creating scents

Items 11 to 20 of 109 total

  • still going green

    Yesterday, I packed 240 kg perfume and because this is so super boring I took breaks. Usually, I do not do "lunch" breaks in the sense of : I usually do not eat much during the day, but instead of eating I paint or do other brain twisting things. Like thinking about perfume formulas.

    Yesterday, I tried another self portrait based on a selfie on the ipad. Yes, I know: No smile. (there was a time when people did not smile when their picture was taken. ...) When I showed it to my partner I got back: "This is a serious picture. Could end up on a bank note." -And I replied: " but then we have to hurry up as bank notes might disappear". Sometimes, I have clients paying cash, a couple of thousand Euros, on the dining table, and yes: They end up in the books, no cheating there. But I just love it when I am paid in real money, as real as it can get when we are talking about Euro.

    For two years now, every time we get some Euro that I will not spend by sourcing in Euro: I get rid of them as fast as I can. I do not trust the Euro.

    And here's the thing: I am not the only one. And because this is so, the Swiss Franc is strong and the Euro weak and at the very end of the day it is just paper. The older I get the less I worry about money. Funny.

    So I was working on the portrait, and thinking "green". I am still working on a fun experimental green scent that might end up as this year's fun splash scent (but not water based) on Tauerville. A client of mine asked me whether I will do another one in tauerville (the last one was the highly experimental water based vetiver & petitgrain). Maybe I am in for a tradition there. But I am undecided.

  • Hyacinth and other treats

    It is spring in Zurich, for sure and for real and it is fantastic. The hyacinths are in bloom on the veranda, more than last year as I planted more bulbs in autumn. Not all of them are equally fragrant and they do not smell exactly the same. But they smell and it is very inspiring, indeed.

    And it is not the only thing that smells. With the warmth of the March sun, the damp earth smells of rotten leaves and mushrooms and more. Maybe I realize it more because I am dealing with it when keeping the weeds under control or when replanting (pique) the various seedlings that grow these days in the house of tauer: Tomatoes, egg plant, paprika, and a couple of vegetables that I have never tried. Exciting and so far: Success.

    Quite a success was also the Fruitchouli flash on Tauerville: If you haven't tried it yet.... well, you might want to give it a try. It is good. I do not offer samples on Tauerville, but you find the fruitchouli online at your favorite tauer retailers. So yes, Fruitchouli is doing nicely. With one side note: I think, just because of the name, a lot of perfume lovers think "this is not a serious perfume". Which is a bit odd. I mean: In light of what IS taken seriously (no names here)...

    There for sure is less humour in the community than I'd thought. And it is a pet line of me: Don't take perfume too serious.

    Not even me, when composing, take things entirely seriously: The other day I was working on a couple of ideas. One of them is green, super green, and fresh, and more. It is a fun idea, totally not meant to be an oeuvre that will change the world. Just a fun idea and it actually turned sort of nice. And it fits with the spring mood these days.

    Also fitting with the spring mood these days: This week I will be packing a lot of perfume boxes, for a shipment leaving the factory in a couple of days. Busy days ahead.

  • learning from the classics

    Today's picture: a pencil drawing based on Segantini's painting of a dead goose. The drawing class that I am attending these days goes to museums, where we analyse paintings, discuss them, the flow, the proportions, the light, the texture and where we sketch them, trying to capture what makes a particular painting a particularly good painting. Next week, we will go and visit Roman and Greek statues and sketch them. The human figure...

    In perfumery, I do the same thing: I am looking for classics, and try to look at them, searching for what makes them special.

    The problem: There are not many new "classics", but the classics are usually old creations. This analysis is not a copy paste work. Most of the classics cannot easily be copied as some of the raw materials are not there anymore, or they were used in quantities that are not allowed today. It is more like: Trying to capture and understand the "gestalt". Sometimes, you look at them for years and suddenly, you realize: Ah.... that's the trick!


    I do not have a vintage collection, though. But I have some classics that - although reformulated over and over again- are still good. I guess a really well done perfume can stand a couple of reformulations before it loses it's "gestalt". Thus, my partner said the other day " you get really tough in your statements about perfumes". And I replied, yes, but only about the new ones.

  • too much

    Here, winter is finally here, with some snow and icy temperatures. But the sun is shining and -my favorite saying in winter- you can already feel who the sun gains strength.

    The weekend was busy, with many things, like jogging in a little snow storm and an observation; The whitest snow flakes look actually black against a grey sky.

    hmm. I do not know what that means, but I like the observation. Everything is a matter of the perspective, maybe.

    I was also painting, working on a portrait in oil, maybe wanting too much too fast and sort of failing. But I think I can correct it.

    I was also working on a couple of perfume ideas, sniffing forth and back, and somewhat "losgelöst - German for "free floating" mixing a few ideas, wanting too much too fast and sort of failing. But I can correct it. On Sunday I did a quick pencil sketch (today's picture), practice work so to say, for the "drawing in the museum course" that I am attending. Here's the totally disturbing and disappointing experience from day one of the course, last week: Drawing a human figure, based on a 3D classical statue, with movement in the gesture, is soooooo difficult. Just to get the proportions right: Amazingly difficult. Because what we see is not what we draw, or maybe the other way round: Because what we draw is how we see and when seeing we do not pick up reality but focus on what's important to us or what draws our attention. And bang! You draw gigantic heads because you focused on the head. My first sketches in the museum were so pathetic.

    In perfumery: Totally the same thing. You are thinking about a nice little note and because you focus on it, it becomes overpowering and out of proportions. At least it often works like that for me.

    What helps: doing testing sketches, just a few scented lines, to get a feeling for the proportions. And , like in drawing, if you have done many of them, you can start painting without having to look at the object and then things start to fall into place. That's the hope at least.


  • bad nose days

    Good morning from Zurich, we I have an excellent nose day. This means: The nose is clear and what I smell is lovely or at least interesting. Yesterday was an office day and as always when I sit in front of the computer: I put some trials on paper strips and smell them while I go through excel files or work on other digital stuff. You know, these days, computer work can fill an entire day when running a business: and the trend shows that everything goes more online and more online means more computer. No problem with that.

    But, like one of the google guys said in an interview the other day in one of the Swiss newspapers: Companies have to become (Information Technology) tech companies. Me, too. Whatever that means.

    Today, again, is sort of an office morning. The paper strips from yesterday are still here, sitting next to me; and that's why the nose day is a good nose day. A whiff of Ambroxan and Cashmeran makes me happy. It does not need a lot. Especially Ambroxan. A wonder molecule. Amber gris, salt, metallic vibrant woods, floral tonalities. Just amazing stuff. And not cheap but not tremendously expensive. It has this magical power to be present, without being loud or suffocating. Even if you use a lot, it is never really loud, in that sense it feels like a Swiss molecule.

    A bad nose day, happens, too. Like when being brave and spritzing a trial early in the morning and realising that on skin the scent is totally different and that it is made to last, like nuclear fallout sitting there all day long. It happens, is not tragic, but still: Totally annoying. That's - by the way- why I absolutely hate it if strangers spray something near me or worse: on me, when I enter a mall or alike. Usually, it is crap, with a half life of plutonium, and if sprayed onto the jacket, a companion for weeks.

  • in the mood

    I love statistics and like most human beings I am always looking for patterns here and there. So, the other day, I was looking when I create most of my perfumes that end up later as products somewhere on a shelf. Or better said: When I started working on them. I realized: It is October. The statistical basis is limited, of course, but still: There is a pattern there.

    And like most human beings, once you find a pattern, you start wondering why there is a pattern. One of the blessings and one of the human tragedies: We need to explain our world.

    Thus, today's picture, me in the mood to mix, but missing an explanation really. Usually, October is the busiest month for me. Maybe it is like a balance: Mixing scents and coming up with new ideas while trying to churn out all the parcels.

    Anyhow, I was -like in previous years- in the mood recently and worked on a couple of ideas; failing mostly but as always: the journey starts with the first step. Let's see where we are heading there. What I am pretty sure about, however, is: November will bring me to New York. Nov. 7 I shall visit Twisted Lily there, in Brooklyn, and present my line, and I will hand out samples of Dark Mysterious Woods (running title), a scent that is done and finished but I have not decided what to do with it. Maybe I'll learn it there, in NY.

  • copy of nature

    Uff. We (my two helping hands and me) sort of managed to get packed and ready what needed to get packed in the "factory". Like: Piles of air du désert sitting there, waiting for autumn and the holiday season and "if we are lucky" it will last into early next year.

    Thus, that exercise is sort of over for the moment. Back to the routine of doing every day a bit of everything.

    And back to working on ideas and scents: Like... sandalwood. Sandalwood, Santal notes: I just love them. Quite often I feel that real sandalwood from Mysore (santalum album) is actually good enough a material to make a perfume by itself. A single ingredient perfume: compare this to other single molecule perfumes.... But then I also feel that a nice "sandalwood centric" perfume is actually missing in my line or the tauerville line.

    Not too easy, though, as sandalwood as a note is very gentle and it is tough to come up with a nice sandalwood note that stands out, without being overcome by other notes. And then: Sandalwood, the real thing, is expensive. Thus, you need to build a sandalwood core that is enhanced (enhanced sounds better than diluted) and that costs less.

    For instance with Bacdanol. A creamy, cosmetic feel, less woody, more on the floral side, sandalwood note. An single molecule that, combined with other molecules, like Sandalore (a bit more on the woody sandalwood side) gives actually quite a natural feel of a sandalwood note.

    Now... the question: Do you really need the real thing inside, a least a bit,  if the substitute is close? Actually, the substitue might be recognised by many perfume lovers as the real thing because the real thing is not known to many and we are all conditioned to the substitute.

    Well, my answer so far: Yes. You need the real thing.

    I am really looking forward to playing again with scents and talking about it. Time to get out a bit more of the factory....

  • Peach

    Here's a picture of a peach; the flat variety, delicate to transport, but much more aromatic than the round, ordinary peaches. The season started (south of Switzerland, not here as they do not grow well here) and I just couldn't resist publishing a quick camera picture here. Of course, peach is also a perfumery note, and I used peach as note in a scent or two, too. Reverie au jardin, for instance, features a tiny dash of a yummy peach note. I used peach in a couple, especially one pipeline scent. That's a scent that is not launched but sits in the Excel, waiting for its chance to get out into the material world.

    Right now, the pipeline is filled and hence also clogged. As teasing it feels to me to launch and launch and launch: The balance of how many scents come when is important.  And then, right now, I am sort of busy here with PHI-une rose de Kandahar (that actually features another fruity note: Apricot. And that note is natural, from Robertet). I really, really, really need to bring back PHI une rose de Kandahar in September as I am saying no: Out of stock! for months now.

    That's why I am a bit silent recently on facebook etc. PHI, and Air, and more needs to get onto the shelves.

    Usually, peach is not natural, when mentioned as perfume note, but there are natural extracts that you can get from Robertet (here's the web page, but there are no details, really).

    How it smells? Well,... think: peach "schnapps". Good. But the natural apricot was better.


  • Vetiver MD

    The other day I got more vetiver, the real stuff, shipped from France, produced by "molecular distillation". This distillation method gives rise to a special olfactive quality, where the gentle woody, vibrant citrus notes of vetiver come out and the rough earthy "dirty" olfactive quality  becomes secondary. It is still sitting here in the stock room, where it will get better. Not everything gets better over time, but vetiver sure does.

    I do not use this quality in many scents (you'll find it as a secondary line in PHI-une rose de Kandahar, though) but I felt I will need more in the future and was worried that it is not always available. Me thinks: Vetiver, the real thing, the natural ingredient, is one of those ingredients that are misunderstood and not appreciated for what it is. I am pretty sure that many would be amazed what vetiver really smells like, coming from what is sold as "vetiver fragrance".

    In many "vetiver" fragrance you do not get a lot vetiver actually, but vetiverol, one of the constituents of vetiver essential oil.

    Anyhow: I have used this "super" vetiver MD in a couple of experiments, and I am sure there's more to come. Because... it is sooooo good. Actually, it is so good that it feels like a perfume in itself, just asking for a few decorative elements before it can go into bottles. But for sure, I will not start new experiments this week: There is definitely too much going on this week (hence no post yesterday). Yesterday, I have sent 200+ kg of perfume packaging material over the oceans, and more of packaged perfumes needs to go there and north and east.

    And then, ... well, then I have a couple of funny side projects, that are totally low priority but that keep me busy; you know... the funnel (funny) projects. This week will see one of them going live. On tauerville, though, as there, on  tauerville, there's a bit more room for funny, totally not important, but nevertheless totally relevant ideas.

  • Ozonic versus dark cistus twists

    Today, right before I started writing this blog post about my "aqua fidelis" perfume trial, a review of PHI-une rose de Kandahar went live on the Pierredenishhapur blog, talking about PHI-une rose de Kandahar, with a lovely intro about the Afghan rose oil and then talking about the multifaceted aspects of this rose de Kandahar. Here's the link. It is a post that comes with a couple of compliments that are highly appreciated. What a great coincidence!

    A coincidence because I was thinking 5 minutes ago about naming scents, wearing the latest iteration of "aqua fidelis", my fresh "andy" interpretation of an established theme "calone", fresh ozonic, aquatic.

    This aqua fidelis actually is quite modern in my nose. Features some fresh natural head notes/ingredients and sees an ozonic freshness complemented by airy woods without any darkness. Very translucent and bright and fresh. Don't ask me what I will do with it. I am clueless, really. But anyhow: sitting there and musing, I realized that my two best sellers "air du désert marocain" and "PHI-une rose de Kandahar" come with very evocative names. Part of their success? Who knows...

    And while thinking about this, and smelling my wrist, in some sort of amazement, I realized that I actually have not one "light" scent in my tauer perfumes collection. Even my "cologne du Maghreb" comes with a dark cistus twist. A bit at least.

    So I figured, I might - when ready- really need to introduce an aqua fidelis. But aqua fidelis is the running title of an excel sheet only, and coming from above's conclusion, it might need another name. Like ......and yes, here, there's an idea missing.

    Today's picture doesn't fit perfectly. But at least we have the ozonic sea freshness in there. But it is too dark. It is another sea picture, done yesterday, oil pastel on canvas.

Items 11 to 20 of 109 total