Getting a set of scent samples from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is like getting a box of chocolates from an adventurous chocolatier dabbling in strange flavours that you savour and morsel and wonder over confluences. Some you love, some you are not sure of, some you take a nibble and pass over to the person next to you to get their verdict, but you always love the sense of boldness and playful experimentation, the inventiveness, all in the interest of pleasure, and nailing an emotion.

Viva La Frida! immediately caught my attention : a green, cassis-y (actually guava) fruit floral taunt that I would love to walk into a party in summer having spritzed myself with it just at the right moment prior to entry to get maximum olfactory attention and glee, as watermelons miraculously appear before your eyes, lush and wrapped in dark green foliage, hidden jasmine and gardenia flowers: a burst of summer freshness. The base is light and green (Cristalle….Vert De Bohème;) easy on the skin; the whole unusual, fun.

”Frida’s vivacious fruit paintings are some of her most luscious and evocative, as well as deeply life affirming.

I have long wanted to create this fragrance filled to the brim with fruit, flowers, and watery green leaves from Frida’s own Mexican cornucopia. The world that she created at La Casa Azul was brightly colored: her house, her clothes, her jewelry, the flowers she wore in her hair, and her entire persona. (No doubt through all of her physical and emotional pain, the colors and fruit imagery were panacea).

Viva la Frida!

To be able to paint a vision of Frida’s garden in scent is heaven. I love Viva la Frida’s stark contrasts: the sense of watery refreshment needed in the heat of summer, the glorious colors and flavors, down to the deep shadows from the bright sun onto parched earth.’

Maybe next year.


Filed under Flowers


  1. Tora

    I am a huge fan of Frida Kahlo. If you haven’t already, read The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. A wonderful novel about Diego and Frida. I have not tried this particular DSH perfume. I need to remedy that.

  2. DSH is a true fragrance ariste. Her creations are never run of the mill, they are always intriguing; either in an “I love this!” or an “I know who this would smell amazing on!” I can only imagine anything she created with Frida in mind would be a true homage to an incredible women and life force.
    If you haven’t tried Scent of Hope, or Souvenir de Malmaison by Dawn, you must! Both are exquisite.

  3. bibimaizoon

    This sounds amazing. I have yet to sample any of DSH’s scents. I shall have to send for a cartfull of samples when stateside again!

    • But where to start? There are HUNDREDS. This one just struck me as being very immediately raptifying and fresh (and amusing) : I am thinking about asking for a bottle for my next birthday just because I don’t have anything else like it in my collection. Her Tea and Charcoal is amazing too – I will review that soon.

  4. OnWingsofSaffron

    I wish we had easy access to sniffing all those US indie houses: Slumberhouse, Fazzolari, Aftelier, DSH, a guy who makes attars. I don‘t want a whole box of samples because often I don‘t like an aspect to the scent. Well, I guess that part & parcel of niche.

    • Definitely. Each brand has its deficits. DSH is so prolific that some of the perfumes have the feeling of unfeeling sketches perhaps, but there is a honesty to them I like – not shrouded in illiterate marketing bullshit.

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