Monthly Archives: November 2010

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  • rituals

    Human beings, children especially, need rituals; we feel fine with them and look for  the comfort of well known places and the security of finding people, things and thoughts there where we expect them. Hence, we arrange wonderfully with prejudices, spend  a lot of time at familiar places and do a lot of the same things, year after year. [Please do not ask me why we always anticipate new perfumes, usually quite eagerly.]

    I make no exception. Hence, like last year, I uploaded a picture of my jasmine blooming down there (the W.-factor mentioned it the other day: " When it starts smelling odd in the basement then it is winter and the jasmine blooms"), and I finished my advent calender, and did the layout for the Christmas greeting cards and ordered them. Guess what: The card features roses again.

    Anyhow. Unfortunately, very unfortunately, there seems to be another ritual forming these days. The ritual of worrying about the inlays for my box. Yesterday, I came to the conclusion, somewhat sad, that the folded inlay is too much a risk position. If  shaken really hard it does not hold the flacon in place. Even tougher paper tears. And the idea of using plasticized paper is somewhat odd; I rather get a nice (PP) inlay right out of a mold. Yesterday, I asked for a quote for a preformed inlay. Somehow, the folded inlay does not feel right anymore.

    I wonder what my printer guy thought about me, calling him and telling him to stop the inlay. "Stop it now. Immediately." Well, I was right in time. A few hours later and the stuff would have been in print. Now it is not (yet) and we have more time, to make sure that we have a 100% performing inlay.

    Well, maybe I subconsciously did not want the origami folding inlay.  Thus, back to field 1, with some lessons learned.

    Anyhow: Have I told you already? Another ritual of me and the W.-factor... I will be in Paris, over the weekend, in need of a bit of French chic.

  • more snow and silver wrapping paper

    Jogging in winter land yesterday was wonderful. The snow stayed on every fine twig and there was something magical in the forest where I usually run. Less magical was downtown on Saturday: Crowds shopping. Lots of them. Too many.

    I was downtown with the W.-factor (do not ask me why I felt to do so on Saturday!) because I had this urge to get something warm to wear, cuddly with a high feels good factor. Playing with roses and ambra over the weekend was not good enough: I wanted soft wool and 100% coziness. Thus, we fought our way through crowds, and could not help observing all these kits: Perfume and soap. Perfume and body lotion. Perfume and minis. Perfume and and and...

    "Look at this!", I said, slightly annoyed because I do not offer a kit. Well, not true: I offer the discovery set.  Thus, I got my pullover, and  went into "how to offer gift wrapping service and do we really want to offer it?"- thinking mode, extending all the way into my Sunday jog.

    There, I was trying to come up with axes and a proper picture for the fire tree that I want to start playing with, discussing this together with Mandy in our open letters series again. But somehow, with all the snow around me, I did not get very far with the fire tree. hmm...

    But I learned a bit more on art over the weekend and continued worrying there: I read an article in the NYtimes online about gaming and how it changes, on the phone, late Saturday (I WANT an ipad...) and the article by Seth Schiesel referred to "Art as Experience," by John Dewey's  work on the philosophy of art.

    There I read "art exists not as artifact but as we engage with it". OK.  This is soooo true, especially for perfumes,  I thought and copied the article and sent it by e-mail in order not to forget it. The concept of a perfume being a piece of art only makes sense in the context of actually being smelled, ideally on skin, and in a serious engagement of the senses. But then, I wondered, perfumes as pieces of art cease to exist if nobody wears them.

    And then, with all the changes during the "lifetime" of a perfume like [add the name of perfume here that got its formula changed to render it beyond recognition] when does it cease to be a  piece of art?

    And then, who cares? Folks buying the perfume with body lotion kit probably won't.

    "We cannot do everything!", the W.-factor said to me weening about not offering soaps and stuff. "Yes", I admitted," but I want to. " least a gift wrap option! And then we went shopping for silver wrapping paper.

    And towards the end of my jogging I was worrying less about my scented objects being art to engage with but more about my latest take of the rose.

  • the first snow of the season

    Tonight we got the first snow in Zurich, and the first jasmine flower  on my little jasmine bush in the basement opened up and sends its perfume out. Quite intoxicating.

    This morning, we got the shipment back from Madrid, another circle closing, and the box survived, sort of. Thus, I know again why we pack things so sturdy and wrap from all sides heavily. It is quite amazing what happens to these boxes during transport. Europe's roads seem to be rough these days.

    Another circle closing: The pile of 800 soaps in 6 large boxes, sitting for a while in the middle of my perfumery studio are gone. They are now with the apothecary, where I brought them by car yesterday. We will continue making soaps for friends and family in the next days, though. I feel another 50 would be fine.

    Thus, there is room again. Also room for playing. Today is my Friday play time. I will continue studying the fire tree essential oil, the other natural that Mandy Aftel and me will use to build a perfume. A challenging but highly rewarding oil. I can feel it, but I need to understand it a bit better.

    And I want to continue with the rose soap. I did two version. 1 you can forget. Maybe you can add it to the washing machine, to get fragrant foam, but not more. Amazing how ugly things you can create with the most expensive materials. Number 2 is better. Actually it is good (but quite expensive). I will see that I can pump it up a bit. It needs a bit more power, I feel. But there is no hurry. It sure feels good to have some time there.  The same is true for the 2011 activities. All under control it seems.  I guess I share a few its and bits next week.

    Ah... yes, before I forget: I wish you a lovely weekend.


  • shake it, baby

    Yesterday evening we (Designers Club and me) tested about 10 different papers for the inlays; different in terms of strength and quality. We got about 10 of each paper, all embossed and perforated following a 100% clever and ingenious design. We put them into the tin box, with a Rose vermeille, and then we simulated a journey in airplanes with RollsRoyce engines, over Swiss alps in old trucks and into the jungle of Indonesia on earth roads.

    We tried to do it as systematically as possible and ended with a lot of paper, torn apart by the forces of a flacon in motion. But three paper qualities actually stood the test: No the thickest, not the hardest, not the laminated ones.

    We decided. Color blue. Paper tough. I am happy because I can finally inform the printer guy that he can turn on his machine and kick the first 5000 out. Go, baby, go!

    Today's picture shows you the meeting table, after our shaking meeting.

  • flacons for the line and inlays

    After yesterday's post that basically aimed at:
    - showing you the Cologne du Maghreb, that I made specially for the advent calendar draws, taking place December 1-24 (yes, you cannot get it anywhere else)
    - with some irony reflecting on pictures used to present perfumes

    we are back.

    But today I am a bit more serious, with a short post on another issue high on the list of things that need to get finished. But first things first: We got the reordered flacons delivered from France. Perfect timing, indeed! 400 kg of blue and amber flacons, neatly packed into boxes with 72 flacons each, all neatly stored now in the basement. Yep: carrying these down is sort of a "Pump it up action", replacing the gym. Now, that these are delivered and paid: I am getting ready with my designers to order the next round of flacons.

    Flacons for the PENTACHORD line, planned to launch autumn 2011

    Flacons for the COLLECTIBLES line, planned for May 2011 (I will probably launch the linden blossom in this format, as it is a collectible in the real sense of the word

    For those who haven't seen the video yet, of how these flacons are made. There we go (sorry for the bad quality, this was one of my first videos done)...

    [pro-player width='380' height='320' type='video'][/pro-player]

    On the things that need to get finished: We will have a final (so we hope!) round on the folded inlay. Today's picture to the left shows you the folded inlay, version 2, perforated there where I need to fold it. Version 1 which is used in production is not perforated, thus it is safe but hard to fold (although it is embossed at the folds). The red circles show you where the biggest strain is found on the paper. There is the biggest risk that the paper does not hold and tears in. This we want to fix. Today, I will sit together with the designer guru and we test about 10 different papers with different structure, coming right out of the embossing-perforating printing press. We will test them and need to decide to come up with version 3.


    And, as we talk packaging: I need to write an article for a packaging site on the flacon, and the packaging of it, which is sort of cool.  Finally, talking writing: Here 's a reading recommendation for you.  Nathan Branch published the next series of open letters to a fellow perfumer, between Mandy Aftel and me. Click here for the article. Enjoy!

  • pictures and perfume

    I do not remember where it was, but the last few days I came several times upon ads for perfume, smaller and larger brands, with old things arranged in a rather sanitary way. Strange. Have you ever wondered why so often, perfumes are presented in a pile of antiques? Nicely arranged, the flacon sits amidst old leather things, old tin things, old books. But it is all fake.

    Other presentations of flacons: Close to naked bodies usually with little water pearls (think sweat) on metallic skin, which either is intended to bring about associations of hot bodies doing adult things or it reminds us in the fact that our bodies smell and that perfume fights odors.  You find these pictures usually in oversexed blogs of younger guys and girls or in highly glossy magazines serving folks of my age (45+), or on street ads or in newspapers. An alternative to sweaty bodies: The flacon comes with close ups of parts of the body such as lips or fingers with red nails.

    Other presentations of flacons: Nature. Innocent, flowers, elf, my little pony, golden leaves, you name it. Quite often, these pictures go with fruity florals made for the masses and ending massively often in toilets as overly sweet room spray.

    Or you have the evocative pictures: cowboys et al. Yes, that 's the category where you'd find tauer a while ago. But not anymore. Zero pictures. Nada. Niente.

    I miss the option to play with pictures. Here is my dream: one day I will have this photo shooting in the tropics, with the 25 year old wet Mr. muscle guy, getting out of a golden ocean after playing with dolphins and mermaids, with the sweet elf flying in over a sea of orange light, holding tight to his antique rings and leather things.

    Until we get there:, here is a little relapse into old picture worlds in the tauer universe: Three arrangements of the "old" tauer flacon, used to hold the Cologne du Maghreb, that I will give away during the advent calendar. What is your favorite?

    The picture on the left: An illustration by Gustave Doré from our Doré bible.

  • the medium is the message

    Today, I could write 3 posts. hmm... let's do the Monday jogging pondering again. Yesterday, I did my jogging the other way round, starting there where I usually end, and jogged sort of uphill. Mostly I was thinking about my answer to Mandy's lovely letter. It was a strenuous but great jog that brightened my day, after a slow morning with not enough sleep after a Saturday night/Sunday morning clubbing night. I remembered my déjà vu that I had on my way to the party. I read Max Küng's column in the Tages-Anzeiger Magazin, how he got almost hit by a stupid car (driver), wondering why men behave like that and rather kill innocent human beings than getting to work 20 seconds later, and how he dealt with it; quite a funny column, ending with a chain saw in X-mas wish list. On my way to the club my bike was almost hit by a car, a near miss, followed by yelling, on both sides and a new item on my X-mas wish list: I want a chain saw. A bike transportable one. A To-Go-Chain-Saw for every day.
    Thus, I jogged and for no particular reason Phil came to my mind; maybe because folks threatening me with their cars make me freak out. Phil alway said "Andy, you are a freak", because I sort of did not always behave properly and the American way when living in College Station, Texas. Like: folks asking "how are you?" getting a true answer. Sort of "Oh, I am really worried about my body fat today". Or: "I feel like a dayfly after 18 hours flying around").
    Today, 15 years later, you get all this and much more on facebook and twitter. I read a few articles lately about facebook et al, one dealing with the typology. What type of facebook/twitter user are you? (I am the mission me-and my-venture- type)  There are the Kellogg's users, telling you that they got up (message 1) and that they do not know what to get for breakfast (message 2) and that they go for Kellogg's flakes (message 3) and that they worry about their body fat (message 4). There are philosophers, like "I hate shadow if it is between me and the sun." And then there are the weirdo's. And the folks who do not have anything to say. That's why they put picture online.
    I remembered (still jogging) another article, dealing with the social media and whether they really change things. I have not made my mind up. The article said basically that not much has changed, folks used to consume TV time, now they consume bandwidth and watch content that others put up. Sometimes they put up stuff but it is mostly mission "me". In the end it is a software guided consumption of content and bandwidth; not much more going on there.
    In another article folks came to the conclusion that the paradigm change is the tailspin of information flow control. Kellogg's is not under control anymore of who writes what when. Folks out there set the agenda.
    But I haven't made my mind up. What I see is a growing number of people producing content. But I feel that with every new sender the existing senders become less visible. And, in comparison to 5 years ago, the depth and intensity of the discussions is becoming shallow. You cannot discuss by pushing a "like" button. I am sort of skeptic about social media. The medium is the message. And I worry about the message if the medium is facebook and twitter only.

    But then, I realized sort of out of breath, that Mr. T. doesexactly the same thing. I may not talk about my Kellogg's decisions but I talk about me jogging . As I have said: I have not made my mind up.  But I want this chain saw.

    Today's picture: Inspired by Silvia's wish, a kiwi, sliced and scanned. I am in production mode today, thus I may not have much time to join the discussion...



    It is this time of the year again: Welcome to Andy Tauer's advent calender 2010.

    This is how  you participate day by day: From December 1-24 click every day on the active link, and leave a comment where you land or follow the instruction there. Good luck!

    December 1
    December 5
    December 9
    December 13
    December 17
    December 21


    December 2
    December 6
    December 10
    December 14
    December 18
    December 22


    December 3
    December 7
    December 11
    December 15
    December 19
    December 23


    December 4
    December 8
    December 12
    December 16
    December 20
    December 24


    Your chance to win a great prize every day, December 1-December 24. We will publish the pseudonym names of the winners for every day here (click to get to the list).

    Advent Calendar


    This year's highlight for the advent give-aways: I made an all natural, all botanical Eau de cologne, baptized LE COLOGNE DU MAGHREB, 50ml, in a simple glass flacon with atomizer, especially for this occasion.

    I use only natural essential oils, absolutes, and resins in it. It is a classical cologne, with a woody baseline chord, a firework of natural citrus notes, exploding into expensive sparkles, on a background with ambreine and cedarwood from the Moroccan High Atlas.

    Like all colognes it is not made to last but it is a fragrant joy, living in the moment, leaving you with the finest veil of woods on your skin.

    Ingredients: Citrus essential oils and absolutes (such as lemon, bergamot, clementine, mandarine, grapefruit, orange blossom absolute, neroli oil), rose absolute and oil, cedarwood, ambrein, cistrose and much more.
    And the winners are:

    December 1: parfumnut (kro...@frontier...)
    And we created a little consolation prize for : quimerula

    December 2: bear (dsmoffa@cle....)

    December 3: simon (

    December 4: Cheryl G

    December 5: Maria (

    December 6: Thomas (

    December 7: Lauryn (lauryndb@.....)

    December 8: Judith (lemonp...@...)

    December 9: ABYSS (

    December 10: Lexfordrose

    December 11: Michael Ma....

    December 12: Judy (jshum11@....)

    December 13: Lindaloo (rchawork...)

    December 14: leng jay (ultimatefo....)

    December 15: Cristiane McD

    December 16: Allan Middlet.....

    December 17: Mansur (m.qurais....)

    December 18: boojum (emily....@)

    December 19:  Guus Bunn.....(Zoetermeer...)

    December 20: cviehe@h......

    December 21: Susan M (smaakest@...)

    December 22: Dana (cd865upson@....)

    December 23: justin fri.......

    Day 24: Naturalselektion (naturalselektion@...)

    Day 24: Karen Eckardt (via facebook draws)


    You have my word that I will not use your address for any purpose beyond this draw: To select a winner, get in contact with the winners and send prizes. We will not make any other use of any information you provide on this and other draw related pages. And we will not forward your contact details or other information to third parties.

    For details about my privacy policy: See our impressum here.

  • The fluffy inner most of clementines

    I got my new scanner. WOW. This thing scans so fine that I soon need a few new hard disks. But before I show you the pictures: Here a few its and bits that I forgot yesterday  -I forgot indeed to tell you why I get the scented cards done-. Thus let me answer the questions that I got asked in the comments section of yesterday's post on the scented cards. I got the tests done by the company SCENTIS, and the tests turned out nice, and now I told them to produce the scented cards. Lots of them.

    Actually, most of them will go to Italy into the perfumeries that have my products. It is an experiment, testing whether clients and perfumeries like them (I bet they will), and whether it is a good way of getting to know a scent. We do this for the launch of the Carillon pour un ange. But I do not think they will replace the  samples. Well, we will see. ...Some will be available as gifts on my website, going together with orders and some will go to other places, such as shops where you find my products. But most of the cards will go to Italy.

    If you rub the paper onto your skin, some of the scent transfers. But it does not compare to spraying a sample. It is more like a gentle whiff. As they come packed in little transparent bags (sized 80x 110 mm by the way) you can smell them without getting stuff onto your hands if you do not wish to get into contact.

    And we got the design for the cards: They will come with a relief embossed. The tauer logo and my claim  IMMERSIVE SCULPTURES stick out as a relief. Kind of cool.

    Finally, I want a Point of Sales Display done for the cards (think simple dispenser). I present our ideas for the POS display next week.

    And now to the fluffy inner most of a cut clementine, seen by my new scanner yesterday, not optimized. Enjoy!

  • carillon inside

    Today's picture is another scan: Chrysanthemum, scanned the other day.

    And it is a  heavy duty production day today: More eau d'épices needs to go into flacons and (later) boxes. The last few weeks were a bit crazy when it comes to the spicy water.

    And referring to an earlier post: I started working on the signatures in my mail, changing them from time to time. Right now I am using the eau d'épices signature. Maybe this is why we see a little eau d'épices boom? would be cool to control sales by signatures.... [dreaming]

    * * * * * * *
    L'EAU D'ÉPICES, eau de parfum
    ... cuddly warmth of spices glowing in the dark of long winter nights.

    Other signatures in use are:

    ...circling an exclusive chord of red petals, an homage to rose.


    ... lily of the valley in their mossy bed, after a gentle sprin rain

    Before I finish this post and move over to the studio room and fall into flacon pouring stasis mode: Here 's the highlight of today: I got the scent cards tests that were done in France, by Scentis,  with the CARILLON POUR UN ANGE fragrance on, or better: With the fragrance in. They tested various dilutions (5%, 10%, 15%) and sent me sample cards with the fragrance in. Wow. Heavenly. Especially in 5 or 10% the cards smell just...wonderful. It is different to spraying the scent onto cards. The fragrance come from the inside, and as Scentis explained to me: This paper is very different, sort of fibres only and kind of special fibres, and that is why the fragrance  is there in all its facets. And it lasts. Forever.  It is quite amazing.

    Thus, together with the design for the cards that we decided yesterday with the design guru, I have all ready to go into production mode there.  More soon again...

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