DSH Perfumes Sand Rose Bone Thrn with digital effects by Michelyn
The birds are singing
In your eyes today
Sweet flowers blossom in your smile
The wind and sun
Are in the words you say
“Where might your lonesome lover be?”
Birds may be singing
In my eyes this day
Sweet flowers blossom when I smile
But my soul is stormy
And my heart blows wild
My sweetheart rides a ship on the sea. ~ Birds and Ships, by Woody Guthrie
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz at Cape Cod
It feels fitting, somehow – to open with these tender lyrics which were unearthed, unpublished – after folk singer Woody Guthrie had passed away. They speak to the untamable sea, a locale along the Atlantic Ocean where beautiful wild roses grow unchecked: a rose which award-winning artisanal perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz refers to as “dry as a bone, covered in thorns, growing in sand; it not only survives, it thrives.” The rosa rugosa is a joy to both nose and eye – rugged, undaunted, it populates the jagged, windswept Atlantic coast – a five-petaled brilliant pink or white hardy specimen endowed with its distinctive honeyed lemon perfume. Dawn conjures the beach rose in all its unadorned glory, set about with salt, driftwood and sea air in her latest Heirloom Elixir No.19: Sand Rose Bone Thrn.
Sand rose courtesy of Dawn Spencer Hurwtiz
The perfumer and I share an affection for this ‘lowly’ bloom graced with a heavenly scent. Having lived in Colorado for so many years, she counts the days until she can join her husband’s family in Wellfleet during the summer, encircled by forest and only a skip away from the long, soft sandy beaches which are never crowded. I live by the harbor, and have done for well over 45 years – so I await these roses with burgeoning impatience every year. When my husband and I were first dating, I arose early one morning in search of them – and not having a knife or scissors, I literally bit through countless thorns in order to bring him back one, bleeding gums and all. It was worth the pain.
Homer Winslow Looking out to Sea 1891
According to author Isak Dinesen, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Ask any Yankee ‘worth his salt’ and they’ll defend this assertion vigorously. DSH Perfumes Sand Rose Bone Thrn encapsulates this intimate relationship between mortal and the ocean as witnessed in high summer: sand-laden winds whipping through one’s hair, sun-warmed skin buffeted by breezes and brine-kissed; both feet planted upon the shifting sand. Dawn has conjured the parched aridity of a beachy strand, salinity as it mingles with lemony rose and random branches of sun-bleached driftwood. So many elements in concert emulate the rosa rugosa – it takes the rosy/lemon/herbal tones of palmarosa to cosy up with the herb lemon balm; lemon, bergamot, neroli to mate with Bulgarian rose, rose geranium and orris, with a touch of rhubarb accord for astringent fruitiness; a salted rose accord to amplify, notes of ozone. Violet leaf, galbanum, rose leaf and Dawn’s proprietary fern and leafy green accords flesh out the heady experience of burying your face in this rose: not simply the leaves, but the tinge of verdancy in their complex aroma. It’s a marvelous complement to the citrusy facet of sea roses. The limpid aspect of beautiful brine is implied by seaweed, and unarguably ambergris (which adores the rose to begin with). Sand Rose Bone Thrn’s base provides the finishing touch: ambrette (so companionable with all the other aromatic materials, tenacious yet subtle), frankincense (simply wonderful with rose; more so, when employed as delicately as it is here), a soupçon of floral/loamy/herbal/boozy East Indian patchouli and oakmoss for depth. The portrait is complete; the atmosphere bracing yet reassuring.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has released Heirloom Elixir 19 DSH Perfumes Sand Rose Bone Thrn at the precise moment in the season when escape to this revivifying scenario is most welcome: relief from the dog days of late August, a call of the wild, private repose in a natural setting. If one is unable to break loose and get away from the rat race in real time, then, alternatively – olfactory travel is guaranteed. I find this fragrance compellingly evocative and faithful to the real life coastal New England phenomenon. I feel Dawn’s soul in this one; it’s intimate and also universal. For naturalists and rose lovers, it is a must-try.
Notes: lemon, bergamot, lemon balm (melissa), Italian neroli, Bulgarian rose otto, Bulgarian rose absolute, Egyptian rose geranium, green rose leaves, rhubarb accord, salted rose accord, palmarosa, leafy green accord, fern accord, galbanum, driftwood accord, seaweed, violet leaf absolute, orris, ozone, ambergris, ambrette seed, frankincense, East Indian patchouli, green oakmoss
Sample provided by the perfumer – I love it; thank you! My nose is my own…
~ Ida Meister, Deputy and Natural Perfumery Editor
DSH Perfumes Sand Rose Bone Thrn
Thanks to the generosity of perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, we are offering a 1/4 oz extrait of DSH Sand Rose Bone Thrn (Heirloom Elixir No.19) for one registered reader CONUSA USA only You must register or your comment will not count. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Ida’s review. Draw closes 8/30/21.
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