At this time of year there is always one fragrant package I look forward to receiving. Every year independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz releases a Holiday perfume. When I received my DSH Perfumes package I was surprised to find there were five other new releases along with the Seasonal offering. I think these six new fragrances show the breadth of Ms. Hurwitz and I will be reviewing a pair of each over the next few days. I am going to start with that Holiday offering Noel Enchante and the follow-up to last years’ Seve de Pin, The Voices of Trees.
Noel Enchante translates to enchanted Christmas. Ms. Hurwitz related her inspiration via an e-mail, “One of my long time clients is a wonderful, very elegant man who told me this great story about his growing up experience and that his father was a grower of hothouse flowers in NYC and sold them to the best hotels, florists, etc in the city for corsages, boutonnieres, hair pieces, etc. As he told me this part of the story I somehow imagined it as night time, and wintery cold and yet this fellow had these luscious flowers for his customers. The contrast between the bitter, NY cold, and the dark of night mixed with the hothouse flower made a strong impression.” What this translates to in Noel Enchante is a very heady tuberose chypre with oriental accents.
Noel Enchante opens with a very green galbanum focused top accord. It reminds me of the slightly acrid smell of poinsettias. The tuberose arrives next and it is joined in this olfactory Holiday corsage with her other white flower friends, most prominently, gardenia and jasmine. The base is all classic chypre accented with some spices and amber, the oriental accents. The chypre adds a dark contrast to the white flowers while increasing the intensity. Noel Enchante is more chypre than floral when I wear it. Noel Enchante has 10-12 hour longevity and surprisingly modest sillage.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
One of my favorite releases of 2014 was Ms. Hurwitz’s Seve de Pin. For 2015 she is re-exploring the same themes but with a bent towards a more expansive experience. If Seve de Pin was the tree the new The Voices of Trees is the complete forest. I again asked Ms. Hurwitz for a comment on the differences and she replied, “The major changes for The Voices of Trees are the additions of two major accords: the maple leaf accord in the top note and the sycamore accord that comes out more in the base with an expanded 'pine amber' accord. I did use the pine resin infused piñon again with increased fir balsam absolute in the pine aspects. I wanted the maple leaf and sycamore accords to speak to the deciduous trees found in the Northeast as well as to the telling of my childhood experiences (of the talking / singing trees). “The addition of those two notes makes all the difference from an immersive experience to a more open one.
The Voices of Trees opens with less of a full-throttle pine as the maple leaf accord Ms. Hurwitz fashioned presents a gentler green woody set of top notes. The heart is that fantastic pinon infused pine oil she used in Seve de Pin. This time she rushes in and covers it in a blanket of amber and labdanum. It tremendously softens the pine making it less strident but every bit as compelling. Over time the sycamore slowly morphs the pine to a woodier facet. I think Ms. Hurwitz having a year to play with the pinon infused pine oil has led to a tremendous fragrance being created. In Seve de Pin she sat back and displayed it like a solitaire. In The Voices of Trees she gives it some other partners in the perfumed woods. That renders a more complex experience and an overall better perfume. The Voices of Trees is even better than Seve de Pin because of that completeness. Seve de Pin has 10-12 hours longevity and average sillage.
I’ll be back on Monday and Tuesday next week with reviews of the other four new DSH Perfumes releases.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by DSH Perfumes.