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Monthly Archives: May 2013

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  • state of works broschure

    Good morning from Zurich, where the weather God and fairies and good witches all work together to motivate me continuing on my little brochure project. It stopped raining this morning and started pouring instead. Good!  Thus, let's talk brochure, state of works. The picture of today shows you a pdf copy (shaky resolution, can't read the text) that gives an overall impression of the state of works.

    It is always a double page that you see. Like: the left half of the andy pictures is the left page No. 2 in the brochure, the right half of the picture is the page 3 on the right side of the brochure. Some details don't show, like: The large pictures have all a 5 mm white border. The small pictures and the grey faded bar on the bottom have no borders , are margin less.

    Statements about the brand and products are in the third person and Andy's statements, citations, are found exclusively in the lower bottom part, printed onto the grey bar that runs on every page over the pictures and that holds on citation each. The text is not 100% final but the ratio text to pictures should not change much. [added: Some of the text blocks will change position, though]

    I sort of like it. But.... it misses something. It is all too nice, cliché and I thinking about giving it some pepper by coming up with other header words (don't like these really), maybe switching to adjectives, and maybe adding another visual element or two, like a handwritten note, in an  90° angle,  going with the pictures. We will see. Any comment is highly welcome, it always helps, even if I do not seem to listen to all comments and don't change: It sure helps. Enjoy your Friday!

     

  • wolle seide bast

    I am still thinking about the brochure.

    Wool silk bast. Often used together in German with "Fraktion" (EN fraction): and often slightly deprecatingly, referring to folks doing things differently (to put it nicely), caring for a simpler life, using natural sustainable stuff , quite often put in a corner of naive world optimizers, idealists,... I think you get the idea: wearing T-shirts made with brown wool from the neighbor's sheep although the shirts are scratchy like hell.

    The very moment you mention hand made, artisanal, own creations, there is a looming danger of positioning yourself in this corner: You might wake up in the wicker basket of the wool silk bast fraction. Some like it, for some it is a no-go. Trust me: I wake up there from time to time and try to sneak out of this basket if I can.

    If you come up with a packaging that is not ribbons and pictures and does not fit the the wool silk bast aesthetics, you might disappoint folks who associate hand made with ribbons and artisanal with zero-bling-bling- factor. That's why, by the way, a lot of  "bigger" companies put ribbons around flacons, packaging, whatever, in order to wallow in this hand made pool.

    And if you mention that you are doing things with an artistic approach, you wake up one day realizing that you are expected to wear strange hats and make a fuss about yourself because you are an artist and are expected to behave like one. Ever been to a vernissage where "art" was the smoke-screen to get drunk with with other creative people? Then you probably know what I mean.

    You get the idea: Positioning yourself and your products is not easy.

    Down to earth, that's where I would position myself, to some extend. But how to bring this message across? I decided that I have to try to come up with a few its and bits of text and pictures that should bring this message across. Sort of.

     

     

  • Indesign

    Today, I followed the advice coming from my design guru and started working with Indesign, made by Adobe. A company that produces great products, in my humble opinion, for ...well...tough prices. But great products they have. So, I did my first steps in this universe that doesn't seem too unfamiliar, as I work with photoshop and illustrator from time to time, without using the full potential of these, of course. Like most things that I do, I just do, without having really learned them. One fine day, I want to make the next step and get acquainted a bit deeper with these goodies.

    I am far from finished, but I picked another picture, that I intend to go with text, little text, mentioning my flacons, made in Europe, by hand mostly -whatever this means when it comes to molten glass- and from colored glass. In great quality. Yep. Today's blog post picture shows you a detail of this picture. I tried a hero shot, a single bottle, a picture taken frontally, on a white background, but it did not do the job. It looked like all the other flacon pictures that are out there. I think there are about three kind of perfume flacon pictures: Hero shots, flacons with lots of pseudo old decorative things assembled next to them, photoshopped mostly, and flacons with people. Maybe a forth category might be a couple of flacons arranged neatly. Mine would be the last category, but with a factory touch.

    I am not sure whether people really care, about hand made, though. When I met friends in retail a while ago, perfume retail, they mentioned to me, that hand made is nice, but most clients do not care. So you wonder, whether people care about the quality of a glass flacon. For me it matters, though, and hence: I add a little text in my going to be brochure.

    That was more or less my day. Indesign. Addictive, highly addictive.

  • on the outside

    welcome back again after the weekend that hopefully was glorious for you! Mine was sort of busy and filled up to the rim with fun work on the computer. I continued with the brochure, collecting ideas, putting them into a context with picture, and trying to come up with pictures that are "ok". It is a very fluid process, with text asking for pictures, and when the photos, sort of integrated into a rude layout, are there, the text does not seem right anymore and you go back to step one.

    One of the pictures that I wanted to have: The new tauer cap, made from bakelite. Ready to be used in my bottle production as soon as we used up most of the old caps. This, of course, depends on how many bottles will leave the factory until then. We got the new caps delivered last week: 4 boxes, 5000+ pieces, produced in Switzerland. The later is -in my opinion- important. I try to source as much as I can in Europe.  Because, for instance, people here get sort of decent working conditions and social security and we have rules of engagements for the environment. Thus, I decided to focus on this point in the brochure, too: Bottles made in Europe by hand, by small producers, who are craftsmen, and provide products that are unique and authentic.

    Yesterday, I read a  Harper's Bazaar article online, warning about fake perfume, counterfeiting in the perfume industry, describing how for instance a client got her Chanel  for 14$ (nope, I am not talking about a sales of out of stock etc. items); she thought it was a good deal and learned later that it was a fake fragrance. How naive is that?

    And why is it that we all care and worry about prices and deals, and not about work conditions and environmental damage? When have you actually checked where a product comes from? We might want to ask this is question from time to time for T-shirts, food, and all the other items that we buy in a globalized market place. To be honest with you:  I am so sick of the "Geiz is geil" (greed is good) mentality. Nobody shops in a value free system, and for some produce we have the choice.

    Anyhow, I am drifting: The bakelite cover, delivered last week, looks lovely. Today's picture shows you a photo that I took, a macro shot of a 2x2x2 cm cap, with a logo that is incredibly detailed. Isn't it? I guess I will use this in the brochure, photoshopped to adjust the color's tonality, linking it to my being a country boy deep inside.

    Have  a great start into your week!

  • Tauer does not mind dirty hands

    “I do not mind getting dirty hands. I think as creators we need to engage with the materials that we choose to express ourselves. When I mix fragrances and
    pour my creations into flacons, I build an intimate relation to my produce and connect to the perfume lovers who will ultimately cherish them.”

    Today, I share a detail with you, a  cut out of page 5 of the upcoming brochure about Andy Tauer's Tauer Perfumes. The above text goes with a picture that I personally love very much. I did it over the weekend, it shows my hand and an citrus blossom, is somewhat pre- photoshoped and trust me: No flowers were harmed taking it. The flower was not cut. The red tonality will need a touch more optimization in photoshop but this will come at the end. The text might also need a few adjustments, as I am not native. But I hope you get the message.

    Yesterday, I decided on the overall guiding layout for my little brochure adventure, and the story that I want to tell on how many pages. And I did the first 5 pages: At least defining the pictures and raw text. The fine tuning happens towards the end. Thus, yesterday was sort of an early creative day (instead of Friday). Today, well... today will see me in the factory, finishing the Orange Star bottle labeling action and filling some samples, as we run out of a few of them. I guess, I will first have to finish a few difficult emails, though.

    And I will have to fight getting off the computer. I love to compose pictures and text. I am so tempted to start working on page 6 and 7: My packaging and how I present my creations. Page 4 and 5 focused on products being hand made in Switzerland, and on the craft of perfume creation: on me being the composer, creator of all the fragrances. There, I try to make readers understand that I compose , and how I do it (just a glimpse) as this is what most others do not do anymore. And a course for a week in Grasse or at Givaudan is not the same. Most so-called niche fragrances and brands are composed by an industry behind. This does not mean that the scents are not good: It is just a difference.

    Page 2 and 3 are of introducing nature, bringing about the groove of Tauer, Andy, with a word on inspiration and what's behind my scents.

    Finally, not having decided yet: Maybe I do the citrus flower in a 3D lacquer, that doesn't really cost more. It brings out a 3 D effect and would be sort of cool. On the other hand, the appearance of the picture is more natural without. We'll see. Not important. Like many other things that keep us busy.

     

  • about values

    So here comes lesson two, figured out while watching home order tv,  announced yesterday: Core values. Super important. Especially for super small fishes like me, swimming in a pretty large pool with lots of perfumes and people dealing with perfumes.  Trust me on this: We live right now in a phase where a lot is happening in this pool. And as this pool is getting very populated, more populated on a daily basis, it is super important to remain very loyal to the values and principles that I (we) care for.

    And it is very important to get the message out, that the world out there knows about these values that I cherish; or better: that we cherish. We= a few selected artisanal perfume creators, and our loyal fans and clients. There, when it comes to communicating these values, I have to do some homework: The little brochure thing that I want to get done in the coming days needs to focus there, too. I want to print a few copies for myself, not only for my Italian business partners: I do not really have any kind of  introduction booklet about myself and what I do and why I care etc. Maybe, one day, when I have a bit money left, I can do it super professionally, with the help of my designer, and come out with the perfect image brochure. For the time being, and as a test: We do it ourselves. Right now, once this post is online, I will be thinking about a few visuals (photos) and illustrations that I want to draw myself to give the brochure a bit of an artistic touch, too.

    Having talked about values: Today was a day where I more or less unhappily or happily (very undecided there) said NO to an interview request by a respected blogger. I did so because of a previous post, where -without any intention to harm or bother me and other perfumers- I ended up in some sort of a game, a pitching game between two perfumers. So,  I said no to the question for an interview. Mostly because I wanted to make statement: I have values and what I have seen there is not really part of this coordination system of values of mine. I think there is so much out there happening  in the world of haute perfumery that we do not need these games.

    Me not, for sure.

    At some point one has to say no, or like my designer friend once said: Every chance is a chance to say no.

    So, yes: I guess this was a serious post, but I mean no harm. Today' s picture: A quick shot of a gardenia flower with my phone, seen yesterday evening in my house. It's scent: heavenly. The queen of spicy mushroom cream!

  • ahh

    Yesterday was a super grey day here in Zurich. Rain pouring, cold temperatures, bad news:You name it! I was sitting in the factory most of the time during the day, filling bottles, answering mails on the side, and enjoying the whiffs of Orange Star emanating from the manual dispenser that I use for bottle filling: 10 liters, giving some 180 bottles as I always add about 4-5 ml more. After 20 bottles I was reminded of a deeper meaning of life, got bored and did a quick ipad sketch, of the first bottle that got a sticker. Usually I add the sticker when I am done with all bottles, but I made an exception for the sketch.

    Home, later in the evening after -I do not know how many- mails- I got sort of tired and fell into TV induced stasis, watching for about 30 minutes the AHH BRA sales show on Mediashop.tv. Quite an amazing accomplishment this Ahh Bra! Only finest European fibers were used to make it, one size fits all and  yesterday, if ordering two, I could get two for free. And don't forget the colors: Lots of choice and only the finest color pigments used to make the colors last and shine for years to come. The Ahh Bra is made of from one piece of fabric, and feels very comfortable and is made from entirely non transparent material that feels very comfortable.

    I think I learnt something again, yesterday. Actually I was reminded of a few things. Thus, this morning, when drinking the first coffee, after having screened the mailbox and after having surmounted that early morning fear of the social media, I checked facebook.  Eearly in the morning, before Lounge-Radio.com induced tranquility, the social media can be tricky. It is like coming home from a trip and opening the letter box. I get a lot of messages, which is nice, but early in the morning, you know...

    Thus, I learned a lesson and opened facebook and realized that my background picture is the same since years, it is a sketch of a human eye,  and not product related or related to my craft or related to what makes me and my creations special. And my profile pictures is me from the eighties: missing the focus on today. Thus,  as much as I like my eye sketch and myself in the eighties: Time to implement the ahh bra lesson number 1: Focus. Facebook profile picture and background picture changed.

    Tomorrow, we'll work on lesson two: Core values.

     

     

  • gschpässig

    "gschpaessig" is Swiss German, for "strange, odd, bizarre, beyond what you would expect" with a negative connotation.

    Gschpaessig can be many things, like facebook posts. Actually, the longer the more, gschpaessig fits well on many, many facebook posts.

    Gschpaessig is also adequate for the world of fragrances, the industry behind it, and the tectonic shifts that we see these days, if we dare looking closely. Most have been said here before: So I won't rabble and babble about the state of things there.  In politics, gschpaessig is quite adequate these days, too. Gschpaessigfits perfectly in our time; it  describes pretty well the odd, very green lights on the stock markets and the money flood from reserve banks pumped into all kind of markets. There, I am convinced, we witness a dangerous (but maybe alternative less?)  dance around a bonfire that is nourished by the savings of those who still believe in money.

    Gschpaessig, indeed.  So gschaessig, that I am considering getting invested mid-term again in put options. Which, on the other hand, the W.-factor finds gschaessig.

    How can you make money by investing into the hope of markets falling? Gschaessig, and probably ethically difficult to justify.

    Gschpaessig was also the reaction of the same W.-factor, to my latest take of Tuberose that I want to add to the upcoming line Sotto la luna. My guinea pig is always very honest and I am happy about that.  I wanted to give the " tuberosa sotta la luna "  a bit more depth and darkness. The previous trial was very much ok, but not quite as close to perfection as I wish it to be. So I tried a few things (including overdosing a base ingredient which sometimes does the trick), that did not work out, and I will go, after 3 trials that brought me into weird territory far away from any flower, back to the version 16 and try to add depth and darkness there.

    Sotto la luna: The first scent or two or three will find their way in some way into my line towards the end of this year or early next year. Depending on my resources. Maybe  I will start rather exclusively. So there is still some time, and the next trial will see me adjusting the chord that I created for the tuberose. It is a partial base (a chord) that covers part of the spiciness and  some floral aspects, but little of the lactonic part of the flower (except for Jasmine abs.). I decided to go a bit higher with the spicy part there, broaden the floral powder and dark  intensity by introducing more ingredients, and I decided to basically leave the base untouched.

    Not that there is any hurry, though. Right now, I need to start working on some information to be printed onto paper, for Pitti. Let's call it a little brochure; where I need and want to explain what and where and why and all of it accompanied by some illustrations and pictures, like the one on the side going with today's post: Deadline end June, to allow for the translation.

    I should work on the text. Seriously. Sort of now. But I so far I only come up with pictures for this little side project. Gschpaessig.

     

  • about bottling, before and after

    So , yes: Technically I should be in the factory since about an hour. I should be down there (10 minutes with the bike, downhill) and fill bottles, continuing there where I stopped yesterday: air du désert marocain. Air du desert followed Incense rosé, that I filled the other day, lots of bottles. Today's picture shows you a dozen of them. And then, I should be putting labels on them and put them into a box and put them in the shelf before packing them later. Then, I should move on and do the same with Incense extrême.
    Practically, I am still here, in front  of the computer, having tweaked an experiment formula  in my ever-growing excel list of perfume formulas.  And I think I will start putting this experimental formula into one of my 30 ml brown glass bottles. I was thinking a long time about this particular formula, and how to change it to the better. So I am a bit impatient to see how it might turn out. It is about time that I get somewhere there: I am working on it since more than 12 months.

    The list, by the way, is an excel list and I mentioned this to a journalist in Bucharest, too. And yes, there was some disappointment in her face. I guess writing my formula into a dark brown old leather enclosed booklet with rusty iron buckles might do the trick. But then, excel is really very helpful. It counts for me, and makes it easier to end up with a formula that is based on 1000 units. These 1000 units are 12500 mgr=12.5 gram.  the 12.5 gramm are there for historic reasons, when I was still working with milliliters. These days, everything happens in grams and milligrams, as volumes are not additive. This means, that 1 liter of water and 1 liter of ethanol does not give you 2 liters of a mixture. Funny, he?

    So, yes: milligrams. Trying to find harmony there, in excel, and expressing what I feel it should be like. The take is on tuberose again, trying to come up with a bright sensual  tuberose shining under the moon.

    Regular readers of this blog know what I am talking about: Sotto la luna. Flowers under the moon. My take on them. Sotto la luna will, like the HOMAGES, be a line within the line of tauer. And I will talk more about it. Tuberose will be the third scent that I have in mind to go in there. Sotto la luna will be a little bit like my private collection. My flowers, the way I love them. And as it is a bit my intimate private thing, I will do some things differently there.

    But first things first: factory.

     

     

  • Today at Andy's: a draw linked to facebook and restricted to the US

    Today, we got a DRAW, but it is restricted to winners with an US delivery address, and to perfume loving fans with a facebook account. Sorry about that. Let's consider it a test...

    And I have a very special, limited OFFER for my perfume loving friends with an US shipment address:

    OFFER:
    FREE Tuberose soap with any full bottle order: Order any full bottle of any scent from my line in my online shop and get a free "perfume in a soap: majestic Tuberose", shipped to you at no extra cost, no questions asked. The offer is limited to the first 20 full bottle orders on my online shop. Once, this offer expires, I will announce it here on my blog and on my facebook site. The perfume in a soap comes as  a 100 gram bar, is hand made and wrapped by me in Switzerland. It is not available anywhere else and is an experience of its own, with a tuberose perfume (featuring natural rose and jasmine) created by me, in a total concentration of 3%; it is a luxurious experience.

    DRAW:
    The draw is straightforward:
    - SHARE the post that you will find on my facebook site where I present the special soap offer (LIKE does not count).

    - Make sure that you have an US delivery address in case you win, as I will only ship to a winner with an US shipment address.

    - Et voilà: you are in and have a chance to win a full bottle of  my AIR DU DESERT MAROCAIN, boxed and ready to ship to you. I will pick one winner in the next couple of days from all the SHARES.

    Fine print and conditions:

    There is no need to buy anything to participate in the draw. Winners will be selected on a pure random basis and we will contact the winner by email or by sending a facebook message, and announce that we picked a winner publicly, without providing any information about the winner. The draw is open to anybody with a shipment address in the US. Winners will be selected from all facebook users who shared the post independent of their friend status.

    Thank you for sharing! 

     

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