yesterday, I was sort of proud, as I sort of managed to get all all done and more. The one larger pack with scents for the US is ready. I boxed all scents and packed them ready for shipment. Thus, I can get the “shipper’s declaration” for dangerous goods (looks like this, pdf) done by an external expert. I need this to ship with Fedex. I could do it myself, provided I did a three day training etc. But I rather get it done by an expert. Next (today) will be the shipment papers, including detailed lists of what is inside the pack, who did it, etc. I did TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act, html) form for the US customs and normally, with all the papers put on the packaging, the large parcels to the US go through customs smoothly. Praised be the US customs, in comparison to EU levels of logjam.
And besides a few other things, I did the last adjustment round for the labels of the scents that I plan to present Saudi Arabia later this year. The labels inside and outside of packed perfumes are sometimes different, depending on where the scent goes to. Thus, for some markets at least, my packing scents is more or less just in time. I just try to make sure that I have filled bottles. This has the advantage that I can easily provide correct labels for regions with very specific labeling standards. Like Saudi Arabia, where I have to put on Arabic warning messages, and an adjusted list of ingredients. My designer super guru provided me with Adobe Illustrator templates that I can adjust myself with Illustrator and print them later, myself again, giving me the flexibility to ship one boxed bottle to Saudi Arabia, if I wished to do so. This is, basically, also how I will be able to ship “une rose de Kandahar” (if ever the scent is ready): by producing a few dozens of labels for it. Think: super flexible.
Anyhow, the labels for Saudi Arabia are now with an agency, located in France, that will register my products and if all goes well, I will be allowed to ship to Saudi Arabia, after the packed perfumes have been inspected here, in Zurich, by yet another representative of this agency.
So you see: creating a scent is one thing; producing it is another dimension, and shipping it and making sure it gets beyond the borders is another challenge.
But I do not want to bore you with shipment logistics any longer. Here is a link to an article that I wrote for my column on Evelyn Avenue, on code, painting and beyond. And you will find the illustration there, on Evelyn Avenue, from my digital sketchbook, that I did in France. Enjoy this read and please leave a comment there, if you wish.
And yes, talking about Evelyn Avenue: The next label related task. I have to start working on the labels for the next scent in the series: Ingrid!
I hope you find the time reading it. This is the first column of a monthly series on Evelyn Avenue, where I will make an appearance, once a month, and talk about a particular illustration. The goal is to talk about a creative process, about an intimate moment, a moment of truth that lets the reader glimpse into the mind of a creator of things. Things being perfumes and illustrations. I hope that we will have many readers there; my English is not 100% correct and a bit off sometimes, but what I talk about is important to me.
By talking about a particular creation, you rediscover it a bit, and reflecting about circumstances, the mood and the why and when and what tells me quite a lot. Also about the world around the creation.
And furthermore, I hope that I could convince you to leave this blog now and switch over to Evelyn Avenue because I am a bit on the run the next two days. Last minute preparations before I am closing Tauer Perfumes for two weeks, heading for a creative break, with (hopefully) lots of time to draw.
And I hope that you will enjoy the Gelati cart illustration (on Evelyn Avenue you have in high res, just click on the picture there….). Have a great day!
October 29 2012. This draw is closed. Winners will be informed October 30 2012. A warm thank you to all of you who commented and shared!
As there were some technical issues on Evelyn Avenue’s blog page related to the draw there: We continue this draw with an extended deadline here while the problem on Evelyn Avenue is being resolved. All comments on the Evelyn Avenue blog page for the draw will automatically participate, so if you have already commented there, no need to do so again here: you are already entered into the draw.
If you have not participated yet: please leave a comment here, following the instructions further down, and enjoy the perfume spots.
We thank you for your comment and wish you good luck.
The following text is from my collaborator in Tableau de Parfums, Brian Pera, reflecting on the last year of Tableau – our intentions, our frustrations and hopes as perfume lovers and creators. I thank him very much for his insightful remarks on perfume and film and beyond:
Most cynics are really crushed romantics: They’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive -Jeff Bridges
It’s easy to understand how anyone who loves perfume might be truly cynical at this point. There are more perfumes released each year than ever, and whereas in the past one could safely mark a line of division between niche/indie and mainstream perfumery and the sales tactics they employed, increasingly even niche and indie lines have started to market their fragrances with big, bold and piercingly loud bells and whistles. This would be fine, if the majority of these fragrances were as inventive as their marketing and buzz. More often, they aren’t. Worse, maybe, is the overall lack of regard for the preservation of classics people have grown to love. The commitment to the consumer of fragrance is pretty tenuous at this point, though the advertising says otherwise. Consumers know this, and respond with distrust. This makes things very difficult for those who want to create perfumes that don’t shortchange their wearers.
A year or so ago, Andy Tauer and I started a perfume line called Tableau de Parfums. We were excited about creating links between our creative fields; perfumery in Andy’s case, filmmaking in mine. We wanted to see what happens when the brief for a perfume isn’t a lofty, overblown paragraph of purple prose but something more complex, the world of a film. We wanted to see how a perfume might influence a film, as well. How would that work? What might happen if a filmmaker and a perfumer engaged in an ongoing conversation about their work and interests? We weren’t interested very much in creating perfumes which represented the characters in these movies, but something more complex; we wanted to use the films and characters as springboards thematically and philosophically. We’ve seen the perfumes in the same way.
The name of the film series these Tableau fragrances relate to is WOMAN’S PICTURE, and the stories in the series explore many things we’re interested in: through the stories and perfumes we remember some of the women in our lives and families, explore how perfume influences and infects memory, and in some way try to determine what a perfume is saying when it speaks to us. What does sadness and regret mean in a fragrance and a film? How is it expressed? What brings happiness, bittersweet or joyful? When you watch a film, or you smell a perfume, how is it speaking to you, and how is it that what one person hears or sees or smells is so different than the next? In developing the fragrance for MIRIAM, the first short in the series, Andy and I asked ourselves what the story was about. MIRIAM dealt with loss and the simultaneously ephemeral and durable nature of memory and our connections with other people. The corresponding fragrance, also called Miriam, was less about the title character played by Ann Magnuson than it was an exploration of how the past influences the present. The resulting fragrance, launched last year, looked at the past from the present, revisiting older perfumes from a distinctly modern point of view. I suppose we were interested in how those two perspectives, past and present, might intertwine or interfere with each other, and what’s changed in the time between them.
Tableau has no marketing team, no PR division, no bells and whistles department on staff. We’re an army of two. In packaging the films and perfumes together, Andy and I spend a lot of time experimenting and communicating what we might do, and what we maybe shouldn’t. For both of us, it was essential from the beginning, in an industry which often shortchanges its customer by presenting mediocrity as innovation, to make the presentation of these fragrances with as much integrity and ingenuity as possible. We wanted them to be gifts in every possible way for those who engaged with them. We take both sides of the collaboration seriously, and it’s been essential to us that they speak to each other. We package each perfume with its corresponding short film, both of which we regard, in this case, as forms of portraiture. We’re interested in what other people think these fragrances are saying, how they might be speaking to them.
It’s ironic but probably inevitable that one of the primary challenges in our collaboration has been the now nearly-chronic cynicism of the perfume lover. It’s particularly challenging because, as perfume lovers ourselves, we understand, and empathize with, that cynicism first hand. It’s inevitable, for instance, that some people will regard the films as promotional tools for the perfumes, sort of glorified advertisements. We never intended for the films to be advertisements, nor did we intend that the people who buy these fragrances should see these characters – and nothing else – in them. What we hoped, I think, was that in putting as much quality and imagination and care into the perfumes and films as we possibly could we would demonstrate the purity of our exercise. We never kidded ourselves about this: We knew it was a tall order in the present cultural climate. We also felt strongly that it was worth giving it a shot.
Having experienced this prevailing cynicism ourselves, we wanted to slow things down. So much is thrown out into the marketplace. All the bells and whistles shoot out first. Then it all dies down very quickly. Perfume hasn’t worked that way for either of us; nor for most of the people we know who love it as much as we do. Perfumes stay with you, and accrue meaning methodically over the course of time. We wanted to learn as we moved forward, to try as best we could to listen in between each fragrance – not just to what others were telling us but what we were trying to tell ourselves.
We’re excited about the release of Loretta, the next step in our creative learning process – excited to hear what people have to say about the scent and its related story. Where Miriam dealt with history and relationships to the past, Loretta is a meditation on very different themes: sexuality, a tension between experience and innocence, what darkness means when coupled with naivete, and much more – for us, at least. The story is a complicated one, and quite different from Miriam. Together, these stories, all so different from one another, speak to the complexity not just of perfume but of relationships and people themselves. We hope that in ten years, this body of work will constitute a testament to the complicated depths of film and fragrance.
We know that much has to be proven at this point to the discerning lover of fragrance. We don’t expect to do that overnight. We’ve watched others try to do that, and seen what happens the morning after. Trust takes time to build, and we’ve committed ourselves to that process. We know two people won’t turn anything around, won’t halt or reverse the prevailing trends of expediency and built-in obsolescence in the fragrance industry, but just as one good, honest fragrance can make a profound difference – reminding its wearer of all the wonderful things that brought him or her to fragrance in the first place, re-igniting some lost romance – we persist, slowly but surely, hoping to make exceptions of ourselves. With Loretta, we hope to put one more nail in the coffin of cynicism, which we believe, all things considered, has no place in the fragrance imagination.
The Drawing: Three winners will be randomly selected from those who comment on this post. To be eligible, we ask that you answer the following: Which of the three perfume spots for Loretta do you prefer, and why; as well as what makes you cynical about fragrance at this point, and what seems like cause for optimism? Winners will be announced on Monday, October 29 and will receive a full bottle of fragrance from the extended Tauer line, including Tableau de Parfums, a DVD of the first three Woman’s Picture portraits (including INGRID, which will be released next Fall), and a vintage-inspired poster for Loretta. During the course of this draw, we are offering a free viewing of MIRIAM, LORETTA, and INGRID, the Woman’s Picture films which inspired the Tableau fragrances (below).
DRAW IS CLOSED (October 29 2012)
This draw is closed now. The winners will be informed by email October 30. Congratulations to the winners and please stay tuned for more… .
Tomorrow, I will fly to Rome, to launch Miriam and Tableau de Parfum. This will be fun, but today is labor day and I got up before six to celebrate this day with work. This was an hour and a few mails ago and in a few moments I will leave for the factory, to finish with the Incense extreme where I stopped yesterday. I filled my 200+ bottles and now I will polish them, put the stickers on, the lot information on the bottom and the should sticker, and the beech wood top and then they go into a box and wait patiently until they go into boxes. This should not keep me busy for too long.
I will then make some samples and get home again, to continue here.
So tomorrow: A cheap flight from Basel, a booking.com special offer for a hotel, a few hours for myself in the evening and then on Thursday, starting at 5pm, there is a get together at via Vittoria, in CampoMarzio’s Essential Gallery. I will present the fragrance, and more important -because in the end everybody can and should make her and his own ideas about the scent- the collaboration with Memphis based movie maker Brian Pera who initiated this whole project and builds a multiverse bringing art of all sorts together. More on this, the latest film projects, fragrance projects and more on evelynavenue.com .
One nice aspect about Rome is: It is about the 20th or so times that I go there. When I was in my twenties, I was going there at least once a year. Back then by train, over night. Thus, I know my way a little bit, where to go for a jog, and my Italian has improved to a level that allows me to order a beer. Well, I guess I could do better there. But then: I prefer to jog in the woods instead of learning Italian grammar.
This is the last reminder of our kickstarter campaign. There are 50 hours left to reserve your purse spray of Dark Passage, the dark rich and evocative scent that I created specifically for this campaign. Or get some fragrant soaps that are also quite unique, or get a sneak pre-release size of Loretta, the next fragrance in the Tableau de Parfums series. Or many more combinations of fragrant objects. 50 hours and then it is all over.
Hurry up. And when you are back: Today’s picture shows you the display that we got to present fragrances and the world of Evenlyn Avenue. Enjoy!
Today’s picture shows you the Tableau de Parfums purse spray that I will soon fill with DARK PASSAGE, the super limited edition that is only available in March through the Kickstarter campaign for ONLY CHILD. Afterwards , when the financing and support campaign for Brian Pera’s latest film project comes to an end, then the perfume will be gone. ONLY CHILD is the next Evelyn Avenue full feature film project. I was lucky enough to read the script and love it. It is mysterious, noir and continues there where the Loretta story ended in Woman’s Picture.
You can get the fragrance here, on Kickstarter. Just check out the various pledges and follow the process through. The mechanics behind it is all done by Amazon.com. Thus, it is super safe and easy. Click here to get to the campaign page.
And yes, besides DARK PASSAGE, you find other treats there, too. Some of them are fragrant. Like the Loretta soap (more on this tomorrow). Some of them are film and other arts related. And more is to come. Thus, you might from time to time visit again, either Kickstarter, or follow the story developing on Evelyn Avenue’s blog. And of course Facebook, and twitter.
So… the fragrance Dark Passage SNAPSHOT is here to stay for a couple of days only and then it will be gone. And -like it or not- the same is true for most fragrances that see the world today. They are gone tomorrow. Tomorrow might be a few months or years. But most of them are gone within a year. For me this first SNAPSHOT fragrance comes as a relief. Finally, I can do a fragrance that does not need to go through any distribution and sales machinery and EU registration and other investments. It is just here. If you are interested in it: Get it.
I think I will not even answer mails about it when March and Dark Passage is gone.
It is refreshing: Think about it for a couple of months, create it during a couple of months, offer it for a month, and then forget it and make room for new creations and ideas. An artist’s dream come true.
Uff. that was quite a week. And guess what I will do tonight? Watch movies! And try to read a few things and smell a few its and bits all into the weekend.
In case you feel like me after a long week, here a few hints, and announcements and wishes.
Miriam, the film section from the Woman’s Picture movie that inspired the fragrance with the same name is now available as Video On Demand (VOD) on Evelyn Avenue or on Luckyscent.com. I have seen Miriam about 10 times and love this movie by Brian Pera and will soon see it again. Click here for the movie on Evelyn Avenue, or here for the same on Luckyscent.
If you wish to do some reading: Why not start with Vanessa Musson’s thoughts on things to think before starting a perfume blog. Even if you do not want to start your own blog: It is very worth reading, it is on Now Smell This and I hope to see more from Vanessa there. Click here for the article.
And if you want to smell a soap that you cannot buy and that I created for Brian’s launch of his Evelyn Avenue shop, a rose scented soap, that is green and spicy and rosy, well then you might consider getting Miriam, the fragrance (purse spray size or the 50 ml flacon) or a DVD in Evelyn Avenue’s shop. These days, any order of these products come with a complimentary soap, made by myself, as long as supply lasts. Click her for the Evelyn Avenue store.
And now, after the commercial interruption, comes the wishes section: I wish you a lovely weekend and hope it will be fragrant.
Today is mixing day. And today’s picture to the left shows you the aluminum bottles from the fridge that I took out yesterday, allowing the contents to come to room temperature over night. This is important to avoid condensing water inside the bottles. I store all citrus oils, all flower absolutes, and a few specialties such as rose oil, neroli in the fridge.
I store the rest of my raw materials in a storage room that is cool, but not cold. Part of the other material that goes into the mix you see below. The orange labels with the X mark raw materials that are dangerous for the environment if spilled in larger amounts; like natural sweet fennel oil.
Today, I will mix another batch of Miriam for use in late spring, as we start with Tableau de Parfums in Italy in spring. It is quite a rich formula and the most expensive fragrance I have in my collection. It is 25 ingredients, 14 of which are natural, including rose oil, violet leaves absolute, sandalwood, cistus oil and extract. Actually, this natural Cistus ladaniferus essential oil might be worth another post. For those of you new here: Miriam is the first fragrance of a series, called Tableau de Parfums. It is an ongoing collaboration with filmmaker Brian Pera. These scents are portraits inspired by the shorts of Brian’s ongoing film series, Woman’s Picture. Actually, these days Brian has published a series of interesting posts on Evelyn Avenue, looking back into the past year, the collaboration and some details on the movie making part. You find all this and more here, on Evelyn Avenue.
more bottles with fragrant raw materials. The white powder: Ambroxan.
And I will mix another batch of Incense rosé, lot number 007. For this I had to check all the papers, certificates for each ingredient, for compliance with the (internally defined) standards on EU allergens, appearance etc. The mixing itself is not such a big effort. You just want to make sure that you do not mess it all up as some of those ingredients like rose absolute (3500$/kg) or rose oil (12’000$/kg) are costly. The mix goes into a 12 liter aluminum can, and goes into the fridge, waiting there for 30 days, until it is going to be diluted with Ethanol and needs to wait another month.
During mixing, I need to write down all the ingredient’s lot numbers, too. These lot numbers are important for traceability; in a worst case scenario I can always pinpoint which lot of which raw material was used in what lot of what fragrance. I write it all down into a large excel and store it for 10 years on a save server online.
This is sort of an off-tauer post, on walking up and down and arriving. The picture shows you a peak of unknown name, next to Safierberg, where we passed from one valley to the other last week (passing over Safierberg at 2500 meters above sea level). The walk up there was nice, but of course a bit strenuous. The walk down was also nice, but equally tough on knees et al. In the middle of the walk was the saddle at 2500 meters with a great view.
While hiking up you feel like it is never going to end. And when you are up there, you look forward to the beer/apple juice in the village down there. And you spend only about one minute up there, because it is windy and chilly.
That is pretty much what life is like. Often. Walking up there. And then, up there, looking forward to the next step. We do the same with Tableau de Parfums right now: Brian published the first pictures of the flacon and the packaging, on facebook and on the Evelyn Avenue blog. It was quite a strenuous way up there. Brian and me worked hard on trying to find the form that speaks about memories and that is more than merely a packaging. We want to make a statement and to give a meaning to fragrant droplets in a bottle in a box.
But now I sit there on the top, a warehouse filled all the way up with boxes and labels and silver chords and I look forward to coming up with all of it in Los Angeles, October 7 and 6.
It was time to scan a flower again: Thus, I share a total scentless Gladiolus with you. One of a bunch of flowers that bloom in pink and magenta and violet colors.
Today, if I can get my brain in painting mode, will see me on Illustrator. For Tableau de Parfums and Evelyn Avenue and Woman’s Picture. In the next day(s) I will get the packaging for the samples and the 50 ml flacon of Tableau de Parfums. The effort that Brian Pera and me put into the sample offering and the perfume presentation (and protection) is gigantic. From a commercial point of view a bit too much. But then: Brian and me are in this for other reasons. The samples, for instance, will come with a teaser DVD that will introduce into the movie world of Woman’s Picture.
I think it is important because the perfumes are inspired by portraits of women in Woman’s Picture. I feel that only by watching the movie, by immersion into the world of Miriam, her mother, her memories, you can fully appreciate the fragrance and why I came up with it the way we will present it soon to you.
Actually, it is even about more. Evelyn Avenue is a panopticom, a street in Memphis, people coming by and leaving, a world of movies, fragrances, and collaboration, a liaison of people and artists. The movie Woman’s Picture that features the inspiring portraits for Tableau de Parfums is one place on Evelyn Avenue where we all meet. There are others.
The fragrances are an entry ticket to Evelyn Avenue and Woman’s picture. And the other way round. I want perfume lovers to watch out and go for a walk on Evelyn Avenue when they get a sample of Miriam, or a purse spray, or a full bottle.
This is way I am sitting here on Illustrator and try to arrange some text on a nice piece of semi transparent, parchment like paper that will go inside every box and every sample envelope.
To learn more on Evelyn Avenue and Tableau de Parfums: There is no better place than Evelyn Avenue, the website. If you visit the Blog now (clicking here) then you learn for instance about the GLORIES, a band from Memphis, and learn how important music is when doing a movie and how Brian came up with music for a particular scene. Follow the link to the Glories and you can download and listen to some of their tracks.