Who: Kavi and David Seth Moltz founders of New York based perfume house D.S & Durga. Graphic designer Kavi and musician David launched their brand in 2008, inspired by the contagious ‘maker’ vibe that was motivating their Brooklyn friends and neighbours. Friends loved the scents and sold them in the cool Williamsburg stores they’d started to open, with customers falling for both the compellingly modern fragrances and the lyrical stories composed around them. For example, Burning Barbershop conjures the imagined scent of the only remaining and very charred bottle of shaving tonic saved from a New York Barber’s Shop fire in 1891. They turned out to be songs in a bottle. We caught up with the pair recently.
Kavi: I’m the designer for D.S & Durga. I design all the packaging, bottles, graphics – every aspect of the brand. Our new packaging has been inspired by vinyl records, so the bottle box slips out of its cover a bit like a record.
Today I’m wearing Coriander, a light, full spice, fresh green fragrance. It makes me feel fresh and summery and ready for warm weather.
I wear fragrance behind me ears, my hairline and on at each wrist. I’m involved in the fragrance construction in that I’m always around to smell it. David will ask me what I think, but the final decision is his, he’ll always listen to my comments but he has the final say.
David: I’m the perfumer and today I’m wearing Mississippi Medicine, which is smoky and pine-y. I spray my fragrance on my wrists, then tap them both behind my ears.
When I’m making perfume I like bringing things alive, like an umbrella or a chair, it’s how I work. I’ll look at the whole world around that item, the light in the room, the dust on the table, and convert each one into a fragrance accord. Then I’ll weave all the accords together, a bit like you would a song, and make it work as a whole. I try and discover what’s so beautiful or interesting or sexy about the idea and work with that.
For Radio Bombay, I imagined this little sandalwood radio sitting in a corner of a space in Bandra, in West Mumbai, an area we know well. As the copper valves heat up in the sun, they send up wafts of peach and creamy musk alongside the raga vibes. I wanted to capture that small element – the little radio- at the foot of largeness – in that bigger space.