Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: D.S. & Durga Debaser


Top: bergamot, green leaf, pear stem
Middle: fig, coconut milk, iris
Base: blond woods, tonka bean, moss

"The wild shrill of Black Francis coming through the radio in the August heat."

I should have been more prepared for Debaser. I read the scent list, and my eyes must have glazed right over the notes that I know aren't great matches for my chemistry (or overly pleasing to my sense of smell), I could have saved myself. Oh but no, like being enamored with a bad boyfriend, I amplified the good and credulously ignored the not so good (for me!). I imagined our whole future, told myself that I could change him, dreamt of skipping into the sunset together. But, I think Debaser and I are breaking up. He's too edgy for me. I'm devastated. Can we talk about it? Yeah? Okay, thanks. You're such a good friend.

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So let's talk. Debaser isn't even a remotely sweet fig. Had I been more careful, more observant of its description, I'd have seen this coming from miles away. First spray renders me into crunchy, green, wet leaves - super unripened fig - an ever so slight pear stem sweetness - and maybe a hint of earthy iris. I've just woken up in my tent at an outdoor music festival, early in the's still quiet, the ground is wet, the air is dense and foggy, and the smell of dozens of extinguished campfires from the night before lingers in the air. At this stage, I'm intrigued and I'm a little confused (because I saw what I wanted, even though Debaser fully presented itself to me from the start). I'm still hopeful that this will veer into something that I can fall in love with, but from here I start to emotionally detach...

The longer it hangs around on my skin, the woodier, drier, and earthier it gets. There is a very brief moment in the middle of this scent journey that I detect an ever so slight sweetness from the coconut milk and/or tonka bean, but it is very fleeting. This bad boy can't blow his cover for long. I've never done well with essentially zero-sweetness juice; this is no exception, I need a little romance. As for the fig in Debaser, aside from being strictly green, while I can tell that it's lingering there, it is really contending with the woods and iris (and a slight nose-crinkling mossy note).

Debaser is a scent I'd admire in nature (the music festival morning imagery feels very real), but I don't necessarily want to wear it. As much as this isn't my typical scent, there are moments during my many test-wears that I catch a whiff from afar and really enjoy what I smell. BUT, I have to remind myself that this bad boy's good qualities aren't good enough for me to keep him around. Break up aside, I admire the composition and the artistry that went into this, and I have no doubt that a woodier/earthier-loving person could really be into this. And this dude DOES NOT QUIT - seriously, it just lasts and lasts; since when are bad boys clingy?

EDITED TO ADD: After an hour or so of wear, I get a slightly sweetened iris in the waft that I really enjoy!

EDITED TO ADD: The morning after, this still lingers, which is pretty impressive considering my skin usually inhales any scent overnight.

Debaser retails for $145, and it is created by D.S. & Durga

Longevity: 5/5 
Projection: 3/5

WEAR THIS: summer, fall, camping, an outdoor music festival, a bonfire get-together

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