Monthly Archives: March 2015

Items 1 to 10 of 13 total

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  • uiuiui

    "Do you carry your life in this backpack?" , asked me a friend a while ago while we were walking around in town. Sometimes it feels like that. I usually carry paper, pencils,water color, and a box with tools with me. And a pad, a keyboard, some brushes, glasses, adaptors, and a couple of other things that I am too lazy to unpack. Yesterday, after the weekend, I had everything with me, except for the watercolor palette. The most important part was missing. But, necessity is the mother of invention: I used the stuff that I had in the tools box together with black ink to muse during the lunch break in the factor.

    While I was inventive in the factory (see today's picture) I was listening to the radio where an economist, specialized in economic history, talked about Greece. uiuiui. Sometimes, in all the news about billions and quantitative easings and Troicas and more, we tend to forget that there are actually people living there, in Greece. The bottom line of the interview was: No chance for Greece in the Euro currency, except there is an economic union that goes far beyond what folks have these days in the Euro currency area. Because of many things. And another bottomline was: So many suffered and will continue to suffer beyond believe. He actually made the comparison to the great depression in the 30-ies and yes, Greece is there, on that level.

    Irrelevant of all the politics and obligations and rules and laws: so many suffer and it makes me feel sad. You know... no job, no hope, no future.

    And the Greek are not the only ones. There's a tectonic shift happening these days; it happens slowly, over years, but it happens.

    I mention this here, as besides all the painting and sniffing and mixing, I am running my little business here, in Switzerland. And whether we like it or not: I am sitting on these shifting tectonic plates, too. And, yes, I feel the tremor.

    Already in 2014, I was looking into building tauerville, anticipating further changes, opening a gateway to another galaxy, where I can continue to create and offer my creations, in an easy approachable way; easy approachable for both, me -the sender- and you -the recipient-. When doing so, I was evaluating a lot of options: First, it was clear that at least part of the production needs to be done by someone, other than me. Thus, I was looking into production in house by hiring someone, production in France, in Italy, in Germany, in Switzerland, ... and in the US. The US won.


    In house: I did not want to hire, rent more room and take the responsibility for a person here in high wage Switzerland.

    Italy: Too complicated. Just the idea to get perfume oil (the concentrate) over the border is a nightmare. It is sad, but it is that way. And: Do not even think about getting a company established in Italy.

    France: Too expensive. I mean way too expensive.

    Germany: Reliable, a real alternative, but: I have little trust in the EURO zone, and midterm, I expect production costs in Germany to go up, comparable to Switzerland's level, but at a lower productivity level. And I was worried that getting a company established there is not that easy, in comparison that is.

    In the end, I decided for the US. It makes economical sense to ship stuff there, get bottles filled there and packed, and ship part of it back. And I have my US company established there already (I did so 2013, with the snip of a finger, within 24 hours). This is all TAUERVILLE. Not Tauer Perfumes. But it is a start, a beginning, to get ready for the tectonic plates shifting even more.

    What's the bottomline of all this (thank you for reading all the way down here): I am really sorry. I so wished to provide job(s), for instance in Italy, on a very small scale, but still... But I can't. Because the market in the EU is far from unified, because it is too expensive, and because it is too complicated to deal with.

    Actually, this part of the post today is very sad. There is a happy note, though. Everything's changing these days, and I might reconsider tomorrow. Necessity is the mother of invention. And those who know and follow me.... After ten years bending and stretching and adapting: We got super flexible here.

  • headlight

    I got myself a headlight for camping. Today's picture shows you what the light does when having it shine down, on myself...

    I do not like to post selfies too much. I am not a digital native and always feel that my face is not that important really. But here, I could not resist. When I got the lamp, I tried it out in a darkened room and took the selfie. I like this picture. It is so odd.

    That much about the selfie.

    I tend to think a lot about pictures, the way we see them, and the world. Never in human history so many pictures were taken and published. Not by real cameras anymore, but by phones and pads. And never were so many pictures shared like today. The sheer number of pictures, I am convinced, changes the way we see them, and the world behind them. And with all the  pictures that we take to mirror reality, through the filter of our eyes and tools, there is no need anymore to paint pictures that accurately mirror the world. We discuss this in the painting class a lot. No need for that.

    But, trying to paint and illustrate accurately what we see, is the perfect exercise for hand eye coordination and a great lesson to master your tools. Once familiar with your motive: Move on and reflect about a motive, let it flow, follow your inspiration.

    With head space technology and a couple of ten thousand molecules at hand, more molecules than ever at the reach of anyone who wants to create perfumes: There is no need to recreate the scent of a rose or any other flower accurately.  First, it has been done multiple times and you can get your perfect rose directly from your prefered raw material supplier, like Givaudan. I don't get these ready to use flower bases, though. Because 1) everybody is using them, 2) you get dependent on a particular base and its composition that is not revealed to you and 3) I find it a good exercise to come up with bases myself and learn about the motive.

    Sometimes, I read online comments, from perfume lovers, complaining generally that perfume xyz from brand xyz says "rose" and does not smell like a "real" rose. I feel that this is wrong. Nothing's wrong with a nice "real" rose splash, for instance, but in the end, I feel we should expect perfumes to be inspired by, not copies of.

  • il faut s'imaginer sisyphe heureux

    I do not have a garden, just a spot in front of the house, a nice place where soon the tulips will bloom. These days, more or less daily, provided the weather allows it, I go down there, for 10 minutes or so and do what I call "therapeutic weeding". Kneeling down and trying to make room for primroses and other delicate plants that are grown over by the super potent weed. As half of the spot is covered with grass and weed: This therapy will never end. It is therapeutic, especially after a day behind the computer or over the ipad or with sample vials, as it does good to do "real work". In case my tomato plants survive until then: By mid May you will see me down there inspecting tomato leaves for plant louses and other enemies.  So far the tomato babies do well. Only the Peru wild type behaves like a spoiled tomato princess and germinated but decided to more or less stop growth now. We will see.

    Today's title "You have to imagine Sisyphus happy" : In the little outdoor spot in front of the house, I am Sisyphus, and happy.

    When labelling Air du désert marocain bottles, I am Sisyphus, too. And happy.

    I do not know how many bottles I have labelled in the last 9.5 years, but it's many; very many. So, I guess, I am very happy.

    Today's picture: Air du désert marocain bottles ready to get labelled.

  • broken things and being brave

    Today's picture shows you an egg that I used last Saturday to make a "hefezopf" loaf. The picture is a rough, A4 size, oil color sketch, on paper. An allegory for things that break and  cannot be fixed anymore, by nobody really, but at the same time they're opening the door to something new.

    Yesterday, I was brave. Regular readers of this blog know: I have an ipad. ipad 2. OLD. And slow, since I upgraded it to OS 7. Yesterday, I did a back up, and figured that it does not matter anymore (because it got so slow anyhow, and is crashing from time to time): I tried the upgrade to OS 8.x. Well, here's the good news. It did it. But it did not help. Thus, whether I like it or not: I need to get a new one. The ipad is my communication tool, daily in the factory, when travelling, after dinner at home...I use it for hours on a daily basis and it just needs to function for my business to function.

    I do not like getting a new one as the old one still works. It is not broken really. Which speaks for its quality. I runs and runs, but it does so slower and slower every day.

    It is an irony really that the digital technology where everything happens seemingly in non material space, through bits and bites, produces an ever increasing mountain of electronic trash. Using rare earths from the heart of Africa, which is very problematic. Anyhow: I need to get a new one.

    Yesterday, when meeting with Swiss perfumers and art folks and Saskia Wilson-Brown, founder of the Institute for Art and Olfaction, - a meeting that was really fun and brought a lot of perfume and mind power together- I was also brave: I put on a fragrance that I love but that is not on the market, yet. I got a compliment. Yeah! Saskia is heading for Milan to announce the finalists of their annual award. Cool!

    It is very rare that I wear perfume and even rarer that I get compliments. Thus, that was nice. And no: I cannot tell you more about it, yet. It is the next tauerville scent, though.

    Tauerville is really fun, and I enjoy it a lot. I feel like "Pippi Langstrumpf" (Pippi Longstocking) , doing what I love to do. Of course, at Tauer Perfumes I also do what I love, it is just a different context.

    There at Tauer Perfumes, I am still fiddling with a couple of trials. They are not ready yet to wear them in public, though.What troubles me most is the hyacinth. I think I need to be a touch braver there. But you know: You can't force things. I feel that there is one thing missing in the base, but I could not figure out what, yet.

  • Schleswig-Holstein

    I had the pleasure to attend an event last week, a get together, at the Duftcontor in Oldenburg. This is one of the very few real niche perfumeries there are in Germany. You will find some of the best there is, there, and none of all the other bottles that you find in many places. Call it hardcore niche or whatever: It is a wonderful perfume place, the Duftcontor, and curated in the best sense of the word,  and - to be honest- you would not really expect this kind of perfumery in Oldenburg.

    Don't ask me why there is not much of artisanal high end niche perfumery in Germany. My products, for instance, air du désert marocain included, are sold online and in brick and mortar stores in Germany: in 3 places. Only. Compare this to Italy. I lost the overview there. It must be 35 or 50 "doors". Why is this? It is cultural, I guess. Germany is more up north. Whatever.

    I explored the north of Germany, more or less by chance. You know: There are two Oldenburg in Germany. They are about 3oo km apart, by train. Today's picture shows you what you see in one of them when you get there. Just in case... When getting out of the train in Oldenburg in Schleswig-Holstein I realized quite swiftly that I was wrong. The Oldenburg in Schleswig-Holstein is nice, but small and not much perfume is happening there.  The next train brought me back and on the right track. Thus, there were a couple of extra hours to think about what is happening there in Germany, up north, where my ancestors are from. I am second generation Swiss. Only. Part of my parent side was first generation immigrants from Germany, a couple of years right after the war.

    The last war. Now that I write these lines: Funny. We had so many wars in Europe and the world that we started numbering the most important ones. WW I, WW II. Which leaves room for more, like WW III and beyond. Yesterday, when watching the news, learning about Jemen falling down into the abyss  (too)  and the fascists moving all over the place and gaining ground in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, we wondered whether the third one is there, but just looks different than what we were expecting. You know: I stopped talking about "Islamic state" and "Al Quaeda" or whatever other groups there are: I call them fascist. Because that's what they are and their logic follows fascist logic. And I am convinced that the media should just do the same. Stop giving them faces and names: Just tell the world what the challenge is and what their nature is. Fascists.

    So you see: There was a lot of time to think, travelling from Oldenburg to Oldenburg, passing by Hamburg, where my family was bombed out of their house during WWII. I am so grateful that there were hundred of thousand US families sending the most precious that they had, their sons, over to another continent to fight the fascists. And in the end, I guess there is reason to be grateful that they have sent their bombs, destroying the house where my mother lived as kid, as there was no freedom as long as this house was still standing in Hamburg.

    So. And now: A lovely week to you. Mine will be super busy. As I will travel to the US in about three weeks there's a lot that needs to get done by then.


  • everything's just perfect

    Tonight, I will sleep in the train that brings me up north, to Germania.  There, in the lands of holy oaks we will talk about incense, a gift from the gods.  I am invited and so honored to talk, chat, hug and more at the Duftcontor in Oldenburg: I will bring some incense with me, the real thing, the resin, the essential oil, the CO2 extract, and the perfumes that are inspired by it. It is going to be like a salon 100 years ago. Wonderful, and one of the best parts of it: Travelling home from up there in the north, there will be time to work on some paper stuff.

    In three weeks from now, I will fly west. I so need a breeze of fresh air. OK, I will not only sit there and watch the desert and the sun. I want  to shake some hands, exchange hugs and smiles and chat about this and that, and perfume. I guess I will do so at Tigerlily in SF, April 18. That's in a month from now. Wow. Time's running so fast.

    Nice about this trip, among other things: I will get two transatlantic 10 hours cozy extra sleeping time. I always sleep in planes, sometimes even before the plane takes off, not because I travel super business -it is more like super eco- but because, when getting into the plane, I can let everything go. The mails, the phone, the responsibility, the worries and plans. I look at it as a transformation back to a toddler or baby state of mind: You're being checked whether you got clean hands, then airways mama's tell you where to sit, they feed you, darken the window and tell you what to do and what not to do.



  • this and that

    What a great weekend! It was rich, full, work loaded, and with a couple of fun activities. Most of them were actually not really fragrant, I have to admit. More communication related. But then: Perfume business is communication business. Sometimes, however, I stop answering mails. Like ...when discussing forth and back to where we ship, what, for what price, ending up with an email where it says "can you ship samples or 1 explorer size to test a scent first, please. The "please" is nice, though. I always wonder how many "samples, please" mails a company like Chanel gets.

    Talking about samples: I introduced a minimal order of 10 Francs a year ago, more or less. Because we got too many 1 sample orders. 10 Francs=2 samples. Packing and shipping 1 sample does not make sense. Actually, packing and shipping 2 samples makes a bit more sense, but not much either. It is a service more than a business. But, to be honest, I do not mind.  But midterm, I need to optimize how we pack and ship. I do not like these envelops that we are using.

    Anyhow: A lot of mails over the weekend, but I managed to fiddle around a bit with the lemon blossom theme; not sure what this will result in, though. A lot is missing there. The real thing, the lemon tree, is still blooming and soon I will pick the two lemons that turned yellow now. How cool's that? Lemons from Zurich!

    And I managed to paint a bit. I was brave over the weekend and did some experimental mixed media pictures. Like today's rose. Mixed media means here: Oil and watercolor. The oil color is a special quality: Water soluble. I used it as white background layer and went over it with watercolor, enjoying the brightness and density and nice effects it gives. Amazing.

    I feel I need to be braver with my lemon blossom trials, too.

  • again and again

    in the watercolor class yesterday: Tulips. Again. We "did" tulips last week, too. I did not mind. This week, the teacher came with three lessons, take home lessons and stuff to work on:

    Using alternative tools to "nail" these tulips and getting around worrying about the details, kind of: Abstraction without losing the motif.

    Doing an as close as possible to reality  pencil drawing with later watercolor coloration: Really getting into all the details and train your hand eye coordination. (I never use any transparent paper to copy objects. It feels too much like cheating, hence this exercise is more or less a daily exercise for me).

    Do it again. And again. And again. And the last one will be alright. Hopefully.

    Today's picture is one of the tulip pencil drawings, colored afterwards.

    So there we go. Again and again and again.

    I thought "again and again" also today, when sending the Tauer Perfumes newsletter out, telling folks that rose flash is back again, not here though, but there on tauerville. Again and again, because I learn on a daily basis that one needs to be out there on a daily basis. You need to say it again and again and again that product/service xyz is here and that folks can buy it. Think home order TV.  Again and again and again, be it on facebook, twitter or newsletter or blog posts or youtube or whatever.

    There is a lot of noise out there: To be heard you have to shout super loud, or be there all the time. Anyhow; I am not such a great market crier. It often troubles me to post a feature about a product. I love to share what others say, but I hardly ever make a post where I say "this scent  has become as classic, it is super, it is cheap, whatever... "

    But then: The longer I am here and there, the more I realize... Hey: You need to. Shout it out, again and again: The best out there!

    But somehow, it feels wrong. So I just hope for many reviews that I can share. Sort of.

  • violet

    Today, I have my watercolor class again and I am sooooo looking forward to it. And to my new glasses. The frame is the same but I get a stronger correction. This will help me a lot when sitting in front of the PC and when putting labels on bottles. The arms got too short recently for a couple of tasks, like reading newspaper, and putting labels on, in a straight way that is. And I am looking forward to finishing a shipment in the factory today: More rose flash for the US.

    So, this morning is filled with highlights and in order to keep up with everything I got up early in the morning, and while doing the mails and stuff, I sniffed two of my hyacinth trials of February. Well. Me don't know yet. I made one, where I paired the hyacinth base, the "UEBER" hyacinth, with a viola base, made with a couple of thrilling ingredients, like violet leaves absolute. (Think green, green, green, and violet). I did so because I figured: They sort of bloom at the same time, hyacinth and violet, and maybe they fit together.

    I cannot tell you yet what I really think about this and other trials. I guess I need a muse moment to really think thoroughly about it. But I wondered this morning: Maybe that's like a rule. Scented things that bloom together in nature work together in the vial? Like lavender and rose, blooming more or less at the same time, and going so well together in real life and in a flacon.

    But then: It is, maybe, a touch too simplistic. And maybe boring. The thrill of a fragrance in a flacon... maybe it is these combinations that you do not find in nature. Like a rich Indian sandalwood note pared with a gentle violet, or a mediterranean rose with an icy Siberian fir note. Who knows?

    And then I figured: Actually, this green violet leaves base is so nice: It would do well as a perfume by itself. Another complication.


  • etc

    Today, uiuiui.... super busy. Like yesterday, but: There was time to procrastinate... over the weekend I was dancing with wolves and sketched a couple of wolves. Yesterday, I moved on, towards an imaginative canis lupus familiaris (dog). You know: When sketching a wolf, you realize how close wolves and dogs are related. The same happened when I sketched an orangutan a while ago. We and them are really closely related.

    Anyhow, there was time to play and paint, and I was trying a couple of ideas, especially: Trying to bring about a certain expression in the animals' face. Like "so what!"

    "so what", because there was time to think while filling bottles (the same will be the case today). Like: I read an article the other day, just a short note, highlighting an inconvenient truth. In Europe, the Euro zone, there are a couple of countries that, for years now, have to get new debt but not to pay off old debt. No. These states need to make more debt just to pay the interest on the old debt. Among them: Italy. France. Basically, I think, this means that: It is getting very tight. Either you, as states, are really gettings things going very fast again, have a super booming economy and all. Or you are doomed. And also doomed: Mutti in Germany who lends the money.

    So, you see, serious thinking in the factory. But, light hearted as I am, and knowing that since 1800 the world has seen about 227 state insolvencies, who cares?

    That's why today's dog looks a bit "ah well" like. You know: Filling bottles is ZEN.



Items 1 to 10 of 13 total

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