Monthly Archives: October 2014

Items 11 to 18 of 18 total

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  • belling deer and a rose flash update

    Today, en miniature, an aquarelle that is not finished, yet. It needs some fine grasses in the front. In about every 10th mid European hotel there is at least one picture of a belling deer in late autumn, or winter. A clichée. But I could not help drawing it. So there you go: Andy's deer in a misty sunset environment. Not belling, though. I think the "belling deer" is in the hotel rooms because one way or the other hotel guests are expected to like the picture. But how do you know? It is hard to say what people like and even harder why.

    Here comes Rose flash. What I got back, from the limited number of people who got the scent already: They love it. A lot! This is wonderful.

    If I say the "limited number of perfume lovers who got it": First it was a limited offering. And then, there were shipping delays and issues. Some of them are solved, some of these issues will be solved by me by simply shipping again. The Rose flash was back ordered for the last 70 orders. These back-orders ship now. Uff. And then we will see how the second shipment will work. Let's hope for best.

    You know: Rose flash was fun. It still is, and the world is wide and open there. For me, it was a fun test, of a couple of things. With rose flash, and other flash scents, I can come up with tons of ideas. I actually do come up with tons of ideas, there.

    But, again in order to be honest: We are walking up a steep learning curve here, and I have to admit that not everything worked the way I wished and that I did a couple of mistakes. The only way to get better is to accept the mistakes, learn your thing, and adjust properly.

    Lesson one: We got a lot of combined orders, samples and the Rose flash roll-on. This is nice, but I did not communicate properly that these two, samples and Rose flash, ship separately. This is confusing to many and I need a better way to communicate this. Or, alternatively, to streamline the process, offer Rose flash as product that can not be ordered in combinations.

    Lesson two: We picked USPS as shipper for the Rose flash, from my US warehouse. This did not work as it should. A lot of orders were not handled properly by USPS. I do not blame USPS. It might just be the way the system works. But fact remains fact: And evidence based decision making translates into a different shipper might be considered which ultimately will bring shipment costs up.

    Lesson three: We were overrun with orders and got more orders than expected, resulting in back-ordered product. The next time, we must ship more into the warehouse before offering the flash scent. And make use of my sales software tool: Manage stock.

    Thank you for reading all the way down here.

    Here's my facit so far: Rose flash is a great success, but needs a more integrated approach when offering it, in order to reduce the workload that comes with it. What I find fascinating, coming back to the deer, and me not knowing really why people love the belling deer motive:
    I was expecting that I get a lot of mails and comments where perfume lovers wish to get a little spray flacon, instead of a roll-on, for this perfume. I am still prepared to consider offering it in -let's say- 25 ml spray. Anyhow, I was prepared for all sorts of discussions about the format. But the world is full of wonders. I did not get any wishes for a different format for the Rose flash. So I wonder... maybe the roll-on IS the right format for a perfume?



  • October treats

    A perfect autumn day, that's what we had here in Zurich yesterday. The sun was shining, a gentle sun, after mysterious early morning fog, trees in change from the everyday green working dress to the colorful negligees before going to bed soon. Yesterday, getting up shortly after 5, I learned that the birds are already whispering at this early morning time, before the sun shows up really. I was happy enough to spot one of the last bats Sunday morning, flying around the house before going to bed.

    It was a happy day, and aside from a few mails and an order here and there, I did not work much on Sunday. Saturday saw me finishing a larger retailer order in the factory, and preparing some Air du désert marocain for this week's packaging orgy.  Today's picture shows you a pile of boxes, filled with "air". October is usually one of the busiest months of the year, and this year seems to make no exception, which is nice. It is a turning point in the year, for me, here in Zurich; I usually go into a different mode in October. Sort of "let's face it, no way out, winter and darkness is ahead. let's get out of here".

    So there you go: Every year I am determined to get a daylight lamp, strong, to be in brightest light when the sun does not show up outside  in time with my activities. This will be the first winter, when I do not need to be determined anymore. I got one. Quite a while ago, used to take photographs of flacons et al. It may be a bit weak, though. Maybe I need to get one, a daylight lamp, with a lot! of lux, nevertheless.

    On the other hand, October and November often are the most creative months in the year. There might be a link between the light fading and the brain coming up with ideas. Who knows?

    Thus, tonight, when done with the work, I will do one more little trial on the vanilla theme. I have a version that I love, to be honest: But I want to understand it a bit better. It is better than the formula tells me. So you see: I just need to do one little test more. Vanilla and October go well together, anyway.

  • five shades of Rose

    Here's a great post written by Raluca, on Fragrance Daily, about my roses, titled "Five Shades of Rose from Andy Tauer".

    On of the roses featured: Rose flash. Raluca describes the Rose there with these words (and more) "has a concentration of 20% and is by far the heaviest and sweetest rose Andy has ever made. The composition is dominated by a noble and highly concentrated rose absolute which literally blasts on my skin. A delightful embroidery of sweet nuances floates around the majestic rose, adding him shades of peach, amber and a warm Bourbon vanilla bed to rest in the base".

    I invite you to follow above's link for the full article. It is very flattering.

    Thus, today's picture: The print-ready picture of the label that I created for the Rose flash: Very simple, and with a lot of information that needs to go on there. Although Rose flashed was not sold in Italy when I offered it: I prepared the label with all the information necessary to do so, if I ever want to offer it in other markets. In a sense, it was a test, whether I can put everything on there... If I ever go towards high quantities, I might always do a label that can be unfolded.

    I have not made my mind up what to do next, though. Because: Right now PHI-une rose de Kandahar sits on top of my priorities. This rose de Kandahar was also featured in Raluca's article: Enjoy! Next week will see me providing a few more details what happens with PHI -une rose de Kandahar here at tauerville.

    Thus, this is the cliffhanger for next week.

    Ah, and yes, if you are flying SWISS the next days/weeks: Make sure to check out the on flight magazine. There, on page 5, you find a cool picture, of Pascal, the shop owner of Medieval art&vie, where he sells my scents in Zurich. I will fly in November, but I guess by then this edition which features Zurich as destination will be gone and replaced already. And here's a cut out of page five... Enjoy your Friday!


  • before leaving the factory

    ... I took today's picture. A quick shot of what I left behind, from the middle of one room where I pack things in my two room factory. You know: Two rooms are actually not enough anymore, but I try to keep my overhead and every day running costs down. This is important. I work the same way in my private life. No debt, no big every month costs. Basically, I want to be able to "survive" for a while even if nothing comes in. You can only do that if your monthly obligations are low: Hence no bank credits for tauer perfumes, nothing is ordered that I cannot pay for right away, even if the world would collapse tomorrow.

    This brings a lot of freedom. The freedom to walk away every day, just like that. But of course, it comes with the handicap that you grow slowly, only with the means that you earn in your daily business.

    Anyhow, this is the picture of what I left and where I go back to this afternoon in the factory. A lot of boxes, three shipments are ready. Here, in the (office) house of tauer I will have to prepare the commercial invoices and shipment papers once I am done with this post. What you also see are two glasses with colored water. I use these in the factory to paint. I try to do so before leaving, more or less every day. Quick sketches as there is always work waiting at home.

    I do not give myself a lot of time for these sketches. My watercolor teacher told me that I tend to "do too much" with my pictures. Hence, forcing myself to finish them within a couple of  minutes, like 10 minutes or 30 minutes max helps. A little bit it is my private rewarding program, too. For the best (the only) employee of the day....The packing is done, and the goodie is a watercolor distraction.

    Ursula (thank you!) mentioned in her comment yesterday that I should change, hire folks, to have more time for creative ventures. An interesting thought: I wonder whether I would be more creatively productive if I had more time. Working under restrictions helps. Sometimes.

    Rose flash, for instance, was born in June, as a distraction, after work, without much time to "do too much". Not that it is minimalistic as fragrance, though.

  • How shipwire does not help me build my business, and an apology to my clients

    First things first: I owe many of you an apology and you will get an email from me saying exactly this: Please accept my apology that your Rose flash ordered did not arrive yet. I know, it is a week now and I am very sorry and do my best that you will get your order. The reasons: It is quite ironic and somewhat sad, but unfortunately true that my order fulfillment partner in the US, Shipwire, together with USPS, did not get many rose flash ordered out, yet. Actually, the samples that we shipped in parallel from Switzerland arrived in the mean time. Shipwire is located in the US.

    This information is based on what I see in the shipwire system and USPS's track and trace.

    Shipwire, in the past, was very liable. Thus, I am all puzzled that exactly now, when doing a sales of ROSE flash, things don't move. This is especially sad as we had new clients ordering the first time from us: Not a nice experience.

    Unfortunately, I do not know why this is. I have a lot empathy for a lot of things that can go wrong. Sick collaborators, systems crashing, too many orders at once overflowing the system: All fine, but as order fulfillment partner you need to talk.

    Thus, the facts of what I see: As far as I can tell, the orders were handled by shipwire and "completed", meaning that the shipment label seems to have been created and the product is ready to go to USPS.  But - based on what I see- the products did not go to USPS. I get a track and trace link to USPS in the shipwire system. There, on USPS, for the majority of orders, it says "shipment label created". But since October 1, when shipwired "completed" this part of the process: Nothing happens.

    Based on the shipwire and USPS system: The Rose flash orders did not move beyond being "completed" and me being charged by shipwire for handling and the shipment.

    You get it: Me, Andy Tauer, is sitting here in Switzerland, on my chair, between the shipwire and USPS chair, and the only thing I can do is trying to get in touch with Shipwire. I did so through their support form that I used in the past and always got an answer within a day. Not this time. No answer.

    Hence, I sit here, in Zurich, in the dark, and get mails from clients asking about the products that they paid for.

    So, what do I do now?

    I go manually through the entire list of orders on shipwire. Click on every track and trace, check the status. If nothing happened with the shipment based on the USPS information, then I copy the client information back into excel, building a list, for a later email, and in order to keep track of what I -in the worst case- have to ship again, just to make sure that folks get what they paid for. It is time consuming and tedious.

    I will have to talk to each client, asking them to let me know if they got it or not.

    Thus, when I am on the shipwire website and read "Shipwire helps grow your sales while reducing time, cost and complexity" it feels a bit like a joke.

    And I am worried, as I have almost 100 ROSE flash flying over the Atlantic right now. They are supposed to be delivered to the clients who ordered a "back-ordered" ROSE flash. What will happen there, with these orders? Based on what happened with the first batch of orders, it might turn out into an Andy Tauer shipwire horror trip:  I will be super busy next week, travelling, followed by talking in a radio show, giving a presentation afterwards, and with lots of pre- xmas orders: I simply do not have the time to continue following each order, and build excel files. Actually, what I experience now is exactly how it should not be like. Quel horreur, as the French say. (I could add another story here about my French suppliers, but reserve this for another post...).

    "But you have the time to write this post?", you might add. Right you are! It fulfills several purposes: I wanted to apologize as I feel so sorry for my clients who spent their $ and do not get what they paid for in a reasonable time. And it helps me to deal with what I cannot change.

    In the end, there are a couple of lessons I am learning these days.

    In order to finish this post with a happy note: Today's picture shows you a highlight (of yesterday): I got myself a little chair. I got it online at  It is not the my chair where I sit between USPS and shipwire, but it is for outdoors, for camping and when painting in the wild. I ordered it yesterday online, and it will arrive today. Or tomorrow.

  • autumn treats

    It is autumn. Not my favorite season, really, but with some treats. Like colored leaves. Great sunsets. The light (if there is light) being different and bringing out the colors in a different way, compared to summer's bright sun. The sun is gentler, but the colors are more intense, it seems.

    Autumn, usually, for reasons that are unclear to me, is the season where I create most perfumes. At least I did so in the past. November is the the creation highlight season in the house of tauer. I mentioned it the other day: These days vanilla is somewhere up there. Like tuberose, rose, sandalwood, ... vanilla is not easy, as everybody has his and her opinion on vanilla. Actually, nothing is easy. Except maybe if you do an extraterrestrial flower perfume, where nobody has an opinion yet. Like " yellow spotted Venus firedrake flower".  The yellow spotted one smells of course! very different to the red spotted flower. It is more mellow and its scent comes with a red smokey undertone as you would expect it for a firedrake flower, but it is less birchtar like and a bit more on the leathery side.

    So, yes: we all have our expectations. Me included. And me thinks: It is important to leave this common ground, from time to time, at least trying to make one step aside. For a creator, this is not easy, I feel, (the same is true for the perfume lover: We all wish novelties, but sometimes novelties need time to be accepted, because they are... different). From the creator's point of view: It is the trap of doing what you know how to do it. Somehow, you need to break the routine, and force yourself to look at things differently.

    When painting, there are a couple of tricks. For instance: Change the tools. I tried to do a "autumn forest in the mist" picture yesterday, using a spatula only to apply the water color. It was a test, and I used cheap paper (good paper IS expensive), and tried to apply a new technique to paint trees and branches. I failed, and washed off most of the color, using a lot of water, and a gigantic brush. The result is today's picture. Overall, it took me five minutes. The result is actually very interesting and demands for a repetition, on better paper.

    Translating this to perfumery can mean a couple of things. Like for instance using new material that you are not familiar with. Or using a technique that you have not used before, like overdosing a particular molecule that you never overdosed. And let yourself go, float freely, and be open for what you get. I was approaching vanilla (as a potential flash scent) as a theme more or less this way.

    The result? Let's put it this way: Interesting. Really interesting. To be honest: Me don't understand, yet.  Thus, I continue trying to understand. And while doing so, I continue worrying about Rose flash shipping in the US. A story developing.

    Have a great week!

  • updating

    Good morning. Here's an update of things happening around here. First things first: I will soon go to the factory, count the remaining bottles of Rose flash and will have to put Rose flash somewhen today on "out of stock" from backordered. It was/is quite a success. To be honest: I was not prepared and the flash sales mob resulted in sleep deprivation. But all orders that are on backorder state are now in the system and as soon as I shipped the remaining bottles to the US they will ship out automatically. Uff.

    The timing for the newsletter and Rose flash was not optimal. Not really. But these days, timing is always tricky, and there is always another action line in conflict of whatever we want to do. Thus, my motto is: Just do it....

    Thus, I will hit the factory again today, after a creative break day yesterday (an afternoon really), and get all ready for the shipment of Rose flash on Monday. And then I will go into thinking mode and try to make sense of it all. Rose flash was a fun idea. A lovely rose from the lab, seeing the light for a few days, and now we have to see. (...) I did not announce it big, really. I am worried a bit about all the messages that we will get once it is gone. But do not get me wrong: No regrets. Just a new challenge.

    What is nice about rose flash, aside it being a great rose scent: It is like a white piece of paper, still. I can go in all sorts of directions there. The world is wide and open for Rose flash. What would you do now?

    Yesterday was a great creative afternoon day, with the watercolor class, where we trained our line drawing, and did some perspective work. Trust  me: drawing lines is important and does not come just like that. You have to train your hand. Again and again. One of the line drawing trainings is today's picture. Joshua trees, shadows of Joshua trees, under a blue sky, colorful. Very lively. I am not sure whether I like it, though. And, believe it or not, amidst all the Rose flash order entering work and stocking up and attending a shop opening and mails a gogo: There was time to work with scents. Another great idea... vanilla flash. Actually, I composed and worked on another scent. The vanilla flash work was just a dilution work, of the final vanilla trial that matured to perfection before. It is a bit a crazy vanilla.

    The scent strip sits next to me since yesterday noon, and it blooms like crazy. You know: That's actually quite a challenge: Create a scent that blooms on skin and has sillage and presence, when applied as a perfume, drop by drop, or roll by roll (the flash format is a roll-on).

    So there you go: That's the nice part of being a "little, niche, artisanal, indie, whatever" creator. You have the freedom to fool around.

    The downside to it all: Sometimes, it is just a lot! of work. But that's what we are here for: To get something done.

  • Flower power

    Just wow! ROSE flash developed into a Rose flash MOB sales. Thus, this post is short, very short, as I will be busy keeping up with my online shop. To celebrate: Today's picture is a colorful selfie, sort of how it feels like here in tauerville, or roseville....happy and somewhat thoughtful tired.

    Actually, ROSE flash is already on backorder in the US. I can make a second shipment with what is left here in Zurich in my boxes. But I will have to keep an eye on orders and in a day or two will have to remove the product from the store. I guess that's good. Thus, if you want it delivered to your door in the US or Switzerland: Now's the time. What follows next: I have to see.

    Maybe just one word, to explain: Why US and Switzerland only?

    This is what I wrote as answer earlier today: "

    I have seen that some perfume lovers wonder why I offer this right now in Switzerland and the US only, and why not Canada or other EU countries….

    One reason is simply sales logistics. I have established an US company, Tauer Perfumes LLC, have a warehouse shelf in California, and a shipment company that ships what I have in my warehouse. I had to do so because perfumes are considered dangerous goods and it has become virtually impossible to ship bottles to most places from Switzerland.

    The other is European Union cosmetics regulations. Switzerland is not part of this (highly over regulated) EU club; hence I can not simply sell my products there, but -in theory- have to register them in the EU through a third party. A process that takes time and costs money."

    A happy day to you all!

Items 11 to 18 of 18 total

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