Monthly Archives: March 2014

Items 11 to 15 of 15 total

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  • a question I really stopped worrying about

    The other day I bumped into a NY Times article, and a little debate, again!, and I read the article, diagonally, having been sent there from somewhere in facebook space and clicking my way away shortly afterwards into another online space. To be honest: I so do not care anymore, about the question discussed there (I cannot find the link, sorry):  Are perfumes pieces of art, is perfumery art? This question makes me yawn and has become totally irrelevant to me.

    Thus, there is no reason to discuss this hear, in my humble opinion, at least.

    What I find interesting, however, super interesting! is the fact that this question is brought forward, often, by 1) personae who self declared themselves as being relevant ( I have nobody particularly in mind) and 2) the fact that this question is usually discussed in the context of Chanel 5 or other brands that are pretty large and well known.

    It reminds me of a perpetuum mobile, a perpetual motion machine, where an irrelevant question is pushed forward by caretakers of this question, pushed to the questioner to be answered later by the pushers.

    What is interesting: The shallower the world of niche gets, the more art seems to become important as term.

    Anyhow: as mentioned above. Not important for me. The question is often discussed so seriously, doggedly almost, and like many discussions about perfumes: Too serious for my taste. Me thinks: Perfume=A sensual experience, fun, even if we don't like a scent, it should and can be a thrilling and happy experience.

    So there we go: A shy message to all of you who need to wash a scent off because it is soooo ugly. Why not let it happen, take it as a ride into unknown territory, an experience that may not be a happy but a thrilling ride? In the end: a fragrance is what we make of it.

    So there we go: I am sort of fun driven there. And even packing scents can be fun, looking at it from the right angle. Today's picture shows you the first labelled flacon of Eau d'épices sketched the other day in the factory. Have a great day!


  • Today's picture shows you a train, Rhätische Bahn, in the evening, passing by the entry to the Morteratsch valley, early in the night, with the last daylight reflecting from the snow mountains. I was there Friday night and took this photo while the train passed by my hotel room. So yes: That's the view we got there. Kind of cool. And after weeks of doing weekend shifts and night shifts, I sort of needed this and felt like treating myself to it.

    As it is spring now here in Zurich, and as winter seems to be over and gone and puff! everything grows and starts shooting up under a bright sun, I decided to say good by to winter by visiting it one last time. Up there, where they got lots of snow. Like 1. 5 meters or so. Amazing.

    So, yes: I live in postcard land. Sometimes.

    But contrary to what one might think when being deeply immersed in Facebook and Co.: Even in postcard land there's work to get done. Today: Eau d'épices. I got the labels, without typo, and need the scent to go into bottles and into boxes and into more boxes, in order to ship to retailers and my own shelves. The box for Eau d'épices will be the rectangular metal box; time to switch there.

    And while I do this: Here's an idea for you. An interview, by Elena Vosnaki from Perfumeshrine, published on Fragrantica, with me, talking about "....doing the splits; between my playful creative process where I am coming up with my dreams, and the spreadsheets of bookkeeping and cash flow calculations...." Enjoy!



  • no well organized perfume organ

    Today's illustration, painted on the Cintiq again, shows you the tools that sit on the one and only desk that comes with free space in the house of  Tauer. Besides the balance, this is my mixing tool, plastic pipettes, used a few times before being discarded as they do not last a long time. For experiments, they are perfect, though. I rinse them in ethanol after usage, and let them dry before reusing them. Drop by drop, milligram by milligram, a trial starts to become physical reality after living in excel space when composing.

    The desk is empty as I need space to draw there, too. It is a dual use desk: Used for painting and mixing. For the mixing, I assemble the scents from all over the place, a room with bottles almost everywhere. Sort of unorganized, but I know where what ingredient sits. Mostly. I admire all my perfume friends who sit in front of a well organized perfume organ, but I just can't work like that.

    My creative space looks like the playground of a four year old.

    Once I am done with this post, I will go back there, mixing another trial that I was thinking about while doing my hit training in the gym yesterday, and during my getting dinner ready and during the night and during filling Incense extrême into bottles yesterday. Being creative comes with a price: Restlessness, and shaky fingers and a wobbly brain that does not find peace.

    And it comes with the price doing things that should actually not be high on the agenda, but sneak in every day as action points; so there we go... another trial, while waiting for the labels from the printing company. They should get here today, says the track and trace. The moment when the parcel gets here: Always a happy moment and a moment of agony: Did we do it right? No wrong text, no eau de parfum instead of eau de toilette? No spelling mistake? These things happen.

    I remember, in the company where I had the second job, my colleague getting the brochures from the printing company, long awaited, delayed, proof read by all of us in the team. They arrived, I opened the brochure, and there it was: The wrong picture with the wrong text. A huge pile of brochures, thousands to be true, printed for the trash. They lived for about 5 minutes. A nightmare. Lucky me, not mine back then: I had the job to gently, carefully tell him that his brochures might needed to be redone. Ah well.

    So, we are waiting for the labels.

  • an old fashioned flask

    You know: It is odd. When creating fragrances, sometimes, rarely though, things fall in place like a magic hand leads you through your excel layout of a formula and later mixing of the written formula. Most of the lines, notes, ingredients just seem to snuggle perfectly, like a large tetris assembly where things just fit. Maybe a few changes might be needed, but the overall structure is just there and feels fine.

    Sometimes this happens. And, for reasons that are beyond my comprehension, there seem to be phases where this happens repetitively.

    And then, there are phases, or ideas, that just won't happen. Usually, when I start working on a new theme, I circle my ideas, my vision, by making large iterations, checking out the territory and later narrowing one particular circle, adjusting what is not right. But sometimes, things just don't work. It is like the big circles of experiments are drawn on wrong premises. Something's fundamentally wrong.

    Thus, I was mixing for quite a while and still feel like having gained nothing, on an idea centered around vanilla.

    When painting, this happens too. And I learned that it is often better to start from scratch again than trying to safe an oeuvre that is wrong.

    On another note: I have a chemistry background, studied bio-organic chemistry, did lab work, synthesized molecules and isolated proteins later and did DNA work. The usual stuff. I loved the lab work. The more obscure and the more alchemy like, the better. I remember night shifts in the cellar of the university, with my reaction going on in flasks, and needing my hourly attention, adding drops of catalysts, fuming bottles, bubbling liquids inside complicated glassware. I loved to work with glassware, but spent a fortune on broken glass thermometers that were always super delicate and in constant urge to proof to me that gravity exists.

    When I ordered some lab material the other day, I came upon 50 ml glass flasks (see the picture going with this post), brown flint glass, with a cut polished top.  An amber apothecary flask. I got some, just a few, and used one to mix a trial of something new that I wanted to mix since a long time, sort of a private joy thing. It brought back chemistry lab memories of 30 years ago.

    Usually, I mix my trials in 12.5 gram total, in a simple brown bottle with screw top. They look industrial, cold, technical. This time, I did an alchemist trial: 40 gr, in an amber apothecary bottle, calling the gods of perfumery for help. No vanilla centric scent, though. Just a weird idea, around sandalwood and iris, and a few other things. Playtime in perfume wonderland.

    In a sense, I forced myself to think more seriously before mixing, too. Sandalwood is expensive. And I loved the idea to mix a trial in a flask that is more sensual and less practical that what I usually use. It felt like pleasing the forces of perfumery by using an old fashioned flask. Don't ask me whether it helped, though.

    Today I did an illustration of the apothecary flask, digitally, on the citiq. I just love this flask.

  • fast-forward self and system

    today, something new: a sketch that I have not done, yet.  No flower, no flacon, but a quick manga boy sketch that I did this Monday morning on the computer - or on the screen rather- while the other computer was doing its backup thing and needed a reboot. Getting all the back-ups done and getting them stored securely is always high on my attention agenda. Every day, I run two cloud back-up, of the core business data, on servers of a European company, specialized in business data backup. And every day, I mirror most of my data on an external drive. Pictures created on the computer end up on creative cloud, and then there is dropbox, too. I guess I am a bit paranoiac when it comes to data.

    I am mean: I am very well aware of the fact that in a shorter time than we would think, (almost) all the data that we have produced are dust. A few years and the carriers of the data cannot be accessed anymore: Do you still own a floppy disk driver? Add a few decades and the data are mostly gone anyhow as the digital storage technology is not made to last centuries. Add a few centuries and you will face a language barrier already. Add a few millenia and the concepts to understand most of the stuff we are talking about are gone. And in a few billion years this planet is gone, too. Thus, why worry?

    I worry because I am stuck in the hic et nunc of my daily operations. Like we all are. Which is perfectly fine.

    From time to time -or better even: regularly- it is important to get out of this trap: Stop worrying about the long tail of all the stuff that is done, stop worrying about  backing up the data of the past, and fast-forward self and system, in search of new coordinates. Screening new opportunities and thinking the unthinkable is actually fun, too. If you do, of course, most people will not be able to follow.

Items 11 to 15 of 15 total

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