Monthly Archives: October 2013

Items 1 to 10 of 12 total

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  • 3 things

    Here's a little treat for you. Three links:
    There is a draw, the first smaller of two, on PerfumeOfLife. Your chance to win samples of PHI. Here's the link.

    Here's a sketch of Ingrid from Tableau de Parfums, the way I see it, and a little story, me talking about it, on Evelyn Avenue. Here's the link.

    And here's part two, on Facebook, where I talk about the creation of the Lavender scent for Richard Lüscher Britos, covering the aspect "caring diversity", in German. Here's the link. 


    And today's picture shows you the first bottle of PHI-une rose de Kandahar, finding its way into the packaging. Ah, and yes, thank you all for your comments on my post yesterday, I will see that I find time to answer and learn. Great insights into vanilla!

  • PHI, making samples, and a question

    It is PHI time, in the house of tauer. PHI, une rose de Kandahar, a scent scheduled for November, to appear in the COLLECTIBLES line, with samples and product ready for pre-ordering in  a few days from now, is sort of limited in numbers for a while as I did only a limited batch. I mean, limited depends on whether perfume lovers will put their hands on. If not, then it is not limited at all. It is a Tauer exclusive until next year, with the exception of the UK, where I have an exclusivity agreement for PHI, meaning that you will be able to get it through my retailers there.

    Basically it is my holiday season's special this year.

    But let's not talk business today. I started sample making and today's picture shows you a detail of the samples' label. I am super busy, as PHI is my launch in November. And then there is Ingrid, from Tableau de Parfums, launching in November, too. My beloved Ingrid. Ah, I can't wait. And then there is the lavender centric all natural fragrance that I created for Richard Britos Lüscher. So yes, a lot is happening these days and the perfect timing was not planned like that. Anyhow: PHI. The fragrance has a lovely color, which is mostly due to the tobacco absolute that I used there. It is an absolute that is partly decolorized, but still: It is quite dark and as I use quite a lot ( about 3% in the mixture) it adds a nice dark yellow wist. And besides the color, the tobacco adds an incredible richness and depth to the fragrance. It is not smokey, as the absolute of tobacco smells more like a rich woody, animalic, leathery wet tobacco leave, really. With hints of "Zurich wet leaves in the wood with mushrooms in the background". This scent, I smelled it yesterday while doing my workout in the woods and it is absolutely stunning. It reminded me immediately in tobacco leaves, but more on the mushroom side and cleaner. Thus, tobacco: It is the first time that I use tobacco abs. in a composition of mine. But I am so much in love with this material, I am sure that I will come back to it. I see a perfect match there with vanilla. And hints of chocolaty patchouli, and ... ah well. You see: We don't stop dreaming here.

    Thus, while I fill samples here -there's a draw on the horizon, too, stay tuned, please!- here's the question for you. What do you think about vanilla?


  • In Switzerland, Terroir Perfumes glowing soon

    If you happen to speak German, or trust Google's translator, here's a link for you. Ah, yes, you need facebook, too.  (In a week or so, however, the website of RichardLüscherBritos will be updated with my German text, too.) There (click here) , I talk about the beginning of a collaboration that is unique, for me, and that resulted in the creation of a terroir fragrance, for them by me.

    For me, it was going back to the roots, with joy and passion. For them, it is the beginning of a great venture. Them is RichardLüscherBritos, and they just started an all natural, terroir based fragrance line that is beyond the ordinary. This collaboration was one of the reasons why I - after the scent was already created and finished- visited the Causse Méjan. I wanted to experience the terroir, the landscape, compare it with what I created, wanted to feel the wind, the rough soil, the bees, the sheep, the little pine trees and sit next to the wild lavender growing there.

    I was there this summer, end July, and the lavender was in full bloom. It is little patches of lavender, no fields, and it grows wild. The essential oil, from plants collected by a woman's cooperative, allowed to harvest the wild lavender in this natural park area, this essential oil is beyond the ordinary. It comes from these geographic area: 44°N- 3°E. This is the terroir.

    One of my challenges when composing this fragrance: The wind. How do you create wind? Yes, that was part of the brief...

    This is the first of three articles going  to be published on facebook, in German, where I write about the creation of this scent and the collaboration with the two guys and one girl.

    Ah, and yes, the fragrance 44N 3E is not your standard all natural "fume". I composed it with essential oils, absolutes, resins and no isolates, and nothing else; it is spectacular, lasts forever, and glows like a brilliant cut diamond. It is quite remarkable, indeed.

     Today's picture: A sketch of a lavender sitting on stony ground, done on the ipad, July 2013, in the Haute Sevennes, Causse Méjan. 


  • Ingrid. in three weeks, she will make a first public appearance

    In three weeks from now, hard to believe, I will be in Los Angeles, together with Brian Pera, attending the official launch get together at the Scentbar for Ingrid.

    Ingrid will thus make her first public appearance at the occasion of the "vintage perfume party" at Luckyscent's scentbar. I feel that this is indeed the perfect stage for Ingrid. Here's the program: "...Come celebrate Ingrid, the new vintage-inspired scent collaboration between perfumer Andy Tauer and filmmaker Brian Pera. Then vintage-perfume expert Barbara Herman will read from her new book Scent and Subversion followed by a sniff and tell of vintage/discontinued gems from her collection and the collections of Scent Bar friends and regulars."

    Today's picture shows you some details  of the first, finished flacons that I finished decorating a couple of days ago. This is, by the way, a lot of work.  Some of them will ship in a few days to the US. So, yes, I am happy, that I can send them off, and work on papers and other scents, and I am happy that I can finally present to the world how I see Ingrid.

    I am very excited, as Ingrid is probably the most interesting scent of the three fragrances that I created for Tableau de Parfums. I think Ingrid is very beautiful.

  • when voices disappear

    Yesterday, right before going to bed, I sent another flyer order out: for PHI- une rose de Kandahar. I picked the sketch that I did a few weeks ago of the flacon of PHI, and sent 10x15 cm postcard flyers, white background, 350 gr/m2, single side coated, demi gloss, out to the printing company. Today's photo shows you a detail cut out of a lower res version of the PHI flacon sketch.

    I want to use the flyer together with orders in the next few weeks, as cards where I say thank you and send greetings to my perfume loving fans. And maybe I am sending some to winners of the draw on Perfume Of Life. We will see...I mention this flyer because of a couple of things.

    First, because I like the sketch in its imperfection and its rudimentary, fleeting way. What a nice contrast to the blingbling images of flacons (mine included) that you see on the web and print. It mirrors my world of flacons much more than the photoshoped reality that I also have to publish. It is an illustration that I created in the factory where I spend hours after hours these days packing perfumes. I sketched it using digital tools (ipad) and my finger. I find this utterly fascinating how the most complex digital tools and the most simple drawing tool - a finger- come together there. There is something high tech archaic in there.

    Second, because it is sort of a very "quiet" tool of communication. Those who wish to see it and listen to its message, may do so. Newsletters, for instance, are louder, usually. What I experienced recently with newsletters that I get from companies like ebookers or american apparel  is: Too many, too loud, too much discount. One of these companies started to send multiple newsletters a day (once) which was the tipping point for me to drop out. Too much. Discounting is a loud tool, and free shipment, free extras and plain discounts are very dangerous. Give them on a regular basis and sooner or later nobody will be willing to pay the normal price. And, like me, when booking flights way ahead from Zurich to Los Angeles: Clients just sit there and wait for the next discount before ordering.

    Similar things are happening in the blogosphere or rather infosphere, too. Too many, too loud, too cheap. The problem here: Readers actually drop out, the news reading list does not include blogs and forums anymore. Similar things are happening in the perfumosphere: Too many, too loud, too cheap. The problem here: Perfume lovers drop out, the sniffing list does not include the many new houses and scents anymore.

    What we see these days is that the sound level in the spheres gets louder and louder: But, hey!, here's the thing... the louder you get, the less you will be heard in the end.

    Having said this: I will need to start coming up with my next newsletter, too. Scheduled publication some when next week. But I guess, I will be very hush-hush.



  • into a new week, juggling news and novelties

    This week will be exciting and busy, like last week. I am moving forward with novelties that will make their appearances here, soon. This week will see me  producing a lot of samples; stocking up for existing fragrances, and for Phi, une rose de Kandahar. I will need them by early November, as I plan to offer samples early November, on a pre-sales base, with shipment mid November. Today's picture shows you yet another label and format for this new scent: the label for the 15 ml explorer set size. It is with the printing company now and I should get it in about 2 weeks, again: In time for shipment mid November. The 50 ml size bottles will be filled next week, but there we got all labels ready.

    Some of you might wonder, whether I will do draws for this scent. Actually, I won't, except that I will do my advent calendar 2013, as usual. But you have the chance to win samples, exclusively on perfumeoflife. I will be shipping 100 samples to the US very soon, and I recommend visiting perfume of life now, to make sure you're in.

    Together with the labels for the 15 ml explorer set size PHI, I sent more 15 ml size labels: Le Maroc pour elle, Rêverie au Jardin, Vetiver Dance, and ZETA- a linden blossom theme will all go into 15 ml flacons, by mid November, at the latest. So that's kind of cool, and I am curious what is going to happen then. You know: You never know.

    And then, there's Ingrid (click here for a snapshot of Ingrid in discussion with Mackie, on vimeo) , the third scent in the Tableau de Parfums series: I filled the first 50 ml bottles, the first purse spray size flacons, and I so love this scent. I haven't smelled it for a long time, as it was just sitting in my cellar and matured to perfection without me doing anything. Filling the first bottles was a nice surprise, a fresh look at a story that I worked on quite a while ago. I will present, together with Brian Pera, Ingride in LA, November 16, at the scentbar. Thus, I will need to ship some Ingrid over there in the next 2 weeks.

    And then, there's more news ahead. But I need to wait until all is ready before I can send you there.

    Have a great start into your week!

  • tuberose blooming after a short summer

    It was a late spring this year, in Zurich, followed by a late starting summer. And my tuberose bulbs that I planted in May did not really grow well during June. It was end July and August when the plants started to thrive and grow. A week ago, coming home from Russia, I decided that it is about time to bring the tuberose plants into the house, as it got chilly outside. Thus, we have four pots with a couple of flower stalks, and the hope for the rest of the year: That many will open and bloom, in the house.

    The first flower presented itself this morning, against a waking up morning sky: A white beauty. Today's picture shows you what I smelled this morning. The scent: Lovely, and interesting. Much more on the minty, green, and "airy-spicy" side of methylbenzoate, in comparison to gardenia. Super rich in salicylates, too, with maybe even a hint of something medicinal. There is a strong lactonic component, too, warm and darker, underneath the green campherous notes. This lactonic warm fabric is very comparable to gardenia, with gardenia being more creamy mushroomy in my nose and tuberose being fresher and a bit more "off" than the gardenia.

    And, perfect timing: The gardenia in its pot is flowering, too.

    And it is a perfect timing as I am going to be in meetings soon, where we talk about sotto la luna, gardenia, tuberosa, and where we will try to come up with some key figures and decisions that go beyond the scents which are finished. This is sort of super motivating.


  • when things make a difference

    Today, I wanted to talk about the apricot in the upcoming PHI-une rose de Kandahar. But first things first: Here is an interview that I gave to Elena from Perfumeshrine, about marketing in perfumery, splits and decants, stories in niche perfumery and more. I found it important to speak out, be frank, and add to the discussion around perfume marketing, pricing and more. Contrary to many amusing and joyful likes  on facebook and quick statements, there is quite some discussion happening there, and I like this exchange, as much as I sometimes enjoy the quick hi and ho on facebook.  I hope that you will find it interesting, and not too depressing.

    Thus, apricot. First things first: I have a soft spot for fruits in perfumery, and used a peach note in Rêverie au jardin, as I think peach and lavender are perfect matches. There is a big red raspberry in Rose Vermeille. Now, imagine how I felt when I put my hand on samples of all natural fruit extracts from Robertet. I got samples of peach, apricot, raspberry and pear and oh my... the apricot was so stunning. I had to buy. And did, 6 kg of apricot heaven. Totally not rational and quite an impulse buy to be honest.

    Then secondly, I have to say that apricot extract smells fruity and floral and apricot like but there is much more going on: It is almost animalic, and there is something very twisted in this apricot extract. Think esters that by themselves might even smell ... well not so nice, as many esters in high concentration actually do. The extract lasts quite long and is fruity floral big with a dark skin undertone.

    Thirdly, as mentioned many, many times before: A perfume is more than just the sum of its ingredients. This is true on many levels. And as long as I cannot share samples with you, I am sort of restricted to talking about what went in the rose de Kandahar, knowing that it does not really help. In the fragrance, the apricot natural extract combines with the rose oil, the cinnamon, the bitter almond to something big floral fruity rosy plum apricot like. It supports, moves, and transports the fruity aspect of the natural rose oil, and it is a floral fruity juxtaposition to the woody tobacco story line that might be too dark, too masculine, too rough without the fruit.

    Finally: the apricot adds a twist, sparkles of fruity happiness, that make the entire "tableau" more interesting. This is why I picked today's picture: Imagine it without the dew droplets. It would be a boring shot of a few red leaves under a white sky with green-brown leaves dominating. With the dew droplets, the entire picture changes.

    So there we go. Samples, full 50 ml flacons and explorer size (15ml) bottles will be available at the latest mid November, initially on exclusively.



  • getting out of routine, watching the sky

    When in Russia, I had the chance to get out of the factory routine, and the daily business of facebook and messages and formula and stocking up and writing down things that need to get done. Refreshing!

    The next week of getting out of routine will be in a month from now: I will be in LA, and surroundings, launching Ingrid from Tableau de Parfums, I will spend an afternoon-evening with perfume loving fans at the scentbar on November 16. See here for details. And I will spend a few days with not much to do than watching the sky and looking into myself.

    This is sort of my privilege, travelling and havingn these down times. Sometimes. The privilege comes with a price to pay, like 12 hours working days, 7 days a week, sometimes. Thus, yes, this week will be like last week: Production from here to there, all day, and in the night mails and stuff.

    Due to a couple of unplanned happenings there is coming together a lot at tauer's in the coming weeks. I talked about PHI- une rose de Kandahar, a refreshing story built around a rose oil from Afghanistan; refreshing as I did not even think for a moment about where I am heading and what I will be doing when I run out of the rose oil that I got for this scent. I guess that's a good sign: We can still do some serious creative stuff here, like 7 years ago when I started this venture.

    Another scent getting ready right now: Ingrid, from Tableau de Parfums, mentioned a couple of times before. I will start pouring bottles next week. And then, off! they'll go for the US and after mid November for the rest of the world.

    And a few other things, that I should probably start talking about soon. Stay tuned, especially if you are in the Zurich area...

    And then we will kick off sotto la luna, finally, in the next weeks I shall start working on the labels and the design around it;  I have the conception of this line within the brand in mind and know now exactly what to do there. It will take a while to get the product out, as I want to do a lot of things there, differently and upgraded and so, but I am optimistic that by spring 2014 we will get there...

    So you see: A lot to think about when pouring those bottles in the coming days. Tomorrow, I want to talk about Apricot, and what I think about this natural extract that you usually do not find in perfumes, and what it does in PHI. Thanks for coming back. Have a great start into your week.


  • golden ratio

    After yesterdays very open post on pricing and blingbling in industry and more: Here's a post on the upcoming PHI-une rose de Kandahar.

    But first, you might want to quickly check this post on Elena's perfumeshrine blog, that deals with similar questions raised yesterday. I invite you to also read some of the comments. Highly interesting stuff. And, although you might not like it, referring to what you find discussed there on perfumeshrine, bottle splits and doing decants is pretty much not good and you hurt the creator. It is actually worse than not buying  a bottle. It is destroying the kingdom that we creator build around the king, the fragrance. For me, my bottles and labels and everything that goes around the scent is part of my story that I tell. Decanting destroys this , and as Elena said "No matter whether we buy decants/samples etc, in the end the final connection and tangible bond with the product happens only when one upgrades to the bottle (and goes through it, slowly and surely). There is a reason why packaging and design are so important in the industry; it's not a small detail, they communicate a hell of a lot! "

    But now let's talk about the upcoming fragrance PHI-a rose de Kandahar. PHI is - in a sense- a code that helps remembering, and it puts the scent into one box with ZETA- a linden blossom theme, one of the most forgotten scents in my line of scents. The coding refers to the COLLECTIBLES, a line of scents where I have no aspiration at all to always have the same fragrance always available for always the same price. Why PHI?

    One simple answer: Because when designing the Collectibles label, I picked a few coding Greek letters and I had to make my choice from them: 5 to pick one from.

    Yet another answer: Phi fits perfect with rose, reminds me in a rose flower on a stem: See today's illustration how I see phi. And the fragrance is all about rose, built around a rose essential oil from Afghan fields, produced in Afghanistan, in low quantities. This, actually, ladies and gentleman, is super luxurious, and you might have to walk for a while to find similar. This rose that I created inside PHI, this rose is of course an abstraction. It is my interpretation. A fruit (apricot) goes with it, sketched using natural apricot essential oil, it sits on a stem of dark woody tobacco, patchouli, musk. It plays with cinnamon and comes with a breeze of bitter almond.

    Another simple answer: PHI, because it is used to represent the Golden Ratio. (phi= a+b/a = a/b This link brings you to the Wikipedia page, and there, tata! you can learn a bit about golden ratio and pentagons which is cool because my flacon is is based ona regular pentagon form. And now here it comes: I never really though about it and just did an excel calculation and I find the result really exciting. As mentioned earlier, I used a musk as filler in this scent. You can look at it as a piece of fabric  that you lay on the floor. On this fabric you start adding blocks. The musk layer is there, but not really important for the form of what you build. This form is determined by the head notes, heart notes and the base.

    Here's the funny thing: All basenotes (amount in gram) divided by everything that I put around the rose in my formula, basically all heart and head notes, give a number close to phi, the golden ratio number of 1.62

    And (a+b)/a =?

    ([head and heart] + basenotes)/[head and heart]=1.6.

    How cool' that?

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