Tauer Perfumes

design

dried rose, picture taken from beneath

a mystery story around rose the Kandahar

March 27th, 2014

a mystery story around rose the Kandahar or “Mr Andy, had the scent is what features?”

Today’s picture: a quick photo of a dried rose that I keep in my room where I compose and draw,  taken from beneath, with flash on, a quick phone photo. The rose has still kept is color, even the leaves kept their green, although they are dead since about 2 months. This rose is one of a bunch of roses that collect dust and will never bloom again. I find them very inspiring: it is  a memento mori. You  know: Remember that there is death and act accordingly. I chose this motive as I am going through sort of a detective story these days and weeks around my rose de Kandahar.

For those of you who just came in: PHI-une rose de Kandahar, last year’s special in the Collectibles range, was a super success, much more than anticipated. It underlined the rule that there is no rule.

It brought me into troubles, as I had not planned a success and did not have a plan A for my perfume loving friends living in areas where I cannot ship to. And my retailer business partners. I am still feeling sorry for not being able to serve them. whoops! And then, by the time the message got really out and spread (this needs time), then I was  already sold out. Thus, a lot of clients who could not smell it, test it, get it: Everybody in Italy, almost everybody in Europe, Russia, Australia, and and and.

A word on getting the message out. You know: I am a one man enterprise, 1.5 men to be honest, and my means to spread news and information are rather limited. I have zero communication budget and cannot afford to hire a PR company to tell a story. I have to 1) do it myself and 2) rely on my perfume loving clients and friends to spread the message. And, as I am a one man show, I do all the other communication channels myself, like  Facebook messages.

Like: this message that I got this morning as direct message in my inbox- out of context: “Mr Andy had the scent is what features?” Another mystery story. But a funny one.

So there you go: Une rose de Kandahar, the name of my scent created around and inspired by rose essential oil from the Nangarhar region. I decided to name the fragrance de KANDAHAR, though. I have zero stock of this scent and cannot produce more rose de Kandahar, except if I`ll find more rose oil, in good quality, from this region, where a project by the Welthungerhilfe is supporting the rose horticulture in  Afghanistan. For the record: I love the idea of planting roses instead of drugs in Afghanistans valleys, but the rose de Kandahar is not a charity scent.

Anyhow. Imagine how happy I was when my supplier of this rose oil, a Swiss intermediary doing the quality check and making sure that the thing is the real thing and organic and all, when this supplier told me that the producer in Afghanistan found more of the rose oil, harvest 2013, like 100 gram or more. Buy it! I said within a nanosecond. Get it! Now!

So I placed the order that complemented a standing order for the 2014 harvest, which happens in May, I think, and needs further work , like reduction of Methyl eugenol. And then: You do not know how much they get and whether I am the last guy getting anything. Ah well. So I placed the order, happily.

As I run out of green glass flacons for the Collectibles, I was on the edge of reordering more of these, too.

Happily I waited, a couple of weeks,until I got a call from my supplier, telling me that my 100 gram rose oil had been sold, although the order was placed, got there and my rose oil was almost shipped. Almost.

But almost is not for real. So there we go: Waiting again….Now, that this part of the rose story is over, I can talk about it. But this whole story was a reminder of not telling stories to early: You never know what might go wrong.

Rosy greetings from tauerville, where we happily play with Bourbon geranium that is so much easier to get than roses….

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Taucherli

March 13th, 2014

Today’s painting (digital, done with ps) shows you what we call “Taucherli”. Swiss German often uses diminutives for a lot from dog (= Hund, Swiss German Hündli) to house (Haus, Huus=>Huesli) and well, “Taucherli” from the verb tauchen= dive. Little black water birds that dive for food. They crossed my way, sort of, when I was  riding home with the bike after a factory afternoon. Every day, I pass over the river Limmat and as the sun was going down, the houses reflected in wonderful colors in the river and the Taucherli were  right in the middle between the reflections from the river’s banks in gold and the greyish-blueish water.

A wonderful moment that I tried to capture with the phone (did not work really) and captured in digital paint this morning.

Of course, as it is spring, we have two Taucherli there. These days, ducks et al are super busy defending their territory and trying to find a mate. What an effort for a short moment of joy…

When painting, less is often more and one -I think- should try to leave things out, like the undefined right bottom corner in the illustration; stop before you plastered it all with colors and lines.  On the other hand, towards the “end” -whatever this means in painting- every line added more sometimes helps to provide depth and contrast and brings out the scene or picture.

A contradiction, right?

In perfumery: Same thing. When to stop?

Like: Place a brave dark line with cistus. And let it sit there, not covering up, not fading it out, not rendering. Just have this line in the base and leave “white fragrant space around it”. And then, contradictory, to what you just did: Work on other central lines by adding more, finest hints, like traces of aldehydes, a whiff spices, a hint of this and a dash of that. They all add up, like fine lines on a painting, and might make all the difference.

This came to my mind this morning, remembering me checking the Vetiver Dance formula yesterday, as I need another batch, in some time. I haven’t checked the formula for quite a while. The head of this scent is amazingly complex. A lot! of fine lines. Don’t ask me whether they are all needed, and whether I might do Vetiver Dance the same way today. I think not. I feel that I tend to leave a little bit more room in my scents these days.

Having said that: No progress on a couple of trials (vanilla scentric) so far. … when to stop, that’s the question. But there is time. Have a great day!

 

 

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In need of another card going with shipments

February 27th, 2014

I did not run out of the fragrance PHI-une rose de Kandahar, but I run out of the printed cards with the PHI-bottle illustration that looked like that:

I still have some of the No-14 Noontide Petals illustration cards, but it is about time for a new card, in flyer format, 300 gr per m2.

I might use the air du désert illustration that I did yesterday before packing a bunch of these in the factory. Here’s a detail cut out of the illustration that I did on a cotton aquarell paper, in flyer format. I forgot to sign the illustration. Before getting cards printed, I will have to do that.

Detail cut out of the illustration, showing air du désert, and the moon rising over the desert.

I think two or three things here are important:
First, it is the moon rising over the desert, as I imagined the scent of air du désert marocain in the early evening, laying on a bed in a hotel, with the air from the desert coming in and carrying the scents from the streets of a Moroccan city.

By the way: I love how the colors play there and merge. This detail gives you also an idea about the coarsness, and the structures that you get through the paper, and the way the color is applied.

Details…

Second, I use these cards to go with each sample shipment, explorer set shipment and some full bottles shipments. Each card gets signed and gets a “hello” or something.

Third: The next flyer card after this will probably be a Sotto la Luna illustration of Gardenia. But the flacon labels are not ready yet. I guess I will make a Gardenia flacon illustration, featuring “Sotto la Luna” , in summer. We are still waiting for the test run of the labels for Sotto la Luna. … we did the test with the most complex label of the three: Hyacinth, which will be launched in 2015.

So you see: We are getting organized. Sort of.

 

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at tauerville waiting for and painting of: noses

February 5th, 2014

Here, in the house of andy, we are still waiting for a couple of things. One of the wait, being on the somewhat annoying side, is for the nose. Although a cold generally is a banality and annoyance, but not more, the nose is still somewhat dimmed down. From time to time, flashback like a whiff of something hits it and promises the end of darkness, like a whiff from the gardenia concentrate on the paper strip. More on that one soon…

so, we are waiting, and while doing so, we are sending out newsletters, pack shipments in the factory, and paint, which is very instructional, in a couple of ways. Today’s picture shows you a cut-out of a larger full head picture that I did on the cintiq, painting from scratch, using a model (photo).

The instructional part here: When painting some anatomical details, like the fine lines on the eye, with the transitions from black to white to black, or on the lips, sometimes, one single 2 pixel line could change it all. Painting digitally means that you can zoom in and out like crazy. Zoomed in, you make a little 2 pixel width line, of maybe 20 pixels with (on a total scale of 3000 pixels). Think: Nothingness.

Zooming out again, you realize that you changed the way the complete picture feels. Amazing.

Of course, you, being the painter, realize it more than a neutral or interested observer. You can pinpoint the melancholy in the eye or the sensuality of the lips to one enhanced line. The observer might just get a different feeling about a picture, not knowing why this is. That’ s maybe another instructional part there.

Thus, coming back to the paper strip with the concentrated gardenia scent: Yes, a few ingredients that are in there in sub percent levels, finest lines, make a huge difference. Like cyclal C, from Givaudan,  at 0.06% in the concentrate. They matter for me more than for you, probably. I am still a bit blindfolded, zooming in.

 

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hightlights upcoming

January 27th, 2014

Today’s picture is one of this weekend’s highlights. Very little blue bell like flowers sitting on a stem, a litte spring greeting. In real life, their size is about 3 cm and I do not know their name. They sit in a pot, in the warm house and bloom while it is grey outside and uncomfortable. I took a picture, using a macro lense, with the sun shining into the little bells, from behing, worked on it a bit with photoshop and just love how the light plays in the little bells.

We are not really a 24/7 company, but still: Weekends don’t mean no work, really. But, besides work as usual, photoshop was my distraction this weekend, with a sketch here and there and a few pictures, still trying to learn more about all the goodies this piece of software offers. Amazing what a few extra layers can do…in the end, however, the more I work with photoshop, the less I believe any picture.

Another highlight, upcoming, will be a meeting with my design guru this week, discussing ideas for the labels of Sotto la luna: gardenia. I have sent some text, such as notes and allergens, and realized that besides the visual presentation we will need to come up with a decisive way of writing “sotto la luna gardenia”. Large letters, small letters, double point, you name it.

When I started, with Le Maroc pour elle, or Lonestar Memories, I was not really concise: You find all possible combinations, from le maroc to LE MAROC. Does it matter? Not really. But I remember that -to my amazement- there were some discussions online about the deeper meening of it all. So there we go: Learning, and trying to get things done a bit better. The same is true for launches, by the way. This time, I want to make sure that all retailers and clients worldwide get their gardenia from Andy more or less at the same time with more or less the same information.

Having said that: Ultimately, what matters, is what’s inside. So there we go: Another January week’s ahead!

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tuberosa a Zurigo

August 13th, 2013

Today’s picture shows you a tuberose plant, in baby state, still, seen in Zurich about a month ago. Today, the same pot is all covered with green leaves and the Zurich perfumer hopes every day to see the first tip of a flower bud appearing. Our summer is very short and it took a long time until the tuberose plant would sprout. Now, it is still in the state of growing leaves. Let’s hope there is a nice August and September ahead, allowing for a nice bloom. I planted a lot of tuberose bulbs in May.

If there is not enough time in late summer for their bloom, then I will need to compensate and spray a bit more generously my latest tuberose trial that I did for a while for the Sotto la luna® line. As all the trademark registration work is done, and as I am talking about it since a very long: Time to move on there.

The scents are more or less ready. Three of them. I feel sort of comfortable with them. Gardenia, hyacinth, tuberose. Each of them with a twist.

Next is the decision how to present them, how to decorate the flacon and for which price range to aim, and the timeline.

On decoration and how to present the line: I know exactly what to get done there. I will need the help of my super design guru, though.

Pricing: Here’s one message that I learned, knowing that I cannot turn the wheel back in time, like it or not: the price tag and rarity of an object makes for a good part of its attraction. So, I have my ideas there, too.

And the timeline, well, well. Initially, I figured that I can present the line in autumn this year. But, I feel that this is not possible. I think it will be early 2014. Ah well.

Anyhow: I just wanted to update you. The next steps will be: Getting a quote from my guru to be able starting the decoration work on the/for the flacons, soon. Fitting with the scents, I want to go a touch more extravagant.

 

 

 

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in pipeline, fougères dribbling in

July 18th, 2013

Lavender is difficult, and everybody seems to be scared of lavender these days. Perfumers and perfume lovers alike. This and that you hear quite often when you talk with perfume friends, mostly followed by a “what a pity, as lavender is such a nice material to work with”.

Combine this with my love for fougères, and some really tough, super tough decisions that need to be taken, and you have the perfect cocktail for distraction: stolen play time in the tauer lab. For those of us who care about classification and boxes: Here is the picture on Fragrances of the World, by Michael Edwards, showing you where the fougères are positioned (click here, and try the fragrance wheel: Fun and concise descriptions!) I could not agree more: Men love fougères, feel comfortable with them, women find them appealing.

I guess besides this wonderful interplay of fresh citrus with green fresh spicy herbs and woody mossy notes and coumarin that does the trick for many, it is just comforting not to wear a dramatic memory of a perfumer. Or not having to sit in an imaginative garden with over sized fruits and flowers that mirror the twisted fantasies of a creator (me included). Sometimes, me at least, I do feel not like drama but more like peacefully resting in a bed of slightly earthy petitgrain, green-bitter galbanum, soothing bergamot, minty geranium leaves, fresh lavender, a dash of tangy rose oil on a solid base  with undramatic lines of dry and powdery woods, coming from ingredients like Nootka tree oil, nargamotha, patchouli, vetiver.

This is part of the formula that I mixed, using Nootka tree for the first time publicly, I  think. I love it, but it needs a very gentle hand, as it is quite powerful, and can easily be dominant, reaching out with dry woody hands. It’s scent is a bit like an amplified cedarwood, a magnified pencil scent, pumped up and made super powdery and super dry. Sort of.

Of course, you will also find magic potion ingredients in this formula of mine (24 ingredients in total). Like salicylates that provide “lift” and volume, or coumarin that you just need there.

So, yes the Nootka tree is gently dosed, so are the herbs and spices, and yes, I think I feel comfortable with it. I haven’t really planned this. It happened. I will soon (mid next week) close the tauer factory for two weeks, giving me the time to think this one through. I guess I might share it, on a somewhat private basis, without pushing it towards a global sales machinery. To do so, I am considering a couple of options (you remember: I cannot ship internationally anymore, for the time being). Options that might allow me to ship again, in one way or the other, maybe at the end of this year, maybe next year. Not super easy, but also nice to think and plan and worry about: It is the perfect distraction, too.

 

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Not loving is not enough

June 12th, 2013

today, just a quick post. Although it is still pretty early: I need to head to the factory and fill air in to bottles. And then put air into boxes. For this, I am printing cards right now, on my laser printer, that miraculously accepts the thick paper, which is right beyond its specs… although, funny enough: it only accepts the one side with the tauer logo in silver if put in bottom to head, not head to bottom like I should. Thus, we had to turn all label information that goes on this side by 180 °. The silver logo seems to confuse the paper detection thing. Well, must have to do with the past of the printer: It was standing in the offices of the Swiss Federal Bank. And wasn’t really used there.

Anyhow, while I fill air and boxes: Here is a quick update on the brochure thing. The picture shows you a full double page (left and right pages if you open up the future brochure thing), in the middle, and a cut of the preceding double page and the following page. The text is not really important, yet. I worry more about the overall visual impression. We have kind of 5 elements:

Large picture, overlapping to the opposite page

small picture, in a corner position, showing some detail of a picture that fits with the content of the text

text, scattered, that can be read and makes sense without following any particular order

semi transparent blue space at the bottom, with a personal statement

hand-written “motto”, header for  each double page

Do I like it. Yes. Do I love it. No. Could I go with it. Don’t know.

What’s missing? It is too geometric. Too nice without being creatively brave. It misses a few elements that render it “different”. I have a few ideas, though. I am considering cutting the square pictures and bring in some round forms, some background elements, maybe changing even the format from A5 to A4, allowing me to go bigger with the main pictures and still have enough room for the text.

We will see: I just wanted to share this with you. It is like with perfumes and their creation: even if you like a particular scent, even if you think, it is “OK”, you do not really love it. And this is not enough.

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on the outside

May 27th, 2013

welcome back again after the weekend that hopefully was glorious for you! Mine was sort of busy and filled up to the rim with fun work on the computer. I continued with the brochure, collecting ideas, putting them into a context with picture, and trying to come up with pictures that are “ok”. It is a very fluid process, with text asking for pictures, and when the photos, sort of integrated into a rude layout, are there, the text does not seem right anymore and you go back to step one.

One of the pictures that I wanted to have: The new tauer cap, made from bakelite. Ready to be used in my bottle production as soon as we used up most of the old caps. This, of course, depends on how many bottles will leave the factory until then. We got the new caps delivered last week: 4 boxes, 5000+ pieces, produced in Switzerland. The later is -in my opinion- important. I try to source as much as I can in Europe.  Because, for instance, people here get sort of decent working conditions and social security and we have rules of engagements for the environment. Thus, I decided to focus on this point in the brochure, too: Bottles made in Europe by hand, by small producers, who are craftsmen, and provide products that are unique and authentic.

Yesterday, I read a  Harper’s Bazaar article online, warning about fake perfume, counterfeiting in the perfume industry, describing how for instance a client got her Chanel  for 14$ (nope, I am not talking about a sales of out of stock etc. items); she thought it was a good deal and learned later that it was a fake fragrance. How naive is that?

And why is it that we all care and worry about prices and deals, and not about work conditions and environmental damage? When have you actually checked where a product comes from? We might want to ask this is question from time to time for T-shirts, food, and all the other items that we buy in a globalized market place. To be honest with you:  I am so sick of the “Geiz is geil” (greed is good) mentality. Nobody shops in a value free system, and for some produce we have the choice.

Anyhow, I am drifting: The bakelite cover, delivered last week, looks lovely. Today’s picture shows you a photo that I took, a macro shot of a 2x2x2 cm cap, with a logo that is incredibly detailed. Isn’t it? I guess I will use this in the brochure, photoshopped to adjust the color’s tonality, linking it to my being a country boy deep inside.

Have  a great start into your week!

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another piece of paper from the printer

March 26th, 2013

Yesterday was a crazy day: And although it was my plan to head down to the factory and pack perfume, I ended up fiddling with an excel and the online shop in the test environment. And doing a lot of other things. Thus, today, I will spend more than a day there. … It took me a while until I understood some of the logic of the extension that we got  in order to -in a couple of days/weeks- accept orders for samples for (most) countries again. It is not really the extension that’s to blame, though: There was one particular point that I simply did not get, a “*” that was sort of overdriving what I asked the demo system to do.

So I tried to figure out logically what is happening:

“shipment costs for 2 samples to the US: 3.8 Francs. Check. OK. ”

“shipment costs for 1 samples to the US: 16 Francs. Check. NOT OK. but where the heck is the 16 coming from?” And this question arose kind of 2 hours later after finally! having figured out how to format the excel properly where I put in the values for the CSV file.

Until I finally found the * in the wrong place it took a while. I am the type of guy who cannot let go, once I bit into a bone, so to speak… When I got it, it was 2 pm already, and I had to head for Brieger, where I picked up a pile of cardboard packaging for larger orders. I ordered the 100 x40x40 boxes over the weekend as I expect to ship into my warehouse in the US in about a week from now.  (oh my… I really need to run now!) From there, Brieger, in their super nice cool blue new building,  I was heading downtown, by car to pick up printed cards from one of the best printers in town, for sure the nicest, Mr. Jakob, right in the center of Zurich. A trip that I usually do by bike: By car it takes at least twice as long. Back home, I fell in total love with the cards that I brought home with me. I will use them to go inside the new packaging of my Tauer line, first I will use them with Noontide petals.

There is a front side and a back side to this card. Today’s picture shows you the back side of the card, on top on the “How To… ” guido of my Magento shipping extension. I will use this backside to sign: Like I do it since I  send fragrances to the world: Every bottle goes out with a signed card, signed by myself, saying “Enjoy! Andy Tauer”.

And looking at it, I figured, that theoretically, if I really wished and if it was a good idea, I could use the backside to print, from time to time, illustrations, flowers, or whatever I feel might make sense there. Thus, the picture today shows you such a printed illustration on the card.  I need to talk to my designer about this….

And now, I really need to run to the factory. By the way: Through snow. Again. Arggh!