel like you’ve smelled a dozen times already, and Durga is certainly that.