David Moltz On The Debut Of D.S and Durga’s Fruity New Fragrance, Black Magenta

David Moltz, co-founder and the D.S. in D.S & Durga (his middle name is Seth), is sitting strumming a guitar in the basement of The Thin White Duke, a cocktail and dim sum bar in London’s Soho. Before I arrive, I’m told he was also having a play on the in-situ drum kit; it seems this self-taught nose can turn his creative hand to most things. 

We’ve met to chat about his new fragrance, Black Magenta. And if you think you don’t like sweet, fruity fragrances – Moltz himself admits he’s not usually a fan and that this is “as far as I go into sweet” – it’s time to think again, because this is a sexy little number. It opens with a burst of pink pineapple, so fresh and juicy it’s like you’ve just opened a tin of pineapple chunks. It’s such a bright flash of fruitiness that at first it overpowers the other notes, a bit like opening the front door on a sunny summer’s day and momentarily being blinded by the bright light until your eyes adjust and the expanse of the view opens up before you. So it is with Black Magenta. Give it a couple of seconds and that pineapple is pushed aside a little and then ooh, the other notes come rushing in, and it all ripens together into something nuzzly, naughty, and fun; it’s reminiscent of ’80s (underage) nightclubbing days… back when memorising legalising birthdates was part of a night out (not just me, surely?) and once past the bouncers it was interiors full of tall chrome tables covered with Babycham glasses, and slightly dodgy carpets you wouldn’t want to see in the daylight – but boy, was it exciting dancing around them. 

That may not be exactly Moltz’s reference, but it isn’t far off either. It’s based on “nights out in a club in New York city, a bit trashy/classy, a little like an elevated mall fragrance,” he explains. “You’ve got the pink pineapple – which is a bit out of my comfort zone of sweet fruity – but it’s grounded in iris and orange blossom, and you have tobacco absolute that has earthiness to temper down the sweetness and some black amber.” The end result has you wanting to strap on some silver sandals and get giddy on a dance floor.

As for any fragrance followers concerned about the recent brand investment from Manzanita Capital, Moltz has only reassurances: no formulas are being changed or tampered with. “What business person would buy into something and then ruin the secret sauce?” he explains. “It’s nice having more financial adults in the room and feels good to be part of something that can help us go the distance.” Besides, he and co-founder (and wife) Kavi “still own some of it, we’re still part of the board, and they’re [Manzanita] going to help us to flesh out our ideas”.  Expect more creativity to be incoming.

Photography courtesy of D.S & Durga. Black Magenta is available for purchase at Liberty and dsanddurga.com, from £155. Shop here. 

dsanddurga.com

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