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  • flowing

    Yesterday, in the factory, under my tauerville sign that I got from a friend, years ago, to celebrate the opening of the two rooms where I spend most of my time these days, yesterday, I made today's blog picture. Very,  very wet. An experiment really.

    Kind of out of control. You see how the colors flows over the face? Magic!

    Here and there (perfumes) I love it when things start to flow and get out of control. I learned, however, that most people do not. Flowing can also mean: Doing something in a different way than before and reinventing things and yourself. Like saying cheers to playtime with Calone. Or goodbye to xyz. To some extent, there 's a part inside me that welcomes crisis mode and the fluidity of breaking points, of interfaces between yesterday and tomorrow. First because I am more effective. And secondly because I am more decisive. Stuff that might have been accepted for years, without complaining, like retailers paying late, or perfumes not selling well, or better said: investments to bring a perfume from one packaging to the other or onto the shelves with little financial return, stuff like that, from one day to the next, gets changed, eliminated completely. Like the Pentachords. What is out there on the shelves may sell and then: That's it.

    And in this sense, every thunderstorm is a relief.

    When announcing the price hike, due to the Swiss Franc going through the roof and due to increased uncertainty of where we end up,  on Facebook about two weeks ago, Marianne asked me there what might change. I think I said something like "everything". Unfortunately, this ship is already partly loaded hence to change everything needs time, more time than I wish. In other words, the homage scents will stay a bit longer because the next batch is made. This however is not true for Zeta- a linden blossom. 1 bottle left. For me. I am sorry.

    But you see how the color flows in the picture? Magic!


  • Meeting the press in Munich and what samples to choose

    Sometimes I get mails like "to the attention of communications" and alike. And sometimes I wish I would have a communications department. Just sometimes. Like today, early in the morning. Today's picture shows you my desk, 6 am, making CD's for the press that I will meet tomorrow in Munich.

    I was cordially invited and got the great opportunity to meet the press on a high level get together, called Duftsalon, organized by a great PR agency I know since years. Think "Vogue et al.", together with Patricia de Nicolai for Nicolai and Sebastian Fischenich for Humiecki and Graef. This is kind of cool and came kind of unexpected during Pitti. Thus, I am burning CD's today, after working on text yesterday. I realized that my PR text in German was almost not existing, yesterday in the evening, after having finished and shipped what needed to be shipped. It was a really busy day yesterday, but usually I am operating better under pressure.

    Thus, we are getting there. I will make discovery sets, and give them to the journalists, too. I decided to give a set with Air du désert marocain, Orange Star, Une rose vermeille, the ZETA - a linden blossom theme-, and one of the Pentachords. I haven't really decided which one. The white with its gentle vanilla -orris-ambergris -violet-woods notes is the easiest to show. But, to be frank, the verdant was the star at Pitti. It found most interest. Maybe because it is also the most impressive, with its notes of green-leather-earth-tobacco-ambergris. Hmmm... which one to take? Difficult! I have to ask my communications department.


    At 6 pm I have my train to Munich where I will get at 23 pm. And a 6 pm , 24 hours later, I have another train back, bringing me to Zurich in time for bed. Then, if all goes well, I will head for a meeting day on Friday. In this meeting, I will look into opportunities for the German market that is basically next door, but was totally neglected so far by myself.

    As Werner said the other day: You like everything else better than actually selling your fragrances. Yes, right he is. Time to change this.

    Vogue here I come!

  • Getting ready for the pentachords

    This is a short post, as I am a bit tired after preparing a few things for the upcoming PENTACHORDS launch, and because of the heat that starts to drain energy from my brain, putting it somewhere else and as I have to hit the bike to go downtown to meet with partners.

    The pentachords are ante portas so to say and in early September we will start shipping samples. The full 50ml sized fragrances will ship after Pitti, September 12. Probably, I will put them on preorder before Pitti. All is ready now. We got samples, the little sample cards for the discovery set, the fragrances and the picture and even the category picture for my online shop. You see this picture on the left.

    Now, I just have to wait, because I promised to Campomarzio that I will not start shipping and selling before September. I am not good at waiting.

    But there we go: Another good exercise on my long, long way to Nirvana.

  • snippets

    The picture of today to the left shows you a hand (mine) with 16 snippets of a 250 gr/m2 paper, from Fischer, called TATAMI natural, with 1.3x volume, coated, with a touch of an ebony color. I cut them to test how thick a pile of 16 cards made from this paper gets. I got samples of various papers, helping to decide which paper to use for the print of the novelette that is accompanying the Miriam fragrance (50 ml size). The novelette is written by Brian Pera and is a lovely 16 double side pages short story, date book like, opening various doors to the world of Miriam. I wanted the paper to fit the world that we are building with the flacon and the rest of the packaging. Thus, I wanted it to be thick, unshiny, slightly coated, and I want it in FSC quality, meaning: Produced in a sustainable manner.

    The novelette goes into print today, hoping that I finish the layout of it in the next few hours. It will be one of many entry points into the world of this fragrance. Or the fragrance is the entry point into the world of Woman's picture, the movies. Like the pentachords are a hand pointing to a new direction, the Tableau de Parfums are pointing into another direction and open up a new world for me. This is part of the fascination being a createur de parfums. One man, many parties. Or a touch more serious: Creativity comes always with change. When you meet a creator doing the same things again and again then chances are good that creativity is gone. Of course, not every party is for everybody. In this context: see Nathan Branch's post on the upcoming Pentachords.

    Another snippet of today: Having prepared and shipped a couple of large orders for retailers (uff!), I will squeeze my time lemon today in order to work a little bit on a couple of ideas. I still have not figured out whether I like the main line of the third fragrance in the Tableau de Parfums series. It is scheduled for September and it tortures me.

    Other snippets of this week: I get quite often, on a regular basis, queries for free samples. I never answer them. But I read them, as they are snippets of what humanity offers and they are usually very nice and some are even a sort of standard query: Very eloquent and like a professional PR. In a sense more professional than a lot of PR news that I get because I run this blog.  Thus,  from "cancer in the family and we need a scent of hope, please send",  to a simple "I cannot afford them" I get everything from everywhere. Yesterday, I got another one. It started with "Dear Madam" . And it ended with an address, without country information. Mission not accomplished.

    Some new born bloggers do the same, too; asking for free samples to "expose my brand to their ever growing network of readers". When I visited one of these bloggers asking for freebies the other day, I found only one post there, on Chanel Bleu.

    On a sad note: My external hard disk was broken. I sent it off, hoping for warranty replacement. Actually, the disk was ok, but the USB connection just fell of. I plugged and unplugged this thing about 20 times, as I used the hard disk to store my backups. Thus, not really quality stuff. But the disk worked. It was a 2 Terabyte disk, holding the daily incremental backups of my digital life of about 2 weeks and was always close to full. Now, I got a 3 Terabyte disk and continue backing up my life there. I also back up snippets of my digital (business) life online, using a pay solution. What used to be books and paper and more paper is now bits and bytes and disks. In this sense, the novelette, printed on 16 cards, is actually quite retro. I never thought about it from this perspective.

    I wish you a happy Friday.

  • a spot in N+1 -dimensional space

    a perfume is a spot in a N+1 dimensional space. With N=the number of different ingredients you choose. Where exactly in this N+1 -dimensional universe you find the perfume spot depends on the ratios along the axes. If sprayed and released from the flacon, this perfume spot  will travel over time along the axis in this N+1 -dimensional universe and will develop. Some spots stay like fixed stars. Some are very fleeting, some change, some are new, some are here to last.

    When creating a perfume, you choose these N dimensions carefully and you make sure that the spot is there, where you feel it belongs to. And you make sure that it wanders through the sky in an orbit that you like and that is interesting. The art of fragrance design is: Placing the perfume spot properly in a universe that is almost empty. There is so much space for exploration. There are so many dimensions to choose from that you will almost always end up in uncharted territory.

    Not everybody will look into the sky with these perfumes spots the same way. We all bring our package of memories with us out there. We are conditioned. We live in a context. We have expectations what we want and will see. all this and subjectivity add another dimension. Maybe this dimension is the most interesting. Thus, perfumes are spots in a N+1 dimensional space. + 1 is you.

    Today, I share three reviews on the blogosphere with you. I recommend reading them. They are all  this +1 dimension and each leads you to a different place.


    Perfumeshrine on Pentachords.

    Sorcery of scent on Pentachords

    Beauty on the Outside on Rêverie au Jardin

  • building fragrant empires

    These days, I am sort of stuck inside, stocking up for autumn. Today's picture shows you some pentachords flacons,  on their way to getting the finishing touch: The white wooden pentachords top cover.

    Thus, I have a lot of time, playing in my mind, coming up with great ideas that will change the world. Unfortunately, most of them do not survive the next bottling circle, but it is a fun game to build fragrant empires and perfumes in your mind.

    When not dreaming, I think about stickers and labels that I need for Tableau de Parfums and Evelyn Avenue, respectively for Miriam, the first fragrance in this line. The goal is to minimize the number of stickers (at least for the moment), to maximize the flexibility of the packaging, and to reduce the risk imposed by changes (such as label requirements imposed by law, or by retailers with special wishes) by customization with printed labels.

    This is sort of a mind game, too. But more on the serious side.

  • Pentachords launch and video

    first things first: It was a great Pentachords launch event and party in Rome last Friday. My thanks go to Campo Marzio at Via Vittoria for their support and for their organization.

    I enjoyed it so much so to get together with perfume lovers and see their reactions, smelling the pentachords line. As the fragrances are quite a different take on perfumery -compared to the rest of my line- this was thrilling. And I feel: The pentachords are loved. Especially White. I think this is going to be a lot of perfume lovers favorite. We will see.

    Right in time with the launch, published the long and great video on the pentachords, where I explain in some details what the pentachords are all about and why I care for them.

    On a side note:  The other day I realized on that indeed I will have brought two entire new lines inside the brand with 4 fragrances this year. And in some comments they wondered why these launches. Sometimes I wonder, too. But then, I feel that my perfumes are very unique and interesting. Let me be modest: At least I launch fragrances that are interesting. And I have them in my mind and in my excel. Why not launch them? I rebuilt my entire brand to be a bit more presentable and even more important, I rebuilt my brand's packaging to be more effective allowing me to produce more without going big in numbers of people working for me.

    Thus, if I can launch them: Why not do it?

    Here's the link to the video  on the extrait website. The video is in English, the text is in Italian.

    And now, back in Zurich, we are back to normal. Which means: Pack and box and pour...happy and all by ourselves (W.-factor and me).

  • Great Valley

    I am on my way now to Milan for one day; doing a little video interview with for the upcoming launch of the Pentachords in Italy, where they will be available exclusively for 3 months in Campo Marzio in Roma. I will actually take the train forth and back to get there, but today's picture nevertheless fits: A little road in the US.

    It is a pathway through grassland, that we have seen and hiked for an hour or two  in the Great Valley State Park. We have seen about 10 Coyotes there and the equal amount of rabbits. It was a hike through a state park and we learned how a large portion of the region of the Great Valley must have looked like 200 years ago. Simply beautiful. With lots of yellow grass.

    Imagine the sights and sounds in the evening!

    Fragrant greetings to you all.

  • proof of handmade

    Today's picture to the left shows you black and white take of stones on a beach at the state park "El Capitan" in Southern California. Made by nature. Smoothed by the sea and a lively contrast to the beach's sand. Nature often works on a large timescale. We human beings tend to think in days, weeks, or years years while the ocean waves work for centuries on smoothly polishing the coast. As species, we craft objects since a few hundred thousand years. And we do so the longer the faster.

    Thus, I want to share a little design detail with you on the upcoming PENTACHORDS flacons. Some of you might have realized it already: The label and the top cover are different to the rest of the line. The top cover is made from wood as all the other tops I use. But this time, we get it colored in white for all Pentachords, and print PENTACHORDS onto it. On both side, which is sort of expensive. On the top of the top there is a printed, silver pentagon.
    The label that you see in the picture above is no sticker but more like a paper ribbon, folded around the flacon's neck like a shirt (actually, there are two openings in the paper ribbon where the neck goes through. ) The whole ribbon is held in place with the scrimped on pump and by a little sticker on the backside. Each Pentachord comes with a colored ribbon. Not that simple to put on.

    In a sense, a design proof of handmade.

    Initially, I thought that the ribbon should not cover the TAUER sign on the flacon. But I feel now that this makes it just a bit more interesting. Maybe design is not only about showing and presenting things but also about hiding and pointing to things by just setting hints.

    I think it fits well with the idea of fragrances that are centered around a reductionist approach, focusing our attention to a very minimal set of molecular structures.

  • Levkojen and PENTACHORDS presentation in June.

    Today's picture shows you a quick photo that I took yesterday before giving the bunch of Levkojen aka Matthiola away. I bought them at a flower shop nearby where I stop on a regular basis. The woman owning the shop buys a lot of flowers that are fragrant and she cares for special flowers you cannot get at your local supermarket. Like the Matthiolas.

    Their fragrance is breathtaking: Think clove, lots of clove, with something that reminds in tuberose, basically it smelled like clove loaded with salicylates. Salicylates are powdery and give any perfume a more expensive touch, make it bigger in a sense. And tuberose is heavy loaded with them.

    I passed by the flower shop on my way back by bike from town where I bought the train ticket for Rome. Yes! On Monday, I will close this blog for a week and spend 5 days with friends in Rome. Friends that I know since I am 16 and we spent a few happy days in Rome 20 years ago. Hence, time spend some time there again. And, to be frank, I am tired and I need a rest and air to think about the upcoming months.

    So I passed by the flower shop, got the Matthiolas and went home, where I turned on the computer to book my flights. Yes! Rome again. But this time for entirely professional reasons. I will travel to Rome on June 17, to officially show the first time on planet earth the PENTACHORDS. I will do so at Campo Marzio's flagship store in via Vitoria. Afterwards, Campo Marzio will have the pentachords exclusively until September.  I decided to do so because usually in the past, my Italian friends always got the new things as the last which is odd as I ship more perfumes to Italy than to any other place. Thus, I figured: Time to show the pentachords there first.

    I will be back soon again with my last post before traveling to Rome and a little draw. Thus, stay tuned.

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