general thoughts

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  • a sixty second man

    I am back from Heathrow and in full speed motion again after a few great relaxing days. The two getting together (with folks from Les Senteurs and Scent and Sensibility) were fun and we explored the two new fragrances: The ROSE VERMEILLE and the L'EAU D'ÉPICES. And again, mea culpa, I forgot that these the scents are actually totally new for the UK market. I mentioned it to a few visitors: I am living in a time shifted world. My most intense thoughts these days go to -besides the shipments of orders- the launches of 2011. Thus, yes, we looked at the new kids in town, and I tried to explain a little bit the thrill and challenges of perfume creating and making, also showing a few molecules and essential oils: Raspberry keton, irone, vanilla CO2 extract, Sandalwood oil and the rose oil that goes into the rose vermeille. Getting quite a few aaaah's and ooo's with the vanilla....

    Especially at les Senteurs, where we discussed the entire line, we talked a lot about contrasts, and bridge building: Concepts used by me in perfume creation.

    And we talked about the "60 second fragrances", the scents that sell in 60 seconds, for instance in duty free shops, and they sell  because they are made to be sniffed and bought. I had quite some waiting time in Heathrow yesterday. I spent it almost entirely in the perfume department, trying to get rid of a few sales reps. One was, no joke, asking me whether I need help, not even looking at me, and 1 second later she said to her colleague: " I sold 10 of this this morning. Just like that. Fools." She realized a moment later that I was looking at her. She walked away.

    But it was fun, and I sniffed my way round, including sniffing my "Joop pour home" again, that is so eighties and brings back a lot of memories. I almost bought it for that reason. And I sort of liked a few perfumes that I haven't sniffed before. I guess I am a 60 second man, too. I guess we all are, from time to time.

    Today's picture: A snap shot from Heathrow, playing with the iphone, while waiting for the gate to be announced.

  • 95%

    95 % of orange peel oil (sweet quality, Florida or Messina) is  Limonene. Isn't this amazing. In the remaining 5% must be the components that make sweet orange oil unique, because limonene alone smells like a neutral citrus. Think household cleaner.

    I got samples of two qualities of sweet orange peel oil: one from Florida and one Messina. The later is a bit more bitter and zestier. The Florida quality is a bit sweeter. In the certificate of analysis you find a few other components besides limonene, such as Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Ocatanal (=fruits), Decanal, Linalool, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol. And these are just the most important components (and also EU allergenes).

    This is the fascination of working with natural essential oils: They are so complex. And then there is grapefruit, there is lime, there is yuzu and mandarines, and clementines. Take the same Limonene at high percentage and add a few other its and bits and you end up with a grapefruit or  a lemon peel oil. Isn't his amazing?

    You see: I am in a full blown citrus phase these days. One reason: I am planning the annual scent apero in December in the back of  my mind, thinking "CITRUS".

    Today's picture: A scan of a lemon. Enjoy!

  • after the newsletter

    Yesterday we sent the newsletter off and now we enter the road that will bring us right into the weekend. With the newsletter we aim at addressing interested perfume lovers who do not want to follow the brand on the blog or facebook or twitter but who wish to get a summary from time to time. And I aim at concentrating the brand's development in 3 or 4 wrap-ups over the year.  Later, when I got used to the newsletter communication and when I learned more what works and what does not, I want to add other features. Anyhow: It went out and all those who subscribe to it until beginning of October will enter the draw of a perfume from my collection. We will pick two winners from the list of subscribers on October 1.


    This was a tough week, strenuous and intense.

    Today, we finish some bottle pouring and labeling and if I find time I want to start working on the Pitti video that I wish to publish here. Later in the afternoon it will be my creative free space again;you remember: Tauer declared Friday (afternoon) as his free creative playground time. Today, I want to have a look into ambreine (again) and I want to play a bit with roses.  And I got these samples of neroli and rosmarin....

    But first things first: getting those bottles filled!

    Today's  picture shows you the stand at Pitti, free floating with a lot of free space around it, in a hall that used to be sort of a rail way station hall.

  • mirror talk

    back from a splendid hiking weekend that featured it all: sun, muscle pain, jogging in the morning and watching the sun rise and the cows steam on the pasture at 2200 meters above sea level, snow in the morning, falling from a grey sky yesterday.

    Some of you may have seen the picture on my facebook Tauer Perfumes site already. On the left you find it again: This is Sunday, 7.10 am, after 30 min jogging, a fantastic view over a little mountain lake, the surrounding mountains waking up and putting on some color to start their day.

    Since yesterday I am back, made a few samples since then and mailed my e-mails.  And for the rest of the week we will be in production mode with  a focus on open orders from perfumeries.

    Finally, I sketched a first view of the EAU D'ÉPICES, going from the four axes over to a web kind of view.
    I will continue to work on it, as I feel this is important and fun, thinking about how these lines might all be interconnected. And I learned that you like it, too. Although I am not sure whether I am really spreading the important message.

    Here is a line for your day: A perfume is a fragrant picture that each of us sees in a mirror made of memories.

    Actually, I like this line. Hmmm... having said that: One word, before leaving this blog, on Tonka beans. Tonka beans are the fruits of a tropical tree, originally from South America. They used to be used for cooking (you can make great desserts) but due to their natural coumarin content some countries banned the fruits for cooking. Tonka beans are full of coumarin (about 50% of natural tonka beans extract (resinoid)  is this single molecule COUMARIN), there exist different tonka extracts, such as the resinoid (creamy woody foody spicy) or the absolute. I like to work with coumarin directly, and "bend" it into the form I like to have it by adding other compounds. Coumarin is one of those wonder molecules that you find in about 50% of all perfumes out there. Like the natural extract, coumarin is quite affordable.

    One great advantage of using coumarin: You do not have to worry about the waxes of the resinoid that are very annoying when doing larger batches >1 liter, as these waxes tend to agglomerate and precipitate and give you all sorts of troubles in dilution.

    And now: back to production mode ... hmm: Here's a shorter version:

    "Perfume is a fragrant picture that we watch in a mirror made of memories."

  • snuggling coefficient

    If you want to snuggle and cuddle and huggle 2 Tera bites bytes, you are either crazy or you got a this freecom harddisk that comes in this protective  black rubber skin, that is so .... hmmm.... soft and feels like the skin I would give an android to make it more human. Snuggling coefficient = 100.

    I got it yesterday, 2 TB. How many bites bytes I actually have on this device you see in the picture. This means: A lot of space for photos and videos. Although I am sure: I will fill it up faster than I think. One of the paradoxes in life: The more space you have the more rubbish you collect. True for real and e-life.

    And, as I got a bit slowed down sometimes: I got my PC another 4GB RAM. Yep. Feels much better now. Another rule for life: Always good to have a good memory.

    Helps you to keep track on the rubbish you collect. True for real and e-life.

  • GT and the final part of artisan series


    We got another coverage. In Gay Times, GT, an online and print magazine, that "supplies every gay man with the information he needs" (copy from the GT website ; click her to visit and consider registering for their twitter feed.) Unfortunately, you will not find me online there, but  I allowed myself to put a little teaser online with today's post.... see the picture of today...Enjoy!

    And we have another feature: Nathan finished the Tauer artisan series with his third article. Besides the fact that I like to read about me (...) I find his series (do not miss Mandy Aftel's coverage there) important and worth following. Here is one sentence and a reason why you might want to visit his site:
    "But it’s not like a perfumer ever stops creating, and much like the “publish or perish” mantra in the world of academia, it can be “launch or perish” in the world of the DIY perfumer. Yet continuous inspiration and creation (the hallmarks of a vibrant artist) can sometimes lead to a......"

    Thanks for visiting Nathan Branch's blog, clicking here.

    And while you do your reading, I will do my packing of the pallet and some other stuff...

  • don't blame IFRA

    I answered a couple of questions for a newspaper article the other day,  in detail and with having some thinking done, on IFRA, and how IFRA affects perfumers and perfumery.

    I remembered this article in press (not published yet, I think), when I read the comments yesterday. And I thought a lot about it while cycling, thus we end up with another hard to digest post, but someone needs to speak out: IFRA should not be blamed.

    Please visit IFRA's site and have a look at who is IFRA. You can do so on their home page and then you will see that it is regular members (companies) and regional bodies (and no, zero, nada, niente third level supporting members such as small producers). You will find out that IFRA does not make laws or anything that anybody is forced by law  to oblige. IFRA recommends and industry follows the recommendations and consumers buy.  This IS important, because you should not blame the group coming up with recommendations, but the guy following them.  And the guy having an interest in the recommendations.  And, if you want to speak to industry, the best way to do so is via money and via speaking to them  directly and about them,  but not IFRA.

    Thus, do not blame IFRA. Do not bash IFRA, IFRA is just the bag shown to you, making sure you do not hit the donkey.

    And then, if you live in the EU, please visit the EU commission's website and you will see that this is where IFRA recommendations end up being formed into (proposals) for laws. EU regulations and laws do not fall from heaven. Again: Do not blame IFRA, it is the guys and girls you send to Brussels making the laws. And, if you want to speak to politicians, the best way to do so is by speaking out to them and about them and by explaining them why they destroy part of the cultural heritage of Europe. I wish so much my fellow bloggers would stop talking about the IFRA bag and start talking about the EU law makers and the donkeys.

    Thank you for reading this post.

    And, to celebrate a 100% EU law conform perfume that I will show officially in September  10, at Pitti Fragranze in Florence:  Here is a little draw. Leave a comment of any kind, and enter the draw for a full flacon of fragrance No. 12 EAU D'ÉPICES, or a little consolation price (a discovery set, containing 5 scents of your choice). I will not comment every comment, but sure read it.
    ========ADDED: AUGUST 23 2010=======
    THIS DRAW IS OVER. The winners are:
    Consolation prize

    Elena (
    Full bottle of Eau d'épices:
    Elisa (

    Thank you to all of you who commented. If you wish to add your thoughts on the topics of this post: You are very welcome.

    DRAW CONDITIONS: The draw is international. Everybody can participate by sending in a comment. If you wish to comment without entering the draw: Please say so in your comment. The winners will be picked using in the coming days. If the draw is over, we will announce it here on this blog post. Winners will be contacted by e-mail, thus leave a correct e-mail. By commenting you accept that we might contact you by e-mail in order to communicate about the result of this draw. We will not store your e-mail, use your e-mail  nor forward your e-mail and other data to any third party. For more details on your privacy: See our privacy information page.

    Picture: Medieval staircase going upwards to the light.

  • interfaces

    After yesterday's somewhat heavy post that I wrote in my head during hours of cycling, and after having thought about many more posts on issues and facts that we MUST write about such as the big distributing companies, even if folks don't want to read it and if everybody pretends differently, here we have a lighter post today. Let us talk about interfaces, border areas, areas where things happen.

    See the picture of today, taking in the Camarque, where you have a  [partly man-mad] transitions from  sea water to land to sweet water to land. Ecologically, these border areas are highly relevant because they provide a lot of niches for a lot of different animals and plants. Such as flamingos in Europe. Or salt loving, highly adapted plants. In biology, it is borders and interfaces where the most new species develop in evolution, where things happen, where species adapt to constantly changing, rough conditions and where you end up with new features, such as salt tolerance.

    This interface phenomenon is a pet theory of mine. It is at the interfaces where things happen. Let's watch out for these interfaces for a moment in perfumery. Like the interface where clients and companies actually meet, with the internet interface being relatively new. Or the interface where micro brands and larger brands suddenly stand in  the same shelf, such as in the Scentbar, or internet pages where all natural perfumes and perfumers and Dior suddenly touch.

    Web pages existing since a few years only enable this new interface. I am curious to see what new and adapted perfume species will evolve ultimately from this new interface.

    And now, before we all go into our well deserved weekend: I got the stickers that go onto the flacons for the new scents that I present in September at Piti Fragranze (10-12 September): Une rose vermeille and Eau d'épices. Thus, expect a few post next week with a draw.

    In the mean time: Enjoy your weekend!

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