Tauer Perfumes
20140902s

Jumping

September 2nd, 2014

Today’s picture shows you an (unfinished, maybe) watercolor painting that I did last week outside, a little path in the botanical garden. It is unfinished, maybe, as I actually should/wanted to add some shadows and a bit of color to the path that is a half circle in the middle of the picture. But I was scared of destroying it all by making a mistake. When I told this to my teacher, he simply said: OK, do it again! And when you reached the point where you are now, you can try your ideas on your second picture.

That’s what I did, but am still undecided about adding another line more.

So you see: Here’s the allegory. The more you have reached, the more you might get scared of losing it all.

This is true for all sorts of things. And it is a trap. From time to time, I try to remember this. Thus, from time to time, I am trying to jump out of the box, to look into the mirror and tell myself: It is time for another game. Do something “crazy”, maybe, dare painting this extra line that might change it all. Gardenia sotto la luna isn’t this jump. Although, when you smell the fragrance, you might realize that it speaks a slightly different language compared to my other creations. I think -as a creator- I moved forward there. In my upcoming exclusive interview with Persolaise, a discussion really, of many facets, the why’s and how’s and what if’s, you might find out more, soon. Persolaise announced this three-part interview yesterday, and it will probably go live very soon. Three parts as we talked and talked and talked, and just could not stop. I am  very much looking forward to it.

Gardenia, however, is not me jumping out of the box.

Jumping out of the box means something different. Like: Opening up a niche store in Swaziland. Or make buyers become sellers. Stuff like that. Or using a social media sales approach, where you get a product and pay indirectly, by giving away your data, your interests, your network. But how this would translate into the material world of perfume, this I do not know.

You know: I a marketplace where Tom Ford has become the synonym for niche, one has to move on forward, and dare painting this extra line.

 

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rose20140901s

moan groan or: living in a flower bubble

September 1st, 2014

September. Wow! Already?

That was about the second thought this morning. The first one was: Aechz stöhn, which is Donald Duck German for moan groan. Why? A couple of reasons:

First, it was raining, and dark  when I got up. Can’t do much about that, and as I always say: If you don’t like it, change it!

Then, I did sort of a personal best, jogging yesterday, but you pay the price, the next day.

And then I remembered work, bumping into my aluminum can (a 12 liter drum) with rose vermeille, filtered yesterday, that needs to go into bottles before I go to London next week.

September will be sort of a roller-coaster month, here in Tauerville, that’s for sure.

Here’s part of the roller-coaster uphill ride excitement: Persolaise announced yesterday on twitter the start of a tauer week, on his blog, which is going to be exciting, also for the subject (me). The week started with a look into Persolaise’s archive, 2010.  (link to Persolaise’s archive post). Thus, we are looking forward to reading his blog this week.

Another uphill excitement: I have been working on roses, lately, on all levels and when waking up the other day, I realized that I want to paint another rose. In order to remember this, I did a little sketch in my sketchbook (very little sketchbook actually). fixing what I had in mind: 3D rose.  That would be a nice perfume name, too.

Thus, September will see more roses here.  And we will continue talking about Gardenia. Flowers everywhere. That’s nice, and what I love about what I do. In a sense, I am living in a gigantic flower bubble.

I am not sure yet, whether the part of the downhill riding will be fun. But then: We will see and you can’t do much about that either.

 

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20140829s

Diamond gloss

August 29th, 2014

Why I bought diamond gloss.

I am pretty much convinced that the quality of your raw materials can make a difference when creating a perfume. On two levels.  I feel that this is true for naturals. But also for synthetics. For instance, I discussed a couple of years ago with one of my suppliers how it got more tricky to get good phenyl ethanol. This synthetic material is cheap. It is one of the main ingredients of natural rose absolute. It is always difficult to explain the bookkeeper that half of the bottle of rose absolute, our dearly bought Bulgarian or Moroccan treasure, is actually this phenyl ethanol that sits in drums at Sigma Aldrich Fluka where a kilo costs little bit more than your dinner in town, with red wine.

Basically, this translates into: What really matters in rose absolute is twice the price you think. And what matters there? A complexity, hundreds on components, that surprise by an unmatched brilliance and intensity.

So there you go: When using phenylethanol, although cheap, you still need to make sure that the quality is right. There is cheap and there is very cheap. And then there is beyond belief cheap. There in super cheap territory, however, somebody is paying a price, somewhere. Most of us would never work there where the cheapest of the cheap stuff is made. But that’s another topic: How to save our souls for judgement day.

So there ‘s phenyl ethanol. And then, there is rose absolute. And if you are using this material, you get a complexity and a perfume talking to you in a language that you cannot get when using phenyl ethanol to replace it. The difference will speak to you. Please keep in mind here: I did not say “better”, I said different. The more  of the absolute the smiling perfumer puts in there, the more different. That’s how I see it.

In which perfume do you find this magical rose absolute, in an amount where it actually makes a difference? Well, … good luck! The challenge is: The price tag won’t tell you. These days, you might end up paying 500 Euro for a flacon from a brand, and there is no indication that the content is worth it. The price tag won’t help you. You might consider using your nose. But that’s not an easy task these days. Who can help you? Nobody, really. Your friendly sales rep will tell you that this particular bottle costs 500 Euro because of the ingredients and the flacons and whatever. Your friendly perfumer talking about his and her creation will never give you the formula, allowing you to judge for yourself. Your glossy media won’t tell you either. Most of the stuff in there is paid for, and what isn’t is not really helpful. Your friendly blogger won’t tell you either. Mostly.

So there you go: A big confusion.

And with that we come to the highlight of today’s post: Me shopping hair conditioner. See the picture of today. Being a man, being brave and going bald, and having stopped worrying about my hair days in my twenties, I was told by my watercolor painting teacher guru that the best for my brushes is  a nice nursing hair conditioner. Many of my brushes are made with and from dead animal’s hair. Marten is one of them, some species of squirrel, … yep: It’s like that. You can get nice synthetic sports wear, shirts from poly-don’t know-what. But the best: Merino wool. Anyhow.

So there you go: I learned that my brushes need tender loving care. There, in the shop: The big confusion. How to decide? In the end, for me, it was “the brand”, I went for a brand that I know and trust, and that has not gone to court with micro perfumers ; at least to my knowing, contrary to some French big brands, spending their innovation bucks in courtrooms to kill small competitors. Especially French micro competitors. Enough said. I picked a brand, and then the most ludicrous sales pitch.

I went for Diamond Gloss, for medium to thick hair. With real diamond particles! You know: You just can’t beat diamonds!

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20140828s

lounge radio

August 28th, 2014

The picture today shows you a snapshot from the Tauer “factory”. Labelling Lonestar Memories flacons with the ipad on the side, tuned into lounge-radio.com , putting labels on the flacons, one after the other.  A couple of “why” here:

Why Lonestar: Because we run out of bottles sitting on the shelves. Having focused a bit too much on Gardenia, it is time to stock up on others.

Why labels, and not printing: Printing comes with the advantage of being nice (as long as the print sticks), and the disadvantage of being complex to keep up with the printed bottles stock logistics. With labels, you are on the safer side, and can swiftly upscale and downscale production of a flacon.

Why Lounge-Radio.com? Because music helps. And lounge-radio.com is a very little (niche) private venture of a guy, running his own lounge radio station. I think this is cool, makes a difference, is worth supporting, and if I do not like the music , then I switch to another internet channel. Easy going lounge keeps you moving, specially when doing somewhat repetitive stuff in the factory. Do I love to put labels on bottles? Not really. I do not mind doing it though. And as it is just a few hundred per batch, it is ok. But the plan for next year is to get some help.

Next year means 2015. And next year, in January, means 10 years of Tauer Perfumes. In January 2005, I put Le Maroc pour elle onto the shelves of Medieval art&vie, the little bookshop in Zurich’s medieval downtown. Amazing how fast time goes by.

Also amazing: How long it takes to build a business from scratch, if you do not have millions to invest,  if you address a micro segment of the market, and amazing how long it takes to build a brand, an image, how long it takes to get known. Here, it took a couple of years to get out there.

After 10 years, indeed, my perfume bottles and me got sort of known out there. And guess what: Being known and recognized as “brand” and person comes with a lot of aspects. Let’s mention two aspects here:  It gets easier. I do not have to cry my lungs out to be heard. A lot of perfume lovers listen these days which is fantastic. Wonderful actually, and I am very grateful there. Another aspect;  Drolls and scribes are popping up -for  reasons that you cannot do anything against-, because you got onto their radar. That’s why I have the anti-droll spray sitting next to me, all the time: One spritz and they are all gone, falling off my facebook walls like flies.

10 years, almost, brought a couple of changes, you bet.

Here’s today’s secret: On the blue wall in the factory, hangs a piece of paper. It says “in 10 years from now”…whenever an idea  pops up while listening to lounge-radio, where I want to be in 10 years from now, I write it down.

I need to put up another piece of paper there, though: In 2015, I want to …. I really should start working on 2015.

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20140826s

picture in a picture

August 26th, 2014

something I learned in my first aquarelle class lesson: get to know your motive, and  do so by going small (picture size) and large (brush). Postcard size is about right. You work fast, and start by painting a frame. Then you search the lines, and shapes, and colors. And ideally, you identify what works and what doesn’t. And you might want to think about thrilling elements that you might want to bring out. And you might want not to think too much, but feel the brush and the paper and color. Yeah…. quite a lot, really.

This morning, I was trying this starting with a picture of an Alpine lake that I took about 2 years ago, in the late afternoon sun, mountains mirrored, no clouds, the mountains and surrounding area almost black, but a slope of the mountain reflecting the afternoon sun.

Mountain lake  mirroring the mountains in dark afternoon sunlight

Mountain lake mirroring the mountains in dark afternoon sunlight

It is a nice and fast way indeed, great to test ideas. Starting with a picture is also helpful. You can easily measure distances, and proportions. Lesson learned, that goes far beyond painting a lake: Go small with your ideas, first.

The other picture in this post, a blue rose, shows you what can happen starting with a life rose, without sketching the rose with a graphite pencil… it “fell” out of the frame.

It was not planned like that, really.

But here’s the thing: These little mistakes can actually make all the difference. The rose, for instance, suddenly becomes a picture in a picture and the entire scene gets another meaning. I could continue there, bringing in a bright orange around the frame, further underlying the picture in a picture, using a mistake and turning it into something positive.

So… what’s the message here? I guess the message is that many mistakes aren’t really mistakes. Jumping up, one floor higher, to see the total picture, many mistakes turn out to be pictures in a picture, leaving us with a positive note. Many, but not all. And finally, you have to try things out, right? Those who do not move make only one mistake: not moving. But that’s a probably a very big mistake, and another topic.

OK, you probably want to know one of my mistakes, right? There are many. I think one of my biggest mistakes was my pricing, initially. And sticking with standard bottles for too long. And then switching to a pentagonal packaging that looked great but was impractical like it came from hell. Not the bottle. That’s one of the best ideas that I had. This bottle, it really sticks out everywhere. And whenever I see a perfume lover sharing her or his collection: I see my babies in a blink of an eye. This flacon really pops out.

Anyhow: We are moving on here at tauerville. What’s next? Putting Lonestar Memories into bottles. I can’t go wrong there.

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20140825s

new passport

August 25th, 2014

Tomorrow, I can fetch my new passport. I applied for it 10 days ago and wow! this was quite an experience. You start applying online, organize a date and time, pick your 15 minutes slot, go there, get a picture done -I am not sure whether they do an iris picture ,too – fingerprints and then you pay and after 5 minutes you are done and will get a new shiny Swiss passport, within about ten days. While the picture is done, in a little cabin, you can actually give your input, whether you like the look. I was seriously tempted to smile, but you are not allowed to show any teeth. I do not know why this is.

Thus, early this morning, I was going through my wallet, searching for the piece of paper that proves that I paid. Today’s picture shows you what I found in my wallet. It is a snapshot, with some insights. Like: I like gummy bears, travel to Paris a lot, go to the gym, have little cash, was once in Harrod’s, and have health insurance. Everybody does in Switzerland, actually. Interesting…. I wonder what other people’s wallet contents look like.

I am looking forward to getting my new passport, and using it after landing in London, September 8, for an event September 9, at Les Senteurs. It will be the first time that I get analog feedback to my Gardenia, meeting face to face, nose to nose with perfume lovers and talking about the fragrance. I haven’t decided yet what I want to say there. I always wonder what perfume lovers wish to know. Thus, wishing you a lovely start into your new week, I dare asking you…. what would you like to hear about Gardenia sotto la luna, if you went to London?

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20140822s

pipette guiding the way, and more gardenia…

August 22nd, 2014

So I told you: It is a gardenia week. Yesterday, after my aquarell class that is unacademic but highly educative, no school environment, but inspiring  in a way that I am in heaven there, after this class I got home and my mail box blinked with happy news. So there we go: The first reviews of the Gardenia sotto la luna are out and I am very flattered, and share them here.Wonderful news, indeed.

Riding a crescent moon, by the scented hound.

I am gardenia when I am wearing this, on Fragrance Daily.

this time the first gardenia fragrance that I have ever really liked and would wear, which for a gardenia-hater like me is quite extraordinary, on Fragrance Daily.
(disclaimer: all reviews are based on samples that the reviewers bought or got through an external source. I have not shipped out samples to the press yet, with one exception)

During the aquarell class hours, I had my ipad in the backpack and forgot to turn the sound off. It fetches mails automatically and makes “bing” when a new mail reaches me or rather: it. I got immune to the “bing” and try not to notice. “somebody got a lot of work when this class is over”, the teacher said.

Back home, I did not open the ipad, but finished the one picture that I sketched with a graphite thing before during class. No pencil, but a thick rough graphite mine. The main lesson for me during class: get of of the details closet. I was giving a brush, 1/4 the size of the picture’s height. We were also recommended to draw a couple of little pictures, postcard size. So we are learning to let the brush take over, to let go, to leave the controlled area and get into uncharted territory of a brain full of ideas. Sort of.

Here’s the funny thing:  when it comes to perfumes, I learned this lesson. I let it flow, a lot, sometimes, it just happens. How much, I realized yesterday. For a particular reason I had to check the gardenia excel sheet where I wrote down all the different trials of the formula. YES: Tons of trials! I was looking into it and realized that something is happening in there that is beyond my event horizon. It is the pipette guiding the way.

Picture today: An old scan of gardenia in bloom, colored in soft yellow tones that I think match perfectly.

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20140820s

more gardenia

August 20th, 2014

So there we go: I have been working for a while on a gardenia scent soap, for my “perfume in a soap” series of fragrant soaps that I do not sell normally, but offer as treat for friends and fans. Like … in draws. The picture shows you the result sitting in the factory on the shelf, taken yesterday. 100 gr. of plush gardenia.

I haven’t totally decided what to do with it, or how to use it. It goes together with a piece of paper that ‘s going to sit on the blue “think about wall” in the factory, saying: “USING OFFERS ON FACEBOOK”. In the end, I can do draws, or add it complementary to full bottle purchases or offer it as treat for anything else: that’s a marketing decision, basically. And boring for you , probably.

So let’s talk about plush gardenia, the perfume in a soap. When pouring the glycerine soap yesterday, it was like “WOW!”.. .total gardenia overdose. I made a prototype a couple of months ago. You know: I needed to test the scent and it’s performance in soap. Does it bloom? Does it last? How’s the jasmine concrète doing with some other ingredients (natural extract of J. grandiflorum, produced basically to isolate the absolute. Due to the high wax percentage in concrètes, they are perfect for soaps. I got mine from Egypt) ?

Basically, I composed a scent for the soap, making sure to only use ingredients that survive the alkaline environment. I mixed it and poured 100 gr of a prototype soap, round and still sitting in the house. (Actually, I did so a couple of times as not every scent trial was performing as expected) Then, I let the soap sit for a month and started using it. It is an intense perfume experience. Think: Super luxurious. Quite amazing, actually. The fragrance contains 12 ingredients, one being the above mentioned jasmine concrète. There are two molecules that make up a small part of the gardenia HEADSPACE in the soap perfume, too. These are hexenyl tiglate and methyl benzoate. A very small percentage of the overall mixture consists of these, but they are super important. Other key ingredients: Salicylates (thing: Powdery), lactones (think white flower creaminess), and some other ingredients that provide lift, and add floral volume.

For a soap: Quite a complex fragrance. While packing the soap, I wonder how this fragrance would actually do in ethanol. When making the next batch, I have to try this, too. Although, with Sotto la luna Gardenia, I have enough gardenia for the moment. I packed 49 of these. Ok, … I ruined some packaging envelopes. 1 is not packed. It will sit in our bathroom.

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20140819s

scribbling

August 19th, 2014

today’s picture is in real life a few cm wide, meaning it is small. The pen on the side was used to scribble it. I did so the other day when sitting together with my insurance guy, with the talking going from what can happen in life to all of us and what and how I have insurance to cover it. Like the insurance for the goods that we have in stock, or what happens if I break my arm or worse. So yes, the meeting was important, and my scribbling does not reflect that really.

I often do quick sketches, laying out a big plan in a little sketch. Like for the gardenia, when working on it, a formula getting more and more complex, asking for clarifications. Actually, the gardenia is very complex, and the complexity makes it more than “just” a white flower. Of course, I say so in order to invite everybody to give it a try, even if you feel uncomfortable with white flowers. Never ever give up: There might be a white flower out there for you that you can fall in love with.

Ah, and yes, this is true for him and her.

But back to the scribbling. When I looked at it this morning, thinking about a picture going with this post, I remembered that since days I want to start putting pieces of paper on my wall in the factory. The one wall that I look at when packing or when filling bottles. I will be there soon, and have to hurry up as I am still behind the computer answering mails and doing other stuff.

I want an empty piece of paper there, or several, on the blue wall. For ideas. Like: I  have an idea, I write it down there (or sketch a visual representation) and it will remind me every day.

And I want pieces of papers there that remind me of the bigger plan. Like: In ten years from now, I want to be there. Where? That’s the question.

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20140818-1s

more on poetry. To give notes or not to give.

August 18th, 2014

Today’s picture shows you a  boxed gardenia fragrance sitting on a quick watercolor sketch that I did yesterday. It did not work out (the watercolor). But I did two rose illustrations that both worked well and that made me happy. So, yes, there was time yesterday to do a lot, to jog, to paint, to answer mails.

20140818-3s

Water color illustration of a rose, by Andy Tauer

Here’s the first rose.

And here’s the second.

Another rose illustration, by Andy Tauer, watercolor

Another rose illustration, by Andy Tauer, watercolor

Talking about roses: “rose” is one of the very few specific notes that I indicate for the Gardenia. Other notes mentioned: vanilla, tonka, sandalwood, jasmine. But, for instance, I do not tell what “spices” you find in the fragrance head notes. Why not? There are individual spices in the top notes, of course, but telling there is -just to name one that might be in there or not- cinnamon gives the wrong direction. The fragrance top notes are not about cinnamon. It is a chorus of spices, complementing fresh floral elements.

Hard to explain really.

You need to try.

And I think you might want to forget what you know about gardenia, or no: better said… you might want to get ready to explore details, facets of gardenia that you have not explored yet.

Actually a lot of my perfume loving friends do so right now, and I am busy packing sample orders.

Thank you for that.

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