Tauer Perfumes



Article in Fluxmagazine

June 5th, 2015

There was a great article in the Flux Magazine, featuring luxury fragrances, the transformation in the market, and why niche is winning shares in some market segments. The article featured Tauer Perfumes, and two three other brands and I recommend reading it, here.

This is seriously good press and nice.

The article follows a couple of lines of thought. I would pick up one of them. The issue of growth. This morning, in the newspaper, there was another article about Europe’s economy, falling into a trap of high unemployment, below potential growth, and a couple of other unfortunate no win holes. No doubt there: You can actually feel it and see it, and it is no good. (I leave the question aside whether the model of continuous growth is compatible with the real world and its limited resources) Looking at things through my little perfume focused reading help, I feel it is no good as, well, let’s face it: When it comes to niche perfumes, the US is not the only main market where things happen. It is Europe where a lot of the sales action happens. Just the number of doors for niche tells you this. Let’s be aware here, that designer brands are not niche. Your Bloomingdale’s sales of xyz does not count as niche purchase. Sorry. Of course, there are other regions where there is a potential for niche fragrances sales growth but let’s focus on Europe here.

Stagnation ahead.

What does this mean?

It means that the cake won’t get bigger in a time where new perfumes and brands are popping up on a weekly basis. This means, on average, less for everyone. And this means: Bye bye to many. Either you do better, become innovative, provide top notch quality, amazing service and be “real” or you’re out.

The “old model” (perfumer in Grasse, some $$ for packaging and bottle, 6 or more scents to start with, inspired by (pick your theme here: memories, cities,…) does not work anymore.

Is this frightening to me, running a business and having fun in this field? No, it isn’t. First, I do things in a different way. And then: I love the challenge. I think there is -irony ahead!- even an inspiration energy behind all this.

I will have to head to the factory real soon, waiting for a pick-up. With me some papers and bottles: The papers are for price calculations, and a couple of other business things. The bottles are for sniffing and playing. And believe it or not: The two of them go well together.


Ozonic versus dark cistus twists

May 18th, 2015

Today, right before I started writing this blog post about my “aqua fidelis” perfume trial, a review of PHI-une rose de Kandahar went live on the Pierredenishhapur blog, talking about PHI-une rose de Kandahar, with a lovely intro about the Afghan rose oil and then talking about the multifaceted aspects of this rose de Kandahar. Here’s the link. It is a post that comes with a couple of compliments that are highly appreciated. What a great coincidence!

A coincidence because I was thinking 5 minutes ago about naming scents, wearing the latest iteration of “aqua fidelis”, my fresh “andy” interpretation of an established theme “calone”, fresh ozonic, aquatic.

This aqua fidelis actually is quite modern in my nose. Features some fresh natural head notes/ingredients and sees an ozonic freshness complemented by airy woods without any darkness. Very translucent and bright and fresh. Don’t ask me what I will do with it. I am clueless, really. But anyhow: sitting there and musing, I realized that my two best sellers “air du désert marocain” and “PHI-une rose de Kandahar” come with very evocative names. Part of their success? Who knows…

And while thinking about this, and smelling my wrist, in some sort of amazement, I realized that I actually have not one “light” scent in my tauer perfumes collection. Even my “cologne du Maghreb” comes with a dark cistus twist. A bit at least.

So I figured, I might – when ready- really need to introduce an aqua fidelis. But aqua fidelis is the running title of an excel sheet only, and coming from above’s conclusion, it might need another name. Like ……and yes, here, there’s an idea missing.

Today’s picture doesn’t fit perfectly. But at least we have the ozonic sea freshness in there. But it is too dark. It is another sea picture, done yesterday, oil pastel on canvas.



May 7th, 2015

Today’s picture: Looking into a metal funnel. I decided to take this picture this morning when sitting on the balcony and thinking about today. Today’s is going to be exciting; and so far the whole week was. Today, I will get three deliveries: Strawberry plants, some vetiver that I get back from the company who’s mixing some of my scents. Yes, some I do mix, some they do following my recipe and working with my specialities. They basically mix to the ones where I have to produce too large a volume and where I outgrew my capacities. One of the specialities is this vetiver that they are sending back to me for a little funnel project of mine. Ah, yes, and I am supposed to get some printed labels.

FA fnel fits perfectly for this week, too; I was/am filling lots of bottles. Vetiver dance (vetiver again!), Orange Star, Lonestar, Incense extrême. Funnel fits also perfectly because of the funnel project. Back then, many years ago, when employed and having a boss I hated these. You know: You work in a development team, busy as a bee doing what needs to be done, project work, plans, design, you name it. And then one morning your boss walks in and comes with this sweet little idea of his that he already convinced his boss of. No chance to say no, really. And suddenly, the funnel project becomes bigger than the real project. And this although it never really passed a board and was tested for profitability or whether the resources are there. And it is always top of all priorities for your boss.

I do not have a boss anymore. Or better said: I have thousands of bosses, my clients, and I am trying to serve them well, and I am trying to run my projects in an organized way. But sometimes, these funnel projects appear nevertheless. They are fun, totally distracting and often completely useless. But sometimes, they are the door opener to new lands, like Rose flash was. I will keep you updated on my funnel project.  But, as I realized that I only have one bottle of this special vetiver that is coming home these days, and when I realized that this one bottle might get lost and with it my capacity to produce more PHI-une rose de Kandahar, the Vanilla flash, and another scent or two (where this particular vetiver oil is an ingredient), I decided to stock up. You know: It is a special quality. Sort of “hard” to get. All natural of course, but distilled in a particular way and its quality is amazing. Seriously: I could dilute it, bottle it and it would be the perfect vetiver. It is soooo good. I did a google search for it and funny enough: I found my own blog posts, where I talk about it. Actually, it does not appear on the producer’s website. But they still make it. A hidden gem ! Ha!

Anyhow: The strawberries. They will go into my “hanging garden”, where I hung some 8 aluminum cans last years, cut 12 liter cans, on a palisade trench. I prepared them last year and planted beans. They actually did very well. Starting now, I want to grow strawberries there, a strawberry breed that is actually dangling, and supposed to have berries from spring to autumn. We will see…What is nice about the hanging gardens: They are snail safe, sun exposed and look weirdly cool.

And after this long post (sorry!) and if you are not tired of reading yet: Here’s the link to 13 thoughts (of mine) published on Perfume Polytechnic.

And heres a 5 minute feature on niche perfumes and how independent perfumers are making a big splash (yes!) (you can read it or listen to it) on PRI.org. Enjoy!



Une rose de Kandahar on video

May 4th, 2015

Today’s post is short and 100% promotional: I share with you Maximilians youtube video about PHI-une rose de Kandahar. It got 10 out of 10 points and that’s pretty good. I hope that you will enjoy his musings about PHI, the scent, and its presentation.

Promotion these days is tricky. And, being a mini brand, I do not really have a promotion/marketing budget. Thus, videos, reviews and sharing thoughts by perfume lovers is still one of my main route to be seen out there in the wild wild word.

Thus, THANK YOU, Max!

Une rose de Kandahar is sold out these days, but I am planning to bring it back in September and I actually started working on that plan already.

Have a great start into your week!


tulips on the go

March 5th, 2015

The coming days will be getting nicer and warmer from day to day and probably busier from day to day, too. But that’s going to be ok. I just need to ramp  up the production of some scents, air du désert marocain is one of them. And in case you are interested in a nice concise review: There we go. Here’s the link to Victoria’s post on her EAUMG blog. Enjoy!

And as I will be sort of busy, there will not be too much time for painting and playing. Which, again is going to be ok. The more time I have for painting the less things turn out right anyhow. Most of the time that is. Yesterday, there was the watercolor class again, and we got into tulips. I ended up with 8 different takes, different techniques, and trying to bring out different aspects. Or better said: I was trying and the paper had its own plans.

I picked one of them for today’s post: slightly faded colors, totally wet, with one tulip being almost black. The “tulipe noire”. Not that it was planned. But once it was there, it was ok.

Ten years ago, I was working on the formula of air du désert marocain, and presented the finished perfume some when in September the same year. What follow next was not planned at all. Back then it was a game really, with some serious background, but I took things very lightly. Air du désert marocain was not born out of necessity, but rather happened because the time was right. But once it was there, it was ok.



cheating and roses

January 20th, 2015

Today’s picture shows you what we did the other day in my painting class, we were all invited to cheat: The goal was to learn seeing behind the complexity of things. BY….

1. tracing the motive of a picture with a pencil through transparent paper. The original was a postcard size complex motif, like the Brooklyn bridge.

2. putting the original picture away, and -using the traces on transparent paper- sketching freehand the motif, reducing its complexity further, by looking for simple lines and shapes and forms and contrasts.

3. adding color and looking at the result.


I have my rules when it comes to painting. One top rule is: No tracing, but you always paint free hand, to train my eye hand brain coordination.

The same is, by the way, true for my way of creating perfumes. There are formulas that you can get, IFF, for instance, has demo formulas somewhere on their site. like this one here, for a gourmand accord, with 24% musk and 12 % Timbersilk, aka Iso E. Quote often, I get questions from perfume lovers who want to start composing, asking for formulas to learn. As tempting it is: I don’t think it is a good way of finding your way in and out in perfumery. Not good for your nose-brain coordination, and benumbing your imagination.

In the painting class, we only used the tracing as a trick to get around the complexity and learn to see through all the little cables and windows and complex patterns, learn to identify what matters and how to use it to compose a picture.

A smart trick.

I guess the same trick works in other fields. Like business, when it comes to complex marketing questions. Add a filter that blurs the data, that just lets the important stuff shine through, like “we make 50% of our turnover with one product” and move from there on. Or it might work in private life, or …

Thus, the bottomline of this post: Sometimes we are allowed to cheat. And maybe, maybe even looking at demo formulas in perfumery might be ok, just to see the bigger picture of how things are done.  Although I am not sure about that. The danger is imminent that you end up with a copy of a copy of what everybody else does. The same is true for using bases from industry, by the way, like rose bases where industry does the rose composition for you. Easy, but without little learning effect.

Talking about roses and in order to finish this all up: Here’s a link to a great piece of writing on Scenthurdle  about Andy’s roses, in comparison and from an interesting perspective, without going into any details: Like my rose perfumes traced through transparent paper. I really liked that piece of writing.


writing down ideas

January 12th, 2015

It is about time for a new post here, after the most relaxing weekend imaginable and a ping-pong weekend jumping into spring mood on Saturday and winter’s icy grip on Sunday. Imagine: I was having a coffee on Saturday, sitting outside in the sun, wearing not much more than a light hoodie. And Sunday saw me jogging through snow flakes. The transition: Stormy!

So… the weekend was great as I tried very hard not to work and only answered some emails and did some paper work. The rest was sport, cooking, painting, fiddling with perfume formula and getting comfortable with some xml and phtml files in magento. Magento is the software running behind my website, tauerperfumes.com, the shop basically.

Yes, handling smelly things is not really work. And looking into xml files is neither. And “work like work” often does not feel like work. I don’t know why really, but there is this joy of doing things, down there at tauerville; and be it just the joy that I can pile up boxes, getting them ready for shipments, and then have the shippers coming by, loading them up on the truck, leaving me with free space. It always feels like “Ha! and now I have space to do this, or that. ” Like doing a quick sketch. Or write down a quick perfume idea.

I made it become a routine, trying to have a pencil and a piece of paper next to me, all the time. To write down ideas (and discard them later), or do a quick sketch when there is time, like waiting for the water to cook in the kitchen. Some of my best ideas happened like that.

Like Sotto la Luna. Or Rose flash. Or today’s illustration. By the way: Gardenia sotto la luna was featured in Basenote’s discoveries of 2014 list (thank you!). And I am all flattered because: I think, well… these days, coming up with something new and fresh that stands out is not easy. Anyhow: Today’s illustration shows you actually the second rendering. The first sketch with an ink pen was indeed done while waiting for a minute or two in the kitchen. The second one (the picture today) was done the next day, using water colors, while waiting for the weather to clear up for jogging.

And, yes, this is not me…



before I leave: Now Smell This read for you

October 17th, 2014

Before I will leave for Turin, leaving stormy Zurich, for hopefully sunny Turin, I have a read for you. Not too long, but interesting and nice, at it puts things into the right context: Please visit Robin’s Now Smell This blog (click here) and follow her thoughts on Gardenia sotto la luna. And feel free to share your thoughts there, not here.

Does she love it? No, not really super mega enthusiastically. But that’s ok. What I love about this particular review: It puts this fragrance of mine in the proper context.

I feel understood.  This feels good.

And now: Off for Turin. Talk to you soon again. Have a great weekend!



five shades of Rose

October 10th, 2014

Here’s a great post written by Raluca, on Fragrance Daily, about my roses, titled “Five Shades of Rose from Andy Tauer“.

On of the roses featured: Rose flash. Raluca describes the Rose there with these words (and more) “has a concentration of 20% and is by far the heaviest and sweetest rose Andy has ever made. The composition is dominated by a noble and highly concentrated rose absolute which literally blasts on my skin. A delightful embroidery of sweet nuances floates around the majestic rose, adding him shades of peach, amber and a warm Bourbon vanilla bed to rest in the base”.

I invite you to follow above’s link for the full article. It is very flattering.

Thus, today’s picture: The print-ready picture of the label that I created for the Rose flash: Very simple, and with a lot of information that needs to go on there. Although Rose flashed was not sold in Italy when I offered it: I prepared the label with all the information necessary to do so, if I ever want to offer it in other markets. In a sense, it was a test, whether I can put everything on there… If I ever go towards high quantities, I might always do a label that can be unfolded.

I have not made my mind up what to do next, though. Because: Right now PHI-une rose de Kandahar sits on top of my priorities. This rose de Kandahar was also featured in Raluca’s article: Enjoy! Next week will see me providing a few more details what happens with PHI -une rose de Kandahar here at tauerville.

Thus, this is the cliffhanger for next week.

Ah, and yes, if you are flying SWISS the next days/weeks: Make sure to check out the on flight magazine. There, on page 5, you find a cool picture, of Pascal, the shop owner of Medieval art&vie, where he sells my scents in Zurich. I will fly in November, but I guess by then this edition which features Zurich as destination will be gone and replaced already. And here’s a cut out of page five… Enjoy your Friday!



COLOGNE du Maghreb

June 18th, 2014

Today, after me packing more Colognes in tauerville yesterday, a word on the Cologne du Maghreb, and an illustration of the cologne flacon, as seen in the factory yesterday, digital.
Sooooo…. the cologne: First a couple of links pointing to reviews. Have fun reading about summer bottled!
Gaia Fishler at The Non-Blonde
Jodi Battershell of Fragrantica
Samantha at I Scent You a Day
Vanessa at Bonkers About Perfume
Kafkaesque at Kafkaesque
Grant Osborne at Basenotes
Lucas at Chemist in the Bottle
Mark Behnke at Colognisseur

You see: We did some promotion there. Or better said: We offered samples to bloggers. More reviews are to be expected. When I send samples, I never ever demand that bloggers write, nor that they write positively. I wish so, of course, as we all do not like to read unpleasant articles about our creations….

I mention this, as I was thinking about the cologne as a perfect example of communication, and communicating or not and what happens if you have a product in a store, and what not.
The cologne du Maghreb was for a long time in two stores only. I offered it two, three years ago, as test, and as there was some demand. I did not offer it on my store, nor did I promote it really. Although, don’t get me wrong: I think it is one of the best cologne out there on the market, whereby I mean  REAL colognes, not perfume camouflaged as cologne. This cologne comes at a concentration of 4%, all natural, handmade, in low numbers. Of course, I am totally, 100% biased and not fair. Anyhow, it is a wonderful product for a great price, really, yet this was and is not enough. (you remember the 4P: Product, Price, Place, Promotion). Assuming that the place was right, it was Promotion that was missing. It needed help. Promotion. People talking. Perfume lovers chatting about it. The press publishing (we can dream, can’t we?)….

The days when the circle of niche (artisanal, indie, whatever) fragrances was small enough that the pure existence of a scent was enough to make it known, to automatically have the word spreading, these days are over. In a sense, 10 years ago, there were exceptional circumstances, of a market emerging, with consumers being on the alert.

Promotion, of course, means much more than sending samples to bloggers. Like said above: We are talking about press, pictures, and and and. The goal: Getting out of the corner.

And this is the end of my post: You know, sometimes I fall into a state of stasis, when I see how much money pours into promotion by brands, be they niche or not, and what effect it has. It is brainwash money. Used very effectively, coming with the desired result. Like an article in the NY Times, about that everybody seems to talk, highly agitatedly, without realizing that it actually is just a perfect marketing piece for a larger store chain and their new fragrant products, repeating facts that were like that since always as news

Here, being niche in a niche in a niche, I can’t really do that (pour money), but at least we can try to be smarter. Although: Not easy, really.