Bistro Waters by DS and Durga

A sparkly, lively and savoury green scent to get us all ready for the warmer weather.

Listed notes

Lime flower water, coriander seed, pear, mandarin, bell pepper, pea flower, basil, nutmeg, moss water.

Top notes

Whilst many brands are releasing sweet and sticky gourmands at the moment, DS and Durga are bucking the trend by going lighter and more refreshing with their latest release, Bistro Waters.

Bistro Waters opens with a sparklingly effervescent and peppery bouquet of top notes. It is very green and very savoury. A ripe pear peeks out with and a kind of flat greenery lying underneath. The citrus of the lime flower is both lively and lifting. It has all the refreshment of citrus notes but with a floral smoothness to it as well. Right from the off we get the distinct sense of their being a verdant leafiness to the fragrance and that does not change as we move through the composition.

The fragrance has a warmth and hint of piquant spice, perhaps from the coriander, and as the fragrance opens and settles this becomes earthier and darker. The different tones of greenery feel layered over one another like we are peeping through foliage at a scene beyond.

There’s an interesting play of textures in the start of Bistro Waters and for a scent which is full of green tones it manages to have depth and dimension to the composition, largely brought about by the variation of texture as well as tone of green.

Bistro Waters sample by DS and Durga

Heart notes

Bistro Waters has a dark heart. The earthiness which we noticed in the start becomes more prevalent but is lifted deliciously by the mandarin which takes up the citrusy opening and leads us deeper into the scent. There’s a sort of shut-away dampness to the fragrance, a close muskiness which seems almost sneaky – like you are getting close to someone (or something) in that dense foliage which might whisper secrets in your ear.

There’s a tobacco-like tone here as well, but this isn’t bright new tobacco leaves, it’s dried, aged ones already rolled into the cigar, ready to light but not yet smouldering away. This leafiness is quite addictive and has a very compelling quality to it, despite edging towards dank in the way in which it is experienced. There’s definitely something about Bistro Waters which has a push/pull element of drawing you in with the lively citruses but pushing you away with this earthy dampness at the same time.

The bell pepper note isn’t really very strong, there’s definitely a dry pepperiness to the fragrance, but the fresh, juicy skin of a bell pepper doesn’t leap out at you as much as you might imagine it would.

Base notes

The base of Bistro Waters is given over to the warm woodiness of nutmeg – itself feeling flecked with greenery at times – and the mossy tones. The fragrance becomes drier as it ages, and the remaining mossy base takes on a chalky aspect.

Whilst the start of the fragrance is multifaceted and nuanced, Bistro Waters does feel a little like it peters out. The mossiness is certainly pleasant, but the base doesn’t feel as detailed as the scent did at the start. The overall impression we are left with is spriggy and stemmy, like a bunch of fresh herbs where the juicy leaves have been pulled off and all we are left with is the woodier stems, wilting in a mug.

All in all, Bistro Waters is an interesting study in greenery. Whilst saying that a scent is mostly (or even entirely) green may make it sound a bit one-dimensional, Bistro Waters overcomes that by adding a plethora of different textures and tones. The start of the fragrance is exciting and energetic, and whilst the base feels like it ran out of steam a bit, there is enough interest there in the earlier half of a wear to sustain us through to the end.

The other stuff

The perfumer for Bistro Waters was David Seth Moltz.

The longevity of the scent is moderate. For about four hours it is noticeable after an application, but latterly it is vastly reduced to being something you have to get very close to in order to smell.

The sillage, or projection, of Bistro Waters is very polite. It goes to a little further than hugging distance when newly sprayed and not much further than up-close-and-personal once it has been worn for a while.

Bistro Waters feels like a good fragrance for spring days and for occasions like going to the office. It is moreish at times, but not particularly sexy – unless you find salad particularly attractive – and throughout is very savoury in tone. That in itself is novel, however, and I personally have found the scent to be one which has grown on me whilst I have been testing it. Bistro Waters is a strange, savoury novelty, an amuse bouche of scent.

The brand

DS and Durga are one of those brands which is almost painfully cool. They exude the epitome of New York chic and are intimidatingly resolute in the way in which the fragrances are packaged and presented. Clean minimalist lines and bottles are the name of the game here. No jewellery or adornments to clutter up the packaging, but who needs that stuff anyway?

That said, some of the refrains DS and Durga play are surprisingly friendly and welcoming. Bistro Waters, for example, isn’t a challenging scent at all. Many of the scents in their line are the sort of fragrances which are just a bit different, and the perspective that the offer on this clean, minimalist and modern fragrance brand is worth checking out just to see if there are any you will fall totally head over heels for.

Buy it

Bistro Waters is available from the DS and Durga web boutique where it is priced at $260 USD for 100ml of EDP or $175 for 50ml.

Main image by Rebecca Orlov | Epic Playdate on Unsplash, other images of product by The Sniff.

We were kindly gifted a sample of this fragrance by the brand when visiting their New York flagship store.

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