Brand Profile: D.S. & Durga

No source of inspiration is off limits for David Seth and Kavita Moltz, the multi-faceted fragrance duo behind D.S. & Durga. Native American plant rituals, P.G. Wodehouse, the mandirs of India…almost anything can be a starting point for their rich and complex scents. 

My Indian Childhood is inspired by “memories of India through the eyes of a young expat,” with notes of patchouli, tobacco and tropical flowers, while Poppy Rouge evokes Mississippi John Hurt’s “Richland Woman Blues,” in which “a loose married woman prepares for a night on the town in her rosy red garters, bright poppy rouge and turkey red bloomer[s].”

D.S. & Durga began experimenting with oils, resins and tinctures in 2007 while making aftershaves for friends, and moved on to perfumes and colognes shortly thereafter. Their process usually begins with an idea, followed by “really nerding out” on research. 

Experimentation plays a huge part as well. Their fragrances can contain up to eighty different elements, a process David likens to sculpting. Once you have a foundation, “you are shaving off a little here and there, then adding here and there to round out and blend.” 

To this day, they craft, bottle, box and label everything themselves, a rare feat in the fine fragrance world. While their work practice harkens back to a pre-industrial era, their fragrances are nonetheless “appropriate for modern ladies and gentlemen of discerning taste.” 

Available now on Wantful.

Posted at 3:30pm and tagged with: Wantful, Brand Profile, Photography, Partners, Editorial,.

Brand Profile: bkr

Why should drinking water come at a cost to the environment? For bkr owners Tal Soltz and Kate Cutler, the answer was simple: it shouldn’t. Friends since law school, they launched bkr a year ago after searching in vain for the perfect water bottle, something environmentally conscious that didn’t taste metallic or leach chemicals into your drink. When their search came up empty, they decided to make their own. 

More than just a statement against a disposable world, they created bkr with “a recognition that good design does not need to be absent from green products.” Their bkrs are made of glass (recyclable) and come in vibrant colors like Julep, Candy and Rocket. Plus, a one-inch opening and an easy twist cap make for drinking that never feels awkward. 

But of course, beauty is more than bkr-deep. Both Soltz and Cutler passionately believe that beauty can inspire change, so a portion of all proceeds go to the Obakki Foundation, which uses the arts to raise money and bring education to Africa. To date, they’ve drilled over 100 clean water wells in Sudan. They also contribute to the Canary Foundation, which is dedicated to the funding, discovery and development of tests for early cancer detection. This kind of big picture thinking is essential to the brand’s vision, so naturally, water bottles are just the beginning. As Cutler puts it, they’d like to bring “iconic modern design to all things people use to consume.” 

Available now @Wantful. 

Posted at 2:43pm and tagged with: Wantful, Brand Profile, Editorial, Photography, Partners,.

Brand Profile: Joshu+Vela

A deep respect for the passage of time and the influence of history is embedded in owner/designer Noah Guy’s work for Joshu+Vela. Every element of their totes, backpacks and wallets is created by hand, from the custom-molded brass fixtures to the hand-cut leather straps, because “that’s how brands used to do it, they made the things they sold.”

A graphic designer who spent years working with denim at Levi’s, Guy brought an appreciation for quality and craftsmanship to his own line which launched in its current iteration a little over two years ago. 

He says he’s inspired by vintage items that were made for a specific purpose, like old work bags for electricians or military workwear. “I find things I like from the past and update them, streamline them,” he says. The challenge for him is not to reinvent but to make it relevant, good, and worth being produced. 

To that end, taking a design from concept to final product can often take months. He’s been hard at work on a new backpack style, and once he has a physical sample, he will test it thoroughly, making small adjustments along the way. His workspace, he admits, feels more like a setup from the 1930s or 40s - he uses no robotic machinery, unusual for leather, and works with a small in-house team. But working this way allows for his designs to lead the manufacturing, rather than the other way around. “If I want to change a strap or have a sudden idea, I can make the changes pretty quickly and see how it feels.” 

The time and effort put into his bags quite literally shows. The vegetal tanned leather he uses is a creamy tan that gradually darkens and deepens in color, sometimes even approaching a rich chocolate. “It’s a look you can’t buy, you can only earn it with use, love and time.” 

Available now through @Wantful. 

Posted at 8:52am and tagged with: Wantful, Brand Profile, Editorial, Photography, Partners,.

Brand Profile: Le Palais des Thés

“Tea is more than a gift, it’s an experience.” 

That’s the philosophy behind Le Palais des Thés, as expressed by Aurélie Bessiere, president of the company’s U.S. division. “It’s about having time to yourself and allowing your spirit to travel. It’s a perfect escape.”

Founded 25 years ago by an uncle with a passion for foreign cultures as well as for tea, Le Palais des Thés remains a family owned and operated business,  with long-lasting relationships with plantations in China, India, Korea and other faraway lands.

“We have a lot of respect for the people and the cultures that are invested in tea,” says Aurélie. That’s why they maintain close ties to the estates that grow their tea, and remain vigilant about environmental issues, working conditions and fair trade practices. “We have a passion for our tea because it’s a product of patience and knowledge. It’s more than just a beverage. It’s a product full of wellness, nostalgia and tradition.”

Today, the tea lovers at Le Palais des Thés have a simple mission: to bring you the best quality teas and to share their travels and experiences with you. 

“Tea is a surprise,” says Aurélie. “We hope more people will discover more behind the tea when they drink it.”

Posted at 10:30am and tagged with: Wantful, Brand Profile, Editorial, Design, Photography, Original,.