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Monthly Archives: March 2013

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  • left side of desk

     

    today's picture shows you part of what is on the left side of my desk, a card, more cards, sample labels that wait to be used patiently, and lists and more lists. One list is an excel print out that reminds me to ship samples and information to my retailing partners. One list is another excel print out that I used to feed the Magento ProductMatrix extension in the test environment of the online shop. This added extension (think "additional features added to an existing software running the online shop where you buy online") will go live next week. Wednesday. Tuesday, the shop will be down for a while. I was fiddling with the excel yesterday and did tests in the demo test system, trying to come up with a lot of possible combinations and checking whether the shopping cart calculates shipping fees properly. So that's sort of ready.

    The overall goal: Be able to ship samples to more destinations in Europe, Far East. We might not be able to ship full bottles, but at least we can start offering samples again. I will gradually ramp up, serving many, but not all countries. And move on from there! That's the plan at least. We will see how this turns out after Easter.

    Another list is a write down list of things that I should not forget. Sometimes I use apps on the pad, or a "notes" program on the PC, sometimes I write these lists by hand, usually sitting comfortably somewhere with a coffee and trying to bring order in my day/life. Some of these to do items are done by now: Lonestar Memories, Lot No. LMEDT010 is diluted and waits to get ready to go into bottles soon.  Some of these items are not done yet, like a couple of mails and phone calls and putting labels and orders together. But we have the Easter break ante portas....Easter comes at the perfect time this year.

    Finally, there is the card, with the flacon No 14 sketch: I got these printed, after  Henri proposed it (in facebook, you may see the picture post and the story there, if you are on facebook). And I must say: I love the way these cards turned out. I got them printed on 380 gr/m2 paper that is not bright white. A nice post card sized piece of paper. I will use them in a draw, shortly. Stay tuned! And I will go back now to my lists. And tomorrow, I will go back to the experimental bottles that you do not see on the picture of this side of my desk. Playground and a reward for working on the lists.

  • another piece of paper from the printer

    Yesterday was a crazy day: And although it was my plan to head down to the factory and pack perfume, I ended up fiddling with an excel and the online shop in the test environment. And doing a lot of other things. Thus, today, I will spend more than a day there. ... It took me a while until I understood some of the logic of the extension that we got  in order to -in a couple of days/weeks- accept orders for samples for (most) countries again. It is not really the extension that's to blame, though: There was one particular point that I simply did not get, a "*" that was sort of overdriving what I asked the demo system to do.

    So I tried to figure out logically what is happening:

    "shipment costs for 2 samples to the US: 3.8 Francs. Check. OK. "

    "shipment costs for 1 samples to the US: 16 Francs. Check. NOT OK. but where the heck is the 16 coming from?" And this question arose kind of 2 hours later after finally! having figured out how to format the excel properly where I put in the values for the CSV file.

    Until I finally found the * in the wrong place it took a while. I am the type of guy who cannot let go, once I bit into a bone, so to speak... When I got it, it was 2 pm already, and I had to head for Brieger, where I picked up a pile of cardboard packaging for larger orders. I ordered the 100 x40x40 boxes over the weekend as I expect to ship into my warehouse in the US in about a week from now.  (oh my... I really need to run now!) From there, Brieger, in their super nice cool blue new building,  I was heading downtown, by car to pick up printed cards from one of the best printers in town, for sure the nicest, Mr. Jakob, right in the center of Zurich. A trip that I usually do by bike: By car it takes at least twice as long. Back home, I fell in total love with the cards that I brought home with me. I will use them to go inside the new packaging of my Tauer line, first I will use them with Noontide petals.

    There is a front side and a back side to this card. Today's picture shows you the back side of the card, on top on the "How To... " guido of my Magento shipping extension. I will use this backside to sign: Like I do it since I  send fragrances to the world: Every bottle goes out with a signed card, signed by myself, saying "Enjoy! Andy Tauer".

    And looking at it, I figured, that theoretically, if I really wished and if it was a good idea, I could use the backside to print, from time to time, illustrations, flowers, or whatever I feel might make sense there. Thus, the picture today shows you such a printed illustration on the card.  I need to talk to my designer about this....

    And now, I really need to run to the factory. By the way: Through snow. Again. Arggh!

  • getting sample cards today

    After a short weekend with a short trip to Milan, I am back to Zurich, and with world saved once again in Southern Europe, I am looking forward to the next few days. Please apologize my sarcasm. Every time I travel south in Europe these days, the comments that I get about the economic and especially about the political situation are getting darker and darker.

    Independent of what is happening there and what is not happening there. The coming days will bring me closer to the point where I can (finally) let Noontide petals go. In the sense of ship off the first samples, ordered on the shop, and ship the first bottles into the warehouse. And then I will probably clean my desk and start a new life again. Ha!

    Today, I will go and get the printed cards for No 14, Noontide petals, that I need for the sample discovery set, and the printed cards that go into the tin box. And yes, Noontide is No 14. No 13 is missing. For a while at least. And I got a shipment extension installed on the test shop environment. If I find time, I will need to test it and see whether it works according to my needs and whether I understand how to use and configure it. If all goes well, we should be able to extend the range of countries to which we ship samples. In the next weeks. That would help. But, it will not help when it comes to full bottles shipment to Europe, Australia, Far and Near East. There, I still have to come up with alternatives. 

    Thus, I am really looking forward to the point when I can do something else than think about Noontide, its launch and all that is related. It is time to move on and in a sense, moving on will mean looking back to No 1-12. Sometimes, I feel, you need to look back, see the path that you marched, in order to get a clearer view of where your path continues.

  • hallenbad

    Hallenbad is German and means indoor swimming pool. An environment that -from an olfactorial point of view- is quite diverse, but once you are in the water, it all calms down to not much. When entering the City Hallenbad (click here for a picture or see today's picture going with the post, showing you the stairs leading down to the entry leve), built within two years and finished 1941,  newly renovated, a wonderful modern building, you enter a "clean water environment" with some ozone and hints of other chemicals used to keep things clean and shiny. The changing room is a mix of body odors and traces of shampoo and other body products; not unpleasant indeed, as these days, unfortunately, some shampoos remind us of fragrances and the other way round. After the shower with hot steamy air you enter the pool area from a top position, overlooking the blue water, that is bathing in light, even during grey days.

    I enjoy every minute there and swimming my 30 minutes every third or second day is like a therapy for the mind. Bottles and labels and mails and deadlines and opportunities and missed calls and truck deliveries and Fedex and Shipwire and sketches and samples and questions from perfume lovers who want to create perfumes and more details that fill my little brain dissolve and the world becomes bright blue water. It feels a bit like a refuge.

    And the architecture is just fabulous. Generous, clear yet not cold, super high ceiling, and with this spectacular light, especially when the sun breaks through. Again: It is all about the light.

    Today, I will not go swimming (I did so yesterday), but rather make sure that I get some stuff done: Samples. Pictures of Noontide Petals for the shop on my website. And many more e-mails that sit there and wait patiently. Although, I will not answer all of them. Lately, I get more and more mails from going to be perfumers or wish to be perfumers asking for advice. Like 1 mail on a daily basis. Guess what: This is tiring, it distracts me from my mission and even sending an answer telling folks that I do not give advice as I  do not  have a consulting company and as I get too many queries is too much. I am getting tired of these mails. (I make a distinction here between people whom I have met and call friends and colleagues and people who I do not know, except by accepting a facebook friendship or alike). Thus, this week I got 4 queries from going-to-be-would-like-to-be perfumers.

    Maybe I should really come up with a price list, and price tags, like lawyers;
    typing a mail: 200 $ per hour.
    advice, research, network (such as finding examples, IFRA data, making copies, establishing a link to a company or a person etc.): 400 $ an hour.

    Monthly invoices. Payment on my $ account or through paypal. Maybe I should really start considering this ; it would for sure bring the number of mails down.

    On a more serious line n ow: Time to get these samples filled.

  • Gloss

    Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the factory; my two rooms where I stock things and where I get bottles ready, for shipment ultimately: Except online order shipments. These I do from "home", where I have some stock (always too little), my computer that prints shipment labels and where the post office is near and always too full.

    I filled the first bottles of Noontide petals in the factory and did a first 200+ bottles round. As repetitive as this normally is -filling bottles, crimping them, polishing them, putting lot labels on, putting shoulder stickers on, putting top on and getting the bottles back in line inside a cardboard box- and to some extend a bit boring: The first time it always feels great. First time and last time, I guess, are remembered. The bottles in between are just happening.

    Mentioned earlier: The label that I place on the flacon's shoulder is a bright, rich yellow. And it is a first from another perspective (almost... the air du désert marocain got also a new batch of stickers): I changed the quality of the label (sticker) that sits on the shoulder.

    Three changes:  A stronger glue. A thicker protecting laminate layer. And more gloss. Especially the laminate became important for me. Now, with the new quality sticker: Not much can happen there anymore, even if you really treat this sticker with  aggressive perfume, rub it in and try to scratch it. And they stick neatly. And come with extra gloss. That's good. They are a bit more delicate to pick and place, though.

    Today's picture shows you a sketch that I did after about 2/3 of the labeling round and as I got already used to the new labels and needed a break.

  • red shadow

    Yesterday, in the factory, while pouring Incense extreme into bottles and crimping them and putting labels on, it happened that for about 5 minutes the sun came through. In light of temperatures that are still close to zero, and a grey sky that torments northern Europe since felt eternities, this moment was quite special. Like "wow". Or picking a sentence from Elena's review of Noontide petals (must read) on her blog Perfumeshrine yesterday "alles ist Licht". By the way: There, on perfumeshrine, you can win samples of Noontide petals, too.

    Alles ist Licht translates into everthing is light, which in a sense is very true from many perspectives.

    Thus, for a short moment everything was light in my little two room factory and the flacons, filled with Incense extreme, were illuminated and transluminated. The Incense extreme is a rather uncolored fragrance, as I do not add colors to any of my scents they get the color by the raw material, mostly flower absolutes, and some vanillin reacting with other ingredients. And hence the flacons were shining like blue bulbs. And, interestingly enough, the shadow, in my eyes at least, featured different intensities of red.

    A fact that I tried to capture in the illustration that I picked as picture for today's post. I did it during these sunflooded moments, kind of a creative break. I was never that good in physics, but the more physics sounded like voodoo (quantum phenomena et al ) , the more I loved it. So.... I wonder. Why is the shadow reddish. Is it because there is a red element inside the cobalt blue colored glas. Or is it some other sort of effect that can be explained? Maybe one of my smart readers has an idea....

    While I am waiting for an answer: I will fill the first Noontide petals flacons today. Again hoping for a moment with the sun, shining through the blue flacons.

  • never trust any picture

    Today's blog post title "never trust any picture" could be extended to "nor any bank. At least in the EU ", referring to what happens in the southern part of the EU, Cyprus. Today's NZZ brought it to the point: basically, the decisions taken are proof that saved money is not safe on banks within the EU. Money is - in my humble opinion- never 100% save anywhere, but what happens over the weekend is proof of how unsafe it seems to be in the European Union. The editorial comment in today's NZZ (in German) highlights three issues with the decision and if you understand German it is worth a read (click here).

    But let's not talk about banks, but about pictures. I have spent most of my (free) time over the weekend on the screen, enjoying a bunch of hyacinths that I got in the flower shop on Saturday, all fresh, smelling heavenly and they animated me to sketch them. I add the two (downscaled) sketches that I finally managed to get done here. Both are electronic images, in the first one I am using an emulated sharp pencil together with water color, and the second uses an emulated soft crayon. I like to spend time, inspecting the flowers with my eyes, and at the same time immersing into their scent.

    Hyacinth sketch, digital,

     

    hyacinth sketch, digital

     

     

    And I worked on the flacon picture of Noontide petals: See the picture of today's post. I decided to use the flacon picture that is not a frontal "hero shot" but that is slightly twisted. I have the flacon picture of No. 09, Orange Star, and had to change the labels, including the mirror reflections. I need it in order to send it to France, where I have a deadline set for an information package (and samples, but I forgot about these...uiuiui: need to get them out today!) The information package is for Jovoy, THE Paris "haute parfumerie" perfume shop  where you find the best in niche, or the best in artisanal, low volume artistic perfumery. I will present Noontide petals as one of the news during their press day in about 3 weeks. Thus, I need to send pictures, text and samples. For the flacon picture, I needed to work in Photoshop, a bit. 

    And whenever I work in Photoshop, I realize again that you simply cannot trust any picture. Everything goes. Simply amazing! One fine day, I should really learn how to use Photoshop better.

    And yes, the five winners of the Noontide sample draw are picked by random.org. Congratulations to you, Max, Holly, Linda, Caro and Anna. I wish you all a great start into your week.

  • On roses, samples and draws

    Fragrant greetings on this Friday that brought snow to Zurich again. We hope for next week and spring's return. I will have to hit the factory later today, to pick some stuff up, but most of the time, I will work on my computer(s) today, as it is creative Friday here, with some mixing and weighing adventures in between, in my creative-chaotic  scent hotspot in the room next door. This week was very intense and I did not find enough time to seriously post on my blog. I was busy making samples, boxing scents, deciding in meetings, and trying to figure out a couple of hard to figure out things. But still, as so often, looking back to this week, it does not feel like I would have accomplished a lot. I guess that's the way it is: All the little things count, and they don't.

    But yesterday, finally, I got sort of a feeling of finishing, and getting ready to start the next venture. We are still waiting for the printed cards that go into the sample discovery set for Noontide petals. As soon as I got these, I will start offering the sample set with Noontide  petals. And as soon as I got two more paper things that I need for the packaging of full bottles, I will start bottling Noontide petals. Noontide is still very much on top of what I think about these days. But everyday a bit less. There is one piece of printed cardboard that might get in a bit late, and after having published this post, I will need to talk to the company providing it. Some of my suppliers need reminders from time to time. I am asking myself what some companies will do when the economic slump is over: Some of them have streamlined their processes and cut labor force to a level that makes you wonder how swiftly they can adjust to a growing economy. even in a lame economy they are fighting to keep up with orders.

    Anyhow: Noontide petals... we are getting there, and in case you middes it: Here are your chances to grab free goodies this week.

    I case you have not left a comment but if you are interested in winning one of five sample of the upcoming Noontide petals: My draw in the previous post is still open (until late Sunday). Just follow this link and leave a comment there.

    And while we are talking about draws: Here are two more... You can win a sample of Noontide petals on Persolaise's blog, and there is the chance for my German speaking readers to win one of three bottles of the Cologne du Maghreb on Beauty-Mekka. Viel Glück! Und auch wenn Ihr kein Glück in der Verlosung habt: Der Text von Evelyn ist wunderschön und zaubert den Frühling den wir ja alle so vermissen herbei.

    And finally, going together with today's picture: There's a new video on our roses by Freddie on Smellythoughts youtube's channel. 7 minutes on incense rosé, une rose chyprée and on une rose vermeille. Enjoy!

  • A sample draw and light makes all the difference

    I am back from Rome and managed to get the mails done. Phew! First things first: The Noseday 2013 was just great. A wonderful occasion to meet and greet perfume lovers in a wonderful city (Rome) in a wonderful country (Italy) and to get in touch with colleagues and friends again. You find all the pictures here on facebook on Campomarzio's Facebook site. Enjoy!

    So that was nice and Rome was nice, too. I managed to squeeze in a day before and half a day after the Noseday in order to enjoy the vibes of this city that is so unique. The weather was very nice on Saturday, with some clouds, but the sun breaking through and shining on me who felt like a groundhog leaving his winter quarters for the first time: Blinking into a bright gentle sun. We started Saturday with a good coffee like you can only get it there, in Italy, and hit Fontane di Trevi, still pretty early in the morning, with few tourists on their and in way. Thus sun was just breaking through the rather dark clouds and somehow the light was very sharp and brought out the contours of Fontane di Trevi and the colors of its surroundings. The picture of today gives you an idea.

    Amazing!

    It is all about the light.

    Thus, I am back, and continued writing some text for NOONTIDE petals that I started in Rome, mentioning aldehydes that bring light into a perfume. You see: The sun of Rome sort of inspired me. And I  started to send some of this text to some bloggers who will get a sample or two of NOONTIDE petals. And yes: I know.... I actually send the samples to them before you, my readers, can get them. Which is not entirely nice. There is a reason behind it: I feel that the story of tauer perfumes would not have been written without bloggers (and their readers). Thus, I wanted to share the scent with them and their readers, first.  I still expect that I can start offering samples in about two weeks from now.

    OK. Thinking about it: Maybe it is time for a little quick draw for NOONTIDE samples, here. I will send a sample of NOONTIDE petals, fresh and shiny, to the winners of today's draw. I will pick 5 winners. Who can participate: Everybody, except my fans from Italy (I cannot ship to Italy for customs reasons, mi dispiace! A side note on samples shipping: Technically, I can ship single samples to (most) of the world, but I cannot yet do so from my shop. Complicated, but take my word on it. We are still working on adjusting the shop allowing me to ship samples to the world again...a loooong story! But let's enjoy that I can ship samples for this draw).

    Anyhow: the draw is open for a few days and the winners will be announced here. You are in if you leave a comment here on this blog, entering a valid email address (thus allowing me to contact the winners by email) with your comment. Any comment is fine. For details on what I do and do not do with your private data: See my privacy information page here.  Yep, I think that's all for today. Good luck!

    Update: March 18 . The winners of the draw, picked using random.org are:
    Anny, Holly, Max, Caro, Lisa. All five of you got a mail in the meantime. Congratulations! And many thanks to all of you who participated and left lovely comments. Thank you!

     

  • Noseday a Roma

    Uff, two hectic days are behind me here: Lots of last minute stuff to get done  before I leave for the Noseday 2013 in Rome, where perfume lovers and perfumers put their noses together. One of the activities: A double interview on scent and friendship with Vero Kern, nose and creator and founder behind Vero Profumo, for a feature about friendship (more details when they become available) with everything: Video, sound, pictures. That was fun! I was biking to the interview date, through the woods around Zurich, in spring mode, but still without much green. Green things need time.

    Thus, more or less, I am ready. Before leaving I will pick and announce the winner of the latest Lonestar Memories give away draw that I did a while ago on Facebook and here on the blog. We got 65 comments on the blog and 109 likes on Facebook. Not that I have any clue what the numbers really mean. But it tells me that I need to come up with a consolation prize. Or another draw. hmmm.... Actually, I just picked the lucky winner.

    Tatataaaa: The winner is Holly, from New Jersey. You got mail!

    Thus, this is done, now follows a couple of mails, more mails, and yes: more mails, and then: off we go. Uff. I am looking forward to the weekend, hoping that I will get some ideas over a cappuccino, or a glass of wine. I still need to find a few words for NOONTIDE petals. Comes time, comes words.

    Fragrant greetings to you all!

     

     

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