the color of luxury

Today,  I googled for "luxury" in's picture section. You can do so, too: Click here to see what you get. Google might show you different pictures than what I get, as my googling and surfing preferences are different, though. But, as it was a first for me, and as I never searched for most of the luxury items presented through google: Chances are good that you will get more or less the same.

Here's an interesting observation: Luxury comes with a color preference. Blue. Interesting! And dark (black). The later is what I have expected: I hate these luxury hotel breakfast rooms or luxury perfume departments that make you feel like sitting inside one of the famous super long Swiss tunnels.

There is no green, it seems, no strong red, some yellow brown, hints of violet, but no crisp green.


I find the idea of owning a yacht totally banal and most objects and concepts that I've seen in my google picture search are not what I long for. Maybe I am too poor to really get what a yacht is all about. Maybe I am too old and can see through the illusiveness of most of the objects and concepts presented as luxury: I have learned that my biggest luxury item is my time, it is super limited, it is not coming back.

Anyhow: Tauer Perfumes landed a couple of years ago in some UK lists for luxury items producing companies. Which is ok, as tauer perfumes are rare, hard to get, top quality, hand made and actually really luxury. But the problem is: I am too poor to pay for being featured in Vogue.

Being on this list, I get on a regular basis offers to be included in upcoming spring/holiday/marriage/whatever special section of Vogue or other glossy print media. So there 's one take home message for you: What you see in there is paid for, a lot at least. Editorial style does not mean it is written by editors. Many at least. The latest offer that I got started with (at a great discount):

5cmx1cm for 500 $ US, taxes not included. 5 cm x 1 cm, for one picture and max. 40 words (that I would provide), reduced from 1500$ US. That's like the surface area of 2-3 stamps.

Here's the thing: Imagine how much money a (perfume) brand must spend to be featured from time to time in there, in a format that is a touch larger than a stamp. And now imagine what the consequences are; how many bottles you must sell to just come up with the marketing expenses and what the consequences on the fragrance quality and the production costs must be. Yep. No way around it. (and, just to mention this: Bloggers start to work comparably. To get into some blogs, you are supposed to provide ... well, let's say: Some goodies)

That's why you do not find tauer in the upcoming autumn edition of a not further specified glossy magazine. And that's why you won't find tauer in some blogs.

But I still do not understand why there's not more lush green popping up for luxury.


22 thoughts on “the color of luxury”

  • Indeed a funny experiment, Andy! For me also a lot of blue, cyan and the warm yellow-orange light that should remind of gold, especially on reflections. And gold and blue is quite a luxury combination. I also googled for "green luxury" - funny that green is less easy to combine with "golden light" without it becoming brownish. Interesting experiment, thanks!

    And about Vogue... I guess a lot of luxury is a kind of gilded plastic. Glad you are too poor to be there ;) And I guess you are giving something very precious, You share your luxury item, your time to write your blog posts. The precious information from the first hands is not easy to find somewhere else.

  • brilliant article.. you are a benchmark in my eyes when it comes to how a niche brand truly committed to quality products must behave..and i so agree with you...if i have loads of money, i don't want to have yachts and multiple mansions and dozens of cars..having so many of these with non-stop maintenance expenses are just headaches..i would instead prefer lots of freedom to travel and experience life...

  • And I, Fazal, I would make more perfume (brands) :-)

  • greetings, Aromyth! I like "gilded plastic" as a term. It fits perfectly. thanks for that!

  • Interesting thoughts. We live in a world of smoke and mirrors. But Tauer is not part of that thanks to your honesty and openness.

  • Andy,

    Very interesting set of topics. I've not tried a similar Google search, maybe your foray will prompt one.
    One thing that strikes me in many magazines I read is the level of cost of the items in the pages. Who spends $900 on a bathing suit? Why?
    While I know exposure of your products is important to marketing, I'm glad you are too poor to market your product out of my reach.

  • Such an interesting post and great comments today! Maybe green is not a popular luxury color because it represents nature, something that is free? :-) i love green, and spending time in nature. That is why I was anxious to save a lot of money and not work so much to pay for "luxury items" - you are so right, our time is the most precious luxury of all, and irreplaceable.

  • Great post, Andy! Media is just a big (expensive) fantasyland in which nothing is as it seems. Tales of excess may be entertaining up to a certain point but reading most magazines is like eating air.

    Disclaimer: I used to work for a company that did heavily-styled food photographs, and it was my job to spray water on the fruit to make it look fresh and delicious. So I was rather cynical to start with! :-)

  • Great post Andy! Most of those magazines are all ads.
    I will have to google luxury myself and see what they come up with. I am "poor" too but always seem to be able to scrape up enough money to buy a Tauer fragrance.

  • That's a very interesting line of thought today, Andy. I think we also should mention our health as a precious luxury. Instead of saving up for a yacht, we'd better keep some funds ready to restore our health, when nature is knocking at our door.

  • Wow! so many comments! Thanks so much to you all. Just a few replies from my side:
    Phyllis, I know that my scents got more expensive recently, and the more I am grateful that there are perfume lovers out there appreciating quality and passion. Thanks!
    Melissa: I used to work for a company that did not produce anything except paperwork and concepts and reviews: In this context spraying water over fruits sounds like the real thing :-)
    Yes, Tara, I was thinking along these lines. What's for free can't be luxurious, right? it's actually very wrong.
    Hi Steve, I am clueless when it comes to 900 $ for a bathing suit, too. I am so naive that I would not even realize that a particular bathing suit on someone is worth 900$. I guess you need to be inside a certain circle to understand.

  • Wow! I stay away for a couple of days, and you spring this on us!

    The issue of 'secret advertising' is becoming a huge problem and I'm pleased you've raised it here. Yes, we can no longer trust that the content of our magazines has been impartially selected by editors and journalists.

    I recently met someone who works in the advertising department of a magazine. She told me that she quite often forces journalists to pretend they love certain brands, simply because those brands are buying the advertising space. Money talks!

    It's sad that the same disease seems to have spread to bloggers. I can totally vouch for the claim you make in your post: some bloggers are now saying that they won't feature certain brands on their blog unless conditions x, y and z have been met. Of course, they don't make it clear to their readers that the brands they feature are those which have met these conditions. It's disgusting behaviour, if you ask me.

    I understand that, in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Office Of Fair Trading are looking into the matter... but I wonder if they'll bring about any real change.

    And as for colours... it's interesting to see how the palette changes when you search for 'richness', 'quality' or 'expensive'. 'Luxury seems to have the most consistent colours, for some reason.

  • Oh, wow, thanks Persolaise for sharing this information from the advertising department. Interesting, but not surprising really. I am a bit puzzled be the amazed reactions in general to this post. I never thought about it that it could not be on everybody's agenda. Blind spot....
    Money talks. It always has and always will.

  • Most interesting post! I also Googled and got similar images/colors but aside from color I felt there to be the presence of gender. Fast cars, yachts, men's watches. Blue is traditionally associated with the male sex. Many mainstream men's fragrances come in black bottles and smell like the blue ocean. I don't know what any of this means but I was just noticing my gut reaction to the images of luxury.

  • Excellent observations today. Along these lines, I also have difficulty understanding celebrity endorsements. Why would anyone purchase product "XYZ" because "Celebrity A" endorses it? They're likely only endorsing it because they were paid large sums of money. Why would I spend more for this product and enrich a celebrity? No, I am inclined to avoid any product heavily endorsed by celebrities. Thank you, Andy... for being genuine. You and your perfumes.

  • Ah... interesting, Elisa
    I did not realize the gender bias, but you are right! In my humble opinion and observation: What a boring male luxury experience :-)

  • same thinking here, Michael. No celebrity endorsed products here (with one exception: I got myself (for curiosity reasons) a bottle of Passion "by" E. Taylor. These days, it could be launched as niche...

  • Dear Mr. Tauer
    Thank you for posting to this blog! Your thoughts are valuable to so many people it seems, including myself, and in particular it also seems that you express your thoughts with a kind of unique grace words cannot achieve, through your perfume collection. That is like completing a circle that is often left incomplete. How sad the circle is so often left incomplete. How ecstatic to know that, occasionally, discernment guides certain minds to such completion. I am a student living in America (I cannot afford ANY sort of luxury), yet somehow I was able to experience some of your scents, and, being humbled, I feel that my life has been greatly improved through this unlikely encounter. Thank you again!

  • What an interesting Google experiment! I was struck by the mechanistic nature of the images that popped up -- cars, boats, pavement, everything a machine or a human construction. There was the sea, but only as seen from the deck of a yacht or the cement slab patio of a "luxury" resort. It all seems to suggest luxury as a triumph of Man over, well, the rest of the world, over Nature. If we can define luxury as that which primarily brings us pleasure, then I too have to cast my vote for greenness, and time, and space, and the animal dignity of sensory, emotional, creative enjoyments unfettered by the requirements of human society.

    If you Google "luxuriance," by the way, green appears in heavy doses, along with naked ladies. :)

  • Thanks for sharing, Isabella
    Interesting, Isabella: Luxuriance indeed gives a lot of green, but I do not get the naked ladies. I get a lot of men in underwear :-)

  • Wonderful and very true observation Andy! Great article. Yes, this is very true. I have notice blogs with a criteria of pay me to advertise on my blog for an unseen amount of money and most of these are start-ups! I receive NO advertising revenue from brands for the reviews and articles I write. I write them because I love the brand/fragrance. But this makes me look like I am behind the times but I do know that what I write comes from the heart and I have NO problems with brands working with me and submitting samples to me. I think it is kind of them to do this.

    Its a shame that this has happened in the luxury industry because it has become only to make the money and not a "real" love for the product and company.

  • Andy, inspired by your post, I built a small app that gets a color palette based off top google image search results:

    luxury is indeed colored dark and blue!


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