Tauer Perfumes

News Tagged ‘Woman’s Picture’


Loretta: Thoughts on the First Year and a Draw

October 19th, 2012

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… .


Back from Pitti

September 18th, 2012

So I am back from Pitti since yesterday evening and managed to send most e-mails, and ship orders and open the snail mail without major bills induced depression. It is always amazing how many bills fly in when you are gone for a couple of days, isn’t it?

I took the train back, allowing me to get an hour or two of sleep: And after three days on the stand and with a lot of evening gettogethers, this came in handy. Being at a stand at Pitti is very tough. I ususally got there after 9 in the morning and left after 6 pm, without lunch break, just interrupted by a coffee break from time to time. Thus, you stand and meet perfume lovers, retailers, business partners, and also some suppliers. I do not speak Italian, thus much of the talking was left to my friends and partners from Italy who make sure that Tableau de Parfums finds its way into some shops.

I was interviewed by Extrait about niche and what I think about the market these days. So I was talking about the way I see this market these days. First, one has to say that there is an economic crisis and it will affect the way we do things. You do not really feel it when you are at a show like Pitti where all is gold and light, but it sure is there. Furthermore, I mentioned that I do not use niche for what I do, but rather artisanal perfumery. But in the end, to be frank, let us call it niche or mass or artisanal or artistic: In  the end it is about bottles that want to get sold. The bottles are different, the inside is different, the way the fragrances are created and how they speak and engage its wearer is different, but in the end we all make perfumes that we wish to be sold at the end of the day because it is how we make a living.

And this, in a sense, is weird. In a sense, I feel like an artist, and in a sense I feel like a business man. Trying to bridge this gap is not always easy and a constant balance. To give you an example: I ended up talking to a Middle East distributor who wants my scents for his shops which is fine. The business man in me would tell you: Yes, there is a big potential for some of my scents. The artist however was a bit shocked: We discussed the brand, the history, the packaging, the bottle, but I could not show one of my scents. There was no interest in actually smelling.

So, this is another side of Pitti that I wanted to share with you. Besides all this glitter and scent and glory: There is a business side to it all.

One (no names here) of my perfume making colleagues, well established and known for his brand(s) brought it to the point by saying: “We create perfumes for the people who buy them. Not for the people who talk about them” (i.e. bloggers et al.) There is some truth in it. On the other hand, I create perfumes for people who love perfume, and many may not buy a bottle, but just get a sample, and I guess that is fine, as perfumes speak to us and we want to speak to other perfume lovers about them. Perfume is communication. And yes: Perfume business is communication business.

And a lot of visual comunication!  You see a lot of wonderful presentations, stand decorations that were simply mind blowing! There were simple stands, there were opulent stands, there were huge stands and there were very little stands. I guess this is one of the aspects that I love about Pitti: There is room for all of us. And as every year: A LOT! of visitors.

So, on our stand that was still quite modest, we showed Loretta, the newest offering from Tableau de Parfums. I told the story of this fragrance about 1000 times that last days: Thus, in a nutshell Loretta is a fragrance inspired by a film character in Brian Pera’s movie “Woman’s Picture”. Loretta is a young woman, working in a motel, as room cleaning lady, and she is shy and won’t speak. She lives in a dream world, builds a reverie, where there is music, where she dances and falls in love with a man. Loretta is sensual, sexy, but there is a secret, a dark mysterious side that the film won’t solve. There remains a secret.

In today’s picture you can see the mini poster that we did for Loretta and I love it. It was designed by Jessica Jones.  It encapsulated what Loretta is all about. For me, Loretta translated into sensual white flowers: Jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom. A sweet ripe fruit that is yummie and sexy, too. And then there is this dark secret: Patchouli, amber, and a woody, resinous underline. Loretta is present, but not loud. Loretta is sweet and soft, but not too sweet and there is a strength in Loretta.

Loretta was admired and loved. And I am very happy. I think Loretta is very unique. In my palette of scents it sure is. One last detail about Loretta, the fragrance: I made two trials, only. Trial one had a minor mistake in the head notes. Then I created version 2 which was basically identical, just a change in the head notes. And then I was done. Loretta, the Woman’s Picture character spoke to me obviously in a very inspiring way.

So… Loretta was very well received and I am looking forward to sending her out soon into the world. Next stop: Los Angeles, @ Luckyscent’s scentbar October 19.




out of box failure

February 8th, 2012

This is actually a happy post although the title let ‘s you guess it might not be. The postman was busy yesterday, bringing me a lot of things: fragrant raw materials that I have been waiting for since….October 2011!  Finally, I have (almost) all ready to mix Loretta, the second fragrance from the Tableau de Parfums series. These fragrances in the Tableau de Parfums series are  inspired by movie portraits in Woman’s Picture, a film created by Brian Pera, but -contrary to what I read the other day in a comment- they are not celebrity scents or perfume made for a particular human being. I think that’s important to mention again.

Loretta will launch in autumn 2012 and it is getting time to produce it. One message from this post is: if you see a fragrance in the shelfs in autumn 2012, its logistics and production started eventually 12 months ago. Add another 12-24 months for its creation and you have timeline from start to launch of 2-3 years.  Frightening, isn’t it? Right now, I am waiting for one last molecule. In the mean time, I make all ready for the launch of Miriam, the first fragrance from Tableau de Parfums, in Italy, where we plan to present it early May at Campomarzio, in Rome. I am really, very much, looking forward to presenting Miriam in Italy. I feel that Miriam will find a lot of fans in the south.

Bringing Miriam to Italy translates into some translation work, too. With the 50 ml size Miriam comes a novelette, written by Brian Pera. This novelette, called “From the desk of Miram Masterson”, shows an other sides of the character Miriam and goes beyond the movie part. Both, the story and the movie, are part of the Miriam 50 ml packaging, by the way. And for those who missed it all: Here is the Miriam packaging explained in a little vimeo video, by Andy Tauer. Just click here to get to vimeo. Thus, we will translate the novelette for Italy, and print it specifically for Italy. I insisted on this because I think the novelette it is important to fully appreciate the fragrance and the character who inspired it.

I remembered all this when I was testing the digital foto frame yesterday. Yes, there we go: I am coming to the title of this post in a second. I wanted the movie part of Tableau de Parfums to be somehow visible to perfume lovers in perfumeries in Italy. Therefore, I figured out that I will -together with my Italian partner who takes care of my fragrant babies in Italy, ProfumImport in Milano- make a display that presents Tableau de Parfums and Miriam and that shows little sections of film clips, highlighting together with text what Tableau de Parfums and Woman’s Picture and Miriam is all about.

The display will be produced in Switzerland, it will be about 50×30 cm, super expensive, and integrate a digital foto frame, 10” size, and will be really cool. I visited the company producing it all by hand, using wood, iron, cardboard, printed fabric and the digital frame. From a commercial point of view it might not make sense. In a sense that I will not get it paid back in a year or two. But I think from an artistic and communication point of view it makes much sense. And not everything I do must make sense from a commercial point of view. That’s my privilege. And that’s – by the way- why you get 1,2 fragrances in my line that are ridiculously expensive to produce and do not entirely make sense from a commercial point of view.  At least not for the price tag that I mark them with. But that’s another story.

Here you see the first draft for the display that I made, asking the company to offer me 25 of these displays.

A simple sketch of the display from the side.

In the mean time, we started working seriously on it and for that I ordered the first digital frame to build the display around it. I also made a little test video to see whether it does play MPEG4 video. It arrived. It worked, but unfortunately, the screen has one line that is not ok. The frame is a simple out of the box failure and needs to be replaced. See the picture going with today’s post. There you see a little green line in the LCD display.

However, as time is short, I will ask Intenso, the company producing it, whether we can keep it for a month and then ask for a replacement, to build the prototype. I am curious to hear what they say.

Another parcel that I got: A new headphone. For my ipod and for traveling. I got it in pristine condition and can cut the world off my ears now. It feels like meditation, but without the intense work needed to find the inner calm.



frangipani twist

November 4th, 2011

I managed to hang myself through a series of busy days into Friday: fragrantly creative Friday and photo taking Friday and texting Friday. I will -finally!- touch the composition for INGRID again, one of the portraits of Woman’s Picture, and inspiration for a fragrance that we will launch 2013, and add a twist. A frangipani twist.

I have been thinking on the Ingrid composition for a long time now. I had it one for weeks now, in the night, during the day. The base of the fragrance is finished. It lasts and evolves wonderfully. The core axis are fine, too. It fits with what I want it to be, but there is something rotten and wrong there. I have a trial version that is call Version 2nd of August. Since then I tried about 6 or so different routes but none brought me there where I see the scent, in perfection, for Ingrid. It took me a while to find a good source for the frangipani absolute, but now I got it, a first 50 gr sample to work with and do a pre-batch if needed. I will use the frangipani absolute to sooth and correct one line in the scent that was odd. It was not sexy enough. And a bit odd. Hard to describe. The notes of the composition, that is quite complex, are: a citrus chord of Bergamot, sweet orange and lemon, with complementing notes of cinnamon, clove, lavender. The flower heart is now a super complex hyacinth, jasmine, rose.  This will change to hyacinth, frangipani, rose, the base is a rich oriental resinous base of tolu, vanilla, sandalwood, styrax and hints of cistus balms. Thus, today’s  photo shows you what I will smell and mix in an hour: frangipani. I actually took the picture a couple of years ago in Kenya.

Photos: I will try to make a nice photo of the Cologne du Maghreb flacon, using all I know and a bit more of Photoshop, too. The Cologne du Magreb is packed and shipped to indiescents.com.  I will talk about this venture a bit more in detail over the weekend, I guess. Bottom line: I need a photo and PR text for this all natural and all botanical baby of mine that I love so much.

And yes, I have never in my entire life shipped so many perfumes out like during the last 3 weeks. And I have never packed so many perfume bottles and I actually never filled so many perfume bottles. So this was good. But, there is a but. We face a stock issue (again) and I think 2012 will see some changes on how we do things here.  This is good, I think.


a Miriam review on Muse in Wooden Shoes

November 2nd, 2011

The first thing I read this morning was a review. Carol who runs the Muse in Wooden Shoes blog  posted a review on the scent Miriam,  and what a review! You find it here, following this link to her blog. She put the scent into the context of  Tauer and the movie Woman’s Picture by film maker Brian Pera. Her review ends with the words “Wearing Miriam feels bittersweet and emotional, tender and wrenching and beautiful. It smells like a memory of love to me, and I will cherish it.”

Miriam is a fragrance, that I created based on a fabric of emotions, pictures, scenes, reflections, all seen in the portrait “Miriam” of Woman’s Picture. It is a mirror of what I felt when watching and how I have seen this movie story that Brian tells us. Reading this review on the blog a Muse in Wooden Shoes, I feel very understood. This is a wonderful way to start a day.

I guess it won’t get better today. Thus, I stop writing here and make sure that I get those parcels out. Enjoy your day!



funky and more

October 31st, 2011

There we go: finally I could leave tauerville for a few hours, leave the boxes and bottles, and have time on the computer to write invoices and mails. But before I do so:  Here’s  a treat for you that I share with greatest pleasure. A great article in funky layout with serious text on a project that is dear to my heart: Persolaise discusses Woman’s Picture , Tableau de Parfums and what Brian Pera, the Memphis based movie maker, and me are doing there and why. Persolaise does so in the UK Esprit Magazine.

And I sure love the layout. Thus, if you want have a closer look: I uploaded a copy and leave it on the server for a day or two. Here’s the link to the 1 MB jpg.(loads slow, sorry for that….)




soaps to win in a woman’s picture draw

July 19th, 2011

If you have not done so, now is the time to catch the chance to win a Tauer scented soap:  “LIKE” woman’s picture on facebook. Brian Pera hosts a give away with 30 scented soaps that I have sent him, called “MANDARINES AMBRÉE”, made for the occasion. You cannot get them anywhere. The only thing you have to do to enter the draw: Like Woman’s picture on facebook. Here is the link http://www.facebook.com/womanspicture .

Brian Pera announced this draw on Evelyn Avenue, under “latest”, by the way, and always worth checking. There, you find more on Tableau de Parfums, Woman’s picture and what it is that Brian and me have cooking together these days. I got the last packaging zero series part on which I need to give the ok before it goes into production: The envelop for the 7 ml purse spray. This is the last piece and it is simple, like an envelope, to keep costs down, but protective, and will be in line with the sample envelop, and distinguish itself from the packed 50 ml flacon. And now I have to wait until all labels and envelops and boxes come in. As soon as they do I will publish pictures, as I cannot wait to share.

Initially, I wanted to pack the purse spray in a box, too. But I figured, that the purse spray does not need an expensive, vintage inspired box, like we get it done for the 50 ml flacon: With linen texture, printed card board inlays and all that. I rather try to offer it for a cent or two less.

Yesterday, on the way to the movies, my book keeper and me discussed on the stock we have these days and the expenses that we face the next weeks. For this year, my investments are sort of over. My stock grew heavily and the new brand Tableau de Parfums is all paid for from my savings. Building this brand is expensive, but important: Tableau de Parfums is different to Tauer Perfumes, in its aesthetics, in its fragrant language, in its source of inspiration. I cannot wait to share the first perfume, Miriam, early October in Los Angeles, at Luckyscent, who supported it all.


a picture of a rose

July 8th, 2011

The picture of today shows you one details: A stylized rose, that you will find in all MIRIAM manifestations: Samples, purse spray and 50 ml flacon.

Today, I will order all the final labels and stickers that I need for MIRIAM, the first fragrance of the Tableau de Parfums line, inspired by the character MIRIAM in Woman’s Picture, brought to life by the actor Ann Magnuson.

It is a rose, as Miriam is a perfume built around a green vintage rose, but it could also be a violet, as violets are playing a central role in Miriam, too. The color is quite close to an “antique fuchsia”, complementing a faded shade of pink that we use on some labels, a color that I picked to be very close to “tea rose”.  You get the idea, I guess.

Thus, I need to go through all label files again, make sure that they are print-ready and then I send them off. And then, after a few its and bits down in the warehouse, my weekend will start in the evening. I hope I find some time to play: I have a few ideas in my head for chords and combinations of notes and now that almost everything is in place for Tableau de Parfums the time has slowly but surely come to start playing again. I missed working with my fragrant bottles.

Ah, yes. In the mean time, Brian will get ready to present Woman’s picture at Outfest in Los Angeles (July 11 and 16). Outfest is cool. If you are in the area…


Evelyn Avenue

May 17th, 2011

There are days where things change definitely. Today is such a day. Evelyn Avenue is live now, and with it you get a first glimpse of the perfume brand Tableau de Parfums(TM). You learn about Woman’s Pictures and Brian Pera, the man behind it all. You can follow on Evelyn Avenue what the story is behind the fragrance Miriam, and why.

For months and months he worked on this. Brian is the guy behind Evelyn Avenue. I am only the perfumer, coming up with fragrant pictures, such as Miriam.

When I got first contacted by Brian, I was skeptical. I just recovered from a close encounter with an investment banker with lots of money saved in the financial crisis, trying to build a brand. Thus, I said to myself: Not another collaboration in this universe where so many perfume project are born just to produce something that smells like  [add any favorite body fluid here]. Then I got the script for the film Woman’s picture. Then I saw a first cut of the movie. I saw Miriam. Her portrait is one of the three women’s stories  in Woman’s Pictures. I saw here sitting in a chair, watching her mother, holding these fragile hands. I saw her in her pinkish TV studio, I saw these bitter sweet moments of truth and felt the weight of her memories, and I knew that I wanted to start this  project with Brian.

You can see a summary of what Woman’s picture, the movie, is all about on the main page of Evelyn Avenue.

We faced a lot of hurdles. Many are yet to come. But I am proud on what Brian has reached. And I am happy that I got there where I am now with Tableau de Parfums: A perfume line and fragrances that are dear to me.

What is Evelyn Avenue? Find it out by clicking here.

I will from time talk about Tableau de Parfums here. But mostly, I and Brian will talk over there, on Evelyn Avenue. Please stop by.

Thank you.

Before I finish: Here’s a thank you to Brian for his creative sparkles. Here’s a thank you to the W.-factor who does my books and who has to do more bookkeeping in the future.

And here is a thank you to the guys from Luckyscent. Their support makes a lot of the exciting things happening in the coming months . Without their undemanding support, you would miss a lot, happening soon on Evelyn Avenue.

Thank you guys!

Today’s picture shows you a sun rising. Comments are off. Invite to you leave comments on the blog of Evelyn Avenue. Thanks.