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11.4.13 Announcing the Passport to Paris Collection for DAM

Introducing : the Passport to Paris Collection by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for Denver Art Museum

Experience Belle Epoque Paris and the 19th Century French countryside through the senses of sight and smell.  Inspired by images in DAM’s “Passport to Paris exhibit as well as perfumery innovations and trends of the late 19th Century, DSH has created three aroma art perfumes that breathe new life into a by-gone era.  Each fragrant design embodies a modern twist on perfume aesthetics of the period: an aldehydic-gourmand, the violet floral and a love child of the orientalist movement and the fad of fougere.

“I am in love with the later part of 19th Century France, in both the visual arts and in the world of perfumery”, says Dawn Spencer Hurwitz.  “It was truly exciting to express these images in fragrant form as well as to give the perfumes a more modern cachet so that they would appeal to our 21st century sensibilities while giving the wearer a feel for the past”.

Amouse Bouche is a succulent strawberry gourmand perfume layered within an aldehydic floriental design. Synthetic aldehydes were being developed and used during the late 19th century as they added a note of modernity but also folly to the “new” perfume style. Inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec’s “The Dunce’s Cap”, ca. 1888-90, Amouse Bouche is a warm, delightful, filled with fun scent that begins with the strawberry aldehyde, takes you through a classical floral heart to finish with rich wood and buttery brioche.

Vers la Violette takes one of the most important perfumes of the late 19th Century, violets (mainly worn by women), and fashions it into a more modern, 21st century gender-bending design that utilizes the molecule ionone.  Drawing inspiration from Hippolyte Petitjean’s “Village”, 1893, Vers La Violette starts with a fresh green opening and dries down into a subtle sueded leather, all the while it is clearly violet.

Passport a` Paris is my fragrant ode to two perfume greats of Paris, Jicky and Fougere Royale, circa 1885. Inspired by Claude Monet’s “The Beach at Trouville”, this universal perfume could be worn by both men and women on their holiday as well as about town.  Passport a` Paris utilizes aroma molecules vanillin and coumarin. considered quite modern at the time.  Hints of eau de cologne mix with the vanilla and hay notes to end in a rich animalic drydown.

The Passport to Paris collection will be available in a discovery set (3 ml mini sprayers of each scent), 10 ml Eau de Parfum spray, 5 ml presentation perfume and 15 ml presentation perfume.

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4.25.12: Announcing the launch of the YSL Retrospective Collection!

I am so happy to announce the release of my fifth collaboration with Denver Art Museum: the creation of the YSL Retrospective Collection. At DAM will be the only North American showing of the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective Exhibit, where the collection on exhibit will chronicle YSL’s long and wildly creative career from his years at Dior to his finale in 2002.
The DSH – YSL Retrospective Collection not only takes inspiration from YSL’s long and prolific career but specifically chosen garment pieces in the show that perfectly illustrate the artistic collaboration between fashion, culture and perfume.
“Can you imagine my excitement when invited to create for the YSL show in Denver? It was for me as if I were given the opportunity to design for the great man himself. I took on the project as if I had just been appointed the “in house perfumer’; a fantasy, I know, yet I feel that it brought out an even deeper understanding of YSL’s work and that of translating his aesthetic into perfume.

The Collection consists of six perfumes that start at YSL’s beginning at Dior and his first triumph, the “Ligne Trapeze”, a cool and sophisticated violet-aldehydic perfume with a warm, animalic drydown; Next to “The Beat Look”, referencing the Americanization of French culture during the late ‘50’s and taking inspiration from YSL’s first perfume launch “Y”. The Beat Look is an aldehydic-fruity-floral-chypre; “Le Smoking”, speaks to the start of an ongoing theme in YSL’s work (the women’s tuxedo) and the women’s liberation movement of the 1970’s. Of course, Le Smoking is a green-chypre-tabac fragrance with incense and hints of marijuana cigarette. We next move to “Euphorisme d’Opium” which takes many of it’s cues from the now discontinued original design of YSL’s landmark fragrance “Opium”, a spicy-narcotic-oriental perfume; and into the 1980’s with “La Vie en Rose”, a sparkling rose-violet perfume modeled on YSL’s 1983 launch of “Paris” perfume and his unmistakable “Paris Bow” gown. Lastly, a floral-floral, linden blossom and wisteria creation befitting the icon that YSL became called “Ma Plus Belle Histoire d’Amour” was inspired by a radiant floral motif, silk evening coat found in the retrospective show.

With this collection I not only wished to express a sense of YSL’s career history but a sense of the interplay between fashion and perfume history within the perfume designs themselves. I hope that by experiencing the collection as a whole it will tell the story of this man’s creative life through the senses.