Monthly Archives: July 2017

2 Item(s)

  • when birds sing

    Monday, leaving the factory after a long day labeling bottles and packing orders, I heard a bird. It was chirping, loud and different in a way I cannot describe. I looked up and saw the bird on the rim of the roof covering the parking lot. It would not stop. Yesterday, again in the factory, labeling bottles, I watched down on the roof from the first floor of the factory building. The bird was sitting there, with food in its beak. Next to the bird waiting there with food was a dead bird.

    I went up to the third floor where I store bottles and packaging material and where I paint when I find time. A whiff of sadness filled the room. It is interesting, I figured, that we can relate and understand birds. Birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs. Us and them are very different. Still, we can connect: a privilege and a responsability. And we can abstract and look forward: plan and take decisions that catapult us out of our tracks.

    The bird probably fell off the nest when it stormed the other day. The weather had changed from tropical suffocating heat to a chilly and wet sequences of depressions coming from the west. The last three mornings felt like autumn and were a solid reminder that autumn is coming. Indeed: Pitti Fragranze, the Florence perfume fair, is in about 6 weeks. It will be the starting point of the season. This, the season, the time when people buy more perfume, is the reason why I am hiding behind bottles in the factory day after day: I sold more than expected the last few months. And was paid less than expected, but that's another story.

    I am basically trying to catch up and build (some) stock now as the summer months are always a bit quiet. Yesterday, I finished labeling a thousand bottles of air du désert marocain. That's good. Next: Packing them. These tasks are very repetitive. They are ZEN, if looked at from the right angle, and time to reflect. Theoretically, I should think about marketing texts for what's coming next. Practically, I just think: Smell it yourself, trust your nose, and make up your own mind. Not what my Italian partner waits for but I am tempted to just leave it there.

    An hour later the chirping had stopped and the bird did not show up anymore.

    Photo credit: Jonas Kambli,

  • peak perfume

    I am hoping that we have soon reached peak perfume: the climax of new perfumes sent into an oversaturated market. Maybe I will put an article together for the next tauer MAG, about peak perfume.


    I am working on the next edition of the Tauer MAG which is a side project but I am loving it. It is refreshing as I do not have to worry about logistics and stock and packaging at all. I only have to worry about text and pictures. The plan is to go in print in August. I will write a story, better: I am writing a story for the MAG that covers the attar, going into some details of what's it like to create perfume and what it's like to make it. And, because I am thinking and writing there: I have a hard time writing here on the blog. Funny.

    My goal for the next edition of the Tauer MAG: Provide a bit of an inside what it is really like to create and make a perfume. I feel that I can make a difference there. These days, many do not make a difference anymore between creative directors and perfume creators. And these days, with uncounted launches and new brands, I think I can make a difference telling what's it like not to produce in Grasse.

    I am not sure about the above mentioned peak perfume article that is hopping around in my head. Another title might be: Surviving of the fittest....A little insider article about why we see all these discounts on various brands and what it actually means. And no: there is no reason for consumers to be happy seeing niche brands that launched a year ago (or two years ago) being discounted by 30% or more in perfumeries. It basically means: the brand is not selling, thus it is sold off, and hence it is dying except somebody has money and can keep it going.

    The result: shiny zombie brands.

    In that sense I feel very sorry for everybody who puts all his money into building a new perfume brand and presenting it happily at Pitti in Florence. You really need to be very special to survive these days.

    But then: Maybe I should not write such an article. It really feels like negative territory. To be seen.

    I am heading happily for my little perfume factory now. Adding my share to peak perfume, trying to be very, very special.



2 Item(s)