Perfume Directory

Bowmakers (2012)
by D.S. & Durga


Bowmakers information

Year of Launch2012
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 43 votes)

People and companies

HouseD.S. & Durga
PerfumerDavid Moltz

About Bowmakers

Bowmakers is a shared / unisex perfume by D.S. & Durga. The scent was launched in 2012 and the fragrance was created by perfumer David Moltz

Bowmakers fragrance notes

Reviews of Bowmakers

Nothing like a luthier's studio. Cypress, cedar, and mahogany have no place. If the attempt was to represent the 'American Pioneer' workshop of any type, one would be hard-pressed to find cedar in America during that time period; mahogany grows in Southern Florida but primarily Mexico down to Brazil; and cypress is native to part of Southern America to California, but would not be a common wood to use on the pioneer front. Bowmakers does have some redeeming qualities as the wood notes are true to form and the rosin note is close enough. I don't dislike it, but completely disappointed in the selling point.

I have to call out the utter bs of the marketing and fantasy background. Early Americans imported almost all their instruments from Europe up until the late 18th century. A few pockets of string makers in select communities did exist (German Moravians of Pennsylvania) the earliest noted from 1750, but at the time almost all the wood and supplies were imported from Europe. It was a middle/merchant class instrument during this time. It wasn't until the very late 18th century, when music in the homes started to play a larger role, did violin making done in America start to take off.

Early patterns for stringed instruments started to take off in 1890 from imported German and French 'trade fiddles'. The time period that D.S. & Durga claims in their fantasy write up (1760-1850) for 'an astonishing time capsule evocation of violin and bow making workshops in 18th century American pioneer towns' is complete made-up fantasy. While I'm not discounting a few fiddles might have been made here and there from craftsmen who also made wagon wheels, regular furniture, or other crafts, the whole premise for the naming convention of Bowmakers is preposterous.

Early and modern day violins are made from spruce, maple, willow, pines, and the bows primarily from pernambuco and brazilwood. Horsehair is required for the bow and the resin is made from pines/conifers and some recipes from over 100 different types of fir trees. There is a reason these types of wood are utilized and not others.
05th August, 2019
Well, this certainly smells of the listed notes. Very artistic. Very real. Varnish, indeed. Brings forth memories of the observed endeavors of friends or relatives furniture-refurbishing projects. The top is very fizzy and kind of "carbonated", like rising bubbles of some dark elixir. The wood notes are very deep. There is a distant freshness, in the background.

The varnish vibe subsides a bit as the middle notes appear. It still remains effervescent and woody, with a bubbly addition of cypress. The resinous mood is calming, soothing. Cypress increases in time. The whole thing keeps its fresh, resinous, and woody allure throughout. The cedar smells "real". Later, a hint of earthy moss reveals itself, closer to the skin. Overall this is very well done and will make a marvelous scent for wood-lovers.
19th June, 2019
jujy54 Show all reviews
United States
I was a bassist in an orchestra, and this is as accurate a re-creation of the scent memory of my musical life as I can imagine, most especially the shop where I took my bow for rehairs and the bass for adjustments or repairs. Rosin, wood shavings, and old shop smell. I agree with janjanjan, too, it is "pencilly." In fact this is what Luckyscent sent me when I did their fragrance fitting. I said I loved pencil shavings, rosin, leather, and old cigar, and Bowmakers was their pick. I just might have to pony up and buy this, even as I have reservations about smelling like the inside of a violin case.

Update: I did buy it, altho in the pocket perfume oil form, which stays close to the skin and is even more evocative of my orchestra years. Both versions are wonderful. In EdP, I think a wonderful date scent.
02nd April, 2018 (last edited: 16th September, 2019)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
From the beginning there is incense, wood and a slightly balsamic hint. Maybe this is alluding to the violin-making art and craft. The incense is soft, rounded, has a very mild resin characteristic at times, is more contained that intrusive and, on my skin, is never a burning or smoking incense; nor is it a haughty ceremonial frankincense.

The woods include mahogany, whiffs of pine and, further in the drydown, a nice cedar impression that increasingly grows in structure in the base notes.

The sillage is moderate, the projection very good and the longevity nine hours.

A lovely wintery wood-incense-based creation composed of high-quality ingrendients that performs well. It is one of the rare incense-centred scents that is quite wearable in the office without exposing others to intrusive incense notes. 3.25/5.
10th July, 2016
I like this one...I really do. It's odd though. The wood scents are very nice. I definitely smell the cedar and I'm guessing the maple as well, but the predominant smell to me is the, "violin varnish"??? What the.....? Am I really putting varnish on myself as a scent, and if so, is that a good idea? I just find the idea of varnishing myself for the day kind of funny. The opening notes are where the varnish sticks out. As this scent dry's down, the wood notes start to take over and it's very enjoyable, I just lost this scent too quickly in the dry down. But, overall, I find this scent intriguing and I enjoyed wearing it quite a bit. I agree with JanJanJan's review and I'm also happy there are no creamy qualities to this scent as found in other wood scents I've tried, like Tam Dao. I'll revisit it again very soon to see if my face ends up looking like Pinocchio's before he becomes a real boy, or if it just smells like it. :)
23rd February, 2016
After its opening flash, Bowmakers settles down into what I can only imagine must be an accidental homage to that great benchmark in commercial perfumery: Silver Shadow, by Davidoff: 100 mils of which are available, pretty much everywhere, for less than $US 30. I’m reviewing Bowmakers because I find it to be the best of the DS Durga line, and I find it emblematic of the house as a whole.

If DS Durga devoted as much time to a comprehensive in-depth study of, you know, perfume-making, as they do to marketing, presentation, and the construction of arch, and quite often, cringe-inducing back stories from a re-imagination of 19th century Americana so hackneyed you half expect the ghost of Walt Whitman to return and exact a highly pre-industrial vengeance against interlopers so painfully un-ironic, maybe they’d be on to something. But they don’t, and, therefore, they’re not. It’s not, you know, that Durga doesn’t make GOOD fragrances. They do. But greatness is not in them (and by “them” I mean both the bottles and the creators). The proof of this, to me, is in the copy they use to justify the price point which, although not particularly high for niche perfumery, is ridiculously high for unimaginative blends hiding behind a smokescreen of Victorianism.

Silver Shadow is created by Francis Kurdjian, a classically trained nose. Its ad campaign is minimalist: a headshot of the silver fox masculine archetype above the tag line “Lead the Way.” As I said, thirty bucks.

Or you can buy into Bowmaker’s bullshit, at around $140 for 50 ml: “Amongst the transcendental woods of the 1800s, craftsmen from the Massachusetts Bay Colony built violins & bows in the tiny towns of the Pioneer Valley. The shops were riddled with old growth mahogany, burled maple shavings, amber pine rosin, aged walnut & their unique secret varnishes.”

The only thing authentically “oldtimey” about Durga is the thrill one gets from buying snake oil from a mountebank charlatan.
15th January, 2016 (last edited: 08th February, 2016)

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