Dzing! by L'Artisan Parfumeur (1999) is sadly yet another testament to how creative and unique one of the first niche perfume houses used to be, but is no longer. Jean Laporte left Sisley to start L'Artisan Parfumeur, citing a need for return to artistry in the perfume industry after years of watching it increasingly become more under the creative control of soulless marketing ghouls, and after having only been with the former brand -which he also helped start - for only a few years. Ultimately, Laporte would leave L'Artisan too by 1983, selling the brand to Cradle Holdings, then emerging at the helm of Maître Parfumeur et Gantier in 1988; a brand focusing on taking French perfumery aesthetically back to it' 17th century roots, when the indulgence of the noble classes spared no expense in composition and cared not about marketing to the unwashed masses. L'Artisan Parfumeur made a great many artistic and memorable fragrances, all truly niche in their limited appeal to the general public, but they sold at a modest premium and the brand had lifelong buyers. Like Jean-Claude Ellena's L'Eau de Navigateur by L'Artisan Parfumeur (1982) before it, Olivia Giacobetti's Dzing! was among the perfumes most signature to her developing style as a perfumer, and also like L'Eau de Navigateur, was brutally murdered ironically at the hands of those same soulless marketing ghouls, now in possession of L'Artisan Parfumeur itself. There's no escaping the grim reaper of late-stage capitalism, and the bill always comes due, as it will for us all before too long with the way the world is shaping up thanks to them. Please excuse the bit of nihilism, but it's hard not to be when watching the world literally burn in the fires of greed.
So the point of Dzing! was to be a recollection of Olivia's in perfume form, an impression of visiting the circus from her memory. These days both Byredo, Maison Margiela Replica, and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle all try this same shtick with varying degrees of accuracy, and for much more money than L'Artisan did. Dzing! therefore has some woody bits, some hay-like and musky bits, plus some sweetness redolent of cotton candy or toffee found at an old English traveling circus. Dzing! takes some cues from Dertrand Duchaurfour's Méchant Loup by L'Artisan Parfumeur (1997) which came out a few years before, but amps up the barnyard musk and hay aspects a bit, at least in the beginning. The opening of Dzing! will be the most challenging aspect of the perfume, with sour apple and cotton candy gourmand notes crisscrossed with urinous hyrax-like musks and suede leather notes. Eventually the hay-like tonka moves in, dry and not at all like the usual tobacco stuff you see in men's fragrances. Saffron, ginger, and what smells to me like suederal comprise most of the heart, before cedarwood raw materials and something like the old 70's style "fur rug" tonquitone musk notes finish this off. This switcheroo from unpleasant to pleasant animal musks is what makes Dzing! such a hoot and holler for both vintage nuts and niche lovers, not to mention muskophiles who love anything stanky, but the end game of Dzing! isn't to be overtly stank, since the cedar and fluffiness offer some clean in the end too. Wear time is moderate, as is sillage, and Dzing! is no horny monster like some may paint it to be. As a somewhat lighter leather fragrance, I think you can get away with wearing Dzing! in most seasons save the dead heat of summer.
How much this really smells like a circus is really up to you, as I've personally never been to a proper three-ring circus in my life, and somehow I don't think Cirque du Soleil counts. What I do know is Dzing! smells a bit more like how I would have liked Méchant Loup to smell, since that one was supposed to be horny werewolf bait and when I wore it, I was left stood up by my big fuzzy musclebound date for lackluster animal magnetism. In any case, Dzing! may seem wild and crazy to noses used to big ambroxan clean fragrances, but still doesn't hold a candle to the classic whorehouse smells like Jicky by Guerlain (1882), Moustache by Rochas (1949), Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez (1982), or even Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (1981). It's a shame really, most of those are discontinued too, as people are just so afraid of getting their hands dirty to smell good these days. At the end of the day, Dzing! is a bit of a sheep in wolf's clothing, coming out of the gate growling like a paper tiger, then succumbing to the clean cedar and cozy tonkin vibe in the base, starting off like an unhinged Michelle Pfieffer Catwoman only to go all seductress mode like Ertha Kitt Catwoman in the end. I do like Dzing! but I wouldn't pay the insane finder's fee prices of scalpers online now that L'Artisan Parfumeur has axed it along with most of what made the house so appealing. If there's ever an argument for the "Shadow of Its Former Self" accusation lobbed by nostalgia-drunk vintage gatekeepers, it's with the fate of the house responsible for this perfume. L'Artisan Parfumeur helped kick off the niche segment in protest of cynical market-driven perfume, and now like most of that segment itself, has come under control by the same cynics it sought to escape. Thumbs up
Another masterpiece from Olivia Giacobetti Absolutely fabulous, sublime, elegant, flamboyant, luxurious.One of a kind and one of the best perfumes and leather scents ever made. A night walk by the fairground attraction: flashing lights, roller coaster hysteria, indecipherable words, sounds and smells invading and assaulting your 5 senses; cotton candy, caramelized apples, steamy hot dogs, leather accords coming from jackets, animals, and purses; red sexy lipstick , fur neck scarves dressing women from black and white pictures and suddenly you are inside the circus and the whole place becomes an olfactory accord. Oh Lord! the leather smells so good and so sexy! An imaginary journey to the Circus and its surroundings.
Dzing! Is supposed to be an olfactive portrait of a trip to the circus, like a scratch-and-sniff accompaniment to the Beatles' Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. John Lennon famously said, I want to smell the sawdust. And, the great Olivia Giacobetti executes this, with style, panache, and animalic stank for miles.
The perfume opens with big blast of bergamot, followed by a rising, massive, cloud of cedar, leather, and white-pepper horse poo. It is the kind of animalic leather accord, that could cause some confusion, regarding the state of the wearer's hygiene. It is so horsey, that it takes me back to my grandparents' farm in the South Texas Valley, the dust and hay and weirdly comforting scent of freshly mucked stalls.
It settles into a musky leather accord, that is rough and furry, like the animal musk in dirty mustachiod 70s perfumes, like Jovān's Musk for Men, elegant musks like Kiehl's Original Musk, Serge Luten's floral Musk Kublai Khan, and Parfum d'Empire's Musc Tonkin. It is a ketone musk, the artificial substitute for Tonkin Deer Musk (the real thing has become fashionable again, thanks to Bortnikoff and his sustainable deer musk perfumes).
The musk is assimilated into the dry, funky leather, which begins to take on the vegetative, resinous, almost caramelized sweetness of labdanum, itself a furry-smelling substance that used to be harvested from goat beards using a rake-like combing device, and even in cultivated form has a goaty smell that reminds me of childhood misadventures at petting zoos (a goat once managed to untie and swallow most of a grosgrain belt off of one of my little jumpsuits, before my mum intervened, and rescued both me and the belt, from the goat's overenthusiastic chewing).
It is a genius transition, as the sweet edge of the labdanum, leads to a swelling, delicious scent of buttery, toasty esters, the popcorn in Dzing!'s conceptual, virtual circus. The perfume balances, like a seal on a beach ball, the animalic leather accord, with an animalic amber, that reminds me of Profumum Roma's fabulous Fiore d'Ambra, one of the greatest celebrations of labdanum in modern perfumery. I also smell a teeny, almost subliminal, hint of cotton candy, another circus element, that lingers in a puffy cloud, as the perfume darkens, in a long sunset, over the tents, and wagons, and animals bedding down for the night.
Dzing! Is one of the great L'Artisans, a landmark in niche perfumery, that belongs with the house's other mid period masterpieces, such as Bertrand Duchaufour's vetiver duo of Timbuktu and Dzongkha (btw, this house and its Dz names, am I right?), his equally magnificent orange-blossom/beeswax Seville a'L'Aube, and his iris tour-de-force Traversée du Bosphore, his savage incense Al Oudh, and Giacobetti's creepy incense Rue d'Infer, a masterful run of niche perfumery classics, that L'Artisan Parfumeur has, unfortunately, probably, left behind, as their new corporate masters at Puig, have left behind, just like they have spoiled the house's lovely packaging, with grim gray glass, that replaced their sparkling, clear, colorfully labeled bottles.
Dzing! packs a punch. It projects in about a three foot radius, and it lasts for at least twelve hours, in its final phases, a gradually boozy amber, that could perhaps be imagined as drunken carnies, relaxing after a day's work, of wrangling horses, elephants, big cats, and crowds of people. From its marketing , I expected it to fall further on the gourmand, than the leather, spectrum, as its featured vanilla and amber, listed in L'Artisan's description, are largely subsumed beneath its beastly animalics. It is a scent that leather, and certain amber, junkies will love, but it is likely not for people, who don't like strong musks and barnyard accords. Nevertheless, this it necessary exploratory smelling, for anyone who wants to expand their palate, and understand, what great niche perfumery, with brilliant execution and artistic direction, can, and should be. There is literally nothing else like it. On my personal rating system, I give it four and a half stars, as I sometimes find it a difficult perfume to wear, I definitely have to be in the mood for it, but when I am in a Dzing! mood, it is like the old Snickers as copy–it really satisfies. I wish I had purchased a bottle, a couple of years ago, when Puig bought L'Artisan Parfumeur, and the gray market had been flooded with discount bottles, with the old packaging. If you are reading this, and have an old unfinished bottle, that you would like to sell, send me a message, please. Until then, my 10ml decant, will probably get me through the cold months left in this winter, and cooler days in the spring. Thumbs, absolutely, up!!
Dense, tufted clouds of smoky incense-like and charred, smoldering oud. Drifting into a series of long abandoned sea caves, thick with the musty dust of time long ago past. Or, for a more modern take, riding the water attraction at an amusement park, waves of excess water splashing into the adjacent petting zoo. There's a hint of dried down feces, hide, and dampened dirt, straw and sawdust trodden into the earth. It's rather animalistic in nature, and oddly, not unpleasant. I don't get a sugar bomb, but there's a wisp of deep caramelized, wood-fired vanilla candy. This has just enough oddness to keep things interesting, and have me sniffing my shirt and wrists, repeatedly.
Sadly, Dzing! falls flat in the longevity and sillage. It's mildly weak, fading down to a faint leathery musk, and it stays on the skin and clothes.
An interesting combo... Some cedar, I believe. Hint of sweet candy. New, suede-like leather. Nearly 70's musk. The notes wax and wane. No one note seems to overpower the other. A rather gentle frag. I do enjoy the musk here. Not an overly impressive scent, for me. It's okay.
Leather, does last long, even if it never becomes intense or deep.
Folks, are we talking about the same Dzing!? I don't get a lick of civet (gross), no poop, not even a whole lot of "Circus" per se. Although I'm not gonna lie, I don't immediately know what the smell of a circus is.
But down to brass tacks--there is way more grass/hay in Mississippi Mud. And no elephant dung or gross sweat or whatever. Actually, this scent is quite pleasant, some vanilla, perhaps lavender and a touch of sweet leather.
Very tame, subtle, beautiful--so much so in fact, that it's juuust a touch too feminine for my taste. And sadly, after about two hours it is mostly gone.
But while it lasts...beautiful, surprisingly delicate, and warm.
Pleasant leather and musk. I got a hint of something ammonia like in the background, until I realized it was the saffron. Funny how some notes are easier to distinguish so obviously once you look at the pyramid. There is something a little sweet that comes out an hour or so in, but I can't put my finger on it. Maintains the saffron zing from the opening. Projection was soft but acceptable, longevity was poor.
There's a great Katie Puckrik review of this likening it to a circus and, wow - it really does smells of leather and circus animals! I don't get much sweetness, toffee or woods - just large musky animals with a slightly fecal, stale litter-tray / sawdust twist. To me it's less big-top and more like the cages out the back. It's incredible how evocative it is (and for some reason I do keep wanting to smell it again) but it's not a pleasant or particularly wearable fragrance.
The truth is......I can't really explain Dzing!. Those that have described manure and a petting zoo must be smelling something completely different to me!! I get floral's, I get a tiny bit of apple and I get damp soil. It really is quite mesmerizing. Something about this reminds me of Creeds Royal Mayfair. I can't put my finger on it but it's there!
The only thing stopping me giving this full marks is that the longevity and projection suck just like most L'Artisan fragrances.
I feel bad about panning Dzing!, but this was an actual scrubber for me. Most of l'Artisan's scents seem to work well on me, and the concept and notes of Dzing! sound rather brilliant. But so help me, apparently castoreum on me takes over and leaves me redolent of manure. It smells like a suffusion of dung over flowers no less, which made it somehow even more unpleasant and just really unfortunate. It was foul. I suppose one could say I smelled like a meadow, just one that a herd of incontinent cattle happened to have grazed in. There were no other notes: just flowers and copious amounts of poo. Not good. Not good at all.
I hate rating this with a thumbs-down, because it's surely amazing on other people, and I wanted so much to love it. However, I am actually afraid to try it again, so I do not think I'll test it again just to see if it gets any better.
Dzing! is a perfume I came to very late. For the longest time, I thought it was a clumsy slamming together of two different perfumes: a fecal Cuir de Russie-type leather on top, a Bvlgari Black rubber-vanilla on the bottom something that, if you already owned either of those perfumes, was a bit redundant.
But with time, I've come to appreciate and even love Dzing! as an animal in its own right. There is an abstraction to Dzing! that isn't present in either the Chanel or the Bvlgari, a sort of sweet, musky haze that rearranges the furniture of the scent each time, rendering the familiar unfamiliar.
Sometimes Dzing! wears as a sweet, bready musk with a tinge of caramel apples; other times, it smells of saddle soap and soft horse shit. On occasion, I smell the sensual scent of grimy skin trapped under a rubber watch strap, as well as Rich Tea biscuits, soggy cardboard, and Communion wafers.
If books are themselves an amalgamation of complex, abstract aromas and molecules, then Dzing! is just that in scent form. Like a book, Dzing! is predominantly sweet and vanillic (biscuity), but there is the unmistakable whiff of something that reminds you of its ruder animal origins the fecal smell of just cured leather bindings, perhaps, or the moistly grimy finger imprints of previous readers. Delicious, if you can stand the sheer second-hand intimacy of the smell.
I received Dzing! as part a collection of L'Artisan Parfumeur samples. I knew nothing about this fragrance, except that I love Timbuktu and Fou D'Absinthe. Upon spraying, I was immediately hit with "petting zoo on a hot, summer day." It has it all: sweaty barnyard animals, muddy hay, and even a few toddlers running around with dirty diapers. Awful! Wondering if my sample was bad, I read through the reviews and found that many others had the same experience. I decided to stick it out until dry-down and, even though it lightens, it never really smelled good. I enjoy taking my kids to the petting zoo, but I definitely don't want to smell like it.
Castoreum and coumarin with a very brief waft of coconut(?!). Hay, honey, cedar, tack room leather, damp sawdust, musk. It reminds me of being 15 years old and having a crush on one of the older boys at the stables where I used to ride. The animalic notes are sweet, supple, and somewhat...*charged*. I've had a very similar experience with this to afartherroom (see below) and I don't feel I can really add anything to his gorgeous description except to say, yup - my nose buried in the fur of a happy cat sunning itself in the stable yard, surrounded by the smell of horses, tack and the crackling expectation of youth.
This is an absolute must-have for me. Love.
Dzing! is a weirdo. First, it was presented to me as a feminine gourmand I should try. I think it's gourmand, but only in the beginning, and very masculine. At first spray, I got cinnamon and nutmeg, which I loved, and disappeared soon into musk (fecal type) and leather. You're left (for a long time) with black pepper and leather, and then vanilla and chocolate.
It's not my taste, but it's really well done. It's warm, but doesn't project far.
Dzing is a gourmand/leather type fragrance. It is a good effort, but the fragrance has little development and is only two-faceted.
First, there is an initial blast of a rather animalic musk/civet/castoreum that sadly has a rather harsh, synthetic edge. This is coupled with cedar, hay, and a gourmand caramel type note that is a bit to "foody" for me.
After about 45 minutes, the animalics wear off leaving only a faint sweet gourmand candy that quickly fades away.
This fragrance was originally called Desir du Cirque I believe (Desire of the Circus?). It supposedly captures the hay, concessions, performers, and animals that are part of the circus. I think it captures this a bit but for the synthetic edge.
Many complain Dzing smells of cardboard, but this a good sign that some amount of natural castoreum is being used because castoereum is preserved in a chemical that smells like wet cardboard.
Quite the marketing weave on this musk predominant. Noticeable castoreum upon the open and a leathery feel through its heart. There's a touch of indolic flower too and it all settles to a slightly sweet satisfying amber musk skin scent at hour 4. References to MKK, Kiehl's, Bvlgari Black are apt. Nice and pleasant. No clowns in sight.
I've never been much of a fan of sweet oriental perfumes. It's not that I don't care for the smell of vanilla--who doesn't love the smell of a sticky black vanilla bean?--but that personal fragrances based on those notes have a weird way of making something deep within me recoil and flinch away from them. Perhaps I was simply far too traumatized by the 1980s. I lived in New York City at the height of the loud orientals era, you see, and I commuted to work by subway. By *rush hour* subway. So as hesitant as I am to draw the ire of the perfumistos by admitting this, I was indeed one of those people who heaved a giant sigh of olfactory relief in the 1990s, when all of those new cool quiet "fresh and clean" aquatics finally replaced the deafeningly loud warm-spicy-yet-also-sickly-sweet-and-don't-forget-the-absolutely-*filthy*-come-hither-animalics! melange as the prevailing smell of the crowded morning subway car.
I know, I know. I'm so sorry.
Anyway, the point is that I didn't really expect to care all that much for Dzing! As far as I could tell, it looked to be a warm, spicy, candy-sweet, vanillic gourmandish yet also kinda fecal-filthy oriental. All of the things that I thought I didn't care for in a fragrance.
But then I gave it a sniff.
And then another.
And then another...and another...and another...
And then, only a week after my first whiff of Dzing!, I had somehow managed not only to use up my entire sample, but also to shell out more money than I thought I would ever be willing to pay for 100 mls, just to have a great big stonking bottle of this for my very own. I just couldn't help myself. I simply had to, you see, because this remarkably addictive fragrance smells like so many of the very best things on earth: of well-kept stables and tack rooms and warm sweet hay, of a healthy horse's neck when you nuzzle it after a good day's ride and the way that your palms smell after that same day of riding (the leather of the reins combining with your sweat and the fine fresh horse sweat to make something new and strange out of the once-familiar skin-smell of your own two hands). It smells of fresh-cut pine boards, ancient varnish, the tasty salicylated green inner layer of black birch bark; of sarsaparilla and sealing wax; of the inside of a lacquered Chinese false-bottomed box. It's the smell of schoolbook covers made from brown paper grocery bags and decorated with thick and redolent permanent markers, and of the enormous cardboard refrigerator box your parents let you play in when you were very small. It's all of the good smells of childhood and none of the bad: it's fatwood and toffee and that fried dough with powdered sugar they sell at the state fair. It's that funny brown benzoin your grandmother once dabbed on your scraped knee to make a bandaid stick better -- and it's also the weirdly rubbery old bandaid itself. It's dusty boxes in the attic, a forgotten cake of rosin found inside a velvet-lined antique violin case, shelves upon shelves of old used books, the fur behind the ears of a sun-warmed purring cat...
It's all of these olfactory memories at once, and yet it doesn't...quite...match any one of them perfectly. It somehow manages to be both intensely allusive and profoundly nostalgic, while never quite settling on any single precise referent.
And in the end, of course, like all the best fragrances, Dzing! smells like nothing but its own unique self.
I am absolutely, head-over-heels in love with this fragrance, but the thing is, I can also recognize that many of the reasons others have given for finding it gross are pretty much accurate. There *is* a fecal aspect to the smell of even the best-maintained stable, and while I may find that tang of well-aged horse manure to be not only inoffensive but even actively enjoyable, I can certainly understand why someone else might be violently averse to the idea of deliberately scenting themselves with it. Cat fur, similarly, is not a smell that everyone enjoys, nor is attic dust, and I am sure that there are many for whom the words "horse sweat" do not precisely ring out as a positive endorsement of a perfume. And though I've always loved the turpentinic smell of rosin, I've never heard of anyone rubbing it all over themselves in a futile attempt at budget DIY perfumery -- unlike, say, vanilla extract from the kitchen, which very many young people do try to use in just that way.
So yeah, I get what others might find disgusting about Dzing!. Honestly, I really, really do get it.
An autumn favourite, that always brings a smile to my face.
I don't really get the circus reference - but then I have never been to a circus. What I do get here is a wonderful smokiness, reminiscent (for UK readers) of the chill, damp air of bonfire night and the magic of fireworks crackling in the skies, and toffee apples on sticks and kids' eyes lighting up as the colours fizz and pop above.
Leather, for me, is secondary - it is there if I look for it but not dominant. I feel there might be iris somewhere too, but maybe I'm getting carried away with my November associations....
I love Dzing! because it doesn't really remind me of any other fragrance (although I kind of get the Fahrenheit comparison, now it's been pointed out).
It is interesting and clever and lasts a good 6-7 hours on my skin.
I should probably write my first review about a fragrance I love, but wanted to give my impression of this while still wearing it. It is just meh to me. For the first hour,I smell uncooked cookie dough, or maybe yeasty bread dough. That subsides a bit to blend into a soft baby lotion type scent. Others have said it smelled masculine, but I'm not getting that.