Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes flew under my naturals-loving radar until a few months ago. One of her purely botanical gems that I discovered is Chinoise. Dawn refers to this perfume as “a quiet and contemplative moment amongst groves of whispering camphor trees; a grounding aroma.” I have yet to experience such a moment in a camphor tree grove, but I concur with her opinion that Chinoise is a grounding aroma.
Its notes are white camphor, sandalwood, himalayan cedar, and agarwood. All of them blend seamlessly making Chinoise greater than the sum of its parts. This is not an overtly camphor fragrance, or a strong sandalwood fragrance, and most definitely not agarwood-esque either. Cedar is possibly the most noticeable note, but it’s dusky, not sharp. Very subtle. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to identify any individual note as they meld and mingle with soothing parity.
Somehow, the combination of these notes create the scent that is emitted when you set a hot iron on crisp, freshly washed cotton linens. It’s not a dryer sheet smell, or the “clean” smell that has become so ubiquitous, but rather, the comforting aroma that’s suffused into the air by warming natural fibers.
Because the notes are so diffuse, they create a mood moreso than a floral, woody or smoky perfume experience. Indeed this fragrance would be appropriate for work, or around those who might be sensitive to strong perfumes. But Chinoise encompasses more than that. I’ll harken back to Dawn’s words and agree with her once more that Chinoise is very contemplative, and even though I don’t have a camphor tree grove in my vicinity, I’d like to sit admist one, with Chinoise on my wrists and a book of Chinese Buddhist teachings in my hands.
Chinoise is available at DSH Perfumes.
Posted by ~Trish