DSH Perfumes Pandora

First things first here. Yesterday was Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s birthday, so I’d love to extend her a happy belated one and certainly hope she had a lovely day. Today, many of us bloggers are joining forces to review Dawn’s newest creation, Pandora, which to me feels like a precious gift. I’m always very honored to test Dawn’s fragrances, but upon applying Pandora, I knew I was going to experience an extraordinary olfactory journey.

From its inception, DSH Perfume’s Pandora was to be an exploration of all natural and botanical ingredients that have only recently become available to perfumers. Emerging co2 extracts and newly attainable raw materials have expanded the natural perfumer’s palette and Dawn was part of a project that intended to focus solely on those ingredients. Dawn ultimately fell away from the project, and found herself delving deeper into Pandora’s potential and added a small dose of synthetics- aldehydes and ozone- as well as “old school” essences like oakmoss and ambergris. As a result, Pandora evolved into a perfume that tips its hat to the great classic perfumes while exploring contemporary botanical extracts.

The classic perfume that Pandora immediately reminded me of was Jolie Madame as it has a classic aura and possesses a similar swirl of verdant violet. Both Pandora and Jolie Madame have mysteriously green topnotes, Pandora’s being particularly minty while Jolie Madame’s are curvier and noticeably sweeter. Jolie Madame is more of a violet pastille in its opening, but nevertheless, they both exude a mossy violet tone and an animalic undercurrent.

Although these vintage nuances are present, Pandora stands as its own contemporary beauty. Dawn’s use of patchouli and vetiver co2 explores new facets of these well known essences. As a co2, vetiver is even greener and reaches the entire composition from top to bottom, unlike the essential oil which is mainly a basenote. Patchouli co2 is less spicy but even richer and bolder than its essential oil counterpart which adds a new dimension to this familiar scent.

Some of the newly attainable raw materials in Pandora include Juhi jasmine from Northern India, which according to Dawn is even more indolic than the jasmines sambac and grandiflorum. Muhuhu (also know as African sandalwood) is another newbie on the scene and Dawn tells me she is loving its deep, smoky-resinous quality. These four essences meld so well together- merging the floral with the earthy- which is very apparent in the heart. The oakmoss in Pandora’s “mousse de saxe” accord provides even more green depth to the middle notes, but also a mineral quality which feels very DSH Perfumes to me.

All that Pandora has to offer is stunning. It’s equal parts inky violet, woody floral and mossy darkness. Save for the drydown, which becomes rather silky and buttery, like a favorite scarf imbued with hints of the aforementioned notes but is very much its own stage of the fragrance. Wearing Pandora is an aromatic odyssey that’s complicated and lovely, light and dark, past and present, but most of all, exquisite.

Leave a comment and you will be entered in the drawing to win a 3ml purse spray of Pandora. Tell us about your most beloved vintage perfume and/or your favorite DSH perfume. Drawing now closed. 

Pandora is made up of 97.5% botanicals and 2.5% synthetic and is available at DSH Perfumes in several different sizes and price points.

Please visit the following blogs for their thoughts on Pandora: DSH NotebookEauMG, eyeliner on a cat, This Blog Really Stinks, Perfume Pharmer, Esscentual Alchemy, Indie Perfumes, and Oh True Apothecary.
Image of Pandora by Henrietta Rae at artmagick.com

Disclosure: A sample was sent to me for consideration by DSH Perfumes. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


62 thoughts on “DSH Perfumes Pandora

  1. Oh Pandora sounds divine, I’d love to try it. I have a particular fondness for mysterious perfumes, and this one sounds just my cup of tea. I’m very interested in the Jasmine, too!

  2. Forgot to add: my favourite vintage perfume is my great, great Aunt’s bottle of Mitsouko. The last of the perfume was used long ago, and I treasure the vintage bottle, can smell the perfume itself still very strongly inside. It reminds me of her and led me to wearing Mitsouko at quite a young age, desperate to feel as glamourous as she was! I still wear it sometimes now, and have grown into the powdery sophistication as time has gone on, but I still never quite live up to the image I have in my head.

    1. I love that you still have that vintage bottle of Mitsouko, what a treasure indeed! Thank you so much for commenting and good luck in the drawing!


  3. Animalic, aldehydes, vetiver, minty….*singing* “These are a few of my favorite things”

    This is a MUST TRY for me. I would LOVE to get my nose around a sample of this! It sounds gorgeous!

  4. I have a lot of favorite vintage perfumes, and favorites of Dawn’s perfumes too! Vintage Jolie Madame is definitely high on my list, as are Shalimar, Emeraude and Arpege. Of the DSH perfumes that I know, Vert pour Madame is a favorite. I am dying to try Pandora–it sounds wonderful!

    1. Vintage JM is something special isn’t it? If you love that, then Pandora is one you must try. I was in olfactory heaven when I had them both on my wrists at the same time. Ahhhhhh!

      Best of luck!

  5. Sounds wonderful. My favorite vintage perfume right now is Patou 1000. They just don’t make it like they used to.

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever sniffed vintage Patou 1000, must be amazing Amy 🙂
      Good luck in the drawing,

  6. This sounds wonderful! My favorite DSH may be Jitterbug…it is the perfect warm, spicy, and alluring scent for fall and winter and even on some spring nights I spray it on in anticipation of wearing it during the day again in cooler weather.

    1. Can you believe I’ve never tried Jitterbug?! It’s on my list though. DSH has so much to offer it’s crazy! Good of course, but crazy!
      Best of luck to you in the drawing.

  7. Oh My! This sounds like a must try (that rhymed!!!..:))..I have been lately obsessed with trying vintage versions of the classics..My current favorite would be the 1950s version of Chanel No.5 parfum – There are parts of it that smell absolutely divine (though those bits don’t last for as long as I’d like them to).

    1. No.5 in parfum is the only way I can enjoy that fragrance. In the other versions, the aldehydes are too much for me. I like just a little bit 😉
      Good luck my dear!

  8. That perfume sounds lovely! One of my favorites is Tsi-La’s Misaki, not quite “vintage” but it sure smells nice :o)

  9. I’m so interested in sampling this unique fragrance!! It sounds wonderful from start to finish.
    My favorite vintage (one of them) is Ma Griffe.

    1. The entire evolution of Pandora is beautiful, and I hope you get the chance to try it. Good luck!

  10. I’d love to try Pandora! Thank you very much! 🙂

    My favorite vintage perfumes is my grandma’s bottle of Madame Rochas. It smells wonderfully! It reminds me of my childhood too. It’s my grandma’s scent.

    1. My grandma’s scent was Tea Rose, and it will be forever connected with her in my mind. It’s really something special to have that olfactory memory isn’t it? Very powerful.
      Good luck in the drawing,

  11. I would love to try Dawn’s new perfume, Pandora. My favorite vintage perfume was the Chanel No. 5 that my mother wore through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I loved to smell her as she got dressed to go out and I would bury my nose into her clothes to get her scent. It just doesn’t smell the same to me anymore and I’ve never wanted to wear it because it was her scent. The vintage that I love and still wear is the beautiful Joy.

    1. Lydia, I love that image of you as a girl holding on to your mom through your sense of smell. My mom wore lots of classics, but the one that conjures up that image for me is Rive Gauche. Sadly, They don’t make that one like they used to either.

      Best of luck in the Pandora drawing,

  12. Oh, I would love to try Pandora!
    My favorite vintage perfumes are all green/floral aldehyde: Ma Griffe, First, Scherrer, Chamade… I did not seem to be as enthralled with the contemporary versions of these.

    My favorite DSH perfumes are Mahjoun, White Magnolia, Cardamom and Khyphi, American Beauty, of which I proudly own bottles, and I also love Afternoon, LiLi… If I had to pick… I hope I don’t have to pick! I’ll pick Mahjoun if I had to pick.

    1. It’s so hard to pick right? I am really loving Cardamom and Khyphi too. Seems like a wonderful scent for the fall and holidays that are just around the corner.

      Good luck and thanks for commenting,

  13. Hi, this sounds really amazing – I’d love to be able to experience it myself. I have a tiny little glass bottle of vintage Shalimar that came in it’s original purple felt box. It is so much nicer than today’s recipe, much rounder, fuller and never fails to garner compliments on the rare occasions that I wear it. Thanks for the opportunity to be entered in this draw! 🙂

    1. What a treasure to have that bottle of vintage Shalimar! I don’t think I’ve ever worn the vintage of that fragrance, but I hope to at some point.

      Best of luck,

  14. Unfortunately I’ve not experienced any vintage perfumes nor have I had the pleasure of experiencing any DSH perfumes! Hmmm, I think its time to change that! lol 😀

    Pandora sounds just wonderful, and includes some glorious essences. Can’t wait to get my hands on some vetiver CO2! And the Juhi Jasmine – if its similar to the one I have, I’m very keen to see how Dawn has blended with it – quite a different experience to the other Jasmines (Grandi and Sambac).

    My thanks for this generous drawer!

    1. Definitely time to change that HollyJae! Especially the DSH Perfumes, you’ve got to try at least a few 🙂
      I would love to try the Juhi jasmine on its own, it sounds like a beautiful note.

      Good luck!

  15. This is an exquisite fragrance. I’m just sampling it tonight and I agree that it feels very vintage in the best possible way (for me, that’s almost always in the best possible way). I feel the same about Dawn’s recent Vert pour Madame.

    I would say my most beloved vintage perfume is Vent Vert parfum which I found for almost nothing in an antique mall. Price aside, it’s a treasure of green. Thanks for the draw opportunity.

    1. You are so welcome Joe! I’m happy for you that you have a bit of Pandora to experience already…good luck in the drawing, you might have more coming your way!


  16. Please count me in on the drawing, I have been a fan of Dawn’s for a long time and her new fragrance sound beautiful. I have a collection of vintage perfumes, my absolute favorite is Pretexte by Lavin.

    1. I’d love to see a pic of your vintage perfume collection Jane 🙂 I’ve never smelled Pretext, but now I am so curious 😉

      Good luck!

  17. All these newly available notes in perfumery sound so intriguing! I enjoy many of the notes in Pandora (plus the name!), so I’ll look into buying a sample of this.

    I haven’t had much experience with vintage perfumes, but I remember my grandma’s old Chanel No. 5 smelling much more elegant than the version that’s on the market now.

    Thanks for reviewing this!

    1. Tara, unfortunately you are correct. You grandma’s No 5 is most certainly not the No 5 of today. But, thankfully perfumers like Dawn are creating new classics!
      Good luck,

    1. Love Parfum de Luxe! Still need to try Jitterbug…I think now is the time!

      Good luck in the drawing Lisa,

  18. Your description of this fragrance makes me want to buy!!! I don’t know many vintage perfumes, but I always liked Chanel #5, Miss Dior, Diorrissimo, O de Lancome and Rive Gauche. I seem to remember my mom having Evening in Paris, but she actually liked something called Galore & Royal Secret.

    1. Galore & Royal Secret, I’ve never heard of that! I’m sure someone more well versed in the classics could school me 🙂

      Good luck!

  19. Trish, your review AND to be connected in anyway to the glorious Jolie Madame are a dream come true! Thank you very much the honor you have given me! I really loved all of the added info about the new materials… they are quite different. Thank yo also for the happy birthday wishes! 🙂 This is has been so much more than the icing on my cake! oxoxo

    1. I’m so glad that Pandora has been such a successful blogging event! What a treat for all of us to come together and give our thoughts on your newest, and very beautiful creation. Nicely done Dawn 🙂

  20. Thanks for a great review of DSH’s Pandora! She has just too many scents… so little time! As for my favorite vintage off the top of my head is my bee bottle of Metallica, when it was still called Metallica =)

    1. Oh, a bee bottle…how lovely! I wish I had one filled with Apres L’Ondee! Thanks for stopping by Monica 😉

  21. I’m not too much into vintage perfumes but I do have a favorite of my own: Midd Dior.
    As to DSH’s perfumes, I’m in the very beginning of my journey, I’ve just got 6 samples from the line and plan to test them over the next week. But the one that I had a chance to test previously – Oeillets Rouge – I like very much.
    Please enter me into the draw.

    1. Oeillets Rouge, that’s one I need to try as I love carnation. It’s such a distinct note that suits the cooler evenings so well.
      Good luck in the drawing!

    1. Oh man, I love me some Mata Hari as well!! It is so beautiful. I think a bottle of that needs to be mine soon!


  22. I am so excited that the weather here on the East Coast is finally getting cooler. I can now where my favorite DSH fragrance–Cimabue. It’s a great comfort scent.

    1. Cimabue, that’s one that I have not tried, or even remember reading about. I think I need to go do some research 😉

      Best of luck,

  23. I have yet to find a chypre that agrees with me. The fresh notes, and new elements are tugging for me to give it another go!

    1. Oh yes, give it another go! Pandora is not brash in any way, a very wearable chypre IMO.

      Good luck!

  24. Pandora sounds wonderful and I’d love a chance to try it. I recently bought a sample of vetiver co2. I haven’t used it yet but out of bottle it smells really nice and I do like the ‘greenness’ of it.

    Sadly I do not ‘know’ any vintage perfumes.


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