Tauer Perfumes

News Tagged ‘rose’

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.


waking up in Paris

June 24th, 2013

One of the best ways discovering and learning more about cities, in my opinion, is jogging, in the morning, when the city awakes, its streets and corners still presenting the dust of the night, the trash still sitting in the shortening shadows of the sun rising, the homeless still sleeping, and the drunks of the night bumping into the busy bees that got up early to serve us coffee later at 9. I did so on Friday in Paris, as I woke up way before six; having done my mails, I decided to go for a jog, at 6.30, and I was amazed how quite Paris still is at this time around the gare de l’Est. Much more quite than I know it from other cities.

The jog was along the Canal St. Martin, starting there where it begins at rue de Faub. du Temple and ending somewhere out there, at the Parc depart. de la Bergère, and from there back along the canal and then through the city, in a circle, discovering a few streets and corners I haven’t seen yet. So that was good, and as always when jogging, there is plenty of time to think. I was thinking about fantastic raw materials that I discovered at the XI salon Matières Premières, where me and some friends wondered where the hell these wonderful materials are actually used in light of what we smell these days. And I was running away from the agitation of the next wave of zombie scents flooding the streets and perfumeries. Paris was quite a wake-up call for me, in a certain sense, and I need to get back to this point when my morning dizziness is gone.

Today’s picture shows you a Givaudan map of synthetic treasures; some of them I actually use, like Okoumal, or Sandalore (nice!) others I don’t. I am so glad that these days, we can use both, in qualities seen never before, synthetics and natural. The salon featured -of course- some synthetic highlights, but most of the suppliers were producers of natural extracts and wow!, there were so many fantastic goodies to smell there. Highlights are, just to mention a few: a Tasmanian blackcurrant bud absolute. A fantastic mimosa absolute, a drop dead rose oil (actually a combination of natural rose oil and other extracts, rendering the rose oil gentler, and bringing this all natural close to the scent of real rose petals) and a Lily enfleurage, and a vetiver, and and and. This was truly inspiring and motivating to move on and play more.

Today, I will play too, but not with scents but with the cellophane manual tool that was delivered while I was in Paris. I will do so while waiting for Fedex and trucks that pick up orders that I prepared in weekend and night shifts before leaving. I guess this day will see me going through a lot of cellophane with little results. As it says in the training manual for the tool: “The operator should at least spend 2 working days training on the machine…”


prosaic questions and what soap to pour

November 27th, 2012

On a prosaic side of things that go through my mind these days: I need a new phone. The existing one is years old, an iphone 3, still doing ok, but some buttons do not work anymore and it follows instructions like it was narcotized. Slow. Very. Slow. So I actually wanted to get another iphone. But – to be honest- I won’t. I did not like what apple did with its map app using clients. And I do not like their very sincere optimizing taxes. And a couple of other things, like the never ending stream of lawyers sent out to the world; although, I think there they are in good company with men in black from other enterprises.

So, I need a new phone, and the company that was cool a couple of years ago is not on my to-buy-from list. At least for phones. I  guess Nokia with their new Lumia 920 is. I was trying to be rational about it and figured that most of the stuff I do on the phone is taking pictures, searching things on the map, and email-surfing-texting. And using a few apps, and writing stuff. But I kind of like the new one from them, and hence I am not totally rational there.

The next rather prosaic question is whether I can actually afford it. So you see: It is down to earth day here in Zurich.

Another down to earth question: I need to come up with a couple of scented decisions. Like trying to decide on which soaps to pour. Every year, for the holidays and other special occasions, I pour fragrant soaps. So far I did a TUBEROSE fragrant soap, for the support of the Kickstarter campaign of Evelyn Avenue for Only Child, Brian Pera’s latest film project. This tuberose soap is super rich in rose, jasmine and has what I think is a nice tuberose note.

And I have ROSE fragrant soap that I did two or three times so far. This one is also nice.

And I have a Mandarines ambrées soap. This is the first soap that I did and it is very lovely and a favorite of many.

So, I have to decide what I make for the holidays, for friends and family and loyal clients and I simply do not know, yet.  I cannot make all three as I have to pour 50 pieces each.

But here is what I know: I love the WAY I pack them and will keep this. A simple cellophane to protect the scent, an A4 paper, folded, wrapping it, and a cellophane bag to protect it all. Straightforward. But I think I will come up with a different print on the paper. I feel like going a bit louder: something like today’s picture. Not exactly this, but something like it. At least for the rose.

This illustration is actually a super quick draft that I did a while ago on the pad. I can see myself coming up with a streamlined packaging color code and fonts et al for my fragrant soaps. As the production costs (work not counted) for these soaps is pretty high, and as I cannot ship them for a reasonable price (packed they are more than 2 cm thick, and then the Swiss Post thinks it is in the 20$ shipment costs range when shipping to the US…): I do not see how these can ever become a real product. But they are nice gifts. And they are nice add-ons. I give them (sometimes) to double bottle orders. Maybe I will start to offer them systematically at some point in time: Offering “buy two and get a soap for free”.

We will see. First I have to see what phone to get and which soap to make for the holidays. Which soap would you prefer?


October. almost

September 29th, 2012

I wish you a lovely weekend! It is almost October, Q4 almost started and I am simply baffled by the fact that I should seriously start preparing for the perfume highlight of the year: x-mas. Let’s try to shake this thought off for a second, it will come anyhow, right? Although, I have to admit, I started searching for a nice flower concrète since a while, in preparation for soaps and other goodies, that I might (no promises here) prepare as extra goodies for the season. Next week, I will get some samples of rose and jasmien and orange blossom concrète and I cannot wait.

Maybe one word one concrètes: These are wonderful raw materials. It is what you get when you extract flower petals with organic solvents: A waxy mass that is a bit closer to the flower and usually richer than the absolute. The absolute is made from the concrète, by extracting the concrète. By this extraction all the waxes that make up a good part of the concrète are left behind. Together with the waxes some scent components are left behind, too. For ethanol based perfumes: These waxes are a pain as they precipitate and clog everything. But when doing solid perfumes, oil based perfumes, or soaps! then they do great. Actually, they are perfect for soap scenting. A bit on the expensive side, but hey!  it’s going to be X-mas.

So I am looking for these concrètes samples and then I hope that I can order some of them, without minimal orders of 10 kg or so.

So, it is almost October and October will see me in Los Angeles, where I will present Loretta, easy going and with a big smile, at Luckyscent’s scentbar (October 19). Before that I will head for a day or two to Joshua Tree to collect some sun and peace for the rest of the year. October will also see me presenting the art of perfumery and how I turned into a perfumer to a Rotary Club gathering. This is an event I am looking forward to.  And yes, early October sees me packing piles and piles and more of my scents into boxes.

Actually, I will start today, although it is Saturday and not October: And  after a day, yesterday!, all behind the computer, and ending it behind the ipad, booking hotel rooms at 10 pm from the comfort of the couch, I am actually looking forward to packing for an hour or two.

I wish you a lovely autumn day, and if you are down under (or up over): Enjoy spring!

(today’s picture: scanned chestnut that fell from the tree and missed me by a few cm)



another rose painted

September 4th, 2012

Here comes another rose related post, and another rose picture. But today I share a quick sketch I did this morning, in 15 minutes, behind the Xintiq, a digital drawing tablet from Wacom that I have fallen in love with a while ago. I could not spend more than a few minutes on the sketch, as I have a very busy schedule ahead.

The drawing is basically a few sharp lines and a few water color brushes.  And it is a quick look at the yellow roses again. They still do not smell, but their color  is just stunning.

Rose illustration: a detail.

One of the things that I plan to get done today: Filling MIRIAM in to bottles and start labeling them. For that I filter the fragrance right now. It is one of the more delicate fragrances to filter, with fine precipitate forming during maturation. But being careful and taking time, I usually manage to get it clear. The worst fragrance -when it comes to precipitation forming- is the ZETA- a linden blossom theme- due to the CO2 extracts used. There, I am always stuck with the finest precipitation imaginable. Although it is hard to see, when you let the bottles sit, the fine precipitation sort of conglomerates  and looks like more than it actually is.

Anyhow: In the mean time I got used to the ZETA challenge and consider the fine precipitate as a quality sign.

Another reason why talking about Miriam and showing you another rose makes perfect sense: In a sense, Miriam is also a rose fragrance. Powdery, heady, aldehydic, woody, green, with a lot of roses. Very thirties, forties I guess.

I guess I love my roses.

Another agenda point today: Answering emails and facebook queries.

And yet another agenda point: Starting to recalculate a formula that I have come with (yes, another rose scent), and upscaling the formula and taking it apart and double checking again with IFRA standards. Just to be on the safe side.

And then, once I have done the calculations, I will need to start ordering what’s inside. For 2013.

And then I have to start thinking about a name, but this I will do tomorrow, (and share here on the blog), as I forgot another agenda point: trying to stay fix and come up with an adequate work life balance. This translates into sweating in a gym.

That’s the plan at least. Let’s see where we get there. I wish you a rosy day.