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D.S. & Durga’s New Scent Will Change Your Fragrance Wardrobe

“It doesn’t really smell like anything.”
Reading time 3 minutes

Thinking of finally chucking all those bottles of unused perfumes that have been taking up space and gathering dust in the back of your junk drawer for years? Before you grab the recycling bin, David and Kavi Moltz have a proposition for you. All good, it comes in a bottle. Their newest creation—D.S. & Durga I Don’t Know What—has the power to turn those stale and forgotten perfumes into ones you’ll want to wear again. The same way that reworking the draping of an old dress can give it a second life, this fragrance modifier can modernize just about any juice.

What is a modifier, you might ask?

“For me, it’s a magical aroma chemical that boosts something without announcing its own presence too much,” explains Moltz, the perfumer of the business (Kavi designs the packaging and overall look of the brand. Check out their website to witness her cleverness in action). “For example, in food, it would be salt, umami powder or MSG. In painting, a varnish. Many perfumes use modifiers; we’re just providing the toolkit for users to modify their own.”

This toolkit is a transparent scent that was created to impart radiance to an existing fragrance. “But it’s also a brightener, a rounder, a,” adds Moltz. “And it’ll modernize any fragrance. It’s very now.”

With 13 scents under their belts (IDKW makes 14), the brand is known for pushing the envelope with the complexities of their formulas, but I Don’t Know What is almost antithetical to the others in its simplicity. Curious about what’s in it? How about what’s not?

“It’s transparent, but it’s not ozonic in that it doesn’t have ‘fresh ocean’ molecules,” he continues. “It’s not exactly citrus, but there are things that are in bergamot in there. It’s musky but not animalic! It’s not exactly woody, but there’s fir santal in there, which is a chemical that smells blue, like a dry woody note. There are elements that are iris-y and violet-like. There’s even sort of a coffee note in there as well.”

Got it? That said...

“It doesn’t really smell like anything,”  he continues. “I smell feathers. Like an expensive down jacket.” Speaking of expensive, Moltz created IDKW as a way of offering customized fragrance without breaking the bank.

“To make an actual custom perfume for someone takes so much time, so much back and forth, so it also takes so much money,” he says. “This is a super easy way to play a little with your own scents.”

It will also extend what you love. “Creating I Don’t Know What comes from a real need that I had,” he confesses. “When we’re going out, I’ll grab sandalwood or vetiver or patchouli and smell awesome for about an hour, but it also will smell muddy, and [one spray of IDKW] is like, Boom! It’s going to last.”

Moltz has plans for more modifiers. Next up: a leather one that will, well, you can figure it out. “Creating a modifier is a way to take nerdy perfumer language and transfer it to perfume lovers, so they can participate,” says Kavi. “It’s just a different way of thinking about perfume. We’re all about broadening the discussion.”

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