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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Perfume Review: L'Artisan Dzing!

I love circus. Having grown up in a city with its very own, big circus (photo on the right) that functions all year round, I went to see the shows several times a year and am therefore quite familiar with and very fond of the Circus Smell. Our circus smelled of animal skin and animal bodily functions, of cedar shavings, candies, lemonade and childish anticipation. After Perestroika came, in order to survive financially, the circus started to rent parts of its building to small businesses. By small businesses I mean “shuttle traders” who would travel to Italy, Turkey, Eastern Europe, China and elsewhere, purchase goods (in this case, mostly clothes, shoes and bags) on a semi-wholesale basis, bring them back, sell them to those of us who could not go abroad to buy these things, travel again, return, etc., etc. There were several such markets in the city, but The Circus was the most expensive of them all. I remember seeing lots of nice-quality leather goods there and quite a lot of designer labels. I suppose you could say that for four-five days a week the circus became a rather upscale flea market of sorts, and when I was 18-22, “going to the circus” meant going shopping.

What I am leading to with this long nostalgic preface is that Dzing! smells to me like that circus on a “market” day. There IS some animal stench remaining, but it is not too strong and not too apparent, and most and foremost one smells expensive leather bags, shoes and jackets mixed with some French Perfume and the faint whiffs of sweet vanillic drinks that would be sold later that day to the kids who’ll come to watch a show. Perhaps my senses are slightly clouded by the sentimental mist of memories, but I think everything about this scent is absolutely wonderful. The leather note is beautiful and elegant, it smells like the softest calf-skin glove and has a lovely delicate saffron undertone. The wood is slightly spicy, dry but smooth, sweetened by a hint of caramel. The musk in the drydown is not too dirty but not uninterestingly clean either and serves as a perfect reminder that, whatever else might be going on in the circus, there are still elephants, lions and tigers there and the show will go on. Allé hop!

Dzing! is available at Aedes, Lusckyscent and everywhere where L’Artisan perfumes are sold, $75.00-$110.00.


Anonymous tigs said...

Dzing is truly sad for me, because it disappears completely within five minutes on my skin. I do not have the lasting power problems with other L'Artisans that others speak of (Piment Brulent, the summer releases etc.) but this one vanishes with the sharp top notes.

1:24 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I hate to say it, but I have the same problem tigs has. I loved Dzing! but it lasted as long as the name. Sadly, the l'Atrisans I loved (like Saffran Troublant) had this longevity, while the ones that I didn't (Piment Brulant, which on me started great but ended up smelling like microwave tacos) lasted forever. Perhaps for the best, I suppose.

But as always, a review that brings out the lemming in me...

2:40 AM EDT  
Blogger deleted said...

Nice choice of scent to review. With upcoming fall I`m getting interested in woody and leathery scents again, and Dzing is among them.

I don`t care for circuses, but I like Dzing a lot. Sawdust and leather, slightly sweetened with vanilla. And a bit of musk, I suppose, but since I have trouble smelling many musks, I better perceive the effect musk has on the whole composition than musk itself (hope this make sense). I`ve been hunting a decant on ebay for a while already.

3:06 AM EDT  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

I love the circus, too- although I made a date take me home during the Russian Circus because of the cruelty to the dancing bears!

I find Dzing! fascinating, but I'll have to agree with the rest, it doesn't last on me.

A lovely, desriptive review, as always.

Hope you, and the sniffy one, are well...

7:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

Actually, I think you're all pretty lucky. For me, Dzing doesn't even make it from the bottle to my nose. It smells of something that might just have been there, wait, there was a whiff of..... nothing... Now Safran Troublant smells of smoked sausage (Catalan "fuet" to be precise, very nice to eat, but to wear????) on me, and most other L'Artisans are rather wraithlike. But the ones that I can smell I DO love!

7:32 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

I loved going to the circus, too, but when I first tried Dzing, I thought that it smelled too much of those animals. What was I thinking?! I love it all, now--and you are right, the animal component is fairly small. The leather is wonderful, it lasts for a reasonable time (I wouldn't say "long") and it just garnered an unsolicited compliment from DH! Recently found and bought a partial bottle on the Bay, and I'm thrilled!

7:36 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Great review! I *adore* Dzing. I was sadly circus deprived as a child (wonderful father, but one who genuinely believed trips to the opera were more appealing to a 3 year old than anything else), but we went once in Moscow - the only child oriented thing we ever did. I was totally thrilled and even though I don't have a *clue* as to what it really smelled like any longer, wearing Dzing (serious susceptibility to power of suggestion) makes me feel like I'm back in the fourth row of that theatre, being mesmerized by the elephants and horses. And, blessedly, on me that lasting power is quite good.

7:41 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

L'Artisans are strange on me in a sense that they all sometimes last a long time, sometimes hardly last at all. Even the magical disappearing Ananas Fizz has days when it last good 8 hours. The same with Dzing, a couple of wearings ago it was gine in 60 seconds, lately it's been lasting all day. :-)

9:30 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Well, at least the name is honest then :-) And that's one of the laws of perfume-wearing that the ones you hate stick to you like glue and the ones you love leave you all too fast...that could be applied to life in general too, I guess ;-)

9:32 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I have trouble with some musks too. For example Narciso Rodriguez Musc Oil has no smell on me whatsoever. So understand what you mean by sensing its effect rather than itself.

I am getting back into my leathers and woods and spices and gourmands too.

9:33 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I don't even want to think about those bears. I've never watched a show with adult eyes, so to say. I am sure I'd be appalled at some of the stuff. And bored by the rest. Unless the little one (who is getting bette, thank you!!) wants to go, I don't think I'll ever have a chance to. I am not even sure they *have* a circus here. heh.

9:35 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Smoked sausage, eh? Have you tried Eau des Iles, Kolnisch Juchten and Demeter Mesquite? :-) Not that's sausages :-)
Which L'Artisans can you smell/do you love?

9:36 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Same story here. I tried Dzing first almost two years ago. Before I encountered and fell in love with MKK who changed it all and made animalic = attractive. :-) Now I only smell hints of those animals in Dzing. I actually would have loved if there were more :-)

9:39 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

What a refined childhood! :-) The school *made* us go to the opera and ballet and to the drama theatre, but, left to my own devices, I probably would have just went to the circus and the movies :-) Thank god for (partly-post)Soviet education :-)

9:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

M, I LOVE Kolnisch Juchten! And generally love saffron scents, but that Troublant just troubles me.... Premier Figuier and Tea for Two I love, and I cherish my Fleur de Carotte sample (for special occasions only!). The other L'Artisans are just fascinating stories I can't really believe, a sort of olfactory 1001 nights.....

10:17 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

"Fascinating stories I can't really believe, a sort of olfactory 1001 nights"- wonderfully well said!

10:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

Marina, I have very similar memories! The Riga Circus had the same thing - tons of little stands with goods from abroad. Perfect description. :) I adore Dzing! - it's a must have. I also smell some tar but it's nice and sweet.

11:06 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I knid of had a feeling that every Post-Soviet circus had to do the same thing in order to stay afloat. I asked my friend if the market was still there and she replied that when she went there 3 years ago, it was all gone. Just the circus, back to completely normal. Nice to know.

11:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, the circus just isn't the circus without Gunther Gable. Remember him? For me he was the real deal when it came to tiger taming we miss you Gunther...My fragrance to tame tigers with, Musc Ravageur...MEOW!

2:23 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Haven't had the luck to watch him perform :-(
Musc Ravageur would totally tame any tiger (or tigress) you want :-)

2:27 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

So surprised that so many people find Dzing such an emphemeral experience. I find it to be such a presence, although admittedly, it isn't an all day fragrance. Anyway, lovely review, and *very* jealous that you grew up with a permanent, year round circus! What a great thing. The circus is now so rare, and so expensive, that my son has only seen one twice. We went every year...

3:51 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I'm not sure that as an adult I won't be bored or in some cases probably even shocked by circus, but my little one should definitely experience it too. Did your son enjoy it?

3:54 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Wow -- disappears in five minutes?!?!?! This one will NOT go away on me. One of the few L'Artisans I find unwearable -- it smells great on everyone else. On me all the good leather-circus stuff goes away immediately, and I am left with tiger poop. I may wear CB Musk, but I draw the line at poop.:-)

PS Robin just posted a lovely little piece on the weirdness of SL.

4:18 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, baby -- blogger is resp. for the double post -- it made me re-verify. Blogger verification hates me.

BTW took the kids to Ringling Bros. after we moved back here. It was really ... seedy. It made me sad. We used to go every year when I was little, and I loved it.

4:19 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Blogger is being its usual evil self, sorry!

I just read Robin's post, it's awesome!

About "seedy". That's what I am afraid I'd think too now. I wish I could watch it all with child's eyes and child's imagination again.

4:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

I love Dzing too! I used up my bottle a couple years back and meant to replace it when we moved to Virginia.That has still yet to happen.I need to correct that sometime soon too.When I bought this, it sounded so intriguing that it was an unsniffed purchase for me.The first 2 or 3 times I wore it,I wondered if it was just a bit too funky for my more "plain" tastes.Sure enough, it grew on me just like MKK and its quirkiness is so refreshingly beautiful.BTW, I wore MKK last night and thought to myself how did I ever not like it!! Thank you for a wonderful review!

4:56 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Your tastes are not plain at all,w hy would you ever think that? Musc Ravageur, Ambre Narguile, Or et Noir!!! I rest my case :-)

6:43 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, my son enjoyed the circus, but not nearly so much as I used to. The competition in terms of children's entertainment is so much greater today...when I was young, obviously, there wasn't Nintendo or all day children's TV programming or what have you.

7:56 PM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

Ach, my poor boys. The Ringling Bros. one is coming to town shortly, and they've been running TV ads. I thought they would be curious and want to go, but no... they worried over the animals and said that it wasn't very nice to them, and had the funniest looks of concern and worry on thier faces. I'm afraid it'll be the Cirque du Soliel for us, or nothing. My husband has never been to a circus EVER, so he's really taking their unwillingness to attend pretty hard on the chin, heh.

What an interesting practice - a permanent circus. I wonder if in some ways not being moved around all the time might not be easier on the animals? Or maybe not. Maybe it's like those permanent petting zoos where the animals are worn from working every day. Neat that it was like a mix of flea market and circus, though. Sounds like the perfect day for a mom who wants to shop but keep the kids from getting bored and rebelling against behaving.

9:44 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Very true, great point. The kids today! They are jaded. :-)

10:42 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

There was no market when there was a show, they didn't mix...although that is a great idea. Leave the kids to all the circus nonsense and go buy some jeans and bags while they are occupied. :-D

10:44 PM EDT  
Blogger air.ocean said...

Wow! That looks almost exactly like the circus in my hometown (Lugansk, Ukraine). I guess it was a typical Soviet building project:)

And still haven't smelled Dzing!, but want to!

3:54 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Ah! My fellow child of USSR :-) So lovely to "meet" you!

10:41 AM EST  
Blogger air.ocean said...


11:05 AM EST  
Blogger i121171 said...

Oh Dzing! what a perfume ! I wanted something completely different and finally I found it. But I agree: it disappears too quickly. Greeting from Italy

8:26 AM EDT  

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