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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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  • to the highest standards available

    My partner got new trousers. They came with a label that made me think. The picture is a scan of the label. There was a time when we just got new trousers. These days, we dedicate our lives to the highest standards.

    "Approved classic Solutions for the Quality minded audience who dedicate their lives to the highest standards available."

    Amazing...

    I wish my Quality minded audience a wonderful 2014. May it be fragrant!

  • Day 24 of my advent calendar

    Edited December 27: this draw is closed

    It is day 24 of my advent calendar; the last day and your chance to win an explorer set. Just leave a comment here on this post, and good luck to you! I will announce the winner after the holidays and leave the comments field open until then.

    I wish to thank you all who participated, shared and commented during these days. I loved to read all your lines and will visit them again, for sure, when relaxing a bit during the holidays.

    Today, I will spend my day cooking and preparing the family dinner: As always, tradition by now, vegetarian, with some home made puff pastry to start, a salad with multiple greens, an intermezzo of avocado, crème fraîche-with leech-,  and beluga lentils filled in layers into little glasses, home made potatoe gnocchi with three sauces, all made here in the house of tauer -green pesto, white gorgonzola and red tomatoe- and a chocolate mousse for dessert.

    It is time to get ready now: Kitchen duty!

    I wish you all happy holidays, merry Christmas and bright days. Enjoy!

  • Day 22 of the advent calendar 2013

    We are soon coming to the end of my advent calendar. Today, you can win again a sample discovery set, and tomorrow, well... tomorrow's worth a visit here, on the advent calendar starting page. To enter today's draw: Just leave a comment here on this post. Thank you, good luck and a great Sunday to you!

    Today's picture is a quick snapshot done yesterday evening at friends where we were invited over for dinner. This is one of the nicest part of the holidays....

    In a twister of all the things to do and all the odd information that pours over us these days, commercials that are so wrong and far away from what the holidays are and should be, the wrenching and blablabla of photoshopped super slimmed women -to a certain level beyond anorexia- adoring and worshiping a golden bottle  like the Golden calf , and men being in fights in order to later hold a silver flacon in their hand, and all the other commercials shades of this holiday...

    getting together with friends, in dark cold nights and enjoying the warmth of candles and the treasure of good food. The nicest part of the holidays.

  • Day 21 of the advent calendar

    A warm good morning to you all, on this 21st of December. Again: You can win here a sample discovery set. 5 scents, 1.5 ml, spray vials, your choice!

    Three more times going to bed and then we are there, on Christmas day. Here, in the house of Andy, we are getting ready, but are not ready, yet. We got the presents for the kids in town, but will need to make more soaps for friends and neighbors. The soaps, mentioned here before, are called "Perfume in a soap
    MANDARINES ambrées"

    Perfume in a soap is kind of the name of the soap line, if you wish. I do not want to be pretentious there, but I just liked the idea of turning things around a bit. It is not about the soap, but rather about the perfume in there; these bars are not just fragrant soaps, but like my scents  immersive.

    These soap bars sell hot cookies at medieval art&vie these days, the bookshop where the fragrant tauer things began. Thus, more soap packing over the weekend. Which is fine. It is part of the holiday preparation rituals here.

    But, in the end, soaps are not really part of the Tauer business, yet. It is one of these "funnel projects" that one of my former bosses always warned me of. These funnel projects sneak in, place themselves in the chorus of projects and action items, and start to drain energy and resources. They get bigger and bigger, are out of controll because you did not start them by defining clear timelines and milestones and expected returns on investments....That makes them dangerous. They are also difficult to stop and turn off.

    Sorry for the project management blurp here.

    But the same applies in a private house, for instance, where you might start a little funnel project like painting this a little corner over there without bothering to ask your partner,  and ending up reshaping your living room's ceilings.

    Thus, I am always careful when it comes to these side items that might develop into something bigger that in the end might menace what I love most: Perfumes, fragrant sculpture, or - to use my claim- immersive sculptures(®). The same applies for candles, room sprays, et al. Although, to be honest: I am always, always, always tempted to one fine day do a candle.

    To finish this post: This weekend will also see me doing sort of a project plan for 2014. I learned it this year (again) ...many funnel projects, a lot  happening at once, a couple of milestones that were missed, .... So there we go: Happy planing 2014 ahead!

    And yes: I know.... Man proposes, God disposes.

    Today's picture: a close up of the card board sleeve, hot embossed with relief printed, protecting the tin box with the pentagonal bottle inside.

     

  • Day 20 of my advent calendar

    After yesterday's guest day, over there at Perfumeposse: Welcome back again! It is day 20 of the advent calendar and you can win a sample discovery set by leaving a comment on this blog post. Good luck!

    Today, when I got up, before the first coffee, I got bad news from Fedex: I could not talk to them as they sleep until 8 am.  The bad news: the shipment with the last bottles of PHI-une rose de Kandahar was not transported and comes back. It looks as if Fedex totally messed up. I will talk to them in an hour and see what can be done. But fact is: As much as I like Fedex, this time they really messed up.  Edited: 3 hours later. Actually, Fedex did not mess up but CLEAN UP in a perfect super organized way a mess that yet another third party left. Thus, this year's grinch left early. and the PHI- une rose de Kandahar flies west. Tonight. Uff.

    From a larger perspective this incident, that is not relevant if you contemplate the faith of this galaxy, highlights one of a couple of troubles running a perfume house: Logistics, logistics, logistics. And the holidays make it not easier. In this particular case, we bump right into the holidays and almost everybody who's involved in my logistics chain will hide behind the fir trees in their home, and I will not see my parcel flying over the ocean until the holidays are over.

    I guess, every year we get a visit by the grinch, here in the house of tauer. When meeting the grinch, here's what I do: I shut down my face with a stiff upper lip and start looking forward to the Easter bunny.

    But 2014 will see the PHI bottles, and air du désert marocain bottles fly over the ocean. Hopefully.  And it will see me getting one year older, and hopefully finding some zen moments.  ZEN or Grinch anyone?

    ZEN

     

  • Day 18 of the advent calendar

    Welcome to day 18: Today, we look at the moon over Zurich and upcoming Sotto la luna®. And today, you can win a sample discovery set. Just leave a comment and you're in. Please make sure to visit my advent calendar starting page tomorrow, again! Because, tomorrow, we will have a bigger draw.

    Today's picture shows you the moon over Zurich, close to where I have the 2 factory rooms. I was driving there for nightshifts the other evening. There's always a freight train these days on the railway tracks. And my passage by the truck depot tells me that the holidays are approaching. Everybody is very busy.

    The picture is symbolic, and the full moon points to what is approaching next year. This year saw a couple of changes, some mentioned here:

    We got a new packaging for many of my scents, rectangular, practical, tin box still, but less sensitive to dents and easier to ship and stock. This is the last time that I want to change packaging dramatically....

    We got a new top, made from Bakelite, with my logo and , well, just looking a bit nicer. And bakelite refers to art déco and makes sense with the rest of my packaging.

    We introduced a new scent (Noontide Petals, that rocks in Europe, and does not really do well in the US) and we introduced  PHI-une rose de Kandahar, as a holiday special.

    Thus, next year will see a continuation of the consolidation and optimization. Some of the optimizations, you will not like, as it means to cut back: Offerings that really do not make sense anymore, services that I provide that are outdated, and changes in shipment policies. I will try to keep all scents in production next year, including Eau d'épices.

    And next year will see the next series of scents. SOTTO LA LUNA®, a line of fragrances, inspired by iconic flowers under the moon, will go live. Sotto la luna will start with Andy's take on Gardenia. Its launch will be in late spring, early summer. Can't wait...

  • Advent calendar day 17

    Fragrant greetings from icy Zurich, where I have ice crystals on the balcony glass and fog in the air. Nice! It is day 17 of my advent calendar and you can (again) win a sample discovery set, shipped to the winner (picked by random.org) from Zurich, Switzerland. Good luck!

    Today's job: Getting the last PHI-une rose de Kandahar bottles out of my little factory, into boxes and send them off towards the end of the week into my warehouse shelf space in California, rented from Shipwire, from where they will start shipping early January. That's the plan at least. Right now they are on backorder for shipment to the US. Again. And soaps need to be packed, too. I want to send some MANDARINES ambrées over the ocean, too.

    It took me a while, to be honest, to make this step. The reason: Brand mark protection issues as there is a product out there with a similar name, with protection in the class 3, perfumes, and soaps,  and I wanted to make sure not to step onto their toes, so to say. The latest news there is: No worries! Which is a relief as I try to play the game fair and wish not to interfere with anybody's rights.

    Trademark protection is serious business. It is one of those lessons that I learned when getting into this industry. Perfume business is trademark business. Kind of "protect or perish".

    The smaller the more difficult, of course, as protection comes with a heavy price tag.

    The solution: Come up with odd names like ALAJAHUDI, or long names, like "A sunny day in the Mojave desert at 4 pm with a cool drink and nice company". Then you are pretty safe.

    This name game is actually fun. Another one?

  • Day 16 of the advent calendar

    welcome back to my advent calendar, today again on my blog, with the prize of today being a discovery set. Just leave a comment here on this blog and you are included in the draw. And as always: It is random.org picking you as winner.

    Today's Monday, after a great weekend, time to get busy again, a good week before X-mas. This weekend, on Saturday, I had the "Duftapero", organized together with Pascal from Medieval art&vie, and very traditionally we had bubbling wine,  some food and perfume, and individual ingredients that go into perfume. Today's picture shows you the glasses waiting for the guests, seen through a PHI flacon.

    It was a great event, just the right number of people, and the start of the evening was: The apricot extract. Like "wow", and "ohhhh" and "ahhh". So that was super cool and yes, as Stephen commented the other day: PHI is not the last creation of mine where you will  find apricot. Yesterday, while jogging through cold grey December land, along the river, I was thinking and dreaming of a time when the holidays are over. Dreaming of an apricot splash-cologne, with apricot extrakt, hints of neroli maybe, some musks, some amber gris, fine hints of sandalwood maybe, or vetiver, in the MD quality. Or with some okoumal that goes lovely with sandalwood notes. or...

    Nothing better than dreaming of hot summer evenings in grey December.

     

  • Day 13 of the advent calendar

    Today, it's 13/12/13, and numbers of days coming in the advent calendar are less than we had so far. Today, you can win a discovery set (again), by just leaving a comment, here, on this blog post.

    I got a question yesterday, how it is done when random picks a winner. Here's how it is done: I take the number of comments, make sure I do not have double entries, go to random.org and get a random number from 1 to the number of comments, and then I search the comment with this entry number. Simple as that.

    Today's picture shows you what I will touch today: Apricot natural extract, in a 1 liter aluminum bottle. I need to touch the bottle as we have our annual "Duftapero" in Zurich, tomorrow, together with Pascal from Medieval art&vie, the bookshop where everything started. "Duftapero" means scented gathering and we will smell PHI-une rose de Kandahar (this latest rose of mine, that is sort of built around a rose oil from Afghanistan and that features other notes like Apricot, Tobacco, bitter almond,  and many other goodies, such as vetiver, patchouli, amber gris, musk, tonka and vanilla) . So we will discuss some raw materials that went into it and we will hear strories from Afghanistan,  read to us by professional speakers and actors: Lilly Friecrich and Egon Fässler. And we will have bubbling drinks et al. It is fun and this year, it will be packed, for sure.

    It is my and Pascal's way of saying thank you. It is not really a sales event.

    One of the raw materials that I will show there is the Apricot essential oil. It is a speciality that I got from Robertet in France. It is all natural, and it is super interesting. There was a discussion on Perfume Of Life together with a discussion about PHI, how it actually might smell and some thought it smells like bitter almond (like the apricot kernel); no, it doesn't. It is super interersting as it smells fruity, aldehydic, but not metallic, rather warm and round, which is sort of a contradiction when talking aldehydes, it has something of a super deluxe schnapps aroma, and it is powdery sweet animalic. A touch. Really special, and very hmmm, and yummie and with this eye brow lift inducing quality.

    You smell it and you go "Wow! that IS special".

    The picture, by the way: Taken with my Nokia phone, in high ISO mode (3200), and strong background light, gives this coarse-grain effect that I loved when taking pictures in analog mode, using Ilford high ISO film. It sort of fits the theme of this post, as PHI is constructed in a way and with ingredients that are about as classical as taking analog pictures.

    Apricot natural extract, picture taken in high iso mode, detail cut out, love this coarse grain effect!

  • Day 12 of the advent calendar

    Fragrant greetings to you all! It is the 12th of December, and we are 12 days left until the 24th. Thus, half of the advent calendar is over. It is a switching point, in a way.  Today, you can win a discovery set (5 samples, your pick, shipped in a nice tin box from Zurich ), by leaving a comment, and as always: Anything goes ("hi" is enough) and we pick our winners randomly. Having said that: Random is odd, sometimes: No saying who wins, really.

    Anyhow: Fragrant greetings from Zurich, where it is sunny, but cold, and where I spend most of my time these days in the "factory". This is, of course, not really a factory, but more like two rooms attached: One storage, one production. The storage room needs some make over, really, as space gets limited there. Today's picture shows you part of the production and "getting shipments ready" part. In the middle, sort of the throne of it all: The manual crimping thing that crimps the pump on top of the bottles by me pushing a lever down.In the front are boxes that are ready to get shipped out today. To the left and right and behind the camera are shelves where we stock bottles and bottles and more bottles. On the side in the back to the right is a bit of a mess, and the window is all bright because the room faces south which is perfect in winter and a nightmare in summer.

    Looking back: If somebody would have told me 10 years ago that I would crimp bottles and pack perfumes a gogo, by the hundreds and thousands, I would have smiled: Because I would not believe it and because it was flattering. These days, it has become reality and it is,  most of the time, fun. Looking back: What a twist from my previous life. Unforeseen, but welcome, still.

    Looking forward: Time to change in 2014. This year was a switching point. Next year, we will change, a bit. So there we go, remembering a line from Forrest Gump: Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get. So true.

    Right?

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