creating scents

Items 31 to 40 of 109 total

  • unfinished

    I wish you all a great start into a new week! Today's topic: Unfinished things. The picture of today fits. A little mandarin painted yesterday, after a still life session in last week's aquarelle class where we did mandarins et al. It is not finished, but I haven't decided what to add, really. Maybe I won't change it anymore: I am getting better at leaving paintings unfinished. They come with their own esthetic qualities.

    There are other things unfinished where I am getting better just letting them sit there. Like emails. I get so many. And I learned to just ignore some.

    And there are perfumes, that are sort of "unfinished". Or better said: I thought that they were unfinished. But the more I smell them, the less I know what to add or remove. So they sit there, and wait, patiently. And me -sometimes- thinks that the white area, the outlines, the sketchy color splashes make sense.

    Other unfinished things: My website. First there's always something that you should or could adjust when it comes to the digital doors to the world of tauer. Initially, earlier this year, I planned for an update of the site. Adding a few features that miss, in my opinion, since years, like more interactivity, or like more and easier to catch information about tauer, news etc. But in the course of the year, I decided to leave it the way it is right now. I told this my IT guru the other day; I am so not convinced that the financial /banking/confidence crisis in Europe is over that I prefer not to invest there in IT, and here (in Europe). And I guess, I am not alone.

    I guess this is the core of the economic problem in Europe: No confidence. This, and encrusted structures. And there is no easy fix. Contrary to the US, Europe decided to leave some issues unfixed and unfinished.

    You know, I am up and running and building my brand for almost ten years now. For 7 years I did so in economies that are in crisis mode. I learned a couple of lessons there. One of them: Leave some things unfinished and wait.



  • bloom in November

    Today's watercolor illustration shows you a tuberose that is blooming these days in Zurich, outside, on the veranda. I painted it on Saturday in the factory, after having finished my job in there. Of course, I did not take the flower there, but rather used a picture that I took with the phone.

    The real tuberose can still be outside as it was a spectacular autumn so far. Soon, it might have to go inside, together with the lemon tree and the jasmine bush. It's scent: Amazing, nice, sweet, powdery, musky, creamy, fruity,  bright  and with an indolic touch. And much more: No words. But so inspiring.

    The job in the factory on Saturday: Shooting pictures of the PHI-une rose de Kandahar flacon. The job on Sunday: Getting it polished with a little photoshop help.

    So that's done, but there is one aspect that I might change today through photoshop. The label; there's too much grate showing through. I think I will change it by morphing the reality with illustrator generated pictures of the label. You know: Close to no flacon we see these days, printed or online is "real". The same is true for pictures of models, stars, cars, food, watches, animals. It is all worked up and nicer, cuddlier, more brilliant, more yummy than reality. Since I optimize pictures I do not believe any picture anymore. There is no picture that you could not create.



  • success in perfumery

    In one of my comments on yesterday's blog post, I wrote what some of my perfumer friends and me often say:

    "success in perfumery is twofold: a) get the creation right. b) get it sold."

    Here are a couple of consequences, or better: conclusions, that you might draw if you take the above seriously. There are a lot! of unsuccessful perfumes out there. And the two success parameters easily get into conflict. Not in the sense of: A beautiful piece of art does not sell well, in GENERAL, as it is -special, unique, avant garde, new, intellectual.... That's not true, but rather the appeasement by creators (me not excluded there). But the conflict might -for instance- come from cost factors to (seemingly) get the creations right.

    Actually, I think the above translates into: You have to stay loyal to WHAT you create and HOW you create. But, at the end of the day, you must always create FOR the others out there, not for yourself.

    At least, if you wish the "others" to finance you by buying your creations. If you create for the fun of it, then it's a different story, of course.

    So, anyhow: You see... a slippery road, a thin line, a balance act, and easy to find yourself being up a blind alley.

    And ...oh so relative, confusing and diffuse.

    But here's the thing: Sometimes, when building your little empire, as a brand or a person, you tend to forget to this, and you tend to forget to ask  from time to time, and to listen to the answers.

    For me, Rose flash, was such a question; the rose flash link goes to fragrantica. There, you find a few comments, what perfume lovers say about this rose. Interesting answers actually.

    Today's picture is a snapshot from an outdoor exhibition in Milan, sponsored by Vogue Italy. Movement. Fits perfectly.

  • inventing roses

    or "re-inventing" roses. Today's picture to the left shows you a rough sketch that I did a while ago, in search of ideas. A quick, flashy sketch. In reality, it is only 15x20 cm, watercolor on paper, using a thick brush.

    But it looks almost like a graphiti. On a pale blue wall. There is something fragile in there, a transient element. And a code-like element. The rose being reduced to a code consisting of flower petals in semi-3D. I will use this picture one fine day. It has a special quality and I almost always fiddle around with roses...

    I just love my roses, and when it comes to perfumes, I love them even more.

    At Pitti in Florence, I was asked by a perfume lover about the size of my palette. I mentioned that it is smaller than the average palette in this industry. Maybe I am using more naturals, though. Anyhow: I was then asked whether it is possible to create something new with a palette that is limited and does not contain -for instance- cashmeran. (one of the many molecules that you find in many scents, these days even in notes descriptions for perfumes)

    "This is the best starting point!", I said. "you can re-invent roses every day. There is no limit really."

    There you go: The universe is enormous, but it's building blocks are very few; some 118 elements. I know... this is kind of a simplification.

    But still: there is plenty of room out there.



  • classification of flowers and woods

    This morning, pretty early, outside dark as we are moving into autumn, inside bright thanks to electricity, I was thinking about the blog post of today. Referring to yesterday's interview part II on the Persolaise blog, and a quick illustration that I did while trying to come up with an answer to a particular question; "If flowers could be placed on some sort of spectrum according to their smell (you decide how this spectrum should be defined: maybe lily of the valley at one end and tuberose at the other) where would you place gardenia and why?"

    It is an interesting question, that I tried to answer doing this sketch that you find on the Persolaise site.

    So I was drinking my first morning coffee, reading the news that are not very new these days, people against people, and I was thinking that I might talk about human nature and how we love and need to classify things, and people. I am no exception there. I like to think in simple terms. It helps. Sometimes.

    Early in the morning, the mind wanders more readily, and hence I started thinking about how one could try to put all sorts of perfumery raw material into some sort of wheels, classifying them. Like woods or woody notes. I made a little ink sketch of how one could look at woods then. Oudhy does not exist as term, but I think you know what I mean. And now I wonder whether I missed a couple of categories to classify. Ambery could be added as parameter. Earthy might be another one. But then: In order to make sure that classifications help explaining the complex world with simple terms, the number of terms must be limited. You can't really make a category for everything that is out there.

    It is a mind game. Patchouli, for instance, is somewhere in the middle between powdery, incense and oudh. Sandalwood is all the way up there, floral. Cedarwood (Texan) is close to the middle, with a bit towards the incense side. Cypriol is close to oudh with a mark saying "leathery, earthy, cistus is somewhere in the middle , too: Oudh, incense, dry wood.

    As I said: This is not reality, it is a mind game, that might help to understand the world. When writing these very lines, I was thinking, that actually, a nice woody oudh base should not touch the powdery side of woods, and if then only to add a little twist, but the main notes should come from the right side of today's illustration. So you see: Simplification helps. It 's like "good wood, bad wood ". And no: I have no plans to make an oudh.

    The illustration of today, by the way, was done with ink, Indian ink, and a nice ink brush that I got the other day. Drawing sketches with ink is inspiring. Reducing complexity, there we go...



  • pipette guiding the way, and more gardenia...

    So I told you: It is a gardenia week. Yesterday, after my aquarell class that is unacademic but highly educative, no school environment, but inspiring  in a way that I am in heaven there, after this class I got home and my mail box blinked with happy news. So there we go: The first reviews of the Gardenia sotto la luna are out and I am very flattered, and share them here.Wonderful news, indeed.

    Riding a crescent moon, by the scented hound.

    I am gardenia when I am wearing this, on Fragrance Daily.

    this time the first gardenia fragrance that I have ever really liked and would wear, which for a gardenia-hater like me is quite extraordinary, on Fragrance Daily.
    (disclaimer: all reviews are based on samples that the reviewers bought or got through an external source. I have not shipped out samples to the press yet, with one exception)

    During the aquarell class hours, I had my ipad in the backpack and forgot to turn the sound off. It fetches mails automatically and makes "bing" when a new mail reaches me or rather: it. I got immune to the "bing" and try not to notice. "somebody got a lot of work when this class is over", the teacher said.

    Back home, I did not open the ipad, but finished the one picture that I sketched with a graphite thing before during class. No pencil, but a thick rough graphite mine. The main lesson for me during class: get of of the details closet. I was giving a brush, 1/4 the size of the picture's height. We were also recommended to draw a couple of little pictures, postcard size. So we are learning to let the brush take over, to let go, to leave the controlled area and get into uncharted territory of a brain full of ideas. Sort of.

    Here's the funny thing:  when it comes to perfumes, I learned this lesson. I let it flow, a lot, sometimes, it just happens. How much, I realized yesterday. For a particular reason I had to check the gardenia excel sheet where I wrote down all the different trials of the formula. YES: Tons of trials! I was looking into it and realized that something is happening in there that is beyond my event horizon. It is the pipette guiding the way.

    Picture today: An old scan of gardenia in bloom, colored in soft yellow tones that I think match perfectly.

  • hand-eye coordination

    Yesterday, in the factory, packing things and waiting for truck drivers, I skipped the lunch break and exchanged it for a quick yoghurt and an hour water color session. Yes, sometimes, I bring paper and color down there to the where I pack perfume. Just in case. You never know. Maybe you'll find time. I look at it as training sessions. Training of the eye and the eye hand coordination,  drawing from life. Yesterday's object was me again, drawn from life, a picture taken in the factory with the ipad, and me trying to bring it down to paper.

    Although water color is forgiving, in a sense, as it is transparent and translucent, still: Every brush stroke you make sits there. It is hard to correct a general mistake. But this adds fun to the exercise! Yesterday, I actually used a large brush, and tried to work fast, translating as fast as I could the picture on the ipad into a picture on the 30-20 canvas, trying to leave that part of the brain out that wants to understand.

    Not action painting, but fast painting. With some stops in the middle, giving time to reflect nevertheless.

    From time to time, I do comparable experiments with perfume, too. And, sometimes, I feel like these are hand-nose coordination exercises. The creative act there, however, does not happen when I mix, but when I write down the formula. And the hand is primarily used to type in words and numbers into excel.

    And here's what I find amazing: Many of these quick, and very spontaneous formulas are actually much better than the hard thought-through formulas. Often, they just need small adjustments, little corrections of mistakes. I guess, these formulas born in the moment or out of a moment are special.


  • just entered a blue phase

    We have definitively entered our blue phase here at tauerville. Or better said: I have entered my blue phase. Today's picture(s)'s proof. I switched the plastic gloves brand that we use in the factory when handling bottles, from latex with powder inside to this blue quality, that is latex and powder free. And blue it is!

    Yesterday, making samples, me and my still helping two hands from my temporary supporter, we both looked like we are getting ready to cut  out our internal organs. Or do other bloody stuff. We looked so cool. And professional.

    Another proof. My latest aquarell. Blue only. real size is 30x20 cm.

    I picked a phtaloblue.



    20140701s-1And, maybe, I have also entered a blue phase in perfumery. Whatever this means....What scent gives me the visual complement of blue? Hmmmm... lavender isn't it. Maybe cypress. Ionones, yes. Ionone beta is blue : think the powdery scent of violet. Having worked a bit on two roses the last few weeks, one for sure comes with hints of blue shades. Just  a hint as ionones tend to clog the nose, sort of, but still: ionones and rose go well together. Greetings from here, where we live "la vie en bleu".



  • one stroke, all gone

    Today's picture shows you a failure, actually. A quick sketch, that I destroyed with a few brush marks. Having done a quick experimental sketch of a cowboy head, I added the background, too early, as the cowboy color was not dry, yet, and with the wrong color and everything fell apart. A couple of things to learn there: First, I am seriously considering going to watercolor school as I learn day by day that I need to know the technique better. You need to be on top of the material, really. This takes practice. Second, patience is not my core competence, and third, maybe, that not always mistakes lead to wonderful results. Ah well. It was just a quick sketch.

    In perfumery: The same thing. One stroke with a note, and it is all gone, washed away.

    Practice, practice, practice. Without losing curiosity, and the courage to explore. Practice can come together with routine. A dangerous path.

    I wrote the other day, in plain text, among other things, to my business partner, about Sotto la luna: "With Sotto la luna, as a creator, I am moving forward. It is hard to talk about the driving forces and changes that guide a creative process. Yet, I can feel that Sotto la luna comes at a point of my creative route where I become gentler in my expression."

    Maybe I forgot one point there: I got more patient, too. At least there.

    What's next this week? We have 1000 bottles of the gardenia, Sotto la luna gardenia, sitting in bottles in the factory. Soon, I will start putting labels on and all that needs to get onto the flacons before they go into the boxes and get sealed. Patiently waiting for September. And yes, when I say gentler, I couldn't help thinking in Lonestar this morning. Not really a gentle fragrance at first sniff. But an interesting take, featuring birchtar as one of the dominant notes. A beast really to work with. At least there, in my opinion, I got the background right: Soft and cozy and warm. But, when it comes to painting, there is hope: I trained my nose for a couple of years before I created Lonestar Memories.

    So there we go, hopefully into a new week.

    You all have a great week!


  • maturing as creator-it means a lot of things

    Today's picture:  a detail from a quick self portrait that I did yesterday night, using my newly acquired water colors, on a postcard sized 100% cotton paper, 300 g/m2. The full picture is a bit less pleasing, but I am learning. One reason: The left eye is a touch too large, and the right eye is too dark and "over colored". Water colors are cruel in the sense that mistakes are hard to correct. At least harder than mistakes in oil based colors. But water colors are more forgiving, too. I have the feeling that part of the trick is: Letting go and follow the water.

    This is exactly what I try to do when creating perfumes, the longer the more. Follow the composition where it brings you. Just follow it. It knows where to lead you. Trust it. The other day, when proudly presenting a couple of experimental scents and the upcoming Gardenia from Sotto la Luna ® (sorry: I need to do that ®-thing...), I got a comment from a business partner that made my day and made me think. It was a compliment and like most human beings I am flattered by compliments.

    Here's a piece of advice, in brackets, how to deal with most bosses: Make them a compliment. You may even compliment them for something (like an idea) that they did not do/had. A sentence like "ah, by the way, I so love your idea to consider expanding  towards the xyz markets next year; I wish I had it. ..." can do wonders.

    Brackets closed.

    So I got this compliment where I was told: "I love it (the fragrance); you know, compared to your earlier fragrances, you changed". - "In what sense", I asked.-

    "Your compositions got more balance, they got a bit more finesse. They reflect a change, probably a creator maturing".

    I agreed. Yes, I think I moved. As a creator you are always on the move. Forward, backward.

    I kept thinking about it. I realized that  maturing is also a translation for getting older; a fact that is true, like it or not. Maturing, for me, translated also into a subtle reminder of the end point, the end of me creating scents. Not today, not tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow.

    In that sense, Sotto la Luna is a point of inflexion. The journey is not over, but looking down from the top of the hill, I take a deep breath, enjoying the view, I  see the path on the ridge down there that I walked. Whatever happens now: I managed to walk along this ridge. The next hill is waiting, new challenges, but for a moment, there is peace.

    Today's tasks: Learn to hold the water color brush properly :-), transport some stuff into and out of the factory, and put into words what makes Sotto la Luna special, and why, from my limited perspective as creator, it is important  in my perfume creating world. Why it does not compare. And why it compares.

Items 31 to 40 of 109 total