Part 2 Burning Barbershop by D.S.& Durga

BB 1

See Part 1 of this series HERE

There are some extraordinary olfactory experiences out there for gentlemen to try, juices that will transform one’s perception of aromatics. As a fragrance writer I spend my time exploring and sampling these scentscapes and have chosen six very different fragrances to share with you. Some are strange and confrontational, others dazzling and absorbing. But each of them will stir your senses and add a layer of daring to your daily armor.

First up is Burning Barbershop, a textured smouldering marvel by one of my favorite brands, D.S.& Durga, run by David and Kavi Moltz out of Brooklyn. Founded in 2007, the beautiful, retro-archaic packaging (designed by architect-trained Kavi) proudly proclaims small batch handmade olfactory tonics and aromatic formulations. I cannot praise this erudite and intensely romantic brand enough. And I mean romantic in the sense of wild landscapes, frontier stories, pioneer music, snowybleak love, cowboy myths, bayous, wet harbour stones and dry open plains. David as the brand’s meticulous alchemist distills moments of history, places, images, text, memories into the most extraordinary juices – harsh, medicinal, resinous, smoky, limpid, haunting and unforgettable.

Burning Barbershop is a distinctive bound and resonant quintet of notes – lime, lavender, spearmint, oakmoss and vanilla. Inspired by the story (True? False? Does it really matter…?) of a discovered lone blackened bottle of cologne after fire destroyed the Curling Bros. barbershop in 1891 in Westlake N.Y. The seared and transformed formula has been recreated by David Moltz in all its roasted, pungent glory. Spearmint is delicious in scent, sweet and oddly powdery, mixed here with a baked almost salted lime effect, just so vigorous and alluring. The lavender reminds us of the vintage aspect, a heady rubbed quality, which segues superbly into a woody, fervent base. The vanilla takes a while to come through, but it’s vital, tempering the excesses of the smoke and metallic tang of lime. This is strong stuff; apply with caution, a little at a time, I would advise at least 30 minutes prior to going out. (One of my favorite things to do with Burning Barbershop in the morning before I put my shirt on is spritz it with scent and lightly iron the scent in.) It’s worth it; the mellow sooty fug of medicinal flame is delicious and will have people wanting to warm their hands on the fire of your skin. You need D.S& Durga in your life.



Alex Musgrave

Writer. Poet. Blogger. Aesthete. Fox. Aroma obsessive.