D.S. & Durga Cofounder Kavi Moltz on What Makes a Perfect Winter Night

Kavi Moltz Recommends

D.S. & Durga Cofounder Kavi Moltz. Portrait by Martin Scott Powell


December 15, 2020

Kavi Moltz launched D.S. & Durga with partner David in 2008, and their genius combinations of scents and styles quickly catapulted them from cult favorite of the Brooklyn maker scene to industry vanguard.

Their assemblage of perfumes, scented candles, and body products break from the boring—with candles like Concrete After Lightning, a scent described as “electric crackle, downpour, panic grass, and sizzling asphalt steam,” and Kavi’s favorite, ’85 Diesel, described as having notes of lacquered chestnut paneling with puffs of burning fuel.

candle on fence

1. Wild Brooklyn Lavender on Spotify

Music is always on at home. Mornings are for classical music, but cocktail hour calls for (Belgian jazz guitarist) Django Reinhardt or one of our DSD playlists, like the one for our newest candle, Wild Brooklyn Lavender. Aughts nostalgia for David and me, reminding us of that Brooklyn magic when weeds grew by lofts on the river and bands crashed ’til the wee hours of morning.

Buy it: D.S. & Durga Wild Brooklyn Lavender, $65


85 Deisel

2. ’85 Diesel Candle

I light my favorite candle—our very own D.S. & Durga ’85 Diesel. It’s quite misunderstood, which makes me love it more. The softest, warmest saffron and suede. On tanned leather seats, in clothes that look like rugs, singing, “We must never break the chain.”

Buy it: D.S. & Durga ’85 Diesel, $65


Nars Inappropriate Red

3. Red Lipstick

Might as well put on some fancy lipstick for a lovely winter evening.

Buy it: Nars Inappropriate Red, $26; Hermes Rouge Casaque, $67


book jacket

4. and 5. Strips Sofa and a Good Book

Before our family settles for the night into our new and fantastic Strips sofa that we got upholstered with a beautiful fabric by Raf Simons that looks like the nighttime sky, I’ll sometimes grab an old college book that I didn’t quite get when I was younger. Recently that has been All That is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman. I read a few pages as a palate cleanser.

Buy it: All That is Solid Melts Into Air, $18


Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky

6. Scotch Whisky

David mixes up a great Penicillin cocktail, and since we are in a pandemic, we make it with Johnnie Walker Blue Label. It’s a nice treat at the end of a long day.

Buy it: Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, $30


sushi go

7. Game Nights

We’re big on making sure we spend time together as a family, and our family loves playing board games and card games. Sushi Go is always a fun go-to.

Buy it: Sushi Go, $8


beetlejuice beetlejuice beetlejuice

8. Old-School Movie

We have a lot of yearly must-watch movies. Every October we settle in to watch the movie Beetlejuice; nothing sets the mood better. I want to make sure my kids love it as much as I do, so I’m hoping repetition does the trick. In winter, it’s Home Alone.

Rent or buy it: Beetlejuice, Prices Vary


andes mints

9. After Dinner Snack

For a little something indulgent at the end of the night I like to close things out with a tiny sweet like an Andes after-dinner mint.

Buy it: Andes Creme De Menthe Thin Mints, $11


May Lindstrom Beauty Balm

10. May Lindstrom Beauty Balm

The scent of The Blue Cocoon beauty balm concentrate ($180) is so soothing and perfect for bedtime. It’s described as having “mystical” blue tansy that eases feelings of emotional anxiety while releasing heat to nourish and relieve delicate skin.

Buy it: May Lindstrom Beauty Balm, $180

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 05 with the headline “Scents of Style.” Subscribe today.

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