I'm sitting here on an olfactory high.
If you love scent, and I'm sure you do, you must visit Dawn Spencer Hurwitz in Boulder. (But do it soon, she's great with child.)
Since viewing the YSL exhibit at the Denver Art Museum under the influence of parfum, I decided to seek out Ms. Hurwitz for advice.
Lacking the leisure and will these days to face the phalanx of spray-happy beauties in the cosmetics department, I've made do with an ancient bottle of Coco--long turned--a pretty cast-off from a friend (Gump's Baroque Pearl, lovely but not a love match) and a new sprayer of Chanel No. 5, which though still divine, smells tinny these days. (I thought it was "that special time of life";turns out they've reformulated to comply with allergen restrictions in the EU, for pity's sake!)
Then Aveda up and discontinued my other staple, Hana, a sweet woodsy scent I adored.
Enter Ms. Hurwitz.
That the universe conspired to send me to Boulder on business was synchronicity at its most compelling. How could I not?
Dawn has a small, charming studio in North Boulder called Essence and keeps regular hours, which you can find on her website. Her knowledge of perfume and perfume history is encyclopedic; when I mentioned three fragrances I loved, she said, "Oh you're an an aldehydic-spicy-oriental girl." Uh huh.
She proceeded to collect flask after pretty flask lining them up on her counter like a fight of wine. To test, she sprays her fragrances on cards, so as not to overwhelm your person. Then through process of elimination, you cull choices down to scents which she carefully dabs along the inside of your arm, testing how they meld with your body chemistry.
I bought the fragrance above, described on Dawn's website as:
"a fiery mélange of captivating spices, resins, and a hint of sultry rose. Not for the faint of heart and, oh, does it sizzle"
Yup, that's me alright. Still, these are the scents that make my eyes roll back into my head and wish for a fainting couch. This perfume is dark and full of romance, midnight rather than 6 p.m. I loved it.
She also sent me packing with samples of three other faves: Cimabue, which I'm wearing as I type (and already dropped into a digital shopping basket, imagine that); Cafe Noir and her riff on Opium, the ylang-ylang forward Euphorisme D'Opium.
Dear readers, how am I ever going to work if I can't stop smelling myself?