I worked myself into a lather many times over the irrational and plain stupid (so sue me!) restrictions of the IFRA. The emergence of The Natural Perfumer´s Guild´s Outlaw project was something I followed with delight. Take that, bureaucrats without noses!
Dawn is based in Boulder, Colorado (it is so nice there, apart from the Stanley Hotel, that is ;)) and she is an amazingly talented perfumer, whose work I had the opportunity to experience recently, for the first time.
Along with the Mata Hari perfume I purchased, Dawn was so generous as to send me many samples to familiarize myself with her line. I´m only starting to get to know them, but be assured, this will not be the last review of her fragrances on this blog.
Mata Hari – the perfume, was inspired, of course, by the infamous spy and exotic dancer Mata Hari. She was portrayed in a movie from 1931 by one of my favorite actresses, Greta Garbo. Dawn, apparently drew a lot of inspiration from the great Garbo.
But what about the perfume?
Truth be told, I was hoping to not like it.
It has been produced in an extremely limited edition, only 35 mini bottles and ten 15ml bottles of perfume. To ever get my hands on it again, should I like it, would prove well nigh impossible.
But, as you can imagine, I had no such luck.
This fragrance is amazing. It is simply put, very, very good.
I can only hope that Dawn is moved to produce more of it, upon hearing the perfume community´s desperate pleas! (Although I am aware of the fact that it is probably not easy to produce a perfume with so many expensive and rare, natural ingredients.)
But on to the review now:
Mata Hari opens with a bang! There is no mistaking it. A blast of dirty, but glorious fruitiness makes you take note. This is no harmless little scent, but a PERFUME.
As it develops, the “skankiness” of the top notes fades, leaving the stage to soft – almost airy all of a sudden – floral notes of rose and lilac dipped in spices, closely followed by the green plushness and exceptional richness of oakmoss, that I never experienced in such a complexitiy before (again: I have to thank the IFRA for that). The base is a gloriously complex soft leather, lasting for at least 12 hours on me. This chypre is lush, plush, flush and full bodied.
This is how perfume should smell.
This is what perfume should be.
This is art.
And no one should dare to keep the artists from doing their work. The loss is incomprehensible.
I highly recommend to check out Dawn´s blog, DSH Notebook, for a very sympathetic and personal peek into the work of a perfumer.
Picture source: naturalperfumers.com, greta-garbo.de, fragrantica.com, dshnotebook.wordpress.com, some rights reserved, thank you!