Une Robe de Zibeline by DSH Perfumes

Notes: aldehydes, bergamot, black pepper, lemon, spice notes; ylang ylang, Bulgarian rose absolute, carnation,  jasmine, orris, rosewood, tobacco absolute, coumarin, sable fur accord; ambergris, beeswax, brown oakmoss, castoreum, civet, patchouli, benzoin, labdanum, tolu balsam, leather


There are a number of fabulous American indie perfumes but thanks to the vagaries of the postal system, it’s usually not easy to get your hands on their fragrances outside the States. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is one such perfumer based in Boulder, Colorado. The good news is that her perfumes can now be shipped internationally via the website.

I was fortunate enough to receive a package of samples showcasing the 2017 releases from DSH Perfumes. I will do a post with mini reviews of some of the highlights but I did want to single one out for special mention.

Une Robe de Zibeline was released in September as another instalment of the ‘Retrograde Files’ series.  These perfumes were discontinued because of the limited availability of ingredients. However, thanks to renewed interest in Retro-Nouveau/Animalic perfumes, Une Robe de Zibeline has been re-worked as a grand, vintage-style scent.

Dawn describes it as a smouldering fragrance and it is exactly that. The sensuality is on a low burn rather than full blast. It’s relatively quiet on me and lasts about half a day but results from spraying are likely to vary from applying using the roller-ball sample.


Une Robe de Zibeline is French for sable coat and the fur subgenre of fragrances is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. This vintage sable scent satisfies my love of subtle, old-school animalic style fragrances where the musk is close to the skin and under the radar.

The opening is full of aldehydes which are silky soft and give the perfume a milky glow.  They immediately put it in the vintage inspired category but also give it some lift. They feel like gossamer and momentarily conceal what is to come with their silvery, glistening web.

For some reason you don’t get a lot of ylang-ylang dominant perfumes which aren’t tropical and indeed Une Robe de Zieline is actually Dawn’s only perfume with this flower at its heart. The ylang-ylang may be prominent but it doesn’t dominate the other accords  but gives them a focal point and creates a beautiful contrast with the dry musk base. When the aldehydes melt away you can breathe in these gorgeously soft, creamy yellow blooms

The ylang-ylang flowers are of course, pinned to an antique fur, making this oriental fragrance more multi-faceted and floral than most in this genre. Some fur coat perfumes are all about the musk, which is fine but what I like about Une Robe de Zibeline, is that is so nicely balanced. The beauty of the flowers tames the beast just enough so it’s soft and pretty as well sophisticated and seductive. Here we have a floral animalic perfume with complexity and that’s what clinches it for me.





Do you like retro-inspired fragrances?




Filed under Perfume Reviews

11 responses to “Une Robe de Zibeline by DSH Perfumes

  1. davina

    retro inspired fragrances sound intriguing Tara. what kind of thing would that be? x


    • Hi Davina!
      Retro inspired perfumes can vary but often have aldehydes in the opening which are soapy (think Chanel No.5)). They can feature accords that are less fashionable in mainstream perfumes today such as tobacco, leather and animalic – rather than white – musks. Chypres with an oakmoss-style base can also be vintage in style too.


  2. Sandra

    Hi dear Tara, I love the idea of retro-inspired fragrances. I would love to discover some and see if they are to my taste. Do you have any suggestions where I should start? I love Chanel No 5 and Mitsouko. Have a great rest or the week. Sandra xo


  3. I am coming round to retro style fragrances more and more – maybe it is my age! Beautiful review. I was very taken with this one, and delighted to see ylang ylang being included in a furry winter type scent. The aldehydic opening was a bit fierce for me – on a par with Superstitious, say – but I loved everything about its development after that.


    • I thought of you while trying this one, V. Too bad the aldehydes are bit too potent for you. They are tricky aren’t they? I was surprised I fell for Superstitious the way I did.
      I also love seeing ylang-ylang in such a cosy composition. It’s such a gorgeous material.


  4. Do I? ❤️❤️❤️ Yup! And there are so many of the retro perfumes from DSH that I would love to try, but even if they do ship to EU, a proper sampling set is not cheap (understandably), and I don’t quite know how to narrow it down as there is such a vast catalogue of perfumes…
    I’m intrigued by the ylang ylang, but is it smooth or rather jasmine-like?
    I’m still looking for the ultimate furry perfume, like kitten asleep on a Lindor truffle.


  5. Beautiful review! Now I want to try it 🙂

    I’m not sure abou “retro” but I like “classical French perfumes” – or at least what I think those were/should be.


  6. Pingback: DSH Perfumes: Mini Reviews – Poppy, French Lily, Foxy and Habibi | A Bottled Rose

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