Tauer Perfumes

News Tagged ‘rose’


a cliché post

June 23rd, 2014

Today’s picture: A quick selfie, from yesterday, taken during my Sunday hike, somewhere in the middle of the ascension (total 1000 meters up and down again), sort of agitated, or better: second excited state (for details about what an excited state in physics actually means: click here for an informative wiki article), not knowing yet that there was sort of a challenge ahead (vertigo).

Once almost up, I saw these: Majestic!


Swiss cows

Swiss cows

It is rare these days to see cows with horns. It makes such a big difference, and with horns these peaceful animals demand more respect, really.

So there we go:  A cliché post from Switzerland. But no worries: I will not go into banalities, such as “ Tuberose is worth its weight in gold. ” /a cliché perfumery statement that is not true, really. At least me, I get perfect quality of tuberose absolute for less than 40 K$. But maybe I have better suppliers. For more details: See here, and there. I mention these posts, as I drooled reading one and then the other. No mischievousness, though.  It was a perfect reminder for me that me too needs to be on the watchout for cliché traps.

It just happens. When it comes to perfumes: Cliché are around the corner. And flowers;  a discussion that I have on a weekly basis with my design guru: flowers. Everywhere. Except in the flacon, unfortunately, mostly.

I took the hike, that turned out to be more demanding than expected, because it was perfect weather for a hike, I was home alone in Zurich, I didn’t go for a hike for a while and because I figured that I need to sort out a couple of things, perfumery things. Hiking is best to figure out things. You start happily with a big cheers! on your face, and then it goes up and up and up and you are sweating like a horse, and the mind gets all aerated and clear.  At least in my case it works like that. And, after a while, as you get a bit tired and exhausted, the perfumery things become less important and other “things”, too and voilà: The perspective gets right again.

I wanted to thing a few X-mas things through.

I guess I am really blessed: 2 hours by public transport and you are in alpine solitude (I actually came across almost nobody up there). And I guess, I am blessed because I have not really much to complain these days. Except, maybe, that I have a touch too much work. But this will change again.

Right now: Printing 1000 lot number labels for Gardenia. These need to go onto the flacons.



Dramatic rose picture and wondering about AC

June 2nd, 2014

Today’s picture shows you a rose: It bloomed two days ago downstairs, a few meters from where I write this post today, in a corner of a green spot that is a bit neglected. It smells (think spicy old rose with tons of citronellol) and comes with a dramatic aura. Sort of. With summer having started meteorologically yesterday, a cut lily blooming in the house and perfuming the hall, roses blooming outside, tomato plants growing, it feels like summer, indeed. Soon, we will see the summer agony in perfume industry falling upon us. Summer is pretty much dead when it comes to perfumery, the industry. Everybody is getting ready and hoping then for autumn. 

Perfumes and summer’s light and heat are not an easy date. Although, …..I was thinking about my Cologne du Maghreb that will see a bit wider distribution, especially in the US  in the coming days. Click the link for a sample draw on the chemist in the bottle blog (thank you Lucas!). So I was thinking about how the summer heat actually brings out the cologne’s refreshing qualities even better. But, on the other hand, the summer temperatures make the cologne fade even faster…. -a side note: Here’s how to keep the scent of any cologne a bit better: Spray generously on your chest, before putting on a cotton shirt immediately afterwards. The scent will permeate through the cotton and will stick with it, leaving you with a great clean cologne scent almost all day long.

Does not work with synthetics….

Anyhow: I was thinking about summer and cologne and then I started musing about AC, air conditioning, and I suddenly wondered. When living in Southern California, for instance, how many hours/minutes do you actually spend outside, in the heat, during a day. I remember my Texas time. The time spent outside, without AD, during the day, was a few minutes, really. From the car to the campus. 1 min. And back. And from the car to the mall entry. And back. That’s about it.

But it was enough to sweat like a horse.



bright light of summer and another rose

May 23rd, 2014

Before leaving for Italy: A long post!

Good morning from Zurich, where the roses are blooming, and where we still enjoy the bright light of late spring, like beatles coming out of the ground, spreading the wings and taking off into the sun. Today’s picture shows you the sun breaking through trees, taken at 10 am the other day, when biking over the hill. Everything is green up there, but the multitude of spring greens still pervades the uniform summer green that will set in in a few weeks time.

Before continuing talking about roses and asking you a question: Here, a few thoughts from a guy who planted tomatoes a while ago and reads in the newspaper that about 60% of all restaurants in Zurich do not operate with a profit.

The last few days were nice and warm and I could watch the tomato plants growing on a daily basis. I planted the plants (urban farming like) into old ethanol cans, and am looking forward to eating locally produced red fruits one fine day: Provided mother nature is nice enough. Often, she isn’t and is generous with everybody else, but us. So I read a book the other day, and realized that my planting, buying locally, buying small, (… other recent trends avoiding big business, add them here <….>) is in line with a societal pattern we see these days. People loosing trust; trust in corporate conglomerates, trust in government and its  institution, trust in previous peers and leaders, trust in money, but this lost trust in (paper) money will be the end game, really. So, what do people do: we all look for values that we can trust and find them locally, in small entities, products where we know what they are, where the come from….

Bottom line: My tomato planting is also sign for a larger shift of trustworthiness taking place. cool. we are all part of it.

The other day in a shop here in Zurich: “Who made your <your favorite product here>?” The same line of thought makes a lot of sense in perfumery: I will keep this in mind. Because when it comes to my produce, the answer is quite simple. Who made your fragrance? Andy Tauer, from A to Z. It would be cool to also provide where all the its and bits of packaging etc. come from.

Profitability: Like the news anchor, I am smiling over my face, but try to make serious face announcing the next topic. Profitability. Of course, it is intrinsically linked to the points mentioned above.  When it comes to perfumes, low volume, selective, niche, you name it: many, many are not profitable, really. A lot of people life from these new brands entering the market: The perfumers, the bottle producers, printers, the ladies packing the perfumes in Vietnam or France, the packaging producer, maybe the retailers, too. But often, the brand owner does not really end up with a reasonable profit. It is like with the Zurich restaurants. There are too many, and too many thinking it was easy, too many are not realizing that the job is not done when the first 6 scents are produced and out on the market, or hidden in some sort of conceptual fog. It is then when the job actually starts.

I mention this because, recently, I got so many questions from perfume lovers and going to be perfume brand owners that it is time to repeat here: I do NOT give advice nor do I consult. The last couple of weeks it was for sure a dozen “How do I find producers and other suppliers for my fragrances, what retailers to work with?, find out about the regulatory needs, how to pack perfumes, how talk to bloggers?”. These days, everybody seems to either open a noodle shop or a perfume house. Tonight, I will go out, having dinner. Locally, right over the street. A profitable restaurant, because the did not start with the goal of getting rich and famous, but just wanted to cook good food and offer a nice place to stay for a while. But I bet: It took them a couple of years.

And now, here’s  a little question, thanking you that you continued reading all the way down:  I find summer to be a difficult time for perfume. I hardly wear perfume in summer, really.

I have been working on a rose for a while, a complimentary scent in a way, complementary to my existing roses that are somewhat on the heavy side. I wanted a light, airy, rose for summer, staying close to the skin, wearable in the heat, like a refreshing rose water, with some lasting power, but not for a whole long day. A summer rose that feels like smelling one of these very fragrant roses that you find in old gardens, hints of spices, a citrus floral happiness with a dash of soapiness in the best sense of the word, oscillating between floral delicacy  and a musky skin.

I find summer to be a difficult time for perfume, and as I am not an expert when it comes to wearing scents:

What do you actually wear in summer?



the first rose

May 21st, 2014

Today’s picture: The first rose blooming here, in Zurich, on a sunny spot next to the house, including (hard to see as it is small, though) a plant louse. Mother nature is generous, also for plant louses, I am not. Every morning, when watering my plants outside, I do a snail check, and a louse check, especially on the tomato plants: Catching them early prevents bigger damage, as these louses multiply on a daily basis. Mature nature is generous, but a rough tutor.

This particular rose is, however, pretty scentless. But you can’t have everything. Actually, there are supernatural roses here inside the house, inside flacons. That compensates. There was a shortage, though, of rose absolute  for a while. But today, I got another batch delivered. I do not need it really, right now, but rose absolute is one of the things I want to have, all the time, … you never know. The same is true for jasmine absolute. My fragrant workhorses, so to say.

I mentioned it a couple of times on this blog, but it amazes me every time again: When I buy rose absolute, about 60% of what I get is actually phenylethanol. It is one of the major ingredients of the perfumes that roses exhale. Phenylethanol is cheap, like: super cheap! Therefore, buying expensive rose absolute translates into buying very expensive minor components that make a rose a natural rose.

Work today: packing some stock. And -having finished the workshop preparations- thinking about a presentation that I will give Sunday, at the Smell Festival in Bologna.

I can talk about me, my philosophy, processes behind the fragrances, dreams, projects. That’s quite open, really. I can also spray some fragrances and have people smell while I talk. This helps. Maybe I will talk about roses. We will see…



old rose 20140210-1detail

spectacular on many levels

February 10th, 2014

The regular readers of this blog know about my Sunday rituals. Human beings need structures and I am no exception there. Most Sundays you see me jogging my half marathon in the hills leading out of Zurich’s west. Yesterday was an absolutely spectacular jog: Starting in bright sunlight and temperatures that are still unusual for the season I ended up facing a huge pile of super grey clouds right in the middle of the tour, after 55 minutes, flying in from my left. It started pouring like hell, 500 meters next to me, like a water veil to the left, but I was running in bright sunlight, dry. And I continued doing so for the rest of the tour, with gusty winds keeping the clouds at a distance, whereby it rained behind me and next to me.  It felt spectacular; it felt like someboy cut through the dark woobly clouds, giving me a safe passage.

So that was nice.

Also nice is the fact that my nose that was useless for a while, is coming back. I used it to smell and inspect the concentrate of the Gardenia fragrance. Mentioned here before: This concentrate is mixed by my supplier of fragrant raw materials,  Essencia. When going into production scale for the first time, there is always a  moment of anxiety and anticipation: There are always small differences between test and trial mixes, and the larger 6 kg batch. I do not really know why this is: It might have to do with little differencies in the quality of the raw materials used. Maybe maturation is a bit different. Who knows.  The bottom line: The concentrate is perfect. Gardenia heaven for Andy, in concentrated form, spectacular.

So that’s nice, too.

Not having smelt it for a while and not thinking about the formula, the scent and its composition comes as a wonderbox.  A bit. I smelled the concentrate with a dear friend over the weekend, and we discussed the mushroom note. And the flowers, and I have to admit: I was checking the formula again, yesterday, after jogging, rediscovering the scent. I forgot that I put three flower absolutes in there: Rose, Jasmine and Orange blossom. Together with other naturals and synthetics, these bring a naturalness and white flowers into the scent:  A bit of a challenge, as other ingredients such as methyl benzoate smell a bit synthetic, and harsh. (Besides an enfleurage super expensive extract of Gardenia, there is no natural gardenia essential oil or absolute. ) But still, these molecules such as methyl benzoate are part of the headspace of the flower. To some extend it is quite amazing how the flower manages to smell so nice in light of the high concentration of these molecules in its head space…. In the fragrance, the flower absolutes like rose absolute or Jasmineabsolute balance tje scent and add softness and deepness. And the orange blossom adds a bright tone, too.

These absolutes also add most of the  color to the scent: In concentrated form it is a nice gentle orange.

And talking about roses: I found time to paint a bit. Yesterday’s object of inspection: An old rose that I will dry in the coming days. The gleamy texture of the flower petals  is gone, all petals are shrivelling, but the color got intensified. What was a bright pink became concentrated mauve – violet -dark grey. A perfect object to play with water colors again. Today’s picture shows you a little detail: I love how the colors and layers merge.

And here’s the full picture. sized down to 300 pixels width. Have a great start into your week!

Old rose

an old rose, hanging in there


fairtrade and a day off

February 3rd, 2014

I wish you a great start into your new week! Here, things are a bit different than they normally are. First, the nose is dead as a dodo (again) due to a cold that is on its way out. So… no happy playing with scents in the house of Andy. Then, I was working over the weekend in order to compensate today and tomorrow. And, today and tomorrow I am taking some time off. Back on Tuesday night, I will make a little newsletter shout-out, for the explorer set additions.

So there we go: Off.

Today’s roses, in the picture, were an experiment, I wanted to train myself a bit in photoshop, or rather wanted to try out a trick or two. The physical roses are Max Havelaar “Fair Trade” roses, and -in my humble opinion- a little but still significant difference that we all can make- I hope so at least. I am not sure whether something like Max Havelaar in perfumes ingredients actually exists on a broader scale. I do not think so. At least I have not heard about it. There are some natural products that you can get in organic quality, or from local cooperatives, but I think there is no label and no guarantee from a third party, on a larger scale, in perfumery, that would compare to Fairtrade.

I think this is missing. It is very comparable to the clothing industry: The labor cost is basically nothing. 5 cents more or less for a shirt or 1 $ dollor more for a fragrance might not make a difference here. But a difference there.


raised eyebrows

January 24th, 2014

sometimes, down time, waiting time, being-in-the-loop time is great: I try to fill it with stuff that I want to do but do not find the time to do it because I think I have more important things to do. So I fill with with activities like sketching, or playing with software, or following the stock markets or blogs with raised eyebrows. Those of you following this blog since 2005 know that I follow the stock markets, mostly when they are turning bizarre or odd or out of touch, in my opinion.

raising eyebrows, body language meaning: interested and wants to know and see more, but also being a bit surprised. And it is a bit an invitation, too. Answers: Please.

Or I just waste this downtime, because it came for free.

Which is fine.

Although, to be honest, I am convinced that what might look like wasting time will end up being part of a bigger scheme, one fine day.

Yesterday’s waiting time playtime while hoping for computer no.1′s stuff getting finished: sketching on computer no. 2 a bunch of roses, trying to capture what makes the yellow buds and the leaves and stems special. It is also an eye training session. And it is interesting. We recognize a rose immediately, but what actually makes a rose a rose? Looking at the raised eyebrows further up: I feel that we humans are really good in recognition of patterns and forms. Deers, for instance, are not.

Reverie au Jardin flacon, 15 ml size, sketch, done on ipad

Anyhow. The other sketch I did yesterday is less a downtime sketch, but I figured that an illustration for the upcoming newsletter might be nice. So there we go…one word here: I did it on the ipad. The ipad is about 2.5 years old and since the update to the new iOS it is just too slow. Because it got too slow, for certain apps at least, and because it started to crash sometimes, and more and more regularly, I should get another one, really. But I am not willing to invest into a tool that feels like it is rendered dysfunctional “on purpose” or better “by plan” after 2 years use. Contrary to my Mac computer, all apple tools that I got lately did not last that long. And many of my friends got quite unhappy, too. So, there we go, raising eyebrows.

Today, that’s the plan at least, early in the morning, will see me working a bit on orders in the factory, followed by newsletter putting together activitie. And it will see me mixing and smelling around my woody creamy vanilla. This is playtime with scents that I do not like to mention too often, as I do not want to raise wrong expectations and have you all raise your eyebrows, too high.

Have a great end of the week!



November 21st, 2013

Richard Lüscher Britos Store Build UPRight now I am testing two different rose oils from Iran, methyl eugenol reduced, just from an olfactory point of view. Methyl Eugenol (here is what IFRA has to say about it, pdf) is a potential carcinogenic, present naturally in a couple of essential oils, like rose, clove or basil essential oil. Thus, there is a growing demand of methyl eugenol (ME) free rose oil. The price of ME free rose oil is higher, the scent quality is usually lower. It is the same with Bergamot oil: You cannot really use the real thing with all the bergaptene in there anymore, but it has to be said: Bergaptene free Bergamot oil is just a touch less rich. ah well.

I am not considering buying the Iran rose oil right now. Just testing it. I mentioned it yesterday, PHI -une rose de Kandahar is doing just great and I feel like I should just stick there for a moment. Yesterday, I poured more bottles of PHI and packed them. Tomorrow, if all goes well, they will fly off towards my Shipwire warehouse in California. Am I happy with Shipwire? You bet!

Do I love to work with roses? You bet!

Here is another proof: Next Friday, 4pm, Zurich, Markthalle, will see the official opening of the Temporary Store of Richard Lüscher Britos. There, the world will see among other Terroir scents my take on the Lavender 44N 3E (lavender was harvested at 44 N, 3E). Here is a short video of the
Richard Lüscher Britos Store Build UP

More on Richard Lüscher Brito? you can find it here.

And what’s this to do with the roses? No lavender without roses… thus, there in the Lavender 44N 3E, I used a rose oil, in order to support the spices and the gourmand notes of lavender. The rose oil used is just one out of 28 all natural components, oils, resins or absolutes, no isolates, and it has a wonderful effect. So, yes, roses, here and there, everywhere.



rose again

July 9th, 2013

So there we go again: rose. Today’s picture shows you a quick shot, taken with my phone’s camera, in the morning. Dew on rosa xxx. I want to give you a quick update on my works with the rose oil from Kandahar. Well, well. As always: Not easy. It is a tricky balance between keeping this rose oil alive, present, and putting it into a context without crushing it and it is a fight with fixation, making things last, and it is a fight with finding the right body notes, the ground that should nourish the flowers and keep your nose interested for a few hours.

What I have now, is sort of nice, very “rosy”, but for my nose a touch too soft in the base, not really paying tribute to where this rose comes from. Although already pretty complex, with the base featuring natural tobacco, hints of patch, vetiver, vanilla, amber gris, the whole composition is still too “banal” and this is mostly due to the base missing clear contours and power.

Contours are actually very important. Often it is just one or two ingredients that provide extra lines and contrast and suddenly, with the contrast added, the flowers bloom and start to blink. Sort of. Often, contours are also reached by overdosing one particular ingredient, mostly in the base, adding this extra twist.  So I will try this, together with a little simplification of a formula that got already too complex. Always trying to keep in mind that in the center is the natural rose oil from Afghanistan.

In a sense, referring to painting, I will try to take a brush one size larger and use it on the canvas with a brave hand, and strong colors.

The goal, still, the scent needs to be done by autumn, ready to ship in about 3 months. uiuiui… better keep going now.


no rose shortage, maybe

July 1st, 2013

The last few days saw  me stocking up a little bit, fooling around with cellophane foil. I still need to practice there, but looking at the boxes in the shelf, things look ok. We do not use an additional glue (the cellophane wrapped packaging that you get from your supermarket or mall usually involves glue). The wrap is sort of easy to pull off, but it sticks and it is super protective. No fingerprints, no smears, no nothing.

And I was going through some  printed material that I got in Paris from natural raw materials suppliers. I smelled some wonderful qualities and love the idea to work with them, like mimosa, vetiver, in a special quality, actually: 2 vetiver in a great quality, tobacco,  and roses. I was told by a couple of producers that this year, the harvest was low, very low, as it was a bad year for roses, and that prices will go up, sharply. One supplier, who does not produce rose extracts and hence is somewhat neutral, mentioned this: “get your rose absolute now; prices will double in a few months”. I still haven’t decided whether to invest in rose absolute just to keep stock, really. Roses will be less limiting in the coming months, as I was building stock or am on the way of building stock of fragrance concentrates these weeks and months: Rose chyprée, air du désert, rose vermeille. More stock’s to follow, depending on stock levels in September, of orange star, incense extreme, lonestar memories. Thus, no rose shortage, maybe. But these days, things are hard to predict. Thus, I am trying to balance my way into the second half of this year.

The rules of my business which is creating scents, producing scents, selling scents, have changed. So, yes, besides all the fun and the creative aspects of my venture: I am running a business. The legislation changed, the communication, the buyers and their buying pattern. All these changes translate into hard to predict stocking up needs.

Anyhow, I am still undecided whether to get some of the mimosa, vetiver, tobacco, et al. It is tempting to get them, play, and create. But as tempting as it might be: There is no need really. The buyers are flooded in scents. No need for another one, really. I might still get my mimosa, though. But I do not know for whom, really. Maybe for me, only. Which is fine, and it does not matter as we are all flooded by and drowning in new releases, nobody is listening, really, to the trumpets heralding the news of the hour.