Blog post by Gwen
mage by Saliko - Antique radio amateurs exhibition - Florence, Italy, Feb. 2014 - Wikimedia Commons
We had brunch with some very good friends over this past weekend. They live about an hour away, so we don’t see them as often as we’d like, but when we do, it’s always fun. Over mimosas, we caught up on each other’s family news, books we read, documentaries we’d seen and the new restaurants we’d been to. Then, the conversation drifted to childhood interests, and Matthew told us about his fascination with electronics when he was a teenager. He talked about how he had built a transistor radio using a do-it-yourself electronics kit from Heathkit. He spoke about the hours he spent at the 'workshop' he set up in his parents’ basement, mounting the components over a circuit board and the smell of solder and copper wire. It was a sweet memory to share.
After we parted ways, I thought about Matthew’s reminiscences on the drive home. We know that scent can invoke a memory, but can someone else’s memory invoke a scent? It sure can because as soon as I got into the house, I made a dash for my bottle of Radio Bombay from American indie house DS & Durga.
Created by self-taught perfumer David Seth Moltz (the DS in DS & Durga), the inspiration for Radio Bombay is stated in the promotion piece inside the perfume: “I imagine the radio sitting in a small hot shop in Bandra – the ‘Brooklyn’ of Bombay (sorry). The heat deconstruct the oils in the wood. Ragas and Geeta Dutt tunes jangle out of its tiny speaker in the busy city.”
I can’t vouch for the smell of a warm radio playing in the Brooklyn of Bombay, but Radio Bombay, now, that’s a scent I totally get.
It opens with a rich woody note bolstered by cedarwood. The metallic tang of copper, appears suddenly and disappears quickly on me, like a spark, and makes the opening exciting and intriguing. But Radio Bombay is just getting started. As it warms on my skin, a beautiful, pure note of Mysore sandalwood emerges. It's soft, sweet, warm, creamy and woody. Iris adds a powdery feel to it that gives the fragrance elegance. Boronia, a shrub native to Australia, has a vivid floral/fruity aroma with hay-like aspects that are shown here. As it moves to the base, I smell sweet, milky coconut and woody, piney balsam, joined by animalic ambergris, and I am beyond smitten. Mr. Durga is sending me signals to me, and I am receiving them... with my nose.
The drydown is warm and sultry, elegant and transporting, with a rich woodiness that runs all the way through it.
Mr. Durga says that “Radio Bombay a deconstruction of the Mysore sandal rebuilt from aspects of musky cedar, peach, coconut, lactones, milk” and that’s exactly what it smells like.
The next time the four of us get together, I’m going to bring my bottle of Radio Bombay and see if it sparks any memories.
Check out Radio Bombay in our Shop.