Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Chinchilla: Animal with a Capital “GRRR”


Dawn Spencer Hurwitz very kindly sent me a batch of samples recently. I was delighted to receive them and delighted to review one of them here. There’ll be more reviews to follow, but I felt an urge to get stuck in when I wore the stunning Chinchilla today.

Chinchilla was inspired by olde worlde glamour: a world where women still wore chinchilla stoles and their best diamonds to dazzle suitors. Chinchilla has a vintage feel to  and I mean that in its most literal sense. You know when you open a bottle of vintage perfume and it’s gone amber? That’s what chinchilla smells like. But it’s more than that. Chinchilla packs an animalic punch that puts this straight to the top of the “Perfumes That Smell of Sex” Top Ten.

plymouth_auction_1086Containing civet (secreted from glands of the civet cat), hyrax (from hyrax urine crystals) AND castoreum (from beavers), this animal note is unmissable and written in bold. There’s honey too, which always reminds me of the smell of skin. Like all the best vintage scents, this has a wonderful chypre feel with oakmoss, bergamot, musk and vetiver. It reminds me of scent from the 1920s and 30s. If you yearn for the olden days when perfume smelled like perfume and came in heavy glass bottles, then Chinchilla is for you. Personally, I adore a classic vintage-feel chypre with a hint of Grrr, so Chinchilla is for me, too.

PS My cat Danny the Ginger Ninja went MAD for this.


You can buy this and other DSH perfume from the website. Sample kindly supplied by Dawn, with warm thanks from me. Opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Chinchilla: Animal with a Capital “GRRR””

  1. How lovely – it sounds like this one excites you (and the cat! ). I’m really not sure i know what civet, hyrax and castoreum smell like actually. However, i’m not really a vintage type girl but i am sure that Dawn does this extremely well. I own a few of her perfumes and have loved all of them. PS. I love the Beryl Cook pic! 🙂 x

    1. Hi Patsi, Always a pleasure! This is very sort of not-quite-skanky. It smells of raw sex but is quite palatable, if I’m saying it right. Dawn sent me lots of samples so i will forward a couple onot you when i’m done! xxx

  2. Was thinking I would love this until you mentioned a honey note — sometimes honey smells dreadfully wrong to me, and not just in perfume. Had to toss a jar of a dark honey about half way through when it suddenly smelled all wrong to me (nothing was wrong with the honey itself).

    I don’t know what Danny thinks of the name, but the “Ginger Ninja” is brilliant.

    1. Hi Lindaloo, always lovely to hear from you. I know what you mean about honey: it’s never my first port of call in a perfume hunt. However, it sort of suits the sexiness of this scent. It smells a bit like dried saliva to me, which in this context is OK, since Dawn’s going with the intimate vibe anyway! xx

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