Lonestar Memories: Colombina on Perfumesmellingthings. (...)Lonestar Memories makes me want to escape the mundane confines of my everyday world(...)

Lonestar Memories: Katie on Scentzilla. (...) Lonestar Memories smells of the examined life. Inside there is joy, and there is tiny heartbreak, e xisting only in reverie. The scent unravels into the consideration of past experiences, and pinings for future joys and heartbreaks(...)

Lonestar Memories: Marlen Harrison's review on PerfumeCritic.com (...) If you're a lover of leather or richer wood fragrances, this is gonna be a holy grail scent and in that case, better get two bottles.(...)

Lonestar Memories: Cait Shortell's review on Legerdenez. (...) Do you appreciate scent because you identify with the scent and its image? Does a scent have the ability to create a memory outside one’s own experience?(...)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Casablanca fog and a happy new year to all

Do you remember the movie Casablanca? The last scene is wonderful. When Humphrey Bogart and Louis, the French officer, walk into the fog and Bogart says: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a long friendship!".

In a sense we all walk into the fog this evening, with the end of 2005 and without any idea what 2006 will bring. But while walking into a foggy new year, I am proud and happy to play Humphrey Bogart here, saying: Heather, I think this is the beginning of a long friendship.

With the rest of 2006 entirely unclear and hidden, I am happy to announce that starting today, Heather Platts will sell my perfumes in the UK in her Eie Flud shop. And I can clearly see that this is going to be a fruitful year for the two of us.

Happy New Year to all of you!


Just a little note for therivercat: My mails to you don't get through and they come back.
The samples are flying over the ocean.
Have a happy new year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Hyperessence push here

Yesterday, I was due to lucky circumstances forced to spend an hour in Zurich without anything to do, having to wait for the next meeting at 5. In light of semi-arctic temperature I chose to stroll around the so called Shopville and discover the world by random patterns.
I was strolling and having fun, when I came to a 1.5 m high thing, which looked neat, shiny and dark like a Japanese cookie box, it was like a square column, standing in front of a shop.

At the top, it was labeled with: Push here! What I did.
Resulting in a good spray of perfume right on my hand, the base of my ring and middle finger. And a state of annoyance. I like to be asked before getting sprayed. Or at least, I would like to get a simple warning: If you push here you will get sprayed there.....
So I was spending an evening with a sticky somewhat disturbing scent which turned out (at closer inspection of the black push machine) to be the new Davidoff Silver Shadow. Sticky in the sense that it is very present and survives a few handshakes when sprayed on your finger...., sharp in a sense, rather uniform and boring me after 5 min. There is little depth in it, but here I have to say that it is kind of a fair game: You smell what you get immediately and are circularly rotating around a theme which is not bad at all, dry woods, oriental with green spikes.
What I find most disturbing is the description of this Davidoff scent on scentsdirect (http://scentdirect.com/), a place where you find me from time to time, recommended by Heather on her wonderful blog, .....
I have no idea what a hyperessence is. I think they mean something like CO2 extract (high pressure procedure). Marketing at its best. It is time to introduce some giga absolutes and mega essentials and miraflow oil...
Here's the text on Scentdirect:
"This fragrance is a combination, both classic and contemporary, whose initial freshness gives way to a cosy, comfortable signature. The pure blend eau de toilette has hyperessence of Siamese benzoin added to the base to accentuate the rich, warm facets of the original oriental harmony."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

no post today

Today is going to be a busy day.... no post therefore.
But a little picture to enjoy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

modern times

After yesterday’s little business post about samples, here is one about manufacturing these little precious treasures.

The sample for Le Maroc pour elle is nice, but a pain. It always was. It basically is a thick paper strip, printed, to be folded 5 times, cut twice, and bended and glued once to hold things together. The glass vial is a simple vial without pump mechanism and the bottle label was black print on transparent foil which first is hard to remove and then wouldn’t stick appropriately on the glass. This is going to change now. I have redesigned the whole thing with two goals in mind: Making a closer visual link between the package of Le Maroc pour elle, eau de parfum, and the sample and make it simpler to produce.

I want to be able to mass produce samples like Charlie Chaplin in his modern times, dreaming of an endless flow of samples coming out of a niche factory, scenting the world and providing pleasures and joy. There is, by the way, another movie which mirrors modern life, sixties-seventies style, produced by the French director Tati, called “Mon oncle”. I have seen it when I was a boy with my father and it is gorgeous. There is one scene, where the uncle works in the plastic factory, producing tubes, which at the very end is a picture for how disintegrated modern work can be from the real life.

In that sense, I am disintegrating my sample production into easy to control steps: New vials with pump mechanism (one click and you are done), new red paper labels that are easily put on the vials, a paper cover which needs two folding steps and one glue drop and the vial being glued on the paper. I think it looks even better than before and I have a super-trooper gluing machine that allows me to glow stuff in about 10 seconds. Finally, I will be able to mass-produce samples at a rate of about 1 per 5 min. Think how many samples I might produce until the end of next year…..

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

business blog

This weblog is, with all its personal aspects blended into scents related topics, a business blog, too. With 2005 coming to an abrupt end soon the time has come to critically reflect on this year’s in and out and next year’s line of action. This is a process that I have not boxed into a process control document, such as a best practice guide that pinpoints indirectly what has been gone wrong in the past.

I rather do it as batch job, erratic like a rabbit feeding on a green lot, jumping from here to there. It has to be mentioned for the record: Rabbits are very unsystematic in that respect. Being a process oriented person you cannot watch them hopping from here to there and eating the chlorophyll saturated stuff in a pattern that reminds you of Brown’s motion. Yet, they are – as a species – amazingly successful and maybe there is a reason for them not to feed in an organized pattern: From left to right, for 1 meter, then returning, until they are done. I can not figure out a good reason, but there must be. Thus, I do my looking back the same way:

We have given away a substantial amount of samples which partially paid back. There seems to be a negative correlation between distance from the shop and the return on investment for the samples given away (and sent). Meaning: The farther we’ve sent the samples, the less people bought. Number of sold perfumes = Factor_x*(number of samples sent)/(distance from shop) Here we can improve by working on Factor_x (stretch goal 1 for 2006).

We had coverage in different beauty and lifestyle journals of le Maroc pour elle. The most successful coverage was in Annabelle Switzerland. Although it was only a short coverage, we still have customers asking for the Le Maroc pour elle, pointing to last June’s edition. So, here’s the goal for 2006….. Some of you may have realized: I am somewhat ego-centred. I have logically accepted that the earth is circling the sun. But deep in myself I am still convinced that the gravitational centre of this part of the universe is there where I am. Therefore, I figured out that the time has come to reach for a little home story, or a least a little perfumery home story. I imagine myself, being in the gravitational centre of hundreds of roses, nicely arranged in my living room with their natural fragrance mixing with scent layers of jasmine and cedar wood from the paper strips, chatting with a charming journalist from Annabelle. After 60 minutes the journalist will be fed some biscuits and tee, while he is trying to figure out how to convince his editor to liberate two more pages for the coverage of Andy….

Third goal: I have to become more serious….hehehe.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Morning thoughts

The moment between night and day, lying in bed, realizing where you are and what is coming next, this short glimpse of crystal clear lucidity before leaving the nightly grave and jumping on a new day venture, is one of the greatest sources of imagination, inspiration and creativity.

This is the moment, where the subconscious world of sleep surrenders and leaves room to the upper layers of computing power. Yet, logic has not established and put through its control functions entirely. It is a bi-phase moment, with nocturnal imaginative power and unlimited associations in one phase and logical connections with deductive abstractions in the other phase. The two are mixed together in a state which is very labile and soon goes either in one or the other direction. I made lengthy use of this state this morning, allowing me to write this post and continue my perfume endeavour later.

This morning'’s bi-phase output: I have to change the text in the sample inner cover (I am rebuilding the -“Le Maroc pour elle-” sample, including the mini-pump spray that I will use in the future as well as the paper cover), I have to add a touch patchouli to the leather version 18.3, I should pack the Maroc pour elle eau de parfum the next time not in a card board box, nicely white with black-and-white labels, but rather put it into a velvet bag, simple to produce, yet looking nice too. I will have to finish packaging Le Maroc pour elle. I guess the last thought was due to yesterday'’s packing effort. I spent some late night hours with boxes and labels. Which allowed me to meet another bi-phase state, transporting me the other way round from day to night, much less inspiring than the morning state.

You simply go from awake to sleep, binary in a sense, with your head falling on the table.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

He sat down on the chair. It has been a long day. He sat down to watch the wall. It was this wall, only this little wall, that separated him from an universe that he learned is expanding endlessly, getting colder from day to day. He watched the wall and thought about the universe expanding towards eternity. He thought about the stars that he could see if this wall was not there. Stars that have been born and died millions of years ago and yet, he would see them until the end of his days because the information of their furious death needs millions of year to cross the universe. Stars that are as rare in the universe as gemstones are on earth, but the sky was full of them. He thought about the millions of stars that are little spots of warmth and order in a cold expanding universe.

He looked at the wall and realized how lucky he was to live on a cozy little blue planet passing around a star that will continue to fuse hydrogen for much longer than he and hundreds of generations after him will live. And even more than that. On this living planet, covered from head to toe with life, he was lucky enough to live in a place that was paradise on earth. He had no worries about where his next meal will come from and he had more clothes than his wardrobe could handle. He started to feel uncomfortable. He never figured out to which extend his material happiness was linked to the poverty of others. The thought that others suffer for his pleasures makes him worry from time to time when watching the wall. He thought, it might be time to do something about it. Something serious. Something that will last.

He thought about the things he did that will last. He couldn’t figure out much. He looked at the wall and he wished that the wall with all his little thoughts will stay.

He thought about how rarely he sits in front of his wall. He should sit more often on this chair and face it. Thinking about himself and about what he can and should do. Thinking about the things that really matter. Thinking about people smiling and about animals suffering. And saying thank you for the pleasures of life and the people and animals he loves. Thank you for the simple fact of existance. Thank you, W., for being there and your love. Thank you, dear friends for your time. Thank you Mr. and Ms. Unknown for your smile. Thank you for my mother’s cancer being treatable. Thank you for inspiration. Thank you for showing the limits. Thank you for this wall and the chair to sit down.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2005

the chemist's perspective

Dear readers
As I am a little bit in a hurry today I just post this little sentence and a link to a wonderful page. Mr. Bo Jensen (from Denmark) has a lovely homepage where he covers the chemistry of natural fragrances. Even if you are not into chemistry.... It is still worth checking out. Have a look at the flash stuff, too .....this man is very talented.
Enjoy and have a nice day

His home page you will find here.
The chemistryof natural fragrances: Here.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cards and stuff

The last days were, unfortunately, not very much devoted to perfumery in the sense of perfume creation. With Christmas approaching much faster than expected, I suddenly faced the fact that a pile of X-mas cards were not written, yet. This had to be corrected this week. For this year’s card, I chose a simple “Merry Christmas” with a picture of the sun breaking through behind a tree in a forest, in black and white, with a gold-orange frame around it, transformed and pumped up by photoshop and printed on thick paper with my little HP which almost broke down under the burden.

The sign on the wall appeared ten days ago, when the first cards dropped in. The climax was reached when I got the card of my uncle, living in Hamburg. He is not into writing at all; as a matter of fact this year is the first year that I ever got a hand-written proof of his physical existence. His little card turned my inner Christmas alarm from easy-going level 3 (it is going to happen, but you don’t have to worry) to shocking 5 (it is here, your doomed and must seek your Christmas-free shelter immediately or fight the battle for the happiness your beloved ones in the streets of Zurich). So, I carefully analyzed the battlefield, got into my heavy-duty boots and loaded my credit card to finally employ this year’s downtown Zurich guerrilla tactic.

I am childless and have once and for all delegated to my brother the task of passing on the family genes, but it does not really help when it comes to Christmas presents. My brother was rather enthusiastically passing on our genes and thus, I sneaked around downtown to get presents for a lovely teeny (13 years), a charming 8 year old, a darling 3 and a sometimes loud 1 year old carrier of 25% each of my genes. Yesterday, I finally had all presents together, including the gifts for my friend’s children. I also managed to hop from shop to shop with minor lesions only and from one happy crowd of the Salvation Army to the other without loosing my hearing sense. This is a true manifestation of the season’s miracles and the magic of this cinnamon cookie time as the Salvation Army soldiers are powered by a mission in their hearts and 120 Decibel on their lips.

I may now face the candle light dragon. Armoured with a shield of nicely wrapped presents, flying X-mas cards all around me heralding my virtue and strength in black and white, I ride on my black metallic horse to face the beast.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

P=f(t)*z(p) + a*(∑Yi√t/x) (i=1 to n) + b*(∑Zi√t/v) (i =1 to n)

Today I want to write a little post about multidimensional and relative scents, fitting nicely with the Einstein year coming to an end soon. I visited the Einstein exhibition in Berne which really was worth visiting as it explains not only the science and the scientist, but also lay out the historical context of pre-war and war – foolish Europe, and some biographical details are explained as well. Some of Albert’s private particulars were rather amazing, like the way he dealt with his (many) wives or his socks phobia (he didn’t wore socks for whatever reason). The science is amazing, too. I will never be able to thoroughly grab some of his physic; lucky me: I still function appropriately in time and space applying Newton physics to handle my daily environment.

Now, scents are not really relative in Einstein’s sense, but there is a relativity that I find intriguing when composing a fragrant picture. Let’s take Cedrylmethylketon, one of my favourites, finding its place at the base of L’air du desert marocain. There, it is part of the delicate ambra accord. But this ambra quality of Cedrylmethlyketon is relative and does not emanate under all conditions. You have to finely tune the conditions that will allow it to be present. With different boundaries set, only the cedarwood aspects or an iris facet will show. This makes things interesting but difficult, too.

Where we come closer to Einstein’s relativity of time is the next challenge: The perception of a scent within time. By setting the right scent gravity centres in a fragrance composition, it is possible to change entirely for how long a scent is observable. Of course: Within limits, as a scent like Geraniol will remain a fast evaporating compound. Fixatives work in that sense, fixing scents, prolonging their perception, being little gravity centres that slow the scents diffusion. Therefore, the perfumer has to think relative, and by taking this relativity into account the perfumer sets when you smell what for how long. Difficult….

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I must admit: I love this perfume. Years have passed since my last closer encounter with this scent and my scent memories have almost entirely fainted. This has primarily to do with my brain’s limited capacity of memorizing things that are important; thus, I have no accessible memories anymore, of when and where I bought it and what my first impressions were. I guess this is the price I have to pay for information and sensorial overload… but I still love my 1 kg assembly of nervous tissue for providing me with sweet memories of unimportant things, such as the price of my airplane ticket to the US in 1980 (1390 Swiss Francs, Brussels-Florida return).

Back to Antaeus: A powerful chypre accord, well done and present from the very start.
For all its masculinity with its woody and leathery aspects and a touch that reminds me of the taste of an unlit good cigar from Cuba, price range of “Lanceros”, Antaeus evokes a feminine side on my skin which is not really in line with the picture of a giant Greek hero. Once the first -almost a little bit too much in intensity- citrus and sweet aldehyde fruity (peach?) head notes evaporated, this side shows itself. There is softness in it which is intriguing. Maybe it is the cistus with musks, which is so artfully integrated into a background of patchouli, castoreum, and other woods? I think this is one reason why I like it so much. It is ambiguous, undefined, and somewhat vague in that sense.

Antaeus is a scent of the eighties with a name that refers to ancient mythology.
Here’s the story of Antaeus’ end in a condensed manner, written by Pindar, in the Odes Isthmian, 4 ep.3:
“To the house of Antaios (Antaeus) there came a hero from Thebes of Kadmos’ race (Herakles), to Libya’s corn-lands, small in his body’s height but of soul indomitable, bringing a wrestler’s grip to stay him who crowned with skulls of strangers Poseidon’s holy shrine”.
Thus, we are faced with a brut skull collector (Antaeus), a fighting machine, a disordered male, without place in modern society. He slaughters other human beings and was killed by another testosterone driven guy who discovered the source of Antaeus’ power: His connection to Gaia, mother earth. Once lifted, loosing this essential connection to earth, Antaeus becomes vulnerable and will be defeated by Herkules. In a sense, Antaeus is powerful, because he has this connection to the feminine side of power, Gaia, nourishing and supporting us all. He is strong as long as this bond is unbroken. Which brings us back to the scent and its feminine aspects; Antaeus is for all its masculinity drawing its power from a feminine source. Antaeus, I guess finally, had a psychological disorder, or in other words that are less polite: He was psycho. What a concurrence that this perfume was launched in an époque when a book appeared on the market, called American Psycho. Coincidence?

Monday, December 19, 2005

winter day

It has been a cool winter day. The sun was fighting with the last snow clouds of the night and finally broke through the grey fabric faintly, lightening a thin white snow layer. The icy crystals covering the roofs and streets of Zurich reflected the light and sent neon white radiance over a town that was busy with Christmas preparations. People moved joyfully through the shopping miles, enjoying the peace of the season. In midst of this busy winter town there was a little corner where the sun seemed to shine more brightly and warmer. Here, the warmth of the Moroccan sun poured out of a cosy room, filling the passage below with scents of summer and sunshine. Rose and Jasmin danced with Cedarwood, Mandarin and Petitgrain fought for attention, Sandalwood and Vetiver laid the ground silently. There was joy and peace in the air and you could hear people talking to each other about scents and perfumes and perfumery. Following these scents, people entered the room, and were transformed in time and space to find themselves in the fragrant world of a Moroccan souk of 100 years ago. There were tables with little bottles of natural scents from Morocco and from all over the world, shining brightly and inviting to play. And there was a perfume, delightfully glowing liquid that was the synthesis of these and more scents. The innocent visitor would sit down, enjoy a glass of white wine and start to play her own game with the scents and the perfume. Every hour, this play with scents was interrupted and a thorough silence filled the room. A lovely man with a smile on his lips would install himself on a large, comfortable chair, look around and then start to read. He did this every hour, filling the otherwise noiseless room with his vibrant and deep voice, reading from a little book with stories from a Marrakech of 50 years ago. People listened to him with gleaming eyes and smiled.
From time to time, you could also see a perfumer, standing in the middle of the room and telling his story of how he played with the Moroccan scents to create something new. He too had a happy smile on his face and enjoyed the moment.

Pictures: The room Mirroir des Modes, Egon Fässler, reading Canetti's voices from Marrakkech, customers and Joya, owner (together with Marianna) of Mirroir des Modes

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Tomorrow it is going to happen... our scent apéro.

I am a little bit nervous and incredible curious who and how many will come. And of course, whether it is going to be a success from a marketing point of view.

Besides this vain commercial aspects I like the idea of talking to customers and perfume lovers.

So, I hope for best, send a little prayer to the gods of perfumery and polish my shoes.....

Friday, December 16, 2005


Back from Brussels which is larger than you would think. Yesterday's challenge was primarily a logistic one, how to move myself from one corner of the town to the other, using public transport, then, after 5 hours, how to get transported to the airport again. The first part was kind of funny, because the bus driver who was supposed to tell me when to get out of the bus, forgot about me and I had the pleasure to travel twice across Brussels by bus. Probably, he lost me of his event horizon because I had my grey business suit on, which is my stealth suit, allowing me to disappear in the mass of other grey business mice....The taxi ride to the airport was smooth but challenged by a charming driver trying to have a conversation in French about materialism, christmas and unemployment. Bringing these issues together makes sense if you start thinking about it, but still... my French is just too ......faible....
Back in Zurich, we had to see that I get my four wheels with gasoline motor, move to the place where I was born a while ago and where my mom still lives, get her into the car, drive to a private meeting to discuss issues with her doctor and back again and then back to Zurich, where my body arrived in shape, with my spirit still trying to find its way back home. (It finally arrived, but two hours later.....)

To come to the end of this post: I bought Antaeus pour home (Chanel) and the Dior Home at the airport's duty free, but I was too tired to imerse myself into these scents in the evening. I will present my thoughts about the two fragrances later. Just a last word about Antaeus: I bought it because I like it and .... because I used to cover myself from head to toe with the stuff back inthe days when I was still innocent.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Europe again

Dear readers
I forgot to announce it officially: I will not post here until Friday. I will once again honor Brussels with a short visit.
Have a good time.


A couple of bottles showed up yesterday on this blog. I assessed some leather approaches in undiluted form. And the winner is: Number 18! It is a joyful and happy moment. Although the maturation process is not finished yet, the winner is clear. Now, there is still work to be done, maybe even more than before. Number 18 needs adjustments. Here some formula highlights:
Its head: Woody, brilliant, spicy, with smoky undertones; birch tar, clary sage, lavender, carrot seed, clove flowers and supporting hydroxycinamaldehyde
Its heart: luxurious and intense leader, warm radiant flowers; bourbon geranium, orange flower, jasmine, cistus and ambrein, supported by geraniol, nerol, isobutylchinolein
Its body: soft, powdery and warm woods with a sweet touch; cedarwood and vetiver, vanillin and methylcyclomyrceton

It is like finding a youngster on a farm, all dirty, sweaty, but with the perfect face for our campaign. He needs some cleaning and education, but we will bring him up there, onto the stage.

Dear bottle 18, it is our pleasure to announce that you have made it. You’ve beaten them all and it is you who we will tutor further. We will take you at the hand and guide the path to the world which will admire your beauty. You convinced the jury with your gold-brown appearance without precipitate. Your fragrance is the taste of adventure, it is the lonesome rider coming home in the evening sun, it is the perfume of a wild nature, of dry grassland with trees raising their arms for the praise of an orange sun at the horizon, it is promise and phantasm. Your temper needs education, though. We have to teach you the soft language of seduction. You will learn how a soft whisper opens doors, and we will tell you when the moment has come to sing out loud. We will work on your lovely head which just needs some colours and fine lines to support your smile. We will not change your heart which is so joyful and young and convinced us of your beauty. We will dress your body in fabrics that let your contours shine through and support your silhouette. Your brilliance still hides behind layers of dust. We will polish you, make you shine and one day you will become pure light, transcendent reflection of the sun’s colours. Please follow us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

visiting cemeteries

In yesterday’s newspaper section on digital goodies and troubles associated with their use there was a short line on blogs, unfortunately without any reference to the source of the statistics. The ten liner said that there are, based on statistics of web users, their surfing patterns and the number of blogs on the web, with high probability more bloggers out there than blog readers. Like any other statistic this one is of little use, so why bother?

I am a very spoiled blogger, enjoying the comfort of high hit numbers and returning visits, visible and countable thanks to my statcounter account. I know that 40% of my blog visitors are from the US, I know that on average I have two hits daily on the blog from surfers using Google’s search power for “picture of candle” and for some visitors I even know how long they stay. For obvious reasons I assume that their 60 minutes stay is devoted entirely to reading the blog. At the end, Statcounter’s tools give me lots of statistics that sooth my ego and curiosity, but so far this does not translate into anything that would deliver real value.
So, why bother. For one, because the journalist did not think things through, probably had no idea what he’s talking about and I don’t like that. There are thousands of blog skeletons out there, they have seen posts and visitors for a while and then they died. With their electronic bones slowly whitening under the sun, they still appear on Google because Google has some sort of memory. Reading them comes close to visiting cemeteries….which is alright per se, but does not count if you do a statistic “how often do people visit other people”.

The other reason is my suspicion that most bloggers do not really worry whether their posts are read by the many or not. It is a few that we care about. You, yes you, dear reader, you are one of the few I really care to see here…..There is a sublime joy in posting that I still have not understood. The journalist might better write about why do bloggers blog!

(picture: Yesterday’s layout of some leather scent bottles. I am going through some variants figuring out where to go….. A sign of hope… the nose power is coming back slowly….)

Monday, December 12, 2005

HSE (2)....the pictures....

Dear readers
as promised: The pompöös pictures. Kind of special for sure, scent not tested....


It is going to be a busy, busy week. With a Brussels trip in between, and a nose which wakes up but delivers grey style pictures only. Time for a new one, I guess, and time to think….This is what I did last week while cutting my paper strips and folding flyers last week on Friday. And I enjoyed watching Home Shopping Europe. I have to out myself here: I could watch it for hours. It has a soothing and comforting effect on me that otherwise only Roche’s Valium brings to me. And I consider this channel being one of the most honest TV channels. It is about selling stuff and they tell you right away! Contrary to other strange shows where organisations like Volkswagen pays for your TV delight, and where all the good guys only drive VW, I know who pays for my shows on Home Shopping Europe. The only reason for this channel’s existence is happy customers buying. Well, my second outing here: I haven’t ordered anything, except for a knife sharpener which was recommended to me by a friend, and which really is cool. I have knives by now, that could have been used for the really bad scenes in Kill Bill 2, if you know what I mean…..
Most shows are also very, very professionally presented. The sales message is as clear and sharp as my kitchen knife. You’re not supposed to realise it, but these speakers know exactly when to bring what message. It is an evangelism, which translates into “the message of good things happening to us”, a worship of commerce in its purest form, with priests that praise materialism, bringing peace and happiness to trustful consumers.
So, I watched the jewellery show on the side, when suddenly the newest creation in the “Pompöös” line popped up: Eau de Parfum, scent of unknown quality, blue glass with a real gold crown on top (a few microns gold on copper, I guess), presented as the one and only, for 40-something Euro (picture will follow tonight....)! Amazingly enough, the scent was not an issue at all, probably because there really is no issue here. (Anyone who bought this scent: How is it? Don’t worry, I will not out you as buyer….) They only praised the packaging of the scent, with the gold and the crown. Having said that and in light of what I said before: I wonder how important the perfume packaging is. Is it 50% of an AVERAGE consumer’s decision or even more? I have to see that I can get hold of a marketing study.
Watch out, one day you may start your TV and suddenly Andy, the perfumer, appears on the screen, praising his newest creations….

Friday, December 09, 2005


The nose still is not there yet. Therefore, this little story that follows happened a long time ago….

Once upon a time there was a perfumer living happily at the foot of a green hill with little houses that were all clean and tidy. He lived in a wealthy country where people were safe and could spend their days in warm and dry office buildings worrying about things that are not important. In his house our perfumer boy was surrounded by scents from all over the world. He collected the scents over the years with what he could spare from his daily life. He was a happy perfumer boy. Every time when a smiling UPS man arrived at the house, his heart would start to beat like the heart of a little mouse being chased by a hungry cat. He would send a smile back to Mr. UPS, sign for the parcel, unpack the cardboard box and start sniffing and rubbing his hands with new delightful oils. And he would dream childishly of new fragrances he could make, mixing this and that, and bringing perfumes to the world that would make women weak and would make men suffer.

One day our dreaming perfumer was fortunate enough to find what he was looking for and he bought a perfume that was older then himself. Even older then his mother. And he waited for a long time for the friendly UPS man to knock at his door again. It was a time of wait and see.

Finally, after weeks of anxiously awaiting the promised bottle from a place far away, a simple glass bottle it was, filled to the top with fragrant treasure, he would find answers to questions never asked. He smelled the concentrated perfume which was so delightful that he couldn’t stop. He smelled all day long, discovering every aspect from the very start to the last traces, following a story that developed in front of his nose which was breathtaking. And at the end of the day he knew his mission. He needed to create a perfume that would be as good, as brilliant, as joyful, and as pretty as the one he discovered that very day.
He lived on happily thereafter with a mission in his heart.

If you want to plant a tree in your garden, you have to watch old trees first.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I still lack my smelling bud entirely. Yesterday evening at the Thai restaurant there was a glimpse of hope when eating my extra hot green curry, but the Chile Chardonnay found its way to my inner organs without leaving any sensual impact. So, it is a paper day again.

For you, my dear readers, this may sound boring, but I like doing it: Print out the flyers, double sided, of course manually by flipping the pages, and then fold the A4 twice and put it on a pile. Well, to be honest with you: It is not that my heart would sing and that I would sit on my office chair with tears in my eyes joyfully playing with the paper. It is more like “Ok, time to dream”. The thoughts will probably wander soon from my impaired physical existence to the event for which the flyer is intended (scent apéro in 10 days) and the people I will meet there. I will stroll around mentally and probably write down some anecdotes around Le maroc pour elle. Like one of the feedbacks I got from my peer customer group (consisting of 5 or so customers)…. One feedback was really funny…. “Smells like wet sheep” corrected after the head note evaporated into a more specific statement “no, its not sheep, it’s fish, old fish”.
Well, Le maroc pour elle survived the review untouched and I am glad. But I loved the comment for its honesty and crystal clear statement about an animalic touch that definitively is there.
The flyer aims at preventing a similar massacre at my scent apéro, telling my valued customers with a few words what the rose absolute, the jasmine absolute and the cedarwood essences are and how these scents are integrated into the composition. I want to have it printed black on pink: No sheep in there!
Pictures: Flyer front and flyer back.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Phantom pain

Not long ago I used to have a nose with nice receptors linked to a greedy brain. Now, it is gone since 3 days. It vanished and left nothing but emptiness of sensation. And kind of a phantom pain. Yesterday morning, my brain produced the most astonishing Jasmin, silvery and soft, of a never smelled elegance. It was an impression that was almost as intense as smelling the real flower. I was really amazed, but left after a second with the black hole again. I interpret this phantoms as pictures coming from a bored brain.

As this is a reversible state which will soon come to an end, I do not worry but used the opportunity to think about Vetiver first on paper and then mixing the stuff together without any clue of what it is like. Basically this was the first time I worked entirely on paper. In a sense, I worked for the first time like the perfume creators in the big companies, with laborious servants on their side, mixing whatever they tell them to mix. I must admit: It is not my way of working. I miss the opportunities of discovery. The discovery of how the addition of a little bit of this and that changes the picture. And the opportunity of inspiration on the way. The main line of what I tried was Vetiver, lots of it, with hints of myrrh, vanillin and cistus, traces of oakmoss, lavender, peppermint, and some supporting notes such as bergamot.

I have no clue what it smells like. I was told it’s interesting, fresh and special and original (what ever this means). I can’t wait for my nose to clear up again.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No post today

Dear readers
There will be no post this morning. I have to cruise around Zurich with my black wonder machine, turning gasoline into kinetic energy and heat. I hope to be able to post later.....

For the time being just this news from the nose battle field: Still heavily affected, but it is going to be Waterloo for my bad little virus......hehehe

Monday, December 05, 2005

Disintegrating due to URI

On Saturday there still was hope, today there is only misery left: I have caught a cold.

My Upper Respiratory System is disintegrating, therefore the term “Upper Respiratory Infections”. A term I have learned from the internet, because I did a quick research on my nose’s infection. More or less everything is interesting in life and faced with this minor, yet still not curable disease (amazing, isn’t it…. There is basically not much you can do….) I take it as a chance to learn something about it. I have learned that statistically my point of infection was with 30% at work, 18% at home. I guess I am part of these 18%, due to W.’s suffering last week. And with a 41% statistical chance the route of entry was my nose, place of first defence and ….defeat.

Cistus extracts (I have learned last week in the newspaper) are a potent inhibitor of influenca virus (Cistus species being C. incanus). Thus, I decided to rinse my nose with some Cistus ladaniferus extracts in salt water, hoping it will help against Rhinovirus or Coxsackie virus, too. At least, this treatment clears the clogged nose, and together with my high doses of vitamin C and B vitamins I hope to recover soon.
For the time being there are no smelling experiments planned and I have to do some imagination compositional work. Further nose details are expected for tomorrow…

Friday, December 02, 2005


(picture: made by Andy in 95, 100x150 cm, unknown man's ear)
A short note following a comment by Katie (thank you!) about the comparison of creating perfumes and painting and about the creative process in itself.
I think, Katie brought it right to the point. In a creative process such as painting there are three lines that shape the final creation:
The first line is the vision in your head which is motivation and guidance. This vision is the light which guides through the process.
The second is a disturbance, an intuition, a break in the line, be it by mistake or be it by a lucky move not foreseen, where suddenly things start to move in a way never anticipated, liquid, flowing from here to there. Just like a damn breaking apart.
And the third line is the courage to allow this disturbance to influence the vision and to listen to what is happening on your canvas or in your glass bottle with scents. To integrate it and guide it.

For me, this is it, what makes the creative process so interesting: You never now how things will turn out in the end, where you are heading, and you learn a lot about yourself, how your brain works, bringing in memories and linking things in a new way, and you learn about your ability to let go ...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

First things first

Let me talk about a composition challenge today: Setting the olfactory point of entry and exit for a particular note.
It is like making a movie. You are the director and have a wonderful plot at your hand, for instance the return of the Alien monster in 2005 by a time machine accident in 2413. Lucky you, you managed to convince some influent youngsters in Hollywood to finance this venture and there you are: Sitting on your director chair, giving last instructions for the light and….action! Unfortunately, you are faced with actors that are free spirits, dominant in a way, spoiled by many Oscars and rather autonomously acting their way through the plot. And as they are very beautiful and used to get what they want, they start changing the plot, making sure that from the first cut to the last they are present in all scenes. In our Alien movie, the hero would suddenly appear in the first scene where you intended to introduce the time machine. Then, the Alien hunter would find her way into the nice scene that you have planed to make the movie more Hollywood like, where the waitress of a coffee shop falls in love with the police guy. Mrs. Alien killer super star would want to be filmed swimming with the dolphins in the scene where you’ve foreseen to outline the Alien’s pleasures of taking a salt water bath with a little snack on the side and finally your star will dominate the last scene where the waitress is killed and the police men finds comfort in watching saved children playing innocently their children games of hunting the monster….. For several reasons this movie would flop.

In perfumery, we –directors setting the light and scenes- are faced with the same challenge of handling superstars, especially when working with naturals. Take Cistus, steam distilled treasure of the mediterranean region. I want to place it in the middle where its warm, woody, vibrant, powdery and very present accents are perfect. Yet, it is a powerful fragrance, with a sharp, somewhat smoky start that tries to dominate the head note, too. The trick is to find the right setting that allows it to show off in the middle and be silent in the head. How to reach this? Tricky. The key is to set it next to an accord in the head that surrounds it and encapsulates it until time has come to act. For instance by introducing Clary sage, which supports the woody warm middle chord in Cistus, also underlining the ambra-touches, but brings in crispiness, sweetness, green touches that then allow you to further introduce citrus accents in the head or spices without them being spoiled by Cistus side effects. This is one of the heavy challenges in composition; to find the right partners that support each other and bring out exactly the scent quality you want at the right time.

In my next life I might become movie director…