Biwa by DSH Perfumes x Robert Hermann of CaFleureBon

$ 145.00
$ 145.00
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Biwa  by DSH Perfumes x Robert Hermann of CaFleureBon at Indigo Perfumery

Robert Hermann

Celebrate the life of Robert Herrmann through a special edition  perfume with BIWA, imagined by Robert, revealed to Michelyn at Cafleurebon and created by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Perfumes. The first perfume release of 2020!

An ethereal and luminous fragrance inspired by Japanese freshwater Biwa pearls, and the lake that produces them.

Aldehydes, rice powder, steamed jasmine rice, and soft exotic woods create a perfume of ascension, and soaring spiritual release.

Dedicated to and conceived by the late Robert Herrmann; a dear friend in fragrance, a 'heart' of the West Coast and online fragrance communities, and an inspired writer for online magazine


60 ml Eau de Parfum spray and 15 Ml. Extrait splash 

All profits of Biwa will be donated to Robert’s husband, Ron, to help with medical expenses and end of life care costs.  

A note from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz:  

"I’ve been an independent perfumer for nearly 30 years and in that time I have watched as an entire universe has formed before my eyes.  One of the most miraculous things to have formed has been what is now called “the Fragrance Community”; a global, 24 hours a day social network of perfume lovers who, more often than not, support one another, share passions, and like any familyof sorts, fights over differences of opinions.  Many of our favorite writers, critics, and commentators have emerged from the vast pool of talent found within the fragrance community.  As great good fortune would have it, I met Robert Herrmann online as a member of this world more than a decade ago as he began to share his love for vintage / vintage inspired perfumes as well as the sylvan landscape fragrances that reminded him of his childhood.  We shared many exchanges online and off, waxing poetic about perfume styles and perfumers we both admired.  Eventually, Robert’s talent for fragrant storytelling and putting it all down in words was recognized by CaFleureBon’s Editor in Chief, Michelyn Camen, and Robert became a senior editor at CaFleurebon.  (He wrote some of my favorite articles at CaFleureBon over the years!)


It was with immense sadness that I learned, late last summer that Robert was very ill, and that physical difficulties that had plagued him all his life had begun to overtake him.  We had no idea that the end of his life was coming on so quickly, and that we would have to say goodbye, way before we were ready.


Robert was on his deathbed, nearing the end of his life, when in an especially clear moment he called Michelyn with an inspiration; and a request.  As a life-long lover of fragrance he had conceived of a beautiful fragrance that he named “Biwa”.  ( I wondered : It is perhaps a perfume that he had always hoped to come across in his exploration of perfume artistry?   Or maybe one that he had been thinking of,  hoping to create? )  His request was that I create his fragrant vision.  (I’m still amazed and deeply honored by this singular request).  Robert was able to recite a list of notes with inflections; meaning that he gave instruction as to how to interpret some of the notes.  Here is what he shared:



Top: aldehydes tinged with light mint

Middle;  Rice powder, steamed jasmine rice, touch of vanilla,

Base: hinoki, Cedarwood, vanilla tinged, pine or cypress”


Biwa, is the name of the Japanese lake that produces the lovely, delicate Biwa freshwater pearls.  As I thought about the notes that Robert had imagined, I meditated on his notes list to sense how to structurally put together a perfume that would flow and to express what felt like a minimalist, essentially Japanese theme yet filled with complex subtlety.  Robert knew that I especially enjoy expressing texture and light in perfume, and I love working in Japanese modes.  The creation of Biwa has been a joyous ride.  Both rice powder and steamed jasmine rice are accord notes that had to be developed for Biwa.  I loved untying the design knots to reveal a creamy steamed rice note with the delicate rice powder effect sprinkled around it.  This progression also allows the perfume to move from a cool, pearlescent opening with the aldehydes and mint into a warmer feel as you approach the drydown. The rice rich heart also gives a lovely sense of body to a delicate pearl in perfume form.

What I love most about Biwa is its sense of ascension.  It has a kind of light that feels as if it’s moving ever upward, through luminous, gauzy clouds.  It feels beatific…and yet with an earthly comfort that a fragrant bowl of steamed jasmine rice yields.  It nourishes body and soul.  It feels like standing in the sunshine on the shores of Lake Biwa, a soft cool breeze floating in from nearby pines and cypress, and knowing the sweet love of friendship.

Thank you, Robert, for blessing me.  I am grateful to be a part of this loving tribute to you."

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