Tauer Perfumes

back. and resurrection

April 21st, 2015

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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April 10th, 2015

Hi there!  I am off and away, for a couple of days there will be no posts as I am sort of off the grid, too. Off from sickbay, too. The last two days were – to be honest- terrible: what  a perfect timing to get sick…but now I am up and running again. Sort of.  Bottomline: As I will be in the desert for a while, there will be no posts.

And finally:  here’s a thank you.  To the people at nichepack.com . It is them who pack and ship my US orders for tauerville. Without them, I would have been lost the last 48 hours.

I am looking forward to talking to you soon again. Have a great time!




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rich days

April 8th, 2015

Yesterday was a joyous day, rich and full. I was preparing the newsletter for the next scent in my tauerville collection, Vanilla flash. Today, right now, I pushed the bottom, with sweaty hand, sort of. One of the trial flacons that you see in today’s picture, sitting on my bench, goes to the “launch it, forget it” corner.

You can check the newsletter out here. I tried a new way of telling a story, short: Making an adobe voice video, integrated into the newsletter. I love story telling. You can watch it here (best is not to use Safari but chrome or firefox).

I also filled Le Maroc pour elle into bottles because I was down to zero bottles and having zero bottles in stock before leaving for the US gives me sweaty hands, too. Thus, the first and the last fragrance at the same day: Makes you think and compare. It’s been quite a ride from there to here. The bottomline for me was: tauerville is the next logical step. And Le maroc was the first logical (or should I say “emotional” ?) step.

To make a long story short. One of the best qualities for me, about tauerville, is: I can pick and place my scents. Place them there where I think they fit best. Following my instinct, and playing my cards on a growing table. And: I can play in tauerville, a bit more than I can here, on tauer perfumes. Playing means: Trying out new esthetics, complementary to Tauer Perfumes.

I was also biking up and down Zurich, under a bright sun, fetching some stuff that I need for the trip to the US. Like paper. To draw on, but also to visualize some creative perfume ideas that are lingering in the back of my head and that need some sorting out. The highlight of my trip to the US: Me meeting Antonia, running here Tigerlily store and boutique, for the first time, and many perfume loving friends in San Francisco, Saturday, April 18 at 5 pm. Can’t wait really. This is a first, too. There will not be much time for sightseeing in SF, and it wasn’t my goal. I basically just hop out of the plane on my way back to Zurich.

Back in Zurich, I will hope for the pollen load to have vanished. Yesterday, biking through town, was like, well: Fully loaded with what makes your eyes watery, your nose clogged and your lung stiff. I am not really (very much) allergic, but this year seems different. But that’s the yin and yang of spring.


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this week’s main topic

April 7th, 2015

… will be shipping. And it will be an utterly busy week before I fly out of Zurich this Friday. Shipping in and out that is. I am awaiting a couple of deliveries. Bottles, more bottles, folding cardboard boxes. And lots of parcels need to get out of there, the little factory.

And, as almost always, there are troubles. What should have arrived ten days ago gets here this week, because… well:

– the wrong stuff was delivered first

– stuff was shipped without papers through Europe, just to be shipped back, and reshipped with papers

– general delays.

Sometimes, it feels as if the logistics is the most troublesome issue when it comes to tauer perfumes. And sometimes, it feels like we are still stuck in mule carriage times. You know: These days, I do not see really -for instance- why I need to physically print 3x commercial invoices and packlists and all. The e-integration in international shipping is still missing to a big extend.

Anyhow: Once the parcels and pallets get out of the factory…. Hurray! Finally some space to  move around again.

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the moon at 5 am

April 6th, 2015

Today, Easter Mondays, is a holiday here, and things are quiet around here. Thus, no busy streets, no rush and no newspaper. But the perfect full moon this morning, and about a thousand birds singing under a dark sky, at 5 am. They ot up early and so did I. I could not help it and had to take a picture of the moon with the Nikon.

One reason why I got up early, besides work that just needs to get done and out of my way: the drawing board and the mixing table. On the drawing board waits paper with (another) tuberose work. Mixed media (oil pastel and water color) and I had to stop there yesterday. A bit wild, but I like it that way.


Tuberose, watercolor, oil pastel, not finished

I want to finish the background but won’t do much more. The picture is actually the last of a series that I did, slowly approaching towards an abstraction, trying to understand the form and essence.

When starting this post, I did not think about it. But now I can see it: The moon and the tuberose are actually pointing towards tuberose sotto la luna. But that’s another story, I guess, for September.

And on the mixing table, I will do some dilutions of earlier mixing experiments. And, if I feel like it, do another base or two. I love mixing bases (and discarding them): Mixing bases does not come with the pretense of “this needs to turn into a perfume beyond the ordinary”. There is a an element of lightness and relief. The same is true for trial vials where the only aim of the trial is to create for my private drawer. I actually have a couple of these, in the private drawer. Some of them get redone at some point, and they are like a repository for new ideas. Although, to be honest, they do not sit in a drawer, but on my bench. You can imagine them like waves of 30 ml vials, brown glass, flowing over the bench from the left (where the papers that need to go out sit) and the right (where the label printer sits). I just did a quick overview counting: Must be like 75 right now, in various states of completion or olfactif horror.

There is a physical limit: The size of the bench. If the vials get too close to the keyboard, the ones that are not convincing go into a box or on another shelf. There they continue to sit for a while until they go to the trash.

What base do I have in mind? Today, I feel like vetiver. Why would you need a base for vetiver, you might ask. There’s more than enough vetiver around… yes, but you see: That’s the nice thing about doing a base. No pretense going into that vial.

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training and talking

April 2nd, 2015

Today’s picture is part of what we did in yesterday’s watercolor class: still life with artichoke. From very detailed studies using pencils to going wild. Still lives are not easy, but a perfect training to see, and draw. I have to come back to artichoke, though…

That was one highlight yesterday, the other was a get together with a student class, studying economics and stuff. Me: Talking about how to create a perfume, and many aspects that are relevant in the making and bringing of perfumes to the markets. And as always: I think I learned more than the students. Some of the questions were brilliant. One was about niche perfumers, like me, and why we do not have some sort of a inter-brand organization, why we do not pooling forces and try to communicate with one voice what niche is all about. Brilliant!  And one was about quality, as criteria, in perfumery. I could not really provide an answer. A tough one. What means quality in perfumery. So many parameter come to mind, like ingredients, the formula holding together, longevity, and so many subjective parameters that are hard to describe, like balance, transparency, delicacy, elegance, wearability (whatever that means).

I do not like to give workshops about how to create a perfume, but I love to talk about everything perfume related, from individual notes, to the bigger picture with all the forces that have an impact. And every time that I do so I go home afterwards, with questions in my mind, and ideas. Like: Yes, the students are very right. There really should be something like an organization, where we, the very few who still provide high quality niche, talk to the world, and get the message out. Food for thoughts, indeed. Maybe something to talk about when meeting friends in the US.

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March 31st, 2015

“Do you carry your life in this backpack?” , asked me a friend a while ago while we were walking around in town. Sometimes it feels like that. I usually carry paper, pencils,water color, and a box with tools with me. And a pad, a keyboard, some brushes, glasses, adaptors, and a couple of other things that I am too lazy to unpack. Yesterday, after the weekend, I had everything with me, except for the watercolor palette. The most important part was missing. But, necessity is the mother of invention: I used the stuff that I had in the tools box together with black ink to muse during the lunch break in the factor.

While I was inventive in the factory (see today’s picture) I was listening to the radio where an economist, specialized in economic history, talked about Greece. uiuiui. Sometimes, in all the news about billions and quantitative easings and Troicas and more, we tend to forget that there are actually people living there, in Greece. The bottom line of the interview was: No chance for Greece in the Euro currency, except there is an economic union that goes far beyond what folks have these days in the Euro currency area. Because of many things. And another bottomline was: So many suffered and will continue to suffer beyond believe. He actually made the comparison to the great depression in the 30-ies and yes, Greece is there, on that level.

Irrelevant of all the politics and obligations and rules and laws: so many suffer and it makes me feel sad. You know… no job, no hope, no future.

And the Greek are not the only ones. There’s a tectonic shift happening these days; it happens slowly, over years, but it happens.

I mention this here, as besides all the painting and sniffing and mixing, I am running my little business here, in Switzerland. And whether we like it or not: I am sitting on these shifting tectonic plates, too. And, yes, I feel the tremor.

Already in 2014, I was looking into building tauerville, anticipating further changes, opening a gateway to another galaxy, where I can continue to create and offer my creations, in an easy approachable way; easy approachable for both, me -the sender- and you -the recipient-. When doing so, I was evaluating a lot of options: First, it was clear that at least part of the production needs to be done by someone, other than me. Thus, I was looking into production in house by hiring someone, production in France, in Italy, in Germany, in Switzerland, … and in the US. The US won.


In house: I did not want to hire, rent more room and take the responsibility for a person here in high wage Switzerland.

Italy: Too complicated. Just the idea to get perfume oil (the concentrate) over the border is a nightmare. It is sad, but it is that way. And: Do not even think about getting a company established in Italy.

France: Too expensive. I mean way too expensive.

Germany: Reliable, a real alternative, but: I have little trust in the EURO zone, and midterm, I expect production costs in Germany to go up, comparable to Switzerland’s level, but at a lower productivity level. And I was worried that getting a company established there is not that easy, in comparison that is.

In the end, I decided for the US. It makes economical sense to ship stuff there, get bottles filled there and packed, and ship part of it back. And I have my US company established there already (I did so 2013, with the snip of a finger, within 24 hours). This is all TAUERVILLE. Not Tauer Perfumes. But it is a start, a beginning, to get ready for the tectonic plates shifting even more.

What’s the bottomline of all this (thank you for reading all the way down here): I am really sorry. I so wished to provide job(s), for instance in Italy, on a very small scale, but still… But I can’t. Because the market in the EU is far from unified, because it is too expensive, and because it is too complicated to deal with.

Actually, this part of the post today is very sad. There is a happy note, though. Everything’s changing these days, and I might reconsider tomorrow. Necessity is the mother of invention. And those who know and follow me…. After ten years bending and stretching and adapting: We got super flexible here.

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March 30th, 2015

I got myself a headlight for camping. Today’s picture shows you what the light does when having it shine down, on myself…

I do not like to post selfies too much. I am not a digital native and always feel that my face is not that important really. But here, I could not resist. When I got the lamp, I tried it out in a darkened room and took the selfie. I like this picture. It is so odd.

That much about the selfie.

I tend to think a lot about pictures, the way we see them, and the world. Never in human history so many pictures were taken and published. Not by real cameras anymore, but by phones and pads. And never were so many pictures shared like today. The sheer number of pictures, I am convinced, changes the way we see them, and the world behind them. And with all the  pictures that we take to mirror reality, through the filter of our eyes and tools, there is no need anymore to paint pictures that accurately mirror the world. We discuss this in the painting class a lot. No need for that.

But, trying to paint and illustrate accurately what we see, is the perfect exercise for hand eye coordination and a great lesson to master your tools. Once familiar with your motive: Move on and reflect about a motive, let it flow, follow your inspiration.

With head space technology and a couple of ten thousand molecules at hand, more molecules than ever at the reach of anyone who wants to create perfumes: There is no need to recreate the scent of a rose or any other flower accurately.  First, it has been done multiple times and you can get your perfect rose directly from your prefered raw material supplier, like Givaudan. I don’t get these ready to use flower bases, though. Because 1) everybody is using them, 2) you get dependent on a particular base and its composition that is not revealed to you and 3) I find it a good exercise to come up with bases myself and learn about the motive.

Sometimes, I read online comments, from perfume lovers, complaining generally that perfume xyz from brand xyz says “rose” and does not smell like a “real” rose. I feel that this is wrong. Nothing’s wrong with a nice “real” rose splash, for instance, but in the end, I feel we should expect perfumes to be inspired by, not copies of.

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il faut s’imaginer sisyphe heureux

March 25th, 2015

I do not have a garden, just a spot in front of the house, a nice place where soon the tulips will bloom. These days, more or less daily, provided the weather allows it, I go down there, for 10 minutes or so and do what I call “therapeutic weeding”. Kneeling down and trying to make room for primroses and other delicate plants that are grown over by the super potent weed. As half of the spot is covered with grass and weed: This therapy will never end. It is therapeutic, especially after a day behind the computer or over the ipad or with sample vials, as it does good to do “real work”. In case my tomato plants survive until then: By mid May you will see me down there inspecting tomato leaves for plant louses and other enemies.  So far the tomato babies do well. Only the Peru wild type behaves like a spoiled tomato princess and germinated but decided to more or less stop growth now. We will see.

Today’s title “You have to imagine Sisyphus happy” : In the little outdoor spot in front of the house, I am Sisyphus, and happy.

When labelling Air du désert marocain bottles, I am Sisyphus, too. And happy.

I do not know how many bottles I have labelled in the last 9.5 years, but it’s many; very many. So, I guess, I am very happy.

Today’s picture: Air du désert marocain bottles ready to get labelled.

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broken things and being brave

March 24th, 2015

Today’s picture shows you an egg that I used last Saturday to make a “hefezopf” loaf. The picture is a rough, A4 size, oil color sketch, on paper. An allegory for things that break and  cannot be fixed anymore, by nobody really, but at the same time they’re opening the door to something new.

Yesterday, I was brave. Regular readers of this blog know: I have an ipad. ipad 2. OLD. And slow, since I upgraded it to OS 7. Yesterday, I did a back up, and figured that it does not matter anymore (because it got so slow anyhow, and is crashing from time to time): I tried the upgrade to OS 8.x. Well, here’s the good news. It did it. But it did not help. Thus, whether I like it or not: I need to get a new one. The ipad is my communication tool, daily in the factory, when travelling, after dinner at home…I use it for hours on a daily basis and it just needs to function for my business to function.

I do not like getting a new one as the old one still works. It is not broken really. Which speaks for its quality. I runs and runs, but it does so slower and slower every day.

It is an irony really that the digital technology where everything happens seemingly in non material space, through bits and bites, produces an ever increasing mountain of electronic trash. Using rare earths from the heart of Africa, which is very problematic. Anyhow: I need to get a new one.

Yesterday, when meeting with Swiss perfumers and art folks and Saskia Wilson-Brown, founder of the Institute for Art and Olfaction, – a meeting that was really fun and brought a lot of perfume and mind power together- I was also brave: I put on a fragrance that I love but that is not on the market, yet. I got a compliment. Yeah! Saskia is heading for Milan to announce the finalists of their annual award. Cool!

It is very rare that I wear perfume and even rarer that I get compliments. Thus, that was nice. And no: I cannot tell you more about it, yet. It is the next tauerville scent, though.

Tauerville is really fun, and I enjoy it a lot. I feel like “Pippi Langstrumpf” (Pippi Longstocking) , doing what I love to do. Of course, at Tauer Perfumes I also do what I love, it is just a different context.

There at Tauer Perfumes, I am still fiddling with a couple of trials. They are not ready yet to wear them in public, though.What troubles me most is the hyacinth. I think I need to be a touch braver there. But you know: You can’t force things. I feel that there is one thing missing in the base, but I could not figure out what, yet.

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