Monthly Archives: January 2013

10 Item(s)

  • in search of frangipani

    Fragrant greetings from Zurich: I am back from my trip to franipani land. Today's picture shows you a quick sketch that I did on the little island that was my home for the last 10 days and that happens to be home for millions of frangipani trees. Let's thus call my trip a frangipani study: Chemically it boils down to a large extent to benzyl salicylate, citral, linalool, farnesol, some geraniol and a few other molecules. I can't wait to get back to the creative messy lab to come up with a frangipani soap. Smelling the real thing, I was amazed every time again:  there is something rather soapy, clean, that is wonderful and amazing in the real flower. And as potent as the scent of frangipani flowers is, I never found it overpowering. Just wonderful.

    And yes, actually, the absolute (at least when of a good quality), gets pretty close to the real flower. Not totally close, but pretty close.

    But first things first: filling air du désert marocain into bottles. And mails. Lots of them!



  • NZZ and see you soon

    Fragrant greetings and thank you for visiting! I think this is the last post for about two weeks: I will be travelling for two weeks and it might well be that I don't post on my blog. As always, before leaving, there is a plenitude of things to get done. This time, it was really, really a lot of things to get under control and make sure that all is on its way and running smoothly before leaving.

    On one hand, I got a couple of large restocking orders after the holidays that needed my attention. We also met with a dangerous goods expert (perfumes are dangerous goods from an air freight perspective) and managed to get a first FEDEX shipment out to the US this week. Before that I got a deal with FEDEX that allows me to ship larger parcels for a reasonable price to the US. Large meaning 50 bottles or more. "Reasonable" meaning much more than before, but still in  a range that you can pay for. Or rather: That I can pay for. Packaging gets a bit special, and there are extra papers needed that come with a price tag, too. Thus, overall, things work, but on a more complicated and more pricey level.

    Thus, soon, my fragrances will be available in the US again. By February, that's the plan at least, also through my website. I am looking very much forward to starting this process. For the time being, I need to ask you for two more weeks patience. Right now, there are a first batch of tauer flacons on their way to the US, for a serious, thorough test.

    Besides this shipping things, I was busy coming up with some design decisions and making sure that all my suppliers  go to work and know what I want. Or not. I am soooooo looking forward to the modified packaging that I will introduce with the new fragrance, NOONTIDE petals, scheduled for some when in March: New scent, new box, and a softer and more elegant shell, and some changes in the labels and extras: The goal here is to be as flexible as possible to adjust to unforeseen changes and demands. Super flexible..... The rest is "Surprise, surprise".

    Thus, tonight, I take of, for a "secret" mission (sounds great,doesn't it?) and leave the land where we are bringing home colorful tulips from the Netherlands in order to shorten the waiting  for spring: Zurich is under a thick, heavy snow blanket and it got pretty cold. But before leaving: I need to dilute some experimental scents that I am playing with, need to get some samples done for the stock here in Zurich, and ah, yes, pack the bags.

    While I do so: Here is a link to a lovely article in the NZZ of today, in German, featuring four niche perfume houses from Switzerland, click here for the link to the article that luckily is also available online. So nice, enjoy!

  • on notes and other tasks

    Today's picture is a quick illustration that I used the other day on Facebook: I did it on Saturday, towards the end of my bottle filling (air du désert marocain) and putting labels on. I did not even put off my latex gloves that I wear when handling bottles and was so happy to get distracted for 5 minutes. It was quite a busy weekend and this week will be pretty busy, too. I will be travelling for two weeks, starting towards the end of this week (bad, bad timing, but...): Thus, a lot needs to get done by then, paper work for shipments and taxes, preparing shipments, and stocking up and packing perfume and sending mails out. A lot of mails.... Thus, time to leave this blog and get back to work.

    But before I do so, and as I am coming up with the notes and all the info that needs to go onto the sample sticker labels for NOONTIDE petals, such as allergens (I did the list of the allergens that I need to declare in order to fulfill the EU laws: Wow. This baby is fully loaded!)

    I am fiddling with the notes and am doing this directly in Illustrator, without paying much attention to layout and give it to my designer for optimizing the layout. This way, that's the hope, we make it right from scratch. The labels should go into production end of January and I want to be able to start shipping the first samples to perfume lovers in March, starting with the US in spring, and then moving forward towards Europe.

    The notes on the samples label will more or less be a list of what I feel is important.

    HEAD NOTES: A glittering and bright opening: Bergamot, sparkling aldehydes and soft Bourbon geranium.
    HEART NOTES: A seductive chord of flower petals: Finest rose, ylang, tuberose, jasmine.
    BASE NOTES: A supple and sensuous gleam: Patchouli, frankincense, vanilla, sandalwood, iris with a hint of styrax and vetiver.

    Fragrant greetings!


  • me in blue

    in blue. Today's picture shows you a self made picture of me, through the phone's backside camera, inside overhanging ice of the Morteratsch glacier. It is all very blue due to the frozen water, breaking the light and bringing about a surreal effect, with the encapsulated air bubbles inside the ice  looking like extraterrestrial. I was meeting my Italian business partner for a day, and we picked a place that was intended to be inspiring, calming and motivational. I picked the Morteratsch region for its beauty, and the because the air there is different.

    Together, we planned 2013, talking about the past and the future, about past year's perfume bottles that left the shelves and found new homes, and about 2013's perfume bottles that should see the world (the new scent for 2013 will be NOONTIDE petals) and that will end up on the shelves at Pitti Fragranze in Florence in September 2013, the biggest artisanal perfume show and fair in Italy, and that should find their way to Italian homes and into the heart of perfume lovers in 2013. Thus, it was a meeting day where we aim at getting the complete Italian picture in 2013. Intense.

    Sometimes, in between bottles and boxes and ideas and creative thunderstorms, it does good to calm for an hour or two. We did so by walking to the glacier. There, alone and little in a grand nature, you can touch what feels a little bit like an eternity. What a nice contrast to the fast and faster turning world of fragrances and flacons.


  • completely packed

    There we go: Another packing day in the factory. Although: Factory in my case= two rooms, one without view as it is holding stocks of everything all the way up to the ceiling; and one with a view, where I have more shelves to store semi packed stuff, two large tables, chairs, a water cooker and one or two tech gadgets. So... simple.

    Today's picture shows you how I have to pack these days. Here's the thing: by February, if all goes according to plan, full bottle orders will be shipped by SHIPWIRE, right from  a central warehouse in the US. I am preparing for a test shipment of my dangerous goods by FEDEX, a test with some (50) bottles, paying all the extra fees and getting the assistance from a dangerous goods expert who will also sign my shippers declaration. Shipwire needs to get my goods as lick and stick: they just print a label and off it goes. But only nationally, within the US....thus , my packaging gets more complicated. To ensure perfect arrival at the warehouse, we pack the boxed perfume with bubble foil inside a 15cmx15cm box, and this box then goes into sealed cardboard shipping envelopes. A shipwire sku label gets on the back with a barcode for easy control, and three dangerous goods related labels onto the other  side .

    So you see: the new packaging, scheduled for later in spring/summer will make our lifes much easier. It is streamlined for storage and transport...

    Actually, the packing day was is a business meeting day. And so is tomorrow. For a variety of reasons I am looking forward to this.


  • completely unscented

    Today I share a picture of an orchid in bloom, seen over the weekend in my house. The orchid itself is only about 10 high, the flowers are on a string of about 15 cm. I got it as baby plant years ago and sometimes it blooms, always in January. It is completely scentless.

    But it is gorgeous to look at and hence it is perfect for today's blog post: On things for the eye. It is one of my pet ideas that you sell perfume primarily through the eyes. Followed maybe by the tactile sense. And then by the sense of smell. I feel it is true for many locations where perfume is sold these days. Aren't we all a bit overwhelmed by this  huge number of options, brands and bottles? I guess we all have our tactics to filter and go for values that we trust. I simply cannot cope with all that comes out, nor do I want to, and following a few inner rules, my explorations become short walks in a jungle of new concepts and scents.

    For instance, you will not see me exploring things with crowns printed or on top of bottles. It might have to do with my super anti aristocratic upbringing in Switzerland. Another helpful plank in the wild: The more gold the less I want to sniff. Animals are a no go for me, too. Be it playboy rabbits, be it snakes or wild cats and their beautiful fur. I love orange, and blue and simple flacons. So, no wonder I reach for Hermes from time to time, or Chanel, and Come des Garcons. And I like authenticity. Chances are good that I will sniff with biggest interest when I know that there is actually a person who cares behind these bottles, thus... I will always reach for those Olivier Durbano flacons, and Ineke and Yosh and many others where a a creator cares.

    Anyhow: I am convinced that the look and feel of things is very important. And it must fit with what is inside;  I guess it must be authentic, too. So, right now, I am deciding on the protective packaging of the packaging. No kidding. As mentioned earlier: We will switch gradually to a new metal tin box that is more practical: It is rectangular and better fitting the flacons, hence protecting them even better than the existing box, and better fitting the needs of my shippers and retail clients who have to stock the packed perfumes, too. Gradually means: NOONTIDE petals, the next scent coming in my line, a bright woody floral with a 20-ies twist, will be packed in the new box. Then, over 2013, most of my scents will go into the new box. The scents will not be touched, and the flacon stays the same.

    I will protect the metal box with a sleeve, made from cardboard, allowing me to render the whole packaging a touch softer, too. And it will present my line better, in brick and mortar shops, where my scents are shown in their packaging. Funny: on the internet, the packaging is hardly ever shown. Maybe here, in the electronic universe, the scent actually matters more than the packaging. Isn't this ironical?


  • Tauer is now also an LLC

    Tauer Perfumes is now also an US based LLC. From a legal point of view, I am allowed to do business now and I already got an federal tax identification number (EIN) assigned to the LLC by the IRS. What the heck, you might say. Right so! When I announced that I cannot ship internationally anymore,  about a month ago, on this blog, I mentioned that this IS serious and that a lot of things will change. Thus, this should not come as a surprise. In order to be able to accept orders from the US, I need to work together with an order fulfillment partner located in the US, and I need to do super expensive dangerous goods transport into an US based warehouse, and I need to be the owner of record for US customs, and for this I need an EIN. This is why.

    I hope that by February, I will be able to accept orders from the US again. That's the plan for the time being.

    For Europe, this is not the case. I do not expect that we will be shipping to Europe shortly, expect for the countries that we serve right now: Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria. Maybe, we will never start serving other European countries again. I will continue publishing updates of the situation here: 

    Now, having said that we will be shipping again to the US: Please expect major changes, still. As I need to pay for every product sitting on a shelf in the near future, as shipment costs will more than triple, as I lost important markets and part of my margin, I will -midterm- have to reduce the number of scents that I offer, and I will need to come up with a new pricing structure for some products. In a sense, I am just facing reality and need to streamline a bit and get the business side of what I do a bit toughened.

    That's the negative part of the changes for my US perfume loving fans. The positive side of things: I can start offering fragrant soaps in the US. And I can - for the first time- think about other products that I could not ship for a reasonable postage in the past due to the special Swiss post fare structures. Actually, there is so much to explore and as always, I have a lot of ideas.

    Actually, this IS why I am still doing what I am doing: it is fun, coming up with fragrant ideas and exploring this fragrant multiverse.  And I like the idea of being able to offer special fragrant goodies besides perfumes in bottles. In a sense, I offer a perfume in a soap. It is about the perfume and that's why  I put onto the packaging of my soaps "perfume in a soap". It's a claim, basically. It is about perfume; thus, the  most expensive part in my perfume in a soap is.... the perfume.

    And I did not like the old packaging.  I came up with a new wrapping and tested it; aiming at something a bit easier, that can be up-scaled, too. For me, this is a game. A fragrant test game. A fun distraction in a time where I have to come up with tough answers to tough questions.

    Today's picture shows you the wrapping of the first perfume in a soap: majestic TUBEROSE.

  • photo session at tauerville

    I could not resist: While I was posing for a photographer yesterday, I took some pictures of her, too. You see the result in today's picture. But contrary to her (the photographer's) super trooper camera, I was operating my Nokia's camera. And contrary to her being a professional photographer, with an eye for all possible details and effects, I just click buttons. So, yes: We had fun doing the shooting in a couple of locations at tauerville.

    One of the many photos that we took will appear mid January in the NZZ, Switzerland's most important newspaper that I read since I am twenty. I also got it during my year in Texas, as a short and printed version, coming about 1 week after the original publication. These days, I get it online, too. On the pad, when travelling or taking baths or waiting for whatever. Amazing. Technology really has changed the world So we had fun, and contrary to the original plan, we landed in the cellar, too. There, where I have the 12 liter aluminum cans and a lot of my raw materials, there the light was great and all the aluminum cans added a great silver shiny effect. Andy in silver can garden. Later we switched to the "atelier"; the room where I create and come up with funny ideas. A room that is a bit chaotic. Being creative is a fluid process. Thus, bottles and papers and pictures are carried away by a stream of something that is hard to explain.

    Ah, and yes, I tried to smile for the camera. Yesterday, that was particularly easy. My gardenia plant in a pot made another flower: The first flower since a very long time.

    And now, we are heading for the factory, soon: Time to pack perfume. And then there is the tuberose soap waiting to see the world. More on this fragrant adventure next week. With pictures!

    For the time being: Enjoy your weekend!

  • perfume, in a soap

    Today's picture shows you a quick, slightly out of angle shot of the tauerville balance, one of the tools that you end up needing when mixing and creating scents.

    "volumes are not additive", that's what we were told in our chemistry class, years ago, and it is still true. Basically, it means that mixing 100 ml  of liquid A and 100 ml of a liquid B will not always result in 200 ml of the mixture AB. That's why you need to mix grams and make weight based dilutions. 100 gram A and 100 gram B will always result in 200 gr. mixture AB.

    So we got this new balance, ordered some when in November, and it has been in heavy duty use since it arrived. For the techies: range is 420 gram. And accuracy is plus/mins 1 mgr. I could hook it up to a printer, but won't do so. I prefer to write my numbers down, on my excel print-outs.

    Today, I will mix 10 gram of a mixture consisting of 10 ingredients: A new version of a TUBEROSE SOAP scent. I will use two concrètes that I got a while ago: Rose and Jasmine concrètes. The difference to the tuberose soap scent that I did (one batch) for the holidays is not too big. But I will try to render it a touch more bloomy (flowery), a bit more radiating even, using methyl antranilate, and with Jasmonyl that comes with a special creamy, lactonic, mushroom-like effect. And, as Givaudan nicely says on their website: "  It enhances and improves the diffusion of most fragrances, particularly in perfumes designed for soap." So we hope for best....

    To be honest: I love coming up with scents for soaps. I find it very rewarding and it comes with an instantaneous gratification. Mostly.

    Soaps are difficult, from a commercial point of view:Expensive to ship from Switzerland to abroad. But if my plans to come up with a shipper in the US become reality, I could at least ship in the US and Switzerland.

    So you see: I play with my balance and think about soaps. It is a bit a distraction from my shipment worries. It is an anti-deluxe packing for handmade soaps that are very luxuriously scented. Actually, the scent in my soaps is the most expensive part. It's a perfume, in a soap.

  • Welcome to 2013 and a word on new and old

    Welcome to a brand new, excitingly fragrant and colorful 2013! Here's what is happening in the perfume house of tauer these days:

    I got, no wrong: Tauer Perfumes got a new balance for weighing perfume formulas and I did a couple of final, last, ultimate control mixes. Among them: NOONTIDE petals dilution mixes. Oh my. How I love this scent! You love bright florals? Aldehydes? The brilliant light of scents born in the twenties? Rose, jasmine, ylang, tuberose, geranium, sandalwood, and and and... ah well! I love it. The scent will go into dilution some when end January and it will go into bottles some when end February. ->Smiled at my new baby and will send it off in March or April,shipping some bottles; not to everywhere, but hopefully at least to a few hot spots.

    I am cleaning up my computer folder structure, making archive folders and put other archive folders in there, to limit the number of folders that I see when opening my tauer perfumes folder. It is like cleaning up a cupboard. Deep inside, behind the stuff that you need on a daily basis, there in the dark where usually nobody searches for anything, there you find long forgotten pictures and other data, such as pictures of the first versions of sample sets (made with flyer cards and glued on samples). -> smiled at it and put it into a big, fat archive folder.

    I was enjoying warm and sunny days, with a few hikes in weather that felt spring-like already. The sage bush in the garden, buried under a 30 cm thick white layer of cold snow, burst in blueish green shades under a gentle afternoon sun and I made a picture, to share with you. Besides trying to enjoy this oddly gentle weather, we are closing the books. I counted all my goods, my bottles and boxes, my scents in dilution, my scents in bottles on shelves, my fragrant raw materials, everything that is part of the Tauer GmbH stock. -> Now I know what I have and what not.

    Tauer GmbH is , by the way, the official name of my company that produces and sells Tauer Perfumes products. ->I am officially an employee of Tauer GmbH. The only full time employee. Funny, ain't it?

    As mentioned earlier: We cannot ship single full bottles ordered in my shop  internationally for a reasonable price anymore. Thus, I was doing a lot of background research, calculations, statistics and reflections of the situation in general and solutions and the consequences thereof. I think I mentioned it earlier ->independent on how we move forward, a couple of things will change -midterm for sure- like what we sell where when for what price.

    Thus, the picture is still wobbly but every day things get clearer. -> yesterday, I filed all the papers for an US LLC company and the SS-4 forms to get an EIN number from the US IRS.

10 Item(s)