Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Outlaws, part 3

It's time I brought my outlaw experience to its end. Not that there is an actual end to this particular experience - I feel like I could test them over and over again and never be sure if my opinion was correct.

DSH: Mata Hari

Top notes: Bergamot, Coriander Seed, Fruit Note no.1 (botanical accord), Green Mandarin, Neroli, Orange Flower Absolute - France, Tarragon (Estragon)
Middle notes: Cassie Absolute, Champaca Absolute, Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamon Leaf, Clove Bud, Lilac Cocktail (botanical accord), Moroccan Rose Absolute, Orris Concrete, Sambac Jasmine, Tuberose Absolute, Vintage Orchid (botanical accord)
Base notes: Australian Sandalwood, Benzoin, Brown Oakmoss, Buddahwood, Cade, Cassis Bud, Ciste Absolute, East Indian Patchouli, Green Oakmoss, Indonesian Vetiver, Leather (botanical accord), musk eau natural accord, Tonka Bean, Vanilla Absolute

The best advice I can give you when it comes to DSH scents, just ignore the notes and follow your nose. There is always such a wealth of notes, there's no way you are going to discern them all (or half of them, or a third...). :)
As you saw through my previous reviews, I had some problems writing coherent reviews that would give you the right impression. Mata Hari is one of those that gave me serious trouble. It is a fruity chypre. Ok. I have an idea what a chypre smells like but it seems my idea might not be true in all cases. This is definitely a fruity perfume (I seem to be a fertile ground these days for fruity, all the fruit practically blossoms on me, if fruit can do that).

Anyway, this starts on me with an amazing peach booze accord that quickly gets encased in chocolate. Like you had this chocolate filled with peach liquor that smells so very fruity when you bite through it so you can barely register the chocolate, the peach liquor is all that makes you swoon. It really lasts for me so by the time other things start to happen, my concentration is gone (drunk on liquor and chocolate).
Yes, I get some piquancy at one point (cinammon?), some leathery aspect peaking out from somewhere and a dark, marshy base that can't get through but is there underneath the fruit giving this depth, opulence and a bit of darkness. Which is strange given the opening but obviously very appropriate given the name.
Anyway, this made me re-think my opinion on chypres, they are not the strange, unwearable creatures I thought I knew, but mysterious, deep, sultry enchantresses when put into right hands.
Even though I know I can't wear this at all times, I find it really incredible.

Joanne Basset: Amazing

Notes: Oakmoss, Cassie, Cinnamon, Vintage Jasmine, Lemon Verbena, Rose Otto, Muhuhu, Ginger, Yuzu, Rhododendron, Benzoin, Violet Leaf, and 19 others

And if I don't seem to be able to wear Mata Hari at all times, I definitely know when I can wear Amazing. Any time I need some happiness and sunshine in my life. This one is all that. It might not have the depths of some other Outlaws  but it sure has serious sunny effect.
It's at the same time green, citrusy (quite so as it smells like you're peeling the rind from a lemon), piquant and just alive. Eventually the citrusness subsides and some piquancy (not the lemon rind kind) is there - my guess is cinammon and this is where it gets strange.
By now, I realized that all the strangeness I'm feeling is probably due to the fact that I wasn't familiar with real oakmoss until now and now that I am, I'm lacking words for describing it. But at least I'm learning. :)
The thing is - outlaw strangeness is good.

Dupetit: Cannabis

Notes: Basil oil (holy), Bay oil (West Indian), Bergamot leaf oil, Birch tar oil, Citronella oil, Clove oil, Geranium oil, Ginger oil, Grapefruit peel oil, Jasmine Sambac absolute, Lemon peel oils, Lemon verbena absolute, Lime peel oil (expressed) Mace oil, Nutmeg oil, Orange blossom absolute, Orange leaf oil, Orange peel oil (bitter) orange peel oil (sweet), Peppermint oil, Rose absolute, Rose oil, Rue oil, Taget (marigold) absolute, Thyme oil (thymol CT) Tolu balsam extract.

Well, how do you talk about a perfume that is named Cannabis? :) I'll do it quickly.
It's a sparkly, Sprite-feeling cannabis perfume. Sparkly as in a sparkly soda made of lemon stuff (just check the notes on this one).
Eventually this subsides and  a nice feeling cannabis remains surrounded by floral, lightly resiny friends.

P.S. I really tested all of these many times and applied great amounts and had NO side effects what so ever.

Pics by:, and


  1. I'm glad to hear that you had no side effects, but did you have any sillage or lasting power? DSH perfumes are brilliant compositions! However, I need a bit more 'throw' in a perfume to be truly satisfied.

  2. These were great reviews! I think you did a great job of describing them to the rest of us who haven't had a chance to try them yet. I'm also glad you didn't have any side effects - but not surprised. Maybe it's all those artificial accords which are giving people perfume allergies? ;-)

    As for sillage...spray your hair, or your clothes, and see if that helps!

  3. Josephine, I'm actually quite surprised by the lasting power of most of them (Cannabis is not among those). :) But the sillage, that is a bit harder to ascertain as I dabbed from sample vials. But if I were to guess, I'd say people who were close to you would be able to smell most of them.

  4. Tarleisio, I'm not surprised either that I didn't have any side effects. :) I react very strongly to synthetic musks which have such extreme tenacity that one sniff of a perfume that has some makes it stick in my nose for the whole day and I can't smell anything else afterward. Yuck!

  5. That sounds like my relationship with Ambroxan. Ergh. Once I get it in my nose, it squats there and refuses to leave, even with coffee beans!

    Can I say how much I hate it? Or how thrilled I am that more people can tolerate oakmoss than the IFRA gives them credit for? ;-)

  6. Hmm, Ambroxan is almost such for me but luckily, it moves away after a while.
    You know,*whisperingly* I think everyone who likes perfume can tolerate oakmoss, those that can't I believe are people generally not tolerant of perfume. ;)

  7. I'm really enjoying listening to you give your nose full rein. You've been on a roll for a few posts now...

    The Bassett perfume intrigues me, but of course. Say oakmoss, and I'm there. I'm wondering how it plays against the citrus. Hmmmmm....

  8. ScentScelf, I'm trying to get back into training my nose to smell more on a regular basis (I've been somewhat lazy lately) and these were just the thing. :)
    I'm at the moment happily smelling naturals by Olympic Orchids and finding them intriguing and wonderfully surprising.

  9. Now you mention it, that is so true about DSH scents often having massive long lists of ingredients, and being hard to imagine just from the notes. You do have to get in there and take the plunge!

    The name of this scent will always remind me of a client, who - after I did a good piece of covert research for them to work out whether they should buy a specific company that made turned stair parts, described me as "The Mata Hari of the Spindle World".

  10. Vanessa, or more aptly Mata Hari of the Spindle World - I can't for the life of me figure out what exactly is it that you do. But you obviously have the most amazing and bizarre experiences doing it. :)
    Plunging into the world of DSH usually ends up with you never leaving the waters. ;)