As wished by a few, find below a literal translation of my “Tagblatt der Stadt Zürich” appearance. (The pix is in colour, but I had no access to a colour scanner today… thus, tauer smiles in black&white)
“Behind every fragrance I see a picture“
The chemist Andy Tauer develops perfumes for the love of scents, soon he will make a living from his scents.
A smoky, somewhat animalic scent is spreading in the living room. “Birch tar”, says Andy Tauer immediately. This essence is part of the Lonestar Memories, which brings the picture of a camp fire to every nose.
He develop the fragrance composition in his flat in Höngg. Here, the 42 year old perfumer Andy Tauer puzzles ambitiously on new creations. ”Behind every scent I see a picture: People on their promenade or sceneries like a sunset over Marrakesch.” Especially inspiring was for him the scene of Gernouille’s birth on the market place in the movie “ The perfume” that is shown in the theatres these days. “the image language is fabulous”.
Since years the chemist is engaged enthusiastically in the world of scents. Playful at first, birthday presents for friends, today passionate with serious thoughts on commercialisation issues. He has never seen a perfumery school from inside, but visits Grasse, the famous perfume town, regularly to do some fragrance materials shopping.
A black dining table dominates the living room. Here, Andy Tauer sits daily. On it you find accurately arranged a selection of his ca. 500 essences and pipettes. He is geared to a 100 year old tradition of perfume making , with lots of essential oils and little synthetically produced compounds. “Most perfumes are composed mainly of synthetic compounds, because these can be produced more economically in large amounts”, explains Tauer. An example for such a compound is vanillin, a synthetic form of the vanilla scent.
About 2000 fragrance compounds are known, 40 to 80 are mixed into a perfume composition. The perfume industry launches about 500 new perfumes world wide annually. Tauer thinks that only a few may stand for a while, because many of them look alike. The pretension to create something entirely new he has neither. “I want to make fragrances that provoke emotions”.
Two years ago a friend asked him to create a perfume for his bookshop Medieval art&vie at the Spiegelgasse 29 that he might sell. Tauer said yes, spontaneously. The step towards commercialization fascinated him.
His first scent was born: Le Maroc pour elle. With natural oils such as Atlas cedar wood, rose and jasmine.“ The souks of Marrakesch seduced me to create this scent. “
So far, Tauer has brought 3 perfumes to the market, a forth will follow in November. Orris, an iris scent, was never planned to be commercialized. For 9 months he informed about the development of this scent. He gave away 40 samples for free at the 1year birthday of his blog. “I was overwhelmed with feedback and was begged to bring the fragrance to the market”.
Andy Tauer sees himself as craftsman, less as an artist.
It is a creative challenge that Tauer faces. He invests months, often even years in a new fragrance. It is a tedious process. “ A fragrance is never finished for me. I stop when I personally think is good enough”.
There are scents that fit with everything. Bergamot for instance. Or the rare sandalwood from India that fixes head and heart notes. But there are scents that extinguish each other, like lily and rose. “This combination easily becomes soapy.”
The perfumery as science? For Tauer it is. Using Excel he writes down how he mixes the oils and afterwards puts them drop by drop into a flacon. He then uses paper strips to test sniff a scent and he neutralizes his nose with coffee beans or a wool scarp. “Often I realize after weeks, that my fragrance won’t develop properly and then I pour it off and start again”.< Andy Tauer sees himself as craftsman, not as an artist. “For me, Edmond Roudnitska is an artist. His truly legendary lily of the valley scent Diorissimo for Dior has impressed me thoroughly.” Tauer can’t live from his perfumery work, yet. His bread and butter job is in Berne, where he informs about European research projects, mandated by the government. He misses the resources to kick off expensive marketing campaigns. But he sells at best location in town and by a distributor in the US. “Business goes very well, indeed. “ says Tauer pleased and predicts “in two years, I would like to be perfumer, only.” Maybe we will see the craftsman turning into an artist.
Literal translation: A. Tauer.