Monthly Archives: July 2014

9 Item(s)

  • letting go for a moment

    Here, I am almost ready for the summer break. A few last day emergencies need my attention, as always, and then we are ready to hit the road, with the bike, for a round trip bringing us back home in about 2 weeks. That's the plan. The house is in order, a housekeeper moving in, so to say, the shop back-up is organized and instructed, and Sotto la luna Gardenia is at a state where I can leave it for a week or two.

    Although, to be honest: This is not easy. As much as I really, really need a break: It is not easy letting go right now. It is just too exciting. But then, I guess, the repetitive up and down on the bike will be perfect to think about what's next with Sotto la luna, starting to look beyond September when I launch it.

    You know, the launch is half the cake. Maybe the easier part. When smelling my Gardenia, inspired by the imagery of a gardenia blooming under the moon, I feel it is one of the best fragrances that I have ever created, so far. But a scent can be perfection bottled, still: Perfume lovers need to know about it. Thus, September will see me spreading the news. And sharing more that I could not share so far, for many reasons. I am looking forward to that, to talking to you, and I hope you will spread the news, too.

    I am looking forward to that, and to sharing a couple of pictures of me and my bike and where it brought me.

    So there we go: Please stay tuned...More's to come here again, shortly.

  • liquid poesy and pinterest

    Today's picture shows you what I did in the factory, yesterday: Samples, Orange Star samples in this particular case, filling vials and putting the labels on for the various references by the hundreds. Again, I am building up stock, at least a bit, like a squirrel in autumn collecting nuts and storing them for winter, forgetting sometimes about it. Actually, when it comes to samples, we are sort of pretty well organized. Each reference has its little box and as all samples look the same, almost (except for the color of the fragrance inside), no sample gets out of the factory without labels being put on first. The labels get on there after I filled a batch of 100 or so.

    This is important; otherwise there is a growing risk of messing up samples and what is inside. My nightmare!

    Anyhow; with the samples stock filled, the boxed Gardenia stock from Sotto la luna filled, with the samples of Gardenia going out soon to retailers globally, allowing them to smell and stock up themselves, I am sort of getting ready for the next thing(s). 

    Next things:

    Making sure that you will be able to get samples of Gardenia by August 15. This means: Communication work ahead. First step: newsletter to retailers. Second step: Newsletter to clients. Third step: Talking  about it, Gardenia. Tauer's newest. Tauer's most poetic. This is difficult. Talking about scents is not easy.

    Liquid poesy, that's what this Gardenia under the moon actually is. Therefore, the next stop: Pinterest.

    So there you go: the next thing is me  trying to get into pinterest. And me at constant danger of getting lost in this universe of pictures. I have to admit: Pinterest is so tempting. I just made a first step into this new universe, opening up my account and publishing some pins (in case you are interested here's the link).

    I am not really sure yet where I am heading there and where pinterest might bring me, but I love what I see there. So I started, you know: If you want to eat an elephant, do it in small bites.

    Do you use pinterest?


  • thanks

    Welcome back! Here's to a new week, with fragrant treats!

    This week will see me getting the house in order, praying that my tomatoes survived the cold wet weather in healthy state and did not get a fungus infection, and getting some other profane things done.

    And it will see me mixing another rose, because I love roses so much.

    And it will see me getting some labels out to the printing company, fresh from the Adobe Illustrator. One of these labels is a simple sticker and I just sent it off to the printer, and in about 2 weeks I shall get 1000 of these on a roll:

    A label saying "thanks", on dark blue blackground, with the tauer logo. Nothing else. No "follow-us on Facebook" no "do this, do that".

    A simple thanks and the link to the brand.

    What for? I want -midterm- that every order leaving our house, or the warehouse in the US, is wrapped in simple protective kraft paper, not wrapped in a gift-wrap style, but still wrapped. You get the idea. And I want that each wrapped little pack goes out with a sticker. I want this to be the entry point into the brand.


    First, because there are about 1000 reasons to say thanks! to my customers. I have what feels like 200 different stickers and labels. And none of them says thank you. Thus, it is about time to change that.

    Then, and this is important, too: We live in a world of too many choices. The only way to stand out these days is by trying to provide the better product, the better service, the better communication, the better place to shop.

    Many try better price, too. Discounting, offering free this and that. In the end, this will not work. I think you need an excellent price-quality ratio. (Check)

    I think it is ok to add free samples, a little gift such as a soap or an extra goodie here and there.

    But I have a zero discounting strategy in place for the actual products, throughout the brand and implementing it on partners. I get tougher there. Start running a discounting strategy for my products and you're going to be out, midterm. Because: Once you pop, you can't stop. In the end, you basically educate your customer that the real price, that they should be willing to pay, is less than what they are used to pay. It is called conditioning. And, one fine day, your valued client will hopp off, because another guy in town offered more discount.


  • routine

    A Swiss cow, water color on cotton paper, by Andy Tauer A Swiss cow, water color on cotton paper, as seen by Andy Tauer

    First things first: Today's water color exercise: a Swiss cow.

    I so totally understand why cows are holy in India. There is this stoicism that I adore. They sit there, on the grass and watch the world, how it changes in circles that close.

    When picking today's picture to the left - a foto of a perfume packed in brown paper,  an order prepared for later shipment, with a card saying "thank you!" on the back- when I picked this, I did not know about the cow, yet. The cow happened in between photo taking and post writing.

    But the cow picture fits perfectly. There is a difference between stoicism, (Webster dictionary online defining it as "quality or behavior of a person who accepts what happens without complaining or showing emotion") and routine (Webster defining it as "a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way").

    Routine is actually dangerous. As nice as it is, to know your way, to see things happening and having been there before accepting them without much emotions, it is a slippery road. The other day, when I was on the computer, I got a newsletter from Shipwire, my order fulfillment partner in the US, who is shipping full bottles within the US, for me, by basically putting a sticker onto a prepacked box. I need to use this service, as I cannot ship individual full bottles through air.  The newsletter had some hints about good packing.

    Good packing in the sense of: Make sure that the buyer experiences your brand when opening your packaging; make it a great, personal and special experience! I thought about it for a second. I thought about how is it to get a parcel through shipwire, coming from Tauer. Not Tauer shipping directly.

    So I thought about my packaging of the bottle, and around the boxed perfume. Whether it is protective and stable: Check. All fine there.

    But how's the unpacking?

    A card saying "thank you!"? NO.

    A nice touch and feel after ripping off the cardboard. NO. (I wrap the boxed perfume in bubble foil, coming from a point where I am utterly worried about damaged perfume boxes. want to change this. Even simple brown paper is more inviting than bubble foil (see picture).

    A way to interact, an invitation to share the perfume, picture, whatever, on facebook, twitter, pinterest, you name it? Again: NO.

    Inside the boxed perfume: Yes, there it says Enjoy!

    So there you go: Since about 1.5 years I ship stuff into my warehouse in the US. Routine. I forgot to continue thinking about how we do it and whether I can do better. When I ship Gardenia from Sotto la Luna in to my warehouse end August: This will change.




  • hand-eye coordination

    Yesterday, in the factory, packing things and waiting for truck drivers, I skipped the lunch break and exchanged it for a quick yoghurt and an hour water color session. Yes, sometimes, I bring paper and color down there to the where I pack perfume. Just in case. You never know. Maybe you'll find time. I look at it as training sessions. Training of the eye and the eye hand coordination,  drawing from life. Yesterday's object was me again, drawn from life, a picture taken in the factory with the ipad, and me trying to bring it down to paper.

    Although water color is forgiving, in a sense, as it is transparent and translucent, still: Every brush stroke you make sits there. It is hard to correct a general mistake. But this adds fun to the exercise! Yesterday, I actually used a large brush, and tried to work fast, translating as fast as I could the picture on the ipad into a picture on the 30-20 canvas, trying to leave that part of the brain out that wants to understand.

    Not action painting, but fast painting. With some stops in the middle, giving time to reflect nevertheless.

    From time to time, I do comparable experiments with perfume, too. And, sometimes, I feel like these are hand-nose coordination exercises. The creative act there, however, does not happen when I mix, but when I write down the formula. And the hand is primarily used to type in words and numbers into excel.

    And here's what I find amazing: Many of these quick, and very spontaneous formulas are actually much better than the hard thought-through formulas. Often, they just need small adjustments, little corrections of mistakes. I guess, these formulas born in the moment or out of a moment are special.


  • a couple of good news

    heading off into a week, we do so with a couple of good news for the coming weeks. Hossa!

    I registered for an aquarell class, hoping for some technical advice, and cheerful hours, starting end August. I can't wait. Today's picture shows you an aquarell that I did yesterday, after the usual Sunday half marathon jog, after chilling on the couch; basically it shows you just that: Me chilling.

    It also stands for me having decided for a summer break, a biking trip, starting somewhen towards the end of the month. The goal: Chilling, and catching up, and getting ready for autumn's busy schedule of launches and events.

    For theses (launches and events), here's the next good news: 500 boxed and packed Gardenia Sotto la luna in the factory. 400 samples, all ready. Heissa! These will start shipping in September.

    While biking through middle Europe, there will be ample of time to muse about what's next. For Sotto la luna it is clear and decided: Hyacinth will come autumn 2015 and my beloved Tuberose will follow 2016. But there's more in the sketchbook of perfume formulas. I met with a dear friend on Saturday, presenting some (finished) experimental scents, discussing how they might fit and whether they are any good. You know, as a creator, you are always very insecure about your creations. Let''s say: Creators are worrying much too much. The verdict: Great stuff! Great! From a creation point of view these experimentals seem to be fine. Having said that: The market for scents, be they niche or not or indie or not, this market is oversaturated. Thus, I am not sure what to do. There is time.

    I will have to make tough decisions there. Biking will help. That's the plan.

    More good news: I got the confirmation for a couple of orders that I needed to place the last few days. 5000 more bakelite tops will reach the factory mid August, from a factory in Switzerland. Imagine: Bakelite covers made in Switzerland, not in far east. Love that idea!  The same number of pumps for the  pentagonal flacons, and pentagonal blue bottles are more or less secured, too, and more sample vials. One of my biggest worries, not being able to fill bottles and ship them because one part is missing: Gone! Heissa.

    Thus, we head into a week with stock secured, but -unfortunately-  no stable Azores high visible in the south yet; but we do not worry about that yet.


  • Adding value

    Yesterday, we (me and my two helping hands) started counting the inventory. This is interesting. Like the census in Judea,...You go out and count what you have (as we are no Roman emperors here: We go ... the emperors asks folks to come. Voilà : La différence).

    What is interesting about it: We filled a lot of bottles in the last two weeks. And we boxed a lot of bottles, putting them into the rectangular boxes, with labels, with cardboard sleeve, sealing them with cellophane. Trying to prepare a bit for the second half of 2014, assuming that there will be a second half.

    Thus, we have a lot of stock of filled bottles right now, and packed boxes. From a bookkeeping point of view: This means that our profit  goes up, as the inventory goes up. And the inventory goes up, as the inventory valuation is up, and this is up as "added value" is (correctly) reflected in the value of a filled bottle. A filled bottle has a higher value than the juice and the unfilled bottle alone. The added value is our work.

    Makes sense: If all burns down tomorrow, the insurance should not only pay for the bottles and the juice, but also for the value added that we put in there, our work.

    Anyhow: By working, we added value, and created profit (as we pay us less for the work than there is value added). On paper. It feels strange. The reason why it feels strange: The value added is on paper. It will only become real if the bottles are sold, if they actually leave the factory. Thus, in a certain way, bookkeeping is hoping.

    Sorry for this bookkeeping post. But -for me- bookkeeping is still a book with seven seals, and I feel that bookkeeping essentially means: thinking in terms of miracles. Having said all this: Seven seals would be an interesting perfume line concept.  Wouldn't it? It would be such a twisted line. It would be so cliché and we could all run riot and do crazy stuff. 7 perfumes. so many ways of looking into them and at them. And there names being the 7 apocalyptic riders etc. Ha! another perfume line idea....I need to register the brand name for that.

    But now I am drifting: I am heading to the factory in a minute. You see: The more factory, the more ideas. And: Adding more value. Ha!

    Today's picture: An angel seen on a cemetery in Paris, France.

  • steaming factory

    Here: Still super busy in the factory, filling packing, labelling. You name it! Hence, today's picture: A quick selfie, taken early in the morning, with a somewhat determined look, like "Yes, I see you pile of work, but trust me: We'll  get over there".  A look that actually fits a lot of situations these days. From coma sleeping suppliers (sounds more fun than it is) to soap making and packing for my favorite little shop in Zurich (that is more fun than it sounds). Mandarines ambrées for Medieval art&vie. Poor Pascal there had to ask me for about 2 months, as these soap bars are really nice to have but not important.

    Important these days: Stock of Gardenia. 240 are packed, international edition. Some more to follow. And then follows the Italian edition. Edition meaning: some text on the labels in Italian. The rest is the same.

    And here's the irony: As we are labelling and packing and labeling and packing in peace and harmony, with the mind wandering and wondering about things like "when do I find time for the hairdresser" to "I need to buy another keyboard" to "I think I know now how to turn this experimental formula into a working formula" (think: perfume! new perfume! more perfume! exciting perfume!), with all this happening I am looking into a future, where I see more perfume coming.

    It sounds like a perpetuum mobile, right? The more perfume we pack, the more ideas we have here (as we are getting so ZEN packing perfume)... It seems neverending. But we all know. Perpetuum mobiles do not exist, really, and the universe is expanding into nothingness.


  • just entered a blue phase

    We have definitively entered our blue phase here at tauerville. Or better said: I have entered my blue phase. Today's picture(s)'s proof. I switched the plastic gloves brand that we use in the factory when handling bottles, from latex with powder inside to this blue quality, that is latex and powder free. And blue it is!

    Yesterday, making samples, me and my still helping two hands from my temporary supporter, we both looked like we are getting ready to cut  out our internal organs. Or do other bloody stuff. We looked so cool. And professional.

    Another proof. My latest aquarell. Blue only. real size is 30x20 cm.

    I picked a phtaloblue.



    20140701s-1And, maybe, I have also entered a blue phase in perfumery. Whatever this means....What scent gives me the visual complement of blue? Hmmmm... lavender isn't it. Maybe cypress. Ionones, yes. Ionone beta is blue : think the powdery scent of violet. Having worked a bit on two roses the last few weeks, one for sure comes with hints of blue shades. Just  a hint as ionones tend to clog the nose, sort of, but still: ionones and rose go well together. Greetings from here, where we live "la vie en bleu".



9 Item(s)