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July 28, 2011

Meet the Next Makeup Moguls

david seth and ahuja moltz

David Seth and Ahuja Moltz

Photo Credit: Nick Wolf

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When David Seth Moltz (aka D.S.) was 6, he won a bottle of Pierre Cardin in a raffle, marking the beginning of a lifelong love affair with perfume. He grew up to be a musician, married architect Kavi Ahuja, then got hit hard by the recession. "But I realized I could parlay my love of music into fragrance, and write 'songs' through scents," he explains of the couple's decision to dive into the fragrance industry and create D.S. & Durga. (Durga is Moltz's nickname for his wife.) Ahuja's design background informed the coolly minimal yet vaguely antique packaging, and Moltz "nerdily got down to the nitty-gritty" of mixology. Their scents are conceptually straightforward, like Coriander, a fresh green mix, and Cowgirl Grass, a Wild West — influenced blend of sage and thyme. Despite the poor economic climate, "I think we took off because perfume is an everyday luxury, like good tea — something that doesn't break the bank but elevates you nonetheless," says Moltz.

WHY IT WORKS: The beautifully packaged, small-batch brewed "olfactory tonics" appeal to customers of hip retailers like Steven Alan and Anthropologie.

FAVORITE BEAUTY TOOLS: D.S. & Durga Siberian Snow Eau de Parfum, $85. "A delicate amber jasmine," says Ahuja. Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil, $140. Moltz claims, "You can tell it's a blend of really choice ingredients."

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