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Monthly Archives: September 2013

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  • at tauerville, timeline for roses

    Today's picture shows you a quick sketch, done again with Adobe ideas,  that I did yesterday in tauerville, waiting for Mr. truck driver picking up a box. It shows you the test flacon for the upcoming "une rose de Kandahar". I talked about this fragrance for a while. It all started with the offer from one of my suppliers for 50 gr. rose oil from Kandahar, Afghanistan. I bought it, worked on a scent and decided that if all goes well, this rose de Kandahar will be the 2013 holidays special.

    Like my Cologne du Maghreb was an X-mas special once: This rose is supposed to stay and not be a limited edition. Let's put it that way: It will be available on a somewhat low scale. I mean: the 50 gr. rose oil does not allow to do more than 15 liters of diluted scent. Maximally. On a side note: The cologne du Maghreb, as nice as it is, is not available on my site, yet. Since I did it for X-mas, I am planning to move it from the old flacon to my new flacon, and have it offered as a standard product on my website. Now, that the new packaging is introduced, we might indeed do this next step for the cologne. Right now, if you wonder, it is available through Indiescents or First in Fragrance.

    So back to the rose de Kandahar. I made 1 kg of the fragrance mixture. It will go into dilution and will give around 10 liter diluted fragrance. This will last for a while. Although: You never know.... In light of all this, I figured that the rose de Kandahar fits best into the COLLECTIBLE series, where you find ZETA- a linden blossom theme-  these days.

    So... I decided that I want PHI to represent the rose de Kandahar. I tested the silver labels on the Bakelite top and tried to get an idea of whether I like this idea. After sketching it: Yes I do like it. You know: I got 5 more labels for the Collectibles line: We used ZETA so far, others are PHI, PSI, EPSILON, MU and BETA. Thus, no reason to reinvent the wheel at tauerville.

    Here is the timeline of all things rose de Kandahar related: Samples will be made available by (latest) November 15, I aim at early November. I will offer PHI-une rose de Kandahar in 50 ml flacons and as Explorer Set size (15 ml), for preorder by November and we will start shipping in November. For the time being, also in light of the limited number of bottles, it will be a Tauer online shop exclusive, for sure until the end of 2013, maybe with the exception in those countries that I do not serve directly. To be discussed. Thank you for not forgetting this story until November.

     

  • clearance delays and what you might learn from it

    So we shipped quite some explorer sets these last 7 days. Actually,we shipped much more than I would have anticipated. Today´s picture shows you a little detail cut-out of the Fedex track list for these explorer sets shipments.

    Most of them shipped from here to there smoothly, picked up in time, moved from Zurich to Paris and from there on to the US or other places. Fedex comes with a great tracking tool  and it is such a treat working with them, compared to the average postal system that we have in place here in Switzerland and other places in the world.

    OK, so far so good. Here comes the bad news, though. As we shipped a lot of sets, from here to places north, east like Saudi Arabia, South like Spain and West like the US (tons of it) I can start comparing. The sad preliminary statistic: A lot of countries in the EU give troubles with customs clearing: Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Spain.

    The  US is paradise. Many EU countries not really.

    And finally, we learned by experience yesterday and by talking to Fedex, that legally....well, is is illegal for Spanish private persons to import perfume from a non EU country. Yes, we get a shipment back for this reason, paying shipment twice, reimbursing the client as soon as we got it back, and yes: For the time being, Spain is a country that we cannot serve. Wow.... When I have time, I needd to adjust the shipment settings. For the time being, I just removed Spain from the list of countries that we serve.

     

    Ahh, and yes: If you do not like this. Talk to your Spanish customs officer please and do not yell at us. Thanks.

  • procrastination and early onset project related insomnia

    Good morning to you all from Zurich. Here, early onset "age related insomnia" kicked me out of bed. Actually, it is less age related but more project related. In that sense, we function perfectly here in tauerville. The more projects we've got running, the less we sleep, because we are very excited. So there we go: Early out of bed means more time, also time to procrastinate. The other day, I learned on TV that basically I am a "structured procrastinator": This means that my procrastination is sort of positive.

    This morning procrastination excursion: A 15 minutes sketch on the pad (see today's picture going with this post), using an app that I haven't used so far, adobe ideas. Not bad. Nice about it: You can sketch and come up with ideas and later work on the files in photoshop. For this sketch I did not use a pen, but my fingers, but soon, very soon my friendly Fedex man will bring me a new pen toy. The goal here: Have a pressure sensitive pen for the pad when flying over Russia's endless planes.

    Ok: What's next after this little detour in the house of tauer? Yesterday was the last day of the Explorer Set introduction discount and maybe it was this or just the idea of a set, but we shipped a lot of sets. Thus, I will need to fill some more 15 ml flacons today. First we have to get the online shop orders out, though. Then, I need to work on a couple of logistics issues: We have one large  parcel that is lost in space, circling forth and back between Zurich and Croatia, since weeks and with every step in between, things get more complicated. It is right now on its second way back from Croatia. Add this to an obviously completely over-strained supporter on the shipper's side and you have the perfect mix for a depressive episode every morning when checking the track and trace. The corresponding mails that go forth and back have been escalated to the European headquarter and the list of recipients grew to 8 recipients. Not that this would make things easier. In the mean time, I think this shipment is so going wrong that it had entered funny territory. I am tempted to just do nothing and see what happens. How many times can this parcel possibly jingle forth and back before it disintegrates?

    Anyhow: Other highlights today will be talking to suppliers who seem to have fallen into some sort of stasis. Obviously, some suppliers think that by pretending to be dead, lying there on their back, paws up in the air,  things would get better. Ah well. Time to kick them. Not my core competence, really.

    But here's the treat of today: I decided yesterday, after meeting with my design guru, that I want to decide today how to present sotto la luna® within the tauer family of scents. It is about time.

     

  • starting into a new week

    Good morning to you all. Here, we are getting ready for an exciting week, looking back to an exciting weekend. This weekend, I mixed two batches. One was the follow-up batch of Loretta. I just love this scent. The other batch was 1 kg of Une Rose de Kandahar.

    That one is also super exciting. The idea, you might remember: Build a scent around a rose oil from Afghanistan, from the Kandahar region. I got some of this rose oil as a very special treat for myself and my perfume loving friends and worked on it for a while. Now I mixed it, and it sits in an aluminum can, and matures. It is going to be an X-mas special, and that's about all I know for now. I haven't really figured out how to put this out, as I do not have a lot. I don't say it is limited as edition, but it is surely limited in numbers, for the time being....

    The scent: Well, well... It got quite fruity, Apricot natural extract blending in with the already fruity rose oil. The rose oil in the fragrance concentrate is 3%, the Apricot 2.5%. Cinnamon bark oil added at 0.35% adds another twist, and so does bitter almond oil at 0.3%. Supporting the fruit note and lifting the base: A musk, Cervolide, overdosed, and a first within my range of fragrances.

    Then there is a line of tobacco, whereby I use tobacco absolute at 3%, and Okoumal, a tobacco, woody ambra and very complex molecule, again overdosed a bit. Other base notes are vetiver, 3%, Ambroxan at 3.8% and vanillin, coumarin and not to forget: Patchouli oil at a stunning 9%. And a few other ingredients, such as rose absolute (3%), Bourbon geranium (1.5%), Bergamot (3%) and further supporting the rose is phenylethanol and citronellol and and and.

    So, yes, it is a fruity apricot rose (as Kandahar is also known for its apricots and other fruits) on a rather dark patchouli tobacco ambra background.

    I realized that if I ever want to get it out for X-mas mixing time is now or never.

    Right now, there is a bit too much going on, so I haven't really found the time to look into ideas of how to present this scent, in what flacon, and what size. But I guess, I will do so when sitting in the planes flying over endless land in Russia. I am still in some sort of contemplation mode after Pitti Fragranze 2013, with all the many, many bottles and brands. It is utterly fascinating to see all those ideas and scents, yet it is a bit frightening, too. Let's put it this way: A baroque exuberance, waiting for the sieve, to be filtered and judged. 

  • Looking into Loretta with its 2% Tuberose absolute and what made in mainland Switzerland means

    Although it is Friday, and hence theoretically a happy "creative Friday" day, I will not really be creative today. The job today consists primarily in packing perfumes: Miriam from Tableau de Parfums, and some adding more Incense xxx and Orange Star to the pile. Later in the day or tomorrow sees me mixing: Another batch of Loretta is ante portas.

    For that I checked with my excel where I try to keep track of all ingredients that I have in stock (it says "yes", we've got everything). I did another excel sheet for the new lot TDPL002, printed the formulafor the  mixture with the empty cells for the batch numbers of the ingredients and thus, I am ready. For every batch of perfume that I mix I write and document all the batch numbers of the ingredients. Thus, basically, every perfume bottle and sample that you get respectively every drop of perfume therein can be traced back, to the ingredients's individual certificates of analysis.

    Loretta comes in a cool formula., and looking back into it after quite a while, it is also brave: In the mixture of the scent goes 2% Tuberose absolute (so yes!) , 4% Patchouli, 2% orange blossom absolute, 1% rose essential oil and 2% rose absolute. Other naturals are: Cistus (c. ladaniferus), styrax pyrognized, cinnamon bark, clove oil. Some ingredients are overdosed, come in high concentrations, like vanillin in the base and salicylates that come at a stunning concentration of 14%.

    So, yes, mixing Loretta is going to be a nice scented flash back.

    Today's picture shows you what I did yesterday in the packing room: Packing 60 Loretta, 50 ml size, with DVD and mini poster and all. It is a bit a laborious packaging, but I nevertheless love it a lot. You do not get this anywhere else. So yes, I love this packaging. And yes, it is all handmade in mainland Switzerland. I think you get the message.

    Looking back to Pitti. I do not really know what to make of it. I am still suffering from sensorial overload. Let's put it that way. There was a lot. And I am so worried about me adding more to it, next year. Seriously.

  • click rates and taking a deep breath

    yesterday, we had rain like crazy. And orders for the explorer set coming in like crazy. In the evening, the sun broke through, I took the camera and made a picture and realized that it is time to take a deep breath, and I found a moment to sit, and relax. I guess, when running a venture like mine, it is important to take a moment and take a deep breath from time to time.

    Right now, I am on my way to the "factory", where you will see me packing perfumes, like we do every day these days. So yes: It is very busy here, as always after the fair and before the next event(s). This months sees me flying east. Like north-east (Yekaterinenburg in Russia)....

    Something to look forward to, when I am down in the room where I pack things, waiting for the Fedex man picking up the explorer sets. We got a lot of interest in this new product combo. Right now, we are only offering the top sellers in this format, but due to the high interest and many questions, I feel that we need to add the other scents from  my line, too. Something to get done after my travelling east.

    Finally: Here' s an amazing number from the newsletter send out that I did on Tuesday. We haven't sent a newsletter in a while, and I changed the system, using Chimpmail now to get it layouted and sent. Chimpmail comes with a nice, easy to use statistic. You could do more, I guess, but I am happy with what I get in terms of statistics: You basically see how many opened the send out and how many actually clicked. I got a click rate of 25% which is like "wow!". Think : Superwow!. Usually, you are happy if you get like 2-3 %. So... that is nice, and I am very happy with it. And am looking forward to the next one.

  • get it now

    It is nice to be back from Florence!  The four days in this great city, attending THE fair for selective perfumery, were just awesome. But, guess what: at the end I had a hard time standing, in whatever position, and my voice sounded like Zara Leander`s after a couple of drinks and cigarettes too much. And I am not talking e-cigarettes here.... Thus, it was nice getting back yesterday again, and back home I can sit behind my computer and I can write my lines without having to talk.

    So, yes: Pitti Fragranze 2013 was just amazing. A nice picture series, on Extrait.it (click here) shows you some highlights. My personal highlight: Lavender... but that's another story. The next story that is waiting here: Clicking this "SEND" button for the newsletter that is ready to go out. The Explorer Set started well and the newsletter basically tells that we have it and that it ships with an introduction price of 10% off, until September 24. Still, I am scared.

  • Consolidation of a newsletter

    Today's picture shows you the result of one of my activities yesterday: Getting passport-ready photos done, without glasses, not smiling, showing no teeth, for a visa application that needed to get out yesterday, super urgently, as there are not many days left to get it done. I did the photos in one of these do-it-yourself booth, trying indeed not to smile. The result is not entirely pleasing.

    Now, don't ask me why they want a picture without glasses, although I wear glasses all the time. Other highlights yesterday: finally moving on with the tauerville newsletter version 2. Some of you might remember how I discussed in great length the design of a brochure. During my summer break I sort of decided that I will finish it (I am almost there, actually), but that I first should really consolidate. Consolidation is in a sense boring. Because it means to take care and bother about things that are there already. But a couple of activities in the coming weeks will see me consolidate. Ah well....

    Like my newsletter, that I have not used as tool since quite a while. The reasons: Too complicated to send, not nice enough, no reactions. So I decided: No new stuff before I haven't consolidated older tools.

    By the way: In a certain way, the Explorer Set is also a consolidation. It strengthens the already existing scents. I hope so at least.

    So, yes, I will soon send off a newsletter again, and will then continue to do so every 1-2 months. I really want to do "things" a bit more aggressively. A touch louder. And I decided that I do not worry about recipients not reacting, but will build in some goodies in the coming editions to get reactions and make it worth reading the thing. And I promised to myself to keep the text to a minimum. Keep it short, stupid!

    There was time, too, yesterday, while waiting for my health insurance confirmation for the visa, coming in by mail, to work on it (in Chimpmail): Getting a simple general layout. Define some rules, like: One product per newsletter only. Today, I am waiting for the postman again: I need one last thing before two Fedex shipments can leave the factory today. And on the side, I prepare another shipment of desert air. Tomorrow, we will leave for Florence and guess what: I am not ready yet.

  • lessons learned: You never know until you did it and things you should not ask before

    So, yes: Hurray! We have an Explorer Set, and you can get it: 15 ml each, 3 scents, your choice, free shipment. As we are just starting, the number of scents at your choice is still limited to the best sellers, but more's to come if all goes well. The same is true for some minor bugs on the shop software side.

    It took me a while to get there, get the bottles, the labels and even more important and complicated: getting the concept and the pricing and making sure that I don't fool myself. I did so without asking much, and without discussing, because this is a lesson that I learned: You cannot really ask for advice there. Pricing, design, and the overall concept cannot be discussed and is not an area where the crowd is more intelligent than you alone. Hard as it was sometimes, I learned, that conceptual work and pricing is not a collaborative intelligence matter. And trust me: I was for a very looooong time thinking about the concept.

    I learned it the hard way, over the last few years: You can discuss new products and product ranges, you can try to get a feeling for what might work, and I am always looking for light in the fog of uncertainty, but you cannot really build your decisions on new products based on what others, especially clients, tell you. The biggest flops that I did over the years, were products and ideas where I got super, super enthusiastic comments and support from potential buyers, who in the end did not buy. You cannot ask for advice when it comes to new, not existing products. Steve Jobs knew this.

    Thus, you never, never really know.You can always ask but should never take the input too seriously when it comes to decision making. I guess it is in the end a gut feeling. A vision. But you never know, really, before.

    Thus, being completely clueless, I am curious how this Explorer Set will do,  over the next few months, as it is positioned at an interesting intercept point: It is not cheap, and per volume you pay a bit more (about 15-20% on average), yet you can get more than just one scent at a time, in a volume that last a long while. And for some regions, it is the only way to get a Tauer in larger volume than 1.5 ml.

    And because of all this: This Explorer Set is a Tauer online exclusive. Enjoy your start into the new week.

    Picture today: A detail of the Explorer Set flacons, 15 ml, spray, glass vials.

  • explorer set by tauer is live now

    Since yesterday, the Explorer Set is now live on my online shop. It is a product that shows on the Classics, Homages, and Samples level.  It is a set of 3x 15 ml glass spray flacons that I created for perfume lovers allowing them to explore my line and scents extensively. You can pick any three scents, or three times the same scent, and I ship to many places: Not everywhere, though. We don't ship this to Italy, UK, Russia. For the later two we have exclusivity agreements, and Italy is blocked due to customs issues.

    Thus, 3x 15 ml, put together, for a price that depends on the scents. AND: Free shipment, with Fedex.  It starts with 3x 15 ml of air du désert marocain at 126 CHF, (that's about 134 $ US, 102 Euro). I did tests with Fedex. As you would expect: Very reliable.

    The 15 ml flacon is quite heavy and very robust. It comes with a 0.14ml silvery spray and a little aluminum cap, inside in my sliding metal box.

    Right now, I can offer some scents in this format; the best selling fragrances, like Air du désert marocain, or Orange Star or Noontide Petals. In total 9 scents to choose from. Later, if the product works well and if there is a need, I will add (some of) the other scents from my line.

    The Explorer Set  does not show yet on the home page, the landing page , of tauer perfumes. I think I know how to make this happen, but I have not decided yet. I am just happy that I can finally offer it.

    Finally: Why did I create this Explorer Set? I got mails on a daily basis, from clients interested in my products in larger than sample size, I could not offer anything due to the shipment restrictions. There are countries where my scents are hardly available, even through online sources like Luckyscent. Thus, I wanted to come up with a nice alternative:
    A choice of scents, 3x15 ml, nicely packed, with free shipment, and a reliable logistics. And a nice and robust flacon with great labels. So, there we go. And yes, this is a Tauer online exclusive. It will not go into shops.

     

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