creating scents

Items 51 to 60 of 109 total

  • getting out of routine, watching the sky

    When in Russia, I had the chance to get out of the factory routine, and the daily business of facebook and messages and formula and stocking up and writing down things that need to get done. Refreshing!

    The next week of getting out of routine will be in a month from now: I will be in LA, and surroundings, launching Ingrid from Tableau de Parfums, I will spend an afternoon-evening with perfume loving fans at the scentbar on November 16. See here for details. And I will spend a few days with not much to do than watching the sky and looking into myself.

    This is sort of my privilege, travelling and havingn these down times. Sometimes. The privilege comes with a price to pay, like 12 hours working days, 7 days a week, sometimes. Thus, yes, this week will be like last week: Production from here to there, all day, and in the night mails and stuff.

    Due to a couple of unplanned happenings there is coming together a lot at tauer's in the coming weeks. I talked about PHI- une rose de Kandahar, a refreshing story built around a rose oil from Afghanistan; refreshing as I did not even think for a moment about where I am heading and what I will be doing when I run out of the rose oil that I got for this scent. I guess that's a good sign: We can still do some serious creative stuff here, like 7 years ago when I started this venture.

    Another scent getting ready right now: Ingrid, from Tableau de Parfums, mentioned a couple of times before. I will start pouring bottles next week. And then, off! they'll go for the US and after mid November for the rest of the world.

    And a few other things, that I should probably start talking about soon. Stay tuned, especially if you are in the Zurich area...

    And then we will kick off sotto la luna, finally, in the next weeks I shall start working on the labels and the design around it;  I have the conception of this line within the brand in mind and know now exactly what to do there. It will take a while to get the product out, as I want to do a lot of things there, differently and upgraded and so, but I am optimistic that by spring 2014 we will get there...

    So you see: A lot to think about when pouring those bottles in the coming days. Tomorrow, I want to talk about Apricot, and what I think about this natural extract that you usually do not find in perfumes, and what it does in PHI. Thanks for coming back. Have a great start into your week.


  • golden ratio

    After yesterdays very open post on pricing and blingbling in industry and more: Here's a post on the upcoming PHI-une rose de Kandahar.

    But first, you might want to quickly check this post on Elena's perfumeshrine blog, that deals with similar questions raised yesterday. I invite you to also read some of the comments. Highly interesting stuff. And, although you might not like it, referring to what you find discussed there on perfumeshrine, bottle splits and doing decants is pretty much not good and you hurt the creator. It is actually worse than not buying  a bottle. It is destroying the kingdom that we creator build around the king, the fragrance. For me, my bottles and labels and everything that goes around the scent is part of my story that I tell. Decanting destroys this , and as Elena said "No matter whether we buy decants/samples etc, in the end the final connection and tangible bond with the product happens only when one upgrades to the bottle (and goes through it, slowly and surely). There is a reason why packaging and design are so important in the industry; it's not a small detail, they communicate a hell of a lot! "

    But now let's talk about the upcoming fragrance PHI-a rose de Kandahar. PHI is - in a sense- a code that helps remembering, and it puts the scent into one box with ZETA- a linden blossom theme, one of the most forgotten scents in my line of scents. The coding refers to the COLLECTIBLES, a line of scents where I have no aspiration at all to always have the same fragrance always available for always the same price. Why PHI?

    One simple answer: Because when designing the Collectibles label, I picked a few coding Greek letters and I had to make my choice from them: 5 to pick one from.

    Yet another answer: Phi fits perfect with rose, reminds me in a rose flower on a stem: See today's illustration how I see phi. And the fragrance is all about rose, built around a rose essential oil from Afghan fields, produced in Afghanistan, in low quantities. This, actually, ladies and gentleman, is super luxurious, and you might have to walk for a while to find similar. This rose that I created inside PHI, this rose is of course an abstraction. It is my interpretation. A fruit (apricot) goes with it, sketched using natural apricot essential oil, it sits on a stem of dark woody tobacco, patchouli, musk. It plays with cinnamon and comes with a breeze of bitter almond.

    Another simple answer: PHI, because it is used to represent the Golden Ratio. (phi= a+b/a = a/b This link brings you to the Wikipedia page, and there, tata! you can learn a bit about golden ratio and pentagons which is cool because my flacon is is based ona regular pentagon form. And now here it comes: I never really though about it and just did an excel calculation and I find the result really exciting. As mentioned earlier, I used a musk as filler in this scent. You can look at it as a piece of fabric  that you lay on the floor. On this fabric you start adding blocks. The musk layer is there, but not really important for the form of what you build. This form is determined by the head notes, heart notes and the base.

    Here's the funny thing: All basenotes (amount in gram) divided by everything that I put around the rose in my formula, basically all heart and head notes, give a number close to phi, the golden ratio number of 1.62

    And (a+b)/a =?

    ([head and heart] + basenotes)/[head and heart]=1.6.

    How cool' that?

  • on things that work and others that don't

    Creating scents, fragrances, is sometimes not easy. Especially if you do not want to follow the highway route to success: Bases, combined with "standard" molecules that you find in every scent these days, like cashmeran. Nothing against cashmeran. It is a fine molecule. It is just a bit "overused". But maybe this is slippery territory. Let's stick to the "bases", pre-formulated mixtures that smell great, but unfortunately they smell the same, if perfumer X is using them or perfumer Y, every day, every year, independent of weather before the harvest, especially if combined with nothingness, bases are very tricky, I think. And, when using a base from a company, you become dependent from this particular company and their base, and availability and itsquality. Not that you would not be dependent from -as example- rose absolute when using the real thing, but still.... there is a difference. One difference is, of course, complexity. A rose absolue is, if you want, a base, but far more complex than industry's bases

    Anyhow: Let's say we are all being dependent on all the various raw materials. But sticking to pre-formulated building blocks may be limiting your creativity, increasing the danger of walking into "smells all the same" territory. And you know: it is not so often that you read this ("smells all the same") in the blogosphere, but when visiting perfumeries with friends you hear it on a constant basis. "Smells all the same". Of course, it doesn't really smell the same, but seems all very similar, and familiar.

    So yes: It's the bases, stupid!

    So, yes, I don't use bases from industry.

    But actually, I wanted to get to another point: Creating scents is sometimes not easy. And sometimes, it is. Don't ask me why. I cannot really tell you why the vetiver trial turned out great, swiftly without much hassle of formulating forth and back. I mentioned it a while ago; I wanted to combine my Vetiver MD (hmmmmm, so elegant, so gentle, so not dirty, together with a great Petitgrain Combava (that's a special petitgrain), and a few other things... And yes, it turned out quite lovely. The rose trials (rose de Kandahar) on the other hand. I did so many trials already and.... well, I don't know, I don't know.

    But the vetiver is nice. Maybe it is due to the great quality of the vetiver oil used in high concentration. Maybe it is just because the time for vetiver is right and not for the rose. Maybe I am easier pleased by vetiver. Vetiver MD is like a polished vetiver in itself. I love it. Talking polished: I really wonder about the trend of dirt related scents. But that's another post, I guess. Here just this: Me thinks, that perfumes should not really play conceptionally with body fluids, dirt and other bähh! stuff. Of course, a lot of wonderful perfumes have this hidden chord of rotten fruits, stinky cheese, animalic lines, a trace of "dirt", hiding, performing an almost magic act,  and rendering the fragrance-skin interplay more interesting and fascinating.

    But it is not about dirt. The perfume market becomes "Stark vulgarisiert", as you might say in German. Strongly vulgarized. It is something that worries me deeply. It is like a mold, eating what we love from within.

  • Combava ess bio nop

    a while ago I was in Paris, for the sole purpose to smell and discover and rediscover and say hello to raw material providing business partners during the XI salon de Matièers Premières.. And, ah well, yes: To enjoy a great city, staying there for a day or two, with the perfect excuse.

    The fair, or "salon", was wonderful and affected my bookkeeping: After smelling the Madagascar Vetiver, Molecular Distillation quality, by Biolande, I could not help fighting my inner voice telling me that we shouldn't , but wanted to get some, asap. I tried the vetiver at Biolande's stand, together with other goodies. One of them was Petitgrain, petitgrain combava, bio (organic) and incredibly long lasting and quite different to what you think your typical petitgrain is. In a sense, it is somewhere in the middle between the earthy neroli reminding classical petitgrain, and the earthy citron and lime evoking lemongrass, or litsea.

    I wanted this one, too.

    Immediately, I figured, this vetiver, this petitgrain, this is perfect. Be it for a cologne, be it for a vetiver stand-alone.

    So I ordered. And got it yesterday, by Fedex. And I cannot wait until August, when I have a bit more time to play (again). The next few days, I really, really, really  have to sit behind the computer screen and churn papers, lists, pictures, and more out with deadlines set for the weekend. Time is running fast! But at least I can put some vetiver scented paper strips next to me and dream. Not that I really need another vetiver, nor does the world, but still...why not?

  • scanning against nothingness

    today's picture shows you my working bench, with the keyboard that sits in front of the cintiq. There, on the cintiq, I will in a second work on a peony flower picture that I scanned yesterday. I hung the flower on a frame and let it sit right on the surface of the scanner without actually touching it. I will work on the picture, remove part of the dust, adjust the blackness: Scanning against nothingness gives a dark background, but as my room is not really nothingness, it is a tint off black.

    The shows and structures that you see on the picture come from the drapes in the studio room. This pattern was the reason why I took the picture. I reminded me in the fact that I wanted to get things done a bit differently for SOTTO LA LUNA®, playing with pictures and moods, and doing so on a more "private" level. For the readers new to the idea of sotto la luna (under the moon): sotto la luna is going to be a line within the tauer universe that consists of flowers, blooming under the night sky, white flowers, either by color or by their perfume. White flowers are for instance: Gardenia (finished), hyacinth (finished), tuberose (not finished).  The  shadow pattern reminded me in it as I am thinking about visuals of the moon, the night, cities, white flowers and much more.

    There is one arranged element in this picture: The flacon in the bright sunlight. It is empty. I brought it home from the factory in order to get some pictures done, of the cap, the relief on the flacon, on some details like the crimping edge on the flacon's neck. When I saw the light playing with the drapes, I wanted to see the serious and somewhat austere flacon talking with these playful elements. It is these playful elements that I want to see with sotto la luna.

    On various levels: the scent. the decoration. the visual. the message. Playful, for me, means also, not worrying about the many twisted things that happen these days in the industry and the places where perfume lovers gather. Or, like an other artist told me the other day "most of the discoveries can remain private"....and maybe they should these days. On a certain level. To be frank: It has become obsolete to  talk about inspiration as perfumer: not many listen anymore. too many scoops and visions and too many reanimated historic treasures behind too many scents have pushed the boundaries, the patience of perfumistas and perfumers. Not many listen and that's actually a good thing: My hope is that at some point, perfumistas and art lovers will start smelling again and engaging with what's real.

    Thus, in a sense, playful means maybe not sending a message out really, not talking about it to the intermediaries, not serving a precooked soup of notes, doing things differently by not doing them, maybe.

    Yet, you have me talking here, about not talking. I haven't really figured this one out, yet. Maybe I will find a way to talk about tuberose (as example) and sotto la luna less through words but more through shadows playing on surfaces.

    When you talk about a particular flower, take tuberose for instance, many seem to have very specific expectations. Mostly, I dare to state, these expectations are trimmed and defined by what we are served, by industry and by the so called niche. The mechanics are the same. I am convinced that by not talking about sotto la luna and tuberose (for instance) when I am done with it and present it, the more interesting it will become. Thus, tuberose, sotto la luna, will come, when it is ready. Right now, I am waiting for version 24 to mature and getting ready for dilution.

    Coming back to the picture, there are bottles on the right side, a common theme in the house of tauer: Bottles everywhere. It is a constant fight to have enough space to place a mouse or a booklet. On the cintiq, you paint with the pen, directly on the sensitive surface of the screen (you do not see the screen on the picture), and hence I at least do not have to worry too much about mouse space. 

    And now: the peony scan. Enjoy your day!

  • Noseday 2013 and tuberose while we are waiting

    Welcome to a new week, and contrary to last week: this week seems to please us with some sun. Phew! It's about time. The last two weeks under a grey fog sky at minus temperatures made me feel like a rotting vestige of last summer. But now: Temperatures are rising, the sun will be shining and I have a plan for this week.

    First of all: I leave the draw for a Lonestar Memories flacon open for another day or two. Thus, if you have not taken your chance to win this fragrance, yet: You might want to leave a comment on last week's post (not here) and/or on my facebook post. Yes, it is a double whooper chance kind of a thing. And on a side note, as I will not comment in the draw post: The hat there was a gift that I got from friends when leaving Texas, after a year in College Station. And a comment to Darius: The new packaging will first be used for NOONTIDE petals only. The next months will see a gradual shift. Some scents that are not top sellers will stay in the old packaging longer, though.

    Another action points and plans for this week: Get another shipment out, stocking up the warehouse in the US from where I ship full bottles to destinations in the US. We are low in stock and this will be my top priority, starting as soon as I clicked the "publish" button in the backend of my blog site. I will also go and pick up the printer that I will use for printing information on cards that are used with the new packaging. Then, I have another interview, and I will start shipping some NOONTIDE samples this week.

    And then, when I find time to think with a free mind, I will do some serious thinking on tuberose. Why tuberose? Well, you might remember that I finished my gardenia (s)centric fragrance. (more soon) This one is actually planned to be the first of a couple of flower centric scents. And since I love tuberose, I am fiddling around with tuberose since a year. And guess what: I am very unhappy there. I guess this whole flower thing  is worth another post.

    Impatient as I am, I kind of need to stick my nose into new things.  I am so not good in waiting. Not that I plan to launch the gardenia right now and do not expect a tuberose tomorrow, but in a sense, fiddling and creating and trying to find a form is the perfect distraction for days like these, where I need to wait for almost everything, like the last paper and packaging things (for Noontide petals), and try not to worry too much (think: Italy and other economic crisis hot spots).

    Talking about Italy. Sunday in a week will see me in Rome, joining friends and perfume lovers for Campomarzio's Noseday 2013, taking place March 10, in the afternoon. If you are in the region: You might consider saying "hello".

  • experiments and checks and balances

    Today's picture shows you a quick shot, modified and rendered dramatic, of an aluminum bottle, 250 ml, with absolute of jasmine in it. I used it yesterday, when (hallelujah! ) I found the time to work in my creative scent room and do a couple of experimental runs. This particular bottle contains the last milliliters of a jasmine absolute batch that I used earlier for production. Usually, I buy my jasmine in 250 gram portions, and the bottles go to my production stock. Production stock means: All bottles there are used for production. And then, after a while, when the bottle is (almost) emptied, the bottle and the last milliliters of absolute go towards my experimental stock: Most of these are in the "creative" room, there where I mix experiments, but not organized like you would imagine. It is basically just bottles everywhere.

    Thus, Friday, following my rule of trying to be creative on Fridays, I turned on the balance and started weighing some experiments in the afternoon, after spending a morning writing up ideas  in Excel. Ideas that were there since a while, but needed to find their form in Excel first.

    That was nice. Think "white flowers". One of the experiments was actually a dilution of a double check mixture of the SOTTO LA LUNA "gardenia". I want to be on the very safe side and mixed a control mix, version 8.1.1.beta, a while ago. You know: Just making sure that the formula is tight and really works and is reproducible. After thorough maturation, I made dilutions of it yesterday, and will allow them to mature again. But things look great there. This is the next big thing that will keep me busy after NOONTIDE petals.

    So.... I wish you a lovely weekend, and send rich indolic greetings.


  • tulips again and books for a season

    Here's another tulip centric picture, somewhat optimized and polished for publishing. Since a week or so we get snow on a daily basis, mostly during the night, and it got sort of cold. It's the time where we miss colors and hence a nice colored spot coming from the Netherlands makes all the difference!

    As soon as I am done with this post, I will have to do some paper work (excel), and getting some shipments ready for tomorrow which ends up in paperwork, too. Or rather: computer work, as the papers are created online and printed afterwards. And, ironically, the more forms and information handling moves for you from physical paper to online input, the more papers you end up printing. The shift towards paperless offices really hasn't happened, yet. Anyhow: I am looking forward to printing shipping papers soon: Commercial invoices, packing list, producer information, TSCA forms, and other informative papers.

    When back in the factory for another labeling and bottling marathon, I will try to think about a statement I heard the other day from the head of a large book (printing) company. He said something like "while books used to be printed with centuries in mind, books are produced for a season these days. And a season is about half a year. " I heard this while running forth and back in the house, and did not really pay much attention. But the longer the more, I think about it. Or rather: I come to the conclusion that the same is true for perfumes. And now I wonder what this tells us about us. I would have a few ideas for the next season.

    Cheers from Zurich!

  • how about an eau fraiche

    Today, I have a little secret to share. In today's picture you see a photo that I did a moment ago: My jasmine bush is still blooming inside the house. Hence I took a photo of one of the "petals" that you find in NOONTIDE petals because I want to share a piece of thought I am digesting lately. Other "petals", i.e. natural flower extracts: tuberose, ylang, rose, geranium (although this is technically not a clean flower extract)

    The picture that I took was a bit dull, to be honest. Mostly grey in grey, showing my fingers holding the flowers: I reworked it right on my camera, adding a blue background and bringing in some softener and make the picture bright and light and naturally looking, and to make it look more in line with the idea of NOONTIDE petals. Sort of.  Basically, I am telling you: Never trust any picture.

    Anyhow: I have some liters of NOONTIDE petals sitting in the cellar and am basically just waiting for labels coming from the printer and the new boxes and rest of the new packaging material. (NOONTIDE is going to be the first scent in the new packaging. The rest of the line will follow over an epic long time period that will feel like an eternity to some). Thus, soon, I will be ready. Before diluting the concentrate that was sitting patiently for weeks in the cellar, maturing and -contrast to us- getting better with age, I was doing last dilution tests. Just to be on the safe side and checking whether I got what I had in mind. Kind of reproducing things before going full scale.

    I ended up doing a lot of different dilutions, covering the range from 1.5 to 15 %, just out of the blue, as I was curious to see what happens. And, now, I am sitting here, with a small bottle of 4% NOONTIDE petals that is just lovely. Different (a bit) to the Eau de toilette (10%) that I will launch in a couple of weeks, but lovely. I used it daily for the last couple of weeks. Spraying generously, an eau fraiche that can be used à discretion.  Quite lovely, indeed. Less lasting, less deep, but bright and fresh and aldehydic and....  Anyhow. I already told my designer that we need to pick up a color code for the labels going with NOONTIDE petals eau de toilette that allows to go a touch brighter for an eau fraiche version. I am not entirely sure whether he loved the idea of adding complexity. I do.

    And here' s the next idea. How about NOONTIDE breeze?  Ah well... I guess I am filling and boxing too many bottles these days. This repetitive work kind of brings a lot of ideas.

    But back to this post's topic. You like the idea of an eau fraiche for NOONTIDE petals from Andy?

  • NZZ and see you soon

    Fragrant greetings and thank you for visiting! I think this is the last post for about two weeks: I will be travelling for two weeks and it might well be that I don't post on my blog. As always, before leaving, there is a plenitude of things to get done. This time, it was really, really a lot of things to get under control and make sure that all is on its way and running smoothly before leaving.

    On one hand, I got a couple of large restocking orders after the holidays that needed my attention. We also met with a dangerous goods expert (perfumes are dangerous goods from an air freight perspective) and managed to get a first FEDEX shipment out to the US this week. Before that I got a deal with FEDEX that allows me to ship larger parcels for a reasonable price to the US. Large meaning 50 bottles or more. "Reasonable" meaning much more than before, but still in  a range that you can pay for. Or rather: That I can pay for. Packaging gets a bit special, and there are extra papers needed that come with a price tag, too. Thus, overall, things work, but on a more complicated and more pricey level.

    Thus, soon, my fragrances will be available in the US again. By February, that's the plan at least, also through my website. I am looking very much forward to starting this process. For the time being, I need to ask you for two more weeks patience. Right now, there are a first batch of tauer flacons on their way to the US, for a serious, thorough test.

    Besides this shipping things, I was busy coming up with some design decisions and making sure that all my suppliers  go to work and know what I want. Or not. I am soooooo looking forward to the modified packaging that I will introduce with the new fragrance, NOONTIDE petals, scheduled for some when in March: New scent, new box, and a softer and more elegant shell, and some changes in the labels and extras: The goal here is to be as flexible as possible to adjust to unforeseen changes and demands. Super flexible..... The rest is "Surprise, surprise".

    Thus, tonight, I take of, for a "secret" mission (sounds great,doesn't it?) and leave the land where we are bringing home colorful tulips from the Netherlands in order to shorten the waiting  for spring: Zurich is under a thick, heavy snow blanket and it got pretty cold. But before leaving: I need to dilute some experimental scents that I am playing with, need to get some samples done for the stock here in Zurich, and ah, yes, pack the bags.

    While I do so: Here is a link to a lovely article in the NZZ of today, in German, featuring four niche perfume houses from Switzerland, click here for the link to the article that luckily is also available online. So nice, enjoy!

Items 51 to 60 of 109 total