creating scents

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  • Kimchi season

    The weather has changed. What was 15°C and sunshine is about 5 °C and grey. "Nature is ready for winter"; I thought when hiking the last mile on Friday. I guess every day without snow is another day with a free lunch for deers and birds. After this year's long and heavy winter they sure deserved it.

    I feel that folks around me are getting ready for winter, too. Marketing folks know about us reaching out for the candles, too.  A lot of cocooning related ads, folks nestling down in beds. The weather lady, too. She warned us of rain on Saturday and recommended staying in bed on Sunday.


    My winter mood shows more in other activities. And as I have to work on a large (like really large) order: I will spend my next days inside, with bottles and boxes. And: We successfully entered Kimchi making groove (love this stuff! right now a bowl with it is getting ready and ferments on the balcony), bread baking (think loooooooooong predough), and ordering fragrant material. I got more rose Carbondioxide extract from Bulgaria (Rosa damascena). This material IS expensive (think 6000 $ a kg), priced somewhere in between rose oil and rose absolute. It is less rich in Phenylethanol, the major constituent of rose absolue, but contains a lot of molecules that you find in rose oil and is quite waxy. In a sense, it comes very close to the natural rose, closer actually  than a rose concrète (the stuff an absolute is made from). To be honest: I have not really made my mind up what to get done with the rose CO2. It is not easy to work with. A soap might be interesting, though. Think: Really luxurious. Really. Luxurious.

    Today's picture: red leaves on a autumn twig, scanned Saturday, before the rain.

  • scanning

    Yesterday, while jogging through wine-yards under the most gentle October sun you can imagine, I figured that there are other modes of creative survival possible , just in case folks would stop supporting my perfumery venture, or I would get bored doing scented objects.

    I jogged and figured that I would probable start developing my scanning pleasure and work my way through there. I love to scan flowers, and one of these days , I thought, I want to further develop this. Maybe my thinking about scanners was initiated by my meeting the scent eating monster on Friday afternoon. The scent eating monster is this strange creature that you encounter when mixing. It eats things you put into a mixture. Without leaving traces of it. When composing you encounter it quite frequently. ... my encounter with it lead to disappearance of sandalwood. I worked on an optimized linden blossom, or better: I thought I could bring in a twist by adding a bit of a salicylate (think powder). And then the scent eating monster came by. Bottom line: No salicylates in this one.  If you are interested in the linden blossom experiments that Mandy Aftel and I share: Here is the link (again) to Nathan Branch's blog. I will see that I find some time this week to write and share again where I am there...

    Anyhow: I will continue where I stopped the other day, making more soaps. And thinking on this year's advent calendar and working on 2011's launches. Right now, when  finished with this short post, I will order some fragrant materials that I need for the scents coming in autumn 2011. And while wrapping soaps, I will figure out what to do in this year's advent calendar, starting December 1.

    And with this I leave you for today, enjoy today's picture, scanned yesterday.

  • even more soaps

    So many things happening these days! I have another video for you: Packing the soaps into paper (after having wrapped them in cellophane foil)

    Today we finish the first round of 400 soaps. 400 more to go. While packing them I will use the meditative groove to think perfumes.  I will have to have a look at the linden blossom trial. I feel I need to adjust a little bit there. And I want to have a look at the cologne: The one that is matured and diluted, that I called "COLOGNE DU MAGHREB", a cologne with a woody base, looking good to me so far: I features lines of cedar wood from Morocco, hints of ambrein and cistus and a fine line of vetiver. I looked at the formula yesterday: 19 ingredients. Quite complex already. Among them also rose absolute from Morocco, Petitgrain from Morocco, Neroli from Tunesia, Orange blossom absolute from Egypt ... I mentioned it before: This cologne trial is all natural/botanical. And it feels ok that way, no need to add any synthetics there. With this formula in mind, I want to play on the cologne with a sandalwood /rose lines in the background. To be honest: I do not know where I am heading there, but I love doing it, so I do it.

    And here is the video. Enjoy...

    [pro-player width='380' height='271' type='video' image=''][/pro-player]

  • open letters on linden blossom

    It is with great pleasure (and many thanks for Nathan's support) that I announce the next series of open letters between Mandy Aftel and myself on Linden blossom and creating perfumes from a broader perspective. I invite you to read more on our take on this natural beauty here (click here) on Nathan's blog.

    Today's picture shows you two little vials of a dilution each (10%, 16%) that I made over the weekend, after two weeks of maturation of a trial, labeled October 11. So far so good. We need more patience. Anything else that is relevant there right now: See the open letter on Nathan's blog.

    Other news today: It is a logistics troubles day. I sent off juice a week ago, of the CARILLON POUR UN ANGE, in various dilutions, to test it for the scent cards production that we want get done, in France. Yep, you guess it right: So far the parcel is not delivered. It probably never will. I need to make a second parcel with dilutions to be on the safe side, as the French Post seem challenged these days. But it is not strike related, they simply have a hard time delivering a parcel with a computer printed address that is correct.

    On another note, before the second coffee (no need for an extra coffee rush): Because I sort of did not trust the track and trace of one of the last big parcels,sent by truck, I checked it again. And a quick telephone call confirmed it: They lost it, cannot find it anymore. Now they search it.

    And finally, I am still waiting for an answer to my e-mail query where ordered and paid products are. It is my first order from a particular essential oil producer and they simply seem incapable of answering or providing support. I guess you can feel it: We are not amused down here and I will soon talk publicly about my experience with them, what I usually do not do when things are in negative territory.

    On a bright note to finish it all up: The Cologne, now baptized COLOGNE DU MAGHREB (see yesterday's dilution remark) is lovely. I went to bed with a spritz/splash and slept like  a prince, assuming princes sleep well.

  • Letters to a fellow perfumer (2)

    Back from Grenoble! It was  a bit of a drive down there and back in a day, but true worth it. More on this trip later. There is hope for Tauer in France...

    I have perfect reading recommendation for your weekend:
    Mandy Aftel and Andy Tauer's Letters to a fellow perfumer. Continued here on Nathan Branch's blog.
    Letter round 3
    Letter round 2
    Letter round 1

    And we continue putting some perfumes into boxes. And while we do so I have time to think a bit more on the Linden blossom.As you may find out reading letter 2 and 3: I got a first version that seems to hold together. It needs to mature a bit, and we hope it will turn right.

    With fragrant greetings, as always: Enjoy your weekend and your reading!

    Today's picture shows you some flacons, pre-polishing state.

  • from the kitchen to the street

    with the days getting shorter and the temperatures reaching single digits in the morning, you open the newspaper these days and get all the ads about how to live with a nice couch. Or how to cook nicely. Or how to nestle down. I am less a couch person, but a lab guy. The shorter the days, the more time I spend on my bench playing with scents. At least when the sun has gone down. No idea why this is.

    Thus, yesterday, after having finished the first order for my Hongkong distribution partner, I continued working on the Linden blossom. More on this delicate lady follows shortly on Nathan's blog, where Mandy Aftel and I are exchanging some thoughts and ideas on perfumery and on raw materials such as the Linden blossom.

    Is there a need for yet a new tauer? To be honest: nope. Not really. Yesterday, in my meeting with the design guru, where we decided what we will launch in 2011, I addressed this point: We need to find a way to bring stuff from the kitchen to the street. Something like seasonal wear. I guess how to proceed there is work in progress and needs some thinking. And so do the launches for 2011, thus I ask you for your patience there.

    Today's picture shows you a close up of what blooms inside tauer house these days: An orchid of unknown name, pretty much without any fragrance

  • it's the rosmary or nada silage bomb

    For a variety of reasons, desperately falling in love with neroli lately being one of them, I work on an eau de cologne. Or a "cologne". So far, my cologne trial was very, very classical, and a typical eau de cologne. An explosion of citrus right in front of you. Eau de colognes in the real, classical, sense are not made to last. They are made to enjoy for a moment or two. Nada silage bomb. Call it a citrus bomb without much collateral damage 5 minutes after application.

    I have a composition, a classical eau de cologne, that is quite lovely by now, all natural /botanical by the way. Featuring lemon and bergamot, white grapefruit (tons of the three of them), clementine, red mandarine, neroli, a touch orange blossom absolute, some rose and geranium, hints of lavender,  clary sage, a few other bits and: Rosemary. And it is the rosemary that makes all the difference. I am using a rosemary from Tunesia, rich in cineol and campher.

    Like in all perfumery, it is about contrast; this is true for a cologne, too. A cologne lives by the contrast between rough, campherous, wild rosemary (and/or thyme and other campherous scents) and the freshness and juicy brightness of the citrus notes.

    Right now, I am moving forward from there: create a cologne that lasts a bit longer and set a more unique accent, like building a fine layer of woods. The goal is not to touch the explosion of citrus, with close to zero silage, leaving only the finest layer of rockrose and cedarwood on the skin. The wearer will not realize it after a while, people passing by will not notice, but it will be there if you get a touch closer. I am staying all natural/botanical here: only steam distilled essences or solvent extracted flowers.

    Today's picture shows you a rosemary, somewhat pale, seen in the wild in southern France 2010.

  • hand in hand

    Today Nathan published two open letters on his blog, side by side, one by Mandy Aftel and one by myself. We talk to each other, starting an open communication between two perfumers, coming from two angles, sharing the same passion, following the same star.

    In the future, we will continue to discuss and share how we create perfumes and how we approach the creative process.

    We will do so on two examples: We will work with  FIRE TREE essential oil to create a perfume. And we will work with LINDEN BLOSSOM Carbon dioxide extracts to create a second perfume. Both materials are natural treasures, and challenging yet rewarding to work with.

    We chose Nathan's blog as a platform to exchange and share with our readers. Please visit and leave a comment there to say thank you to Nathan. I will do so in a second. Here you find his post, click here.

    Creating perfumes is not easy, an endless seeming galaxy of raw materials demands a careful selection. While creating and exchanging we will for sure come across many decision making points and we will walk over many bridges.

    One of the bridges we have just crossed together, hand in hand, with an open mind and a heart that sings.

  • creative day

    Uff. It is Friday, this week's big shipment is ready in front of the house for pick-up by Schenker, and I can worry about other things, such as my hair or creation of new perfumes. I decided that Friday afternoon will be my "creative day", translating into at least 4 hours working on fragrances.

    Otherwise, if not scheduling it like that: No chance. Too much going on....But first things first: Newsletter final texts, pictures for the shop. I will hit the essential oils in the afternoon before hitting downtown.

    Today's creative challenge: Ambreine. I get mine from Biolandes in France. It is a natural substance, isolated in a few steps from Cistus ladaniferus, to be precise: solvent extraction of  the concrète. It is not easy to work with, as it is -in all its beauty- very quickly dominating an entire composition. I want to use it in a mix where I just need its dry woody incense effect, without the ambergris part. And it has a harsh side.  Let us see how we can soften it. I guess I will bring in some green contrast. We will see.

    I feel, perfumery is very much about light and darkness, about contrasts, about effects...I need to think a bit more on contrasts in perfumery.

    And with this I wish you a great weekend, and here is your reading recommendation for it:
    Open Letters Monthly, on "difficult pleasure", featuring among other things Lonestar Memories. Enjoy!

    (picture of today: A cut out from a larger photo taken last weekend, stones and water in sunlight)

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