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Monthly Archives: July 2012

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  • boom

    Those of you in love with the Fifth Element know "Boom. Big bada boom". Here is a short little video on youtube of this great scene from a great movie.

    boom. big bada boom on youtube

    "Today's picture shows you my way of "preventing boom". Thus,  a short technical post ahead: Diluting Lonestar Memories! I did so a moment ago, right before leaving . 23 liters of smoky leather. On the pictures you can see the 25 liter ethanol can as I get it delivered. The pouring and dilution all happens in an area with tiled floor. In the left corner there is a pencil to make notes, like lot numbers and stuff. On the right lower corner you see a metal funnel. It is important to use metal, in order to limit build up of charge. Furthermore, you see a metal wire attached to the funnel. This wire grounds the funnel and by contact with the funnel, the large cans are also grounded: The goal is to reduce the danger of sparks due to charge building up when pouring ethanol or perfume. Perfume is actually tricky to pour in larger quantities as it easily builds up charge when pouring due to the polar nature of some ingredients. One spark is enough for a big bada boom.

    Thus, a few more safety measures: It all happens in a well aerated room. Besides a door that is open for aeration reasons, there are two additional emergency escape ways in two different directions. And there is a fire extinguisher near by, and a fire blanket.

    But so far nothing ever happened. And I hope that it will stay like that for the rest of my perfume life.

  • easy-wear

    By tomorrow, all is going to to be ready:  Shelves filled for my back-up guy to send out orders from the online shop, unanswered e-mails down to zero, or close to, and retailer orders shipped. Before tomorrow, however, there is one last thing that I need to get done: Fill more air du désert marocain into bottles, label them and pack some of them for a last minute, urgent order that needs to get out to a shop by tomorrow. I am down close to zero bottles of air du désert in stock. Thus, today's picture: This is a look from a top perspective into the filter where air du désert is filtered through. Rather unspectacular, but necessary.

    Contrary to other scents of mine, l'air du désert marocain is not really troublesome when it comes to fine precipitates. I have some scents that are a nightmare there: Zeta is probably the worst. You can filter it endlessly. I rationalize the reasons being the CO2 extracts that tend to come with a lot of waxes that are hardly soluble and that might over time even change into less soluble esters. I am not sure there. The precipitate does not clog the pump as it is too fine, but it is an aesthetic issue...

    Bottomline: Air du désert marocain is easy-care or easy-fill. So... I will start filling bottles in an hour and box a few for shipment tomorrow. And when I am done with that, I want to mix one little, one very little last thing. Just following a line of thought of an easy-care or easy-wear rose. Mixing it now gives it time to mature until I come back to have a look at it.  The other day, I thought about it. I would love to play with it a bit. Easy wear does not mean simple, but for me it would mean a rose that is a less opera and dramatic than Incense rosé, a bit less fruity sweet than rose vermeille, less dark than rose chyprée, less aldehydic than Miriam (which is technically also a rose centered fragrance), and maybe a rose that is a bit less lasting than my other scents would be nice. Running title: Easy-wear-rose, ewr. Wow, what an unsexy working title. OK, I guess you got it: The chances that a rose that is `so much LESS is also BORING are pretty high...

    Thus, I wonder what other easy-wear fragrances I know that I like. Hmmmm, .... maybe Helmut Lang's CUIRON: Easy leather. I guess it depends on the standard of easiness applied.

    Anyhow:  first things first. Air du désert marocain! Wishing you a nice and easy-wear day!

     

  • the brave new world that is not so brave

    Today, I would like to first send you to a great read, an interesting post, a blog article, by Sheila Eggenberger, on her blog " The Alembicated Genie" titled the Brave New World.

    Here is the link, click here...  And now byebye and enjoy your read! It is food for thought and teached me as much as it raised questions. I invite you to comment on her blog post and rather comment there than here because she initiated the discussion.

    I have a few question marks when it comes to so called social media. Referring to Neil Postman's "the media is the message" I have my doubts there. This is, by the way, the clue to today's picture. Food, cats, and dogs give the highest engagement of friends on facebook. At least the portion of facebook that I see is not engaged in a lot of discussion.

    Sheila wrote " In the niche world, you can often start or continue an online conversation with the very perfumer (or social media-responsible person) whose creations rocked your planet/made you retch/elevated your quotidian existence." I do not experience this conversation a lot. When I open facebook in the morning, I am the longer the more worried about the number of direct messages that I get where folks ask for free samples or my time by expecting that I chat with them about the weather.

    I have a few friends where I enjoy this exchange, though.

    The media is the message. I see with a smile how everybody talks on facebook and on twitter about what they like, which perfume for instance, without discussing and really communicating. It is a social thing and it sure does not hurt if people like your scents or any other product and share names and pictures.

    But still, I feel we move backwards when it comes to quality of discourse and intensity of discussion. I am/was in a few groups and what I have seen there does not go beyond many likes and SOTD and nice pictures. Nothing wrong with that. But there are other ways to discuss and exchange.

    From a commercial point of view, I am sure facebook and twitter are less important for artisanal micro brands. We need a discourse about what we do, how we do things, and about the fact that what we do is very, very different. This is why I think Sheila's initial starting point is wrong. I understand why she wants to keep things simple but it is wrong. She wrote "For the sake of argument, I shall henceforth make no distinction between ‘indie’, ‘niche’ or ‘mainstream niche’. It makes it easier on this writer, and easier on the readers." From my perspective, this is utterly important. Mainstream niche functions according to different rules. Maybe, on a side note, this is one of the discussions missing in the bloggosphere: How are things done and why does it matter whether a scent comes from a larger factory or from an artshop that resembles a kitchen more than a factory. Artisanal, indie perfumers need perfume lovers who take the time to think about how a scent is created, by whom and why  and what makes it special. We need bloggers who are willing to do more than just like a picture, but who initiate a discourse in a medium that is made for that: Using printed words. Not like buttons. I think bloggers and the discourse happening there is key for artisanal perfumery, for the cultural heritage and I think it is important to make this distinction. I do not think that the social media are important. They are entertaining and supportive but far less important.

    This is why I loved Sheila's post so much, because she took the time to think, write and open up questions that are interesting and relevant. I hope to see more...

     

     

  • the perfect plan

    Many of the last few posts were on upcoming, exciting, thrilling fragrant things like Loretta, changed packaging for 2013 and ideas for fragrances that might launch in 2013. Today, I talk about a bright happy short term future for Andy that comes with a price to pay.

    Vacations!

    I will leave my perfume business for a while and towards the end of this week I will head for a vacation, cycling in Spain. I will share more details later, once I am traveling. For the time being: The online shop will continue to operate, a dear friend takes care there, and the house of tauer will be populated by guests. Thus, you might not even realize that I am gone for a while.

    But there is a price to pay besides for tickets forth and back: Getting tauerville in order, and make sure that nothing runs out while I am away and that all is ordered for the time when I am back and that all will run smoothly while I am absent. Thus, you saw me sample making, actually you still do, and getting orders and quotation requests out and and and. Thus, today's picture: A scanned sample vial of L'air du désert marocain, like you find it in the discovery set. Sometimes, when reordering sample vials like I did the other month, around 4000 per order, sometimes I wonder how many of these I have filled and shipped.

    Well, independent on the number of samples filled the last few years:  Here is the plan. While cycling along the coast, under the sun with the wind from the back, ALL the time, with the sea always ready for a swim when things get to hot, I will think about how to move on the next 6 months. Sounds like a perfect plan to me...

     

     

  • another gardenia

    today's picture shows you work in progress, an illustration of a gardenia flower, still missing some details on the flower side, and most of the leaves and background. The scene of the "making of" you find below. Gardenia in pot, Cintiq on the side. The scent, when sitting there, watching close and moving with the electronic paint brush forth and back, is intoxicating.

    When publishing this picture, I used the header gardenia deep immersion.

    Gardenia flower and cintiq: deep immersion

    Thus, this is what I did yesterday, more or less. Today, I want to continue and I want to think a bit more about the fragrance counterpart. I was told the other day that my gardenia base, created with the goal to capture the flower's head space scent, is pretty close to the real thing.

    But this is only the first part of the story, and maybe it is the easier part. The trials so far to integrate this base in to a nice fragrance that leaves room for the gardenia, and lasts and blooms were quite a failure.  Thus, I need to continue there, playing and more importantly: Thinking.

    Creating perfumes, for me, is a creative process that start primarily in my mind.

    The same is true, by the way for painting the gardenia. Before drawing one line, I start by thinking about what I see. Then I start painting, until I come up with a base . This is the state where I am roughly right now. Then I look at the motive again, thinking what I really see. Or how I could see it. And then I start moving on.

    Now, this is the ultimate nice feature of painting digitally. I can simply add another layer and try and play. I wish there was the same thing in perfumery.

  • Loretta labels

    Today, in a very short post, without much time to go into details or to comment (sorry, sorry: Busy day ahead!), I share a picture of the first Loretta flacons coming out of the factory, fully labeled and ready to go into the cardboard boxes.

    Four labels go onto these flacons:

    a lot number at the bottom

    a front label saying "Loretta",

    a medaillon label that I put on the backside but that you see from the front

    a backside label that goes on top of the medallion label.

    In between goes a silver chord that I put around the neck of the flacon, for purely decorative reasons.

    I wish you a lovely day.

     

     

  • Loretta in bottles

    Today, I was pouring Loretta fragrance into about 180 Loretta flacons, 50 ml, and 200 purse spray vials of 7 ml. Tomorrow, as much as possible, I will add stickers and labels to some of the flacons. The picture of today, taken with the phone, shows you the first flacons, all naked, without any labels: Kind of flacons "olalal" .  The orange-yellow color is close to reality and the "juice" looks like honey inside the flacon.

    "Pouring fragrance into flacons" means using a manual dispenser of 10 liters, pumping up and down, adding the pump and crimping (closing) the pump onto the flacon. As simple as that; just a bit tedious and a lot of hand work. Adding the stickers and labels is equally simple, but a bit time consuming. But there is time until Piti Fragrance (mid September).

    More news from the lab: I worked on a tuberose scent over the weekend and I am always amazed, again and again,  about the complexity of tuberose absolute. To be honest with you: I have slowly but surely reached a point where I have to face that I have a LOT of scents on the market already. And seeing my designer lifting his eyebrows when I tell him about new scents makes me wonder. ... But independent of any launch second thoughts:  I feel that it is simply fun, creating and thinking about a going to be fragrance, mixing notes and bases in your head and then in a bottle and then see how wrong you were...

     

  • compensation Sunday

    Today, although it is a Sunday, I'll work a bit in the factory. I am sort of compensating for part of last Friday where I left Zurich early for a trip to the mountains, where I combined business and leisure. Friday saw me biking a little bit. Saturday saw me biking rough and sometimes dirty, and heavily uphill and downhill and mostly dry, but not always. But with Goretex and other super trooper material is does (almost) not matter anymore. When it comes to clothing, we live in a technological paradise. I would never want to go back to 100 years ago, with wool and leather. Although wool is pretty good in keeping you dry for a while. Anyhow: I actually would never want to go back to 100 years ago for a variety of reasons. Penicillin being another one.

    While biking, especially uphill, I am always trying to imagine nice things, like sunshine, butter bread with nutella, gummy bears or a tuberose fragrance. As it went uphill quite a lot, I had time to imagine a tuberose in all details...Later today I will go to my mixing table where bottles compete with the cintiq. Today, the bottles will win.

    I wish you a nice Sunday.

    Today's picture shows you my pair of Goretex sneakers, after the biking trip. I got them in Portland. Folks up their now how to stay dry, I guess.

  • not today list of things

    These days, when tired of doing what I should do, I have the gardenia base to distract myself and do what I should not do but like a lot. Thinking about how to integrate the gardenia base that I came up with a while ago, how to integrate in a scent in a way that the gardenia is still there, but not a somewhat boring monotonal. I did two first tests and both were complete failures. Although not matured I can clearly see that the base dominates and as the gardenia base per se is pretty rough, the whole thing turns rough and uneven and simply not nice and beautiful. The next trial will see me doing things differently. I think I have a few ideas there.

    So far, I feel, I was a bit too close on the Gardenia and need to make one step aside. It ALWAYS is a good idea to step aside oneself from time to time and look at what one does. But that's worth an entire post. Back to gardenia: I feel like it needs a certain creaminess, a floral woody creaminess, and a bit of a sweet flower. I tried frangipani absolute, which has definitely a powdery aspect, and blends well with the base,  but maybe I need to try Osmanthus absoloute, too.  Together with Indian Sandalwood essential oil.  We will see. ...

    But, as I mentioned before, the gardenia is actually on the "not today" list of things I do not have to worry about. Right now, I am occupying myself with text for Loretta, which notes to mention, and how to describe it. And I going through a few things that I need to reorder. Searching for the last quotes, prices back then and making my mind up who much to get this time. Not easy either, as I am totally clueless when it comes to numbers.

    And, for the record, 15°C this morning around 10 am in Zurich. It feels like we had our share of summer in June.

     

  • a lot of things

    These days are filled with a lot of things; unfortunately the need to get done things leave little room for playground things. Thus, we fill samples and prepare files and pictures and more for the upcoming Piti Imagine Fragranze exhibition and a few other future happenings. When I make samples, I usually make a bit more, to stock up and have some in reserve for my online shop where we sell the discovery set. The longer the better, by the way.

    This is probably one of the best ideas I ever had, the five samples, the little tin box, the cards. It is a perfect entry point into the world of tauer. And as its shipment and logistics is optimized: I love to prepare these and send them out. The longer the more!

    Thus, we make samples. Making samples for a fragrance show is actually not a bad occupation, aside from the fact that these samples that we made yesterday will not be sold, but will be gifts for retailers and some selected clients (selected as we cannot afford to give samples like bonbons at the show), but it turns a bid boring after the first few hours. And to be frank: I am looking forward to doing different things than sample filling and labeling after another day or two.

    Bottom line: It is a sample making week. Now, having said this, here's the e-mail that made me smile  this morning for a tenth of a second before I deleted it unanswered. "... having heard a lot about your products I would like to receive some samples to test them..."

    There was a time a few years ago when I still bothered answering these free sample begging mails. Apart from one or two nobody never came actually back to my reply.

    In the mean time I look at these queries and their senders like flies: Annoying as you have to make one click (delete) but not much more.

    Some sample beggars seem to have lists of e-mails that they go through on a monthly, yearly basis, coming up with new stories, such as cancer, an important friend, whatever. Some are plain unfriendly, like "give it to me, now, or I will never buy from you" and some do not really bother to adapt their mails, and you get the most impersonal mail imaginable. In a sense it is funny.

    Thus, we make samples today, again. And we take care of our guest dog until tomorrow, which brings brightness and a few slow walks (old dog) into our lives.

     

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