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Monthly Archives: July 2013

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  • under the moon end July

    Today's picture shows you the moon over Zurich, rising yesterday behind the trees. Sotto la luna: Me, with my Nikon, trying to keep it steady, and trying to find an optimum between underexposure and sharpness. I don't own a tripod, and after what felt like 200 mails keeping the hand steady was quite a challenge. It was a tropical evening here in Zurich, and what the picture does not show you are the clouds behind me, holding the camera steady. As always, this picture shows you only half the truth.

    Behind me taking the picture a thunderstorm was building up and 30 minutes later it started to rain, quite enjoyably, with the moon still sitting on a cloudless dark blue canvas.

    I went to bed, with a drop of an undiluted remix of the rose "de Kandahar", experimental still. I do this sometimes, impatient as I am, not wanting to wait these 1-3 weeks until a scent can go into an experimental dilution. I felt that I needed to work a bit on the latest mixture, on the base, adding a bit more strength, without destroying the rose that should continue blooming in the center. So I did version 3.3 . And a little drop went to bed, and still lingers on the arm. I mentioned it before: I take a break, two weeks, and when back, this rose goes into dilution.

    While taking a break, I will think about a lot of stuff that needs to be figured out. Somehow. This rose that I just mentioned: Being a Christmas special. But how to do it exactly?Which bottle? How to offer it to retailers, to my perfume loving friends, and how to talk about it without falling into the many traps there are!

    Sotto la luna -taking up today's picture- will also be high, high, very high on the list. I had a great "show me yours and I show you mine" exchange of ideas, an open discussion, ground zero,  about what to do there with my designer super guru. Sotto la luna, and the scents that I have ready there; they ARE super important. Especially the fragrances. For me they mean a very big step forward. Some of the best, most interesting I have done so far (sorry, I am totally biased there, and not a bit modest). Thus, sotto la luna is important.

    And so are two, three other scents that are ready and need a format, at least a window to showcase them, for the moment, as we cannot do everything all the time, not now.

    When I am back from the break it will be August. And August means 1 month until Pitti Fragranze in Florence : more to think about. Basically, I need to start all over again in Italy. I am looking forward to that. But it is not easy. After a roller coaster year there.

    And I am looking forward to yet another fragrant story, rising on the horizon: Ingrid. Tableau de Parfums' third fragrant installation on and with Evelyn Avenue.

    So you see: I need a couple of evenings under the moon to figure this all out. I hope to talk here on the blog, from time to time, in the next two weeks.

    Thus, see you soon again. Au revoir!

  • At Evelyn Avenue, a picturesque insight

    Over there on Evelyn Avenue, Brian Pera published an illustration of mine and my description of where and why I did it. Here is the link directly to the blog post: "Andy Tauer's sketchbook. The Gelati cart".

    I hope you find the time reading it. This is the first column of a monthly series on Evelyn Avenue, where I will make an appearance, once a month, and talk about a particular illustration. The goal is to talk about a creative process, about an intimate moment, a moment of truth that lets the reader glimpse into the mind of a creator of things. Things being perfumes and illustrations. I hope that we will have many readers there; my English is not 100% correct and a bit off sometimes, but what I talk about is important to me.

    By talking about a particular creation, you rediscover it a bit, and reflecting about circumstances, the mood and the why and when and what tells me quite a lot. Also about the world around the creation.

    And furthermore, I hope that I could convince you to leave this blog now and switch over to Evelyn Avenue because I am a bit on the run the next two days. Last minute preparations before I am closing Tauer Perfumes for two weeks, heading for a creative break, with (hopefully) lots of time to draw.

    And I hope that you will enjoy the Gelati cart illustration (on Evelyn Avenue you have in high res, just click on the picture there....). Have a great day!

  • Combava ess bio nop

    a while ago I was in Paris, for the sole purpose to smell and discover and rediscover and say hello to raw material providing business partners during the XI salon de Matièers Premières.. And, ah well, yes: To enjoy a great city, staying there for a day or two, with the perfect excuse.

    The fair, or "salon", was wonderful and affected my bookkeeping: After smelling the Madagascar Vetiver, Molecular Distillation quality, by Biolande, I could not help fighting my inner voice telling me that we shouldn't , but wanted to get some, asap. I tried the vetiver at Biolande's stand, together with other goodies. One of them was Petitgrain, petitgrain combava, bio (organic) and incredibly long lasting and quite different to what you think your typical petitgrain is. In a sense, it is somewhere in the middle between the earthy neroli reminding classical petitgrain, and the earthy citron and lime evoking lemongrass, or litsea.

    I wanted this one, too.

    Immediately, I figured, this vetiver, this petitgrain, this is perfect. Be it for a cologne, be it for a vetiver stand-alone.

    So I ordered. And got it yesterday, by Fedex. And I cannot wait until August, when I have a bit more time to play (again). The next few days, I really, really, really  have to sit behind the computer screen and churn papers, lists, pictures, and more out with deadlines set for the weekend. Time is running fast! But at least I can put some vetiver scented paper strips next to me and dream. Not that I really need another vetiver, nor does the world, but still...why not?

  • in pipeline, fougères dribbling in

    Lavender is difficult, and everybody seems to be scared of lavender these days. Perfumers and perfume lovers alike. This and that you hear quite often when you talk with perfume friends, mostly followed by a "what a pity, as lavender is such a nice material to work with".

    Combine this with my love for fougères, and some really tough, super tough decisions that need to be taken, and you have the perfect cocktail for distraction: stolen play time in the tauer lab. For those of us who care about classification and boxes: Here is the picture on Fragrances of the World, by Michael Edwards, showing you where the fougères are positioned (click here, and try the fragrance wheel: Fun and concise descriptions!) I could not agree more: Men love fougères, feel comfortable with them, women find them appealing.

    I guess besides this wonderful interplay of fresh citrus with green fresh spicy herbs and woody mossy notes and coumarin that does the trick for many, it is just comforting not to wear a dramatic memory of a perfumer. Or not having to sit in an imaginative garden with over sized fruits and flowers that mirror the twisted fantasies of a creator (me included). Sometimes, me at least, I do feel not like drama but more like peacefully resting in a bed of slightly earthy petitgrain, green-bitter galbanum, soothing bergamot, minty geranium leaves, fresh lavender, a dash of tangy rose oil on a solid base  with undramatic lines of dry and powdery woods, coming from ingredients like Nootka tree oil, nargamotha, patchouli, vetiver.

    This is part of the formula that I mixed, using Nootka tree for the first time publicly, I  think. I love it, but it needs a very gentle hand, as it is quite powerful, and can easily be dominant, reaching out with dry woody hands. It's scent is a bit like an amplified cedarwood, a magnified pencil scent, pumped up and made super powdery and super dry. Sort of.

    Of course, you will also find magic potion ingredients in this formula of mine (24 ingredients in total). Like salicylates that provide "lift" and volume, or coumarin that you just need there.

    So, yes the Nootka tree is gently dosed, so are the herbs and spices, and yes, I think I feel comfortable with it. I haven't really planned this. It happened. I will soon (mid next week) close the tauer factory for two weeks, giving me the time to think this one through. I guess I might share it, on a somewhat private basis, without pushing it towards a global sales machinery. To do so, I am considering a couple of options (you remember: I cannot ship internationally anymore, for the time being). Options that might allow me to ship again, in one way or the other, maybe at the end of this year, maybe next year. Not super easy, but also nice to think and plan and worry about: It is the perfect distraction, too.

     

  • for external use only

    Today is an excel day, balancing allergens, ingredients, lists, and more lists, and soon I will make a list for my lists in order to find the lists again in the ever growing list space on my computer. I'd prefer to work on scents, to be honest. But there is no way how it cannot be done, and there is nobody who could do it for me.

    Every country and region has its own requests for how to label and pack and register, and today I was getting some paperwork done for a market (Arab market) that is pretty strictly regulated and demands a lot if you want to get your products in there. Ufff....

    But I guess we are getting there, sooner or later. Right now: Adjusting the labels that go onto the back of the new metal box packaging. Today's picture shows you one of the sentences that needs to get there. It says: For external use only. Or in other words: Don't drink, and don't rub your tongue with it. Even if it smells deliciously.

  • looking at things, photoshopped

    It is time for another post, after quite a break from the normal publishing routine. I had to go to Rome for two days at the end of last week. The day before leaving I was really busy, trying to get clarity on a few registration and technical details for the Saudi market, for the European market, and trying to prepare as much as I could for Rome. I had to go there, talk to retailers et al, get an idea and confirm what happens there, and start taking things in to my hand again, after a long, very long, very patient phase of benevolent wait and see. I cannot go into any detail, but I am changing a lot in Italy. To the better, in the next few months, I am convinced. 

    I love Italy, but things there are not always easy. It is a complex world in the south. One thing that I love as perfume creator about Italy: It is probably the most advanced, grown up, ripe perfume market. You know: "Niche" started in Italy, about 30 years ago. Niche in Italy was in a sense an early reaction to the onset of delirium fragrant, the massive banalization and starting globalization of the perfume market 30 years ago. We are there again. Just to give you an example of the growing confusing: A brand like Byredo or Dyptique is still called niche, although you find it in duty free stores (Dyptique) and although both are owned by equity capital mostly (Manzanita Capital). Perfume lovers all over loose track and orientation. 

    So we are again, with Italy leading and setting the ground: For niche 2.0 or artisanal haute perfumery or whatever you like to call it. And this is the reason, why I had to fly down there and back: Italy is one of the hotspots where my fragrances are highly appreciated and where the artistry is recognized, and where it matters whether you belong to Manzanita or not.

    Please do not get me wrong: Artisanal does not always mean better scents, and it does not mean that mass market niche is not beautiful, sometimes. But artisanal means: Different, and authentic. And this is what matters: that perfume lovers in search of this difference and authenticity get to know the truth and get a compass in their hands to find their way in the jungle of launches and claims.

    This happens in Italy now, a compass is finding its form there.

    In  a sense, it is a new way of looking at perfumes and brands, looking behind the photoshop super reality of some.

    Today's picture: Photoshop super reality of Tauer, created by Andy.

  • rose again

    So there we go again: rose. Today's picture shows you a quick shot, taken with my phone's camera, in the morning. Dew on rosa xxx. I want to give you a quick update on my works with the rose oil from Kandahar. Well, well. As always: Not easy. It is a tricky balance between keeping this rose oil alive, present, and putting it into a context without crushing it and it is a fight with fixation, making things last, and it is a fight with finding the right body notes, the ground that should nourish the flowers and keep your nose interested for a few hours.

    What I have now, is sort of nice, very "rosy", but for my nose a touch too soft in the base, not really paying tribute to where this rose comes from. Although already pretty complex, with the base featuring natural tobacco, hints of patch, vetiver, vanilla, amber gris, the whole composition is still too "banal" and this is mostly due to the base missing clear contours and power.

    Contours are actually very important. Often it is just one or two ingredients that provide extra lines and contrast and suddenly, with the contrast added, the flowers bloom and start to blink. Sort of. Often, contours are also reached by overdosing one particular ingredient, mostly in the base, adding this extra twist.  So I will try this, together with a little simplification of a formula that got already too complex. Always trying to keep in mind that in the center is the natural rose oil from Afghanistan.

    In a sense, referring to painting, I will try to take a brush one size larger and use it on the canvas with a brave hand, and strong colors.

    The goal, still, the scent needs to be done by autumn, ready to ship in about 3 months. uiuiui... better keep going now.

  • völlig losgelöst

    Today's picture shows you the complete lavender twig that I scanned the other day, and did a cut out for my post on Friday. And today's title is German and hard to translate. It means something like "completely detached", far off. I picked it as it fits perfectly to a couple of observations made the last few days.

    Like me not imagining that people really want to pay through paypal on my website. I got maybe two or three requests for it in total. That's like nothing, compared to requests for other things that I get regularly, like larger bottles, smaller bottles, old bottle style, different colors of bottles, old packaging, ribbons, you name it. I get a lot of requests, sometimes also in the form of " I would buy if you offer a larger bottle, but if you do not introduce it now you loose a client", probably because I am approachable. In general, I think, getting  input is ok. It tells me a lot. You know: in a sense, as creator of a scent, brand, image, box,... , you are completely detached. Seriously.

    So, I never imagined that my perfume loving clients wished to pay their samples or full bottles through paypal, because I do not shop through paypal. But guess what!

    Thank you again, to my readers, for commenting, and for bringing this up.

    I read in the newspaper this morning that Robert Redford mentioned in an interview (in the German Focus) referring to Hollywood that "„Als Künstler ist man Leuten ausgeliefert, denen es nur ums Geld geht“ (as an artist (in Hollywood) you are completely at the mercy of people who only care about money). Thus, from time to time, Redford needs to flee from this monster Hollywood. In all clarity, Redford realizes the irony that his fleeing from Hollywood, in a sense, is only made possible by the money he earns in Hollywood.

    Here, the same is true. One hundred percent.

    And like in the film industry, where there is Hollywood and the growing power of independent studios and one man shows, in perfumery, there is a handful of houses and the growing independent studios. And like in Hollywood, you find out, if you want to find it out, working as perfumer in one of the handful houses, means death to one's own ideas and trying to express yourself as creator of scents.  Thus, "scent and chemistry" on Facebook wrote(*) :

    "And people easily forget that a perfumer's job is to win a brief, not to create his own personal fragrance, or express him- or herself. So as a famous perfumer told me yesterday, the last time he really could work on his very own idea was in perfumery school decades ago."

    How cool's that?

    (*) Scent and Chemistry is actually a book. But the facebook site is maintained by one of the authors, and it provides some insight into the world of industry, perfume Hollywood, molecules- Givaudan's molecules mostly- and everything you need to get disillusioned about perfume.

    Finally, the lavender twig sits on my desk, smells heavenly, and I love the long twig, that presents the little blue flowers like a little green scent lamp;  the green facets, the herbaceous and rough quality that complements the bright flowers. And I feel that not being able to work on own ideas as creator for decades is close to being dead as creator.

     

  • more detail

    today's picture shows you a scan that I did yesterday. Or better: It is a little detail, highlighted from a 1.5 GB scan of a lavender twig, cut in the garden yesterday, polished by lots of rain this week. Today's going to be a super busy day, already started a while ago. It will see me packing scents, answering mails, trying to find my way through a pile of official papers for highly regulated markets, such as the EU and others, and, yes: It will see me adding a few drops of this and that into a brown flint glass bottle: At the end, it is still creative Friday. Fragrant greetings from Zurich. And a happy weekend, soon!

  • after a break, brochure labor restarted

    Ah... I forgot to mention: I just added Paypal as payment method. This, after yesterday's comment by Muggele. I was not aware that there might be a real need for Paypal. Let's see whether perfume loving clients are going to use this option. The layout in the selection menue is not perfect, but for a test it is ok. And here comes the post:
    Sometimes it helps letting creative jobs sit for a while, let them mature somewhere in your guts and brain, and come back after a while with a fresh eye and continue there where you stopped a while ago. Thus, yesterday, while waiting a full day long for an end of epic rain over Zurich, I tweaked a few things (the brochure), and will continue later today: The text has gone into single columns from being spread out in pieces over the entire brochure. And a few other details.

    I changed the last double page (not shown here) by adding an illustration of a gardenia flower, and the top cover picture went onto the very last, back side, page of the brochure. The first page is simple: the logo and the claim (IMMERSIVE SCULPTURES ®). Thus,  I figured that the cap close-up photo with the logo fits better. There is little information on the backside page anyhow: the link, a copyright statement, a statement about registered trademarks, and contact information, maybe; or the information who handed out the brochure.

    Anyhow: today's picture shows you two and a half double pages. Basically, you see there the left and right pages of an opened brochure, page 4&5 (half, the flower and hand picture), page 6&7, page 8&9. The total size will be 12 pages.

    Today, I will try to bring in another element. Parts of the logo, faded, maybe one letter only per page, or only a part of a letter from the logo, very faded, like a water-mark. We will see how that goes.

    Ah, and yes: I need to get another trial mixed. Rose. Difficult.

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