Tauer Perfumes

News Tagged ‘rose’



November 23rd, 2015

I do not know about you, but for me the upcoming holidays are about handicrafting; they always were. As kids we used to make our gifts to parents and uncles and grandmas ourselves. I am not sure whether the little things that I made were always entirely presentable as gifts, but then: Hey! They were made by a kid’s hand and therefore: Special.

These days, when looking for gifts, especially for adults, I have one parameter that is sort of key: They must disappear after a while. Because most adults who I know have everything already and cannot use much more that sits on a shelf for years. In that sense, the perfect gift must disappear with time.

Like perfume. Perfume is a perfect gift as you are giving something that is made to vanish into a big smelly cloud and then nothingness. Soaps are perfect, too. Everybody needs soaps and they will be gone quickly; again -if perfumed- leaving a nice scented trail.

This year, I want to try making “bath foam bombs”, these round or heart or rose shaped things that you put into the batch and they make foam, ideally lots of fine foam, perfumed, with a rose scents. In a couple of days, I shall get everything that is needed for that venture. I worked on the scent over the weekend. Just a rose, with some vanilla, that should bloom in a Swiss mountain like monstrous foam hill when the bomb is put into the bath tub. That’s the plan at least.

It was super nice to work on a scent that does not need to go into a bottle one fine day.

Maybe the best part: I will have to test run it.




March 30th, 2015

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

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

That much about the selfie.

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

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

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

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


this and that

March 16th, 2015

What a great weekend! It was rich, full, work loaded, and with a couple of fun activities. Most of them were actually not really fragrant, I have to admit. More communication related. But then: Perfume business is communication business. Sometimes, however, I stop answering mails. Like …when discussing forth and back to where we ship, what, for what price, ending up with an email where it says “can you ship samples or 1 explorer size to test a scent first, please. The “please” is nice, though. I always wonder how many “samples, please” mails a company like Chanel gets.

Talking about samples: I introduced a minimal order of 10 Francs a year ago, more or less. Because we got too many 1 sample orders. 10 Francs=2 samples. Packing and shipping 1 sample does not make sense. Actually, packing and shipping 2 samples makes a bit more sense, but not much either. It is a service more than a business. But, to be honest, I do not mind.  But midterm, I need to optimize how we pack and ship. I do not like these envelops that we are using.

Anyhow: A lot of mails over the weekend, but I managed to fiddle around a bit with the lemon blossom theme; not sure what this will result in, though. A lot is missing there. The real thing, the lemon tree, is still blooming and soon I will pick the two lemons that turned yellow now. How cool’s that? Lemons from Zurich!

And I managed to paint a bit. I was brave over the weekend and did some experimental mixed media pictures. Like today’s rose. Mixed media means here: Oil and watercolor. The oil color is a special quality: Water soluble. I used it as white background layer and went over it with watercolor, enjoying the brightness and density and nice effects it gives. Amazing.

I feel I need to be braver with my lemon blossom trials, too.


working conceptually

February 21st, 2015

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Yesterday, after a long sunny early spring, late winter day here in Zurich, I took today’s picture that I shared yesterday evening already on Facebook. I treated myself with some roses, as it was -like every Friday- rose day in the local flower shop. And when the sun went down spectacularly, I could not resist taking the picture of the sun, reaching the horizon, with the rose in front.

Yesterday, well… yesterday I was working “conceptually”. A phrase I always use when being lazy. Being lazy means: I did not pack perfume, but was painting, sniffing, and thinking about when to order what for which occasion.

It is end February, and I am trying to come up with my autumn plans. Not easy. And a couple of more short term plans.

I needed a break from the packing and shipping routine. Next week, we will continue there and have a couple of exciting news. But until then: More roses to enjoy in the house. And a couple of hours painting and sniffing. Just the perfect weekend.


more roses for you

November 7th, 2014


Here are more rose for you all: After having shipped PHI-une rose de Kandahar to perfume hotspots in Europe, the next boxes wait for pick-up, to fly west. “Düdeldi”, as we say here, which does not translate really into English; maybe “hurrah”, but more relaxed and easy going and taking things less seriously.

So : Düdeldi. And I stop worrying about who gets what when first. Finally. The rose de Kandahar gets out and in about 2 weeks or so, my fans in the US can get it (again), from my shop, and my retailing friend’s shops, too.

And now that we are there (almost, actually, as you never know… boxes can get lost and shipments can get stuck): The brain area where I do not have to think about PHI-une rose de Kandahar can expand again. And, as our brains are super plastic, so plastic that almost all of us have the choice on a daily basis whether we want to become a saint or a sinner, an angel or a devil, my brain won’t get bored, for sure.

Today’s picture: One of the roses done in my  aquarelle class yesterday.

Have a great weekend you all!


Sunday musings and noisy mails

September 29th, 2014

There are moments in our lives where things change, from one moment to the other. Yesterday was such a moment. I was sitting on the balcony, under the most bright September sun imaginable, painting a still live of red wine leaves  and rose hips, picked in the garden the day before, when I got a mail. Today’s blog picture shows you the result no. 2. The first one was too bright. The second one worked out better, also because I used a larger brush and knew the motif better. Get to know your motif! The same is true for perfumes, by the way. Every rose that I do, sort of, gets easier and I can draw the lines without having to look too closely. Instead, I am can work more on the picture’s/perfume’s composition, the tone, the dynamic.

For reasons that are unclear to me I get a lot of spam mails since  a couple of weeks. On the ipad they get through; the outlook on the PC is configured to make them disappear. Almost all of them.

But first things first. I had done what needed to be done this Sunday; I had cleaned desk no. 2, making room in order to prepare the pictures for the upcoming newsletter; I got all pictures ready by now, still undecided when to send the newsletter, with what kind of text, though. The text is a bit tricky this time as I need to say that I have a goodie that are US and Switzerland only, for the time being, for logistics reasons, and because it is easier for me to ship to the US than to xyz (pick your favorite EU country here). When I am done with this post here, I need to continue there, on mailchimp, my newsletter online tool. I could filter for US only newsletter recipients, but won’t do so. Sometimes, I feel that talking about perfumes with words is more difficult than creating them.

I also did my Sunday jog, 101 minutes which is very good, makes me super proud but which is also completely irrelevant here, my regular round in the woods and hills around Zurich. Thinking about many things, like Pitti, the fragrance show in Florence, and who was visiting and who didn’t and for what reasons. I talked to many, many perfumers there. It is THE place where we niche in a niche in a niche perfumers meet. One discussion was particularly remarkable. We both agreed that things are changing, and that everybody seems to get tired, and that it is time to change. And maybe do a niche in a niche in a niche fair/show/exhibit/meeting place. Where it is us and not the others. While jogging, the world is simple and everything makes sense.

I also the orders that came in over the weekend. Thank you to all who ordered from my site! Thank you. Your orders make all the difference. They really do, from a money point of view: We get the margin, the whole margin. And from a psychological point of view. Orders make me happy because… well, because I often think that someone over there, for instance in Colorado, spends 33$US to discover fragrances, shipped from Switzerland, flying over the ocean, and the guy who orders has maybe worked for an hour in order to be able to spend his/her $$$. That makes me grateful. And then, I feel that the whole process is a little miracle. Technology that feels like magic. It really does.

And then, orders make me happy because the order confirmation mail that I get is a welcome change to the daily email noise; free samples here, production advice there (no, no advice given). But some noisy mails make a difference. Like yesterday. I was offered “affordable burial services”. Wow. Is it time already?

And now, what’s next? I need to get the newsletter out. Planting another tree. Subito.


inventing roses

September 26th, 2014

or “re-inventing” roses. Today’s picture to the left shows you a rough sketch that I did a while ago, in search of ideas. A quick, flashy sketch. In reality, it is only 15×20 cm, watercolor on paper, using a thick brush.

But it looks almost like a graphiti. On a pale blue wall. There is something fragile in there, a transient element. And a code-like element. The rose being reduced to a code consisting of flower petals in semi-3D. I will use this picture one fine day. It has a special quality and I almost always fiddle around with roses…

I just love my roses, and when it comes to perfumes, I love them even more.

At Pitti in Florence, I was asked by a perfume lover about the size of my palette. I mentioned that it is smaller than the average palette in this industry. Maybe I am using more naturals, though. Anyhow: I was then asked whether it is possible to create something new with a palette that is limited and does not contain -for instance- cashmeran. (one of the many molecules that you find in many scents, these days even in notes descriptions for perfumes)

“This is the best starting point!”, I said. “you can re-invent roses every day. There is no limit really.”

There you go: The universe is enormous, but it’s building blocks are very few; some 118 elements. I know… this is kind of a simplification.

But still: there is plenty of room out there.




picture in a picture

August 26th, 2014

something I learned in my first aquarelle class lesson: get to know your motive, and  do so by going small (picture size) and large (brush). Postcard size is about right. You work fast, and start by painting a frame. Then you search the lines, and shapes, and colors. And ideally, you identify what works and what doesn’t. And you might want to think about thrilling elements that you might want to bring out. And you might want not to think too much, but feel the brush and the paper and color. Yeah…. quite a lot, really.

This morning, I was trying this starting with a picture of an Alpine lake that I took about 2 years ago, in the late afternoon sun, mountains mirrored, no clouds, the mountains and surrounding area almost black, but a slope of the mountain reflecting the afternoon sun.

Mountain lake  mirroring the mountains in dark afternoon sunlight

Mountain lake mirroring the mountains in dark afternoon sunlight

It is a nice and fast way indeed, great to test ideas. Starting with a picture is also helpful. You can easily measure distances, and proportions. Lesson learned, that goes far beyond painting a lake: Go small with your ideas, first.

The other picture in this post, a blue rose, shows you what can happen starting with a life rose, without sketching the rose with a graphite pencil… it “fell” out of the frame.

It was not planned like that, really.

But here’s the thing: These little mistakes can actually make all the difference. The rose, for instance, suddenly becomes a picture in a picture and the entire scene gets another meaning. I could continue there, bringing in a bright orange around the frame, further underlying the picture in a picture, using a mistake and turning it into something positive.

So… what’s the message here? I guess the message is that many mistakes aren’t really mistakes. Jumping up, one floor higher, to see the total picture, many mistakes turn out to be pictures in a picture, leaving us with a positive note. Many, but not all. And finally, you have to try things out, right? Those who do not move make only one mistake: not moving. But that’s a probably a very big mistake, and another topic.

OK, you probably want to know one of my mistakes, right? There are many. I think one of my biggest mistakes was my pricing, initially. And sticking with standard bottles for too long. And then switching to a pentagonal packaging that looked great but was impractical like it came from hell. Not the bottle. That’s one of the best ideas that I had. This bottle, it really sticks out everywhere. And whenever I see a perfume lover sharing her or his collection: I see my babies in a blink of an eye. This flacon really pops out.

Anyhow: We are moving on here at tauerville. What’s next? Putting Lonestar Memories into bottles. I can’t go wrong there.


Monday, monday

August 11th, 2014

Today is Monday, but this Monday is special: I get another blue flacons delivery, at some point today, by truck, and am so looking forward to filling up the big empty spots in the “factory”, where I store my building blocks to produce perfumes. Another building block that is low in stock: the bakelite tops. Bakelite, as production material, comes with the advantage of low numbers. It is a plastic, the first plastic that this world has seen, really, a thermosetting polymer, and low number means that you do not need to order 100’000 pieces. As production is pretty slow (each piece is compressed at elevated temperatures, for a couple of seconds) , you can order 5000 pieces of a customized piece (customized by a mould) and the price is ok.

Anyhow: I am getting bottles delivered, tops later this week, I have boxes, pumps and labels and (more or less) juice and am happy. It makes me definitely more happy to see bottles than numbers on my bank account statement. At least, the bottles are there. The money in the banks: Well, well…. you never know with money and banks.

And you never know with truck drivers. Thus, I got up very early this Monday (after 5 am), to get done what needs to be done, before heading down the hill into the factory.

There, I won’t be bored as I just got another large retailer order. And have a couple of ideas to work on. I will take my painting stuff with me, too. After yesterday’s rose exercise (see today’s picture), I am ready for another watercolor rose. And: You never know with these truck drivers.


back. an update

August 4th, 2014


I am back from my vacation. Actually, I am back since a couple of days, but I needed some time to get back in pre-holiday mode. Today’s picture shows you one of a couple of water color pictures that I did, sort of in a hurry, either during lunch break or before dinner. It is the view into the Morteratsch valley, with the glacier hiding behind the trees.

This glacier is melting, like most Alpine glaciers, and since about 100 years it is quite dramatic. Nowadays, it’s ice loss accounts for 40 meters. I tend to go there, to the glacier, every year, once. Thus, visiting the glacier in 2010 took about 150 meters less…Last Thursday, getting up at 6 am, I was jogging up there. The air was crisp and clean and the valley was filled with the perfume of fir trees and the moisture of the stream coming from the glacier. A wonderful moment, also because I was all alone.

The last two weeks on the bike, cycling along the Danube and the Inn, following the one down to Passau and the other one up to the Morteratsch glacier, 1400 or so km, were filled with fresh air, and the meditative movement in slow motion, slow compared to travelling by train or car.

As we had sort of a ambitious goal, there was not too much time during the day for painting. But this comes with advantages: The more you have to rush, the less is the danger of getting lost in details. A good friend of mine told me about her painting teacher who told her: A good painting does not need a lot of time. There is some truth to it.

Here’s the thought of today, therefore: A good perfume does not need a lot of time to construct. Sometimes. And sometimes, working too long on a  perfume idea, the scent actually falls apart because you add too many storylines and colors and shades.

But then: Painting and perfume making needs SOME time.  It does not happen in 1 minute, really. And practice. And imagination. And inspiration.

Cycling is perfect there. Lots of time to think, time to imagine all sorts of things and a lot of inspirations. Highlights this year:

The best living rose I smelled these last two weeks was an old, very tiny, pinkish-magenta colored rose in a garden. In Zernez, which is not really your rose place. Just mind blowing.

The highest peak: Bernina, 2300 meters. The wettest day: Bernina passage. yes, not fun really.

The oldest tree: A 400+ years of oak tree.

The oddest building: Walhalla in Germany. It felt like an LSD tripped prince’s Greece flashback.

The coolest encounter: I bumped into Luca Turin, or the other way round. By chance, on the street: We went for a beer and discussed what the chances are for that happening, really. And we talked about perfume, and the industry. It was the first time we met. I hope it won’t be the last time.

The most clearing thought: Actually, we are not facing an explosion of niche perfumery. It might feel like an explosion, but basically it is an implosion.

The most soothing thought: I have the nicest clients on this planet.