general thoughts

Items 21 to 30 of 138 total

  • and we see that we don't see much

    Again, a super small picture that does not really tells much: This time a panoramic view of parts of the "factory. And we sort of see that we do not see a lot.

    I get this question a lot, usually with a "I know it might be too much" : " I would love to get a tour and and in depth insight and and and.. in your factory."

    And yes, this is way too much. The other day, I had a guy calling, wishing to visit the company address that is public. "This part of the company is the office in my house", I told him. "No visits, no shop, no factory, no nothing. Please apologize." And yeah: 30 minutes later he tried his luck.

    You know, that's one of the funny discrepancies, coming back to my last post about many things, including bloggers. When you run a company like me, you  need to undress and stand completely naked in the internet: Address, telephone, commercial registry numbers, etc. allowing others to check pretty much everything.

    Some bloggers and writers do not even have a real name published. Others hide behind books on facebook, not disclosing for whom they are working and where their dollars come from. Others have multiple identities and hence, you have no idea who's talking.

    Take home message: On the internet you sometimes do not know.

    Does it matter? Not really, but it does if you are getting stalked or followed by somebody who does not feel limits or if you get on the radar of bullies.

    It happened to me a couple of times. I learned my lessons.

    So... here's a panoramic picture from the factory, totally small. But I tried to upload the larger version. You should be able to see it following this link.

    And what do we see: Not much. Well, there is quite some stock of TUB and 02. (Actually, there's also PHI, but you do not see it here) And it is densely packed, the room, with boxes and more. This is normal. It is September.

  • lot 001

    Good morning from Zurich. Phew! That was quite a week! Tauerville's Incense flash went online and kept me busy for a while.

    And for Tauer Perfumes I am trying to get ready for Pitti . Pitti begins in a week from now, and it will be heaven on perfume earth and a little bit of hell, too. Hell, just because Pitti translates into standing there for 3 days and this is tough. But Hey! No pain, no gain!

    Today, when drinking my morning coffee outside, inhaling autumn air, humid, still warm, but not hot anymore, today, I remembered that it is around 10 years now that air du désert marocain went into the first bottles. So there you go: I picked the lot 001 bottle that sits in my bathroom and took a quick picture.

    There you see a couple of things. First, it is kind of an ugly flacon, with a label that is printed on a printed by myself and cut out by hand. Quite simple. There is a picture on the flacon, symbolizing the moon rising over the desert, again: made by myself.

    The fragrance got a bit darker, and it smells a bit warmer, rounder, softer, maybe a bit more powdery due to maturation. But, it still smells incredibly good.

    Air du désert marocain has become a classic, and, in a certain way, I think this is just the beginning of the road. It will probably survive me.

    Time to be grateful, for a moment, before continuing the marathon.

  • passion

    I published this tuberose a couple of days ago on Facebook. I cut it in the garden and now it sits in the house and perfumes the living room in a nice way: Not too much, not too little; the thing with tuberoses...they can easily overwhelm you and balance is key, whether you put the alive in your house or whether you create an abstraction of the flower and put it into a perfume bottle.

    Abstraction. Key when we talk about flowers and perfumes.

    Abstraction. Key to understand our world. This morning, in the newspaper, I learned that there is a daily billionaire index on Bloomberg. Here's the link. There, on this website, you can learn daily how much more or less the fortune of the top billionaires on planet earth is. Today, you might find out there that Mr. Gates 's fortune is 852 Million $ US more than yesterday. Probably because the stock market were in an uplift mood yesterday after the plunge for a few days.

    The question remains: Why? Why this daily piece of information? Maybe these rich men and women are sort of celebrities and we all participate and identify with their up's and downs? Like we do for Hollywood celebrities or princes and ladies and rock stars. I was identifying yesterday with Ms. E. Taylor, and "her" celebrity scent "passion". Chatting with a perfume lover, telling her that me thinks it is one of the best celebrity fragrances out there, and that me thinks ...well, to be honest... that if it was launched these days as "niche" it would outperform many others in niche... anyhow, chatting and talking about, I ended up going to bed with a heavy dose of passion.

    And you know what: There's a nice tuberose note in there and my night was quiet and peaceful.

  • bats early in the morning

    For today's post I did not really have a picture, thus I had to get one. So there you go...I got up super early, for no particular reason. If I wake up I get up, usually, because you never know how many days more you are given to wake up. And I usually wake up with an idea or a thought. This morning, I actually woke up with a perfume in mind, including name and all. That's a nice start into your day, although the more you move into your day the more the ideas usually faint.

    Anyhow; as it was so early I sat on the balcony, observing how the light changed from moonlight to dawn's first signature on the horizon. And: I 've seen bats. Finally! All summer I was watching out for them and -although seen at night in previous years- I haven't seen one. This morning they were there, plenty of them, catching their good night goodie.  A perfect morning.

    And while sitting there and watching the bats move around, I remembered a comment on Feeling, Looking, Smelling Great (a facebook group) where someone classified fragrances as "dense" or not dense. When I read that, I learned that I keep on learning. It never appeared to me that one could classify a fragrance as dense. But there you go: It is actually a good term, me thinks... not dense is quite the industry standard these days. In noble words one might call them translucent; yes, Iso E , I am looking at you, and Cashmeran, you're part of the club, too.

    And then I thought that naturals are actually dense, normally. Except for a few like lavender or bergamot, but take a natural vetiver=super dense. Or rose absolute: Dense. Jasmine: Dense. Even simple stuff like patchouli: Dense. Patchoulol, a single molecule, a natural ingredient of patchouli essential oil: Not dense.

    And then, my mind stopped working and I needed another coffee as it was just too early.

  • Tuberose

    Today's picture: My little personal highlight this morning. My tuberose plant blooms on the veranda, in her pot, pretty early for Zurich. It's perfume? Heavenly! Creamy, green, powdery, rich, sensual, but not obnoxious. It is pure inspiration.

    Another pure inspiration moment, the reason for me not commenting on my blog post of last week: Me up there, in the Swiss mountains, taking a day or two off. The timing for this day off was perfect: The weather was better up there than down here. And I could take a deep breath before heading into August that will be super busy, preparing for Pitti, the Florence fragrance fair, and a couple of other autumn features, like bringing Tauerville to Europe, at least to some "selected" retailers here.

    But for the moment: I am enjoying my tuberose, Have a great start into your week!

  • Elefant

    Today's post title could probably also be "the big picture", or "if you want to eat an elephant".

    You know how the saying goes: "If you want to eat an elephant, do it in small bites. " The elephant you see on this post is the result of yesterday's painting exercise, acrylic on canvas, pretty large, like 80x70 cm. I like it, for a couple of reasons: One is the colors.  The elephant's color was immediately clear to me; the background however took me forever and I changed it three times, and every time it got a bit better. The goal there was to complement the orange red (hence the blue-green tone) but to also enhance the the plasticity and three dimensionality of the elephant.

    Anyhow, the big picture. The other day, I was listening to a radio interview with a philosopher who explained to us what is wrong with modern media and the flow of the newest news of the  moment, like you get it on twitter, facebook, the news portals and the longer the more in the traditional media like newspapers. It is  a constant flow of news items, isolated from a context and without explanation of any reasons for the news. It is like zapping around with the remote control of the TV, or switching youtube channels: You get entertained by a few impressions, but you do not get the film and its story and context. It is ok for movies, maybe, but it is dangerous in other contexts.

    Does it matter? Yes, you bet. Because we are drowning in a sea of irrelevance and miss the big picture. Like what's happening in the middle east. Looking at the lines of the many conflicts there needs a lot of time, effort and thinking. But at some point, you might realize that there is a larger engine running that's shifting the tectonic plates there.

    Or look at perfumes and news there. By just looking at the news about the launches and a few reviews here and there, you might miss what is really happening. It's a tectonic shift that started and announced itself  a good 50 years ago: Perfume for the masses, perfume as commodity, you name it, started there.  Niche in Italy started about 30-35 years ago, as a result, and the big engine that's driving the plate's shifting is still running.

    OK, I admit: This perfume statement above is not really relevant; it is the producer in me who looks at this bigger picture. The creator does not really care.

    And with that post, irony ahead, I added a little news item that might blur the bigger picture. Have a great day!

  • Academic tradition

    I got myself a drawing course book, THE drawing course, from the 19th century, because I decided that I need a somewhat more systematic approach to develop my painting skills.  The objects in there: Human body (parts).

    I switched from flowers et al a while ago and try to do at least one pencil illustration a day, using a picture as model. Today's picture shows one of these.

    The drawing course represents what the "last generations of traditionally trained representational artists were taught to copy and admire".  In the book, it says: "The human figure is viewed and painted with respect, without detachment or sardonic air of superiority on the part of the artist. The academic tradition exalts the human body."

    Take this sentence and replace a word or two and you get an instruction for perfume creation, too.

    " The human figure is viewed and its perfume created with respect,  without detachment or sardonic air of superiority on the part of the artist. The academic tradition exalts the human body."

    I like that.

  • rain drops

    Good morning to you and a happy Sunday to you all!

    Here, in Zurich, in the middle of what seems to be the Jetstream looping out south, we enjoy a couple of wet days. Warm wet days. Not that I really love the idea of jogging in rain or biking in rain to the factory, but warm wet rain early May is like a turbo booster for nature here. Right now I hope that the rivers here and there have still capacity to take all that water that comes down now.

    My urban farming thing (salads, radish, tomato, and soon cucumbers and more) thrives and especially the salad grows like crazy. Nice! As I put the salad on the roof of our little tool house it sits in snail safe territory, too. Actually, I planted the salad right into earth bags, like you buy them at home depot: I just cut little holes into the earth bag to put the seedlings in and two holes to water. Seems to work...

    Although last week was a bit too much, I managed to fiddle with scents. Well , I guess it is more BECAUSE it was so busy, I really needed the balancing ZEN of working with scents. In the focus last week was patch. For Patchouli. Patch is very versatile. I have a couple of different qualities for production and for experiments. There is one quality , enriched in Patchoulol, one of the ingredients of patchouli, that I love to use when the patchouli note is supposed to be somewhat modest, hiding in a way. Then there is one quality that is patchouli at its best, with its natural camphoric notes: These I do not appreciate that much. It is these camphorous notes that bring patchouli actually quite close to incense territory. I think it was Guy Robert, although I am not sure about that and did not double check this, who put patch and incense in the same family or olfactorial class.

    But there's more. I love the natural chocolate notes in patchouli. The dark side, with the woody lines remembering fine vetiver, the amber gris lines, the powdery aspects. It is all in there and when working with patchouli this is the challenge and the blessing. You can go in all directions. Add fruits and you got your fruitchouli. Add amber and you got your oriental. Add vetiver and you got your woody gent's dream.

    I guess I have the best job there is on planet earth: When things get rough I can procrastinate with scented matter. What else to ask for?

  • gated community

    I used the term "gated community" in a facebook comment this morning, where I made a serious comment in an otherwise happy post. The post was about a launch event; my brand, the complete line, will soon be available in Canada, Montreal, Quebec, at Etiket. This is wonderful!

    Back to the gated community: You know, it is like every couple of hours that I get a mail or facebook comment from residents of an EU country, asking me when this and that product comes to their country. Like Germany. Or Italy. Or the UK. And I always have to say: This needs time.

    So I said in this facebook comment "The border to the EU is , from a product export point of view, higher and further away than the US border. the EU is a closed, gated community." You, residents of the EU: Do not feel offended, please. Things are the way they are and I do not worry about them anymore. And you have your rules which is perfectly ok.

    But, when visiting the US recently and when talking to fellow perfumers there, with exciting products, produced and sold in the US, I realized this again: By putting up this high regulative barriers and by hiding behind them, in sort of a gated community, the EU makes it virtually impossible for the small brands, thriving at the west and east coast of the US to enter this market.

    And believe me: If taken seriously, and if you want to do it the legal way.... to get cosmetic products, such as perfume, imported legally into the EU from a non EU country takes thousands of Euro.  You need a lot of paperwork done, and you need people (consultant, distributors) who act as "responsible person" in the EU. And either you get the numbers (for the distribution model) to go through a distributor taking care of it all, or you pay annually, like 1000 -3000$ to the "responsible person" which usually is a consultant. Bottomline: The smaller you are as brand, the higher the barrier.

    This is why some of the most exciting new brands and fragrances that are out there, are not to be found in Europe.

    Of course, some of the hurdles affect small, micro, going to be brands inside the EU, too.

    Anyhow. What does this mean for Europe? It means a couple of things, in my opinion: It makes it more difficult for new indie ventures in the EU. You have higher barriers to start from scratch, yourself, without going through some companies in Grasse. Thus, maybe this is why most of the new brands coming from the EU these days are owned and started by somebody asking somebody else in Grasse to create something for them inspired by something.  It also means: It protects its people from dangerous products, maybe. It protects the EU markets from foreign imports by raising the entry barriers.( a side note: I am super curious how they will solve this cosmetics products issue in the free trade treaty between the US and the EU). It keeps a lot of administrative people busy. And, like in a greenhouse, it pampers the plants/brands sitting inside the greenhouse. The problem with plants growing in greenhouses: Put them out into the real world and they might fail to stand the sun and the rain.

    Today's picture:  Viola, growing and seen in a wild Swiss forests.


  • back. and resurrection

    I got back yesterday from a great trip, one of the greatest trips to the US. Just wow! When home I took today's picture in the living room where I put some of my paintings. They sit there, not on the wall or so, and when entering the living room watching them I felt home again. Home means back to normal. Normal means also a bit chaotic creative life style, like the way I place my pictures there. They are not important, really, and just sit there, waiting for some sort of a decision what's next.

    The one with the two legs I call resurrection. To the right is a view of Los Angeles, there is a new one, Joshua Tree inspired, too. And a poodle is watching, too.

    So there we go: Resurrection. When I got up this morning I realized that I need to write this post today. I met so many perfumer friends in LA and SF, vibrant, full of energy, with great perfumes in their portfolio. You do not get them in Europe, for a couple of reasons. I guess, it is just not easy to export to Europe.  I had a wonderful talk with Yosh and we agreed that there is a great vibe out there, in the West, and exciting things are happening these days there, the Institute of Art and Olfaction being one of them. I was invited for the pre-award cocktail session of the IAO. Cool!

    You won't see these brands at Esxence or Pitti. When getting up this morning, I figured: Maybe niche is resurrecting there, in the West. I guess it is. For sure it won't happen in France, Grasse. And one of the reasons might simply be: It is easier there, less restrained, less regulated compared to EU land. And these guys and girls are authentic. So... We will see.

    In San Francisco, I was with Tigerlily and we did an event and interviews and more. Again: Wow. I did not know that I have such a following there. It was just.... amazing! We sold a lot, which is nice, but less important than meeting and hugging people.

    Here are a couple of links to video shots with me, shaking my hands way too much, but then: That's me :-) Many thanks go to Sebastian and Michael.



    Here, I am back to normal. Which means: Factory work, and getting this shipment out, flying west soon, making sure that we do not run out of flash scents. Vanilla flash runs fast these days...It is a huge success really. Again: Wow. I am just amazed.

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