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?(...)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Love at first sight

So, I got this phone call the other evening. And being a child born and raised in the sixties I believe in vibes and drugs: Drugs as an efficient tool to harm your physical performance and to transform your psyche, usually to the worse. Vibes are more useful, they allow picking out a colourful wave in a band of grey lines; feeling these vibes, you narrow the bandwidth of your antenna and at the same time you open up, unlock the door and let your fellow mammal in.
So, I got this phone call and saw beautiful waves in all colours of the spectrum. It turned out to be the most interesting phone call since a while. Besides these colourful vibes, an epic praise of my perfumes Le Maroc pour elle and L’air du désert marocain for sure helped to feel very sympathetic…..

It was a pleasure talking with Mr. Wuchsa, charming owner of “aus Liebe zum Duft”. In a first approximation, he is THE niche perfume expert in Germany, and his shop features about everything there is worth collecting in terms of niche perfumes. His e-shop is a dangerous place to visit for perfume lovers because there are just too many goodies to go for. And he runs a blog in German with high addition factor, too. Thus, we discussed among many other things why my perfumes are different and the synopsis of this discussion: I invest in what’s going into my perfumes. It is the ingredients, including a decent amount of love. Which is ok, however: The key issue for all nice perfumers is to get known. It is not sufficient to produce a dream perfume with the most beautiful rose and jasmine scents going in there, hard to get materials, assembled with love, ….people have to know it is out there.

So, I got this phone call and Mr Wuchsa is fond of my perfumes and based on our discussion, I assume this is why “Aus Liebe zum Duft” will sell my perfumes in Germany, starting now.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


The shopping pleasure of today: Annabelle! Annabelle is THE beauty magazine in Switzerland. Thick and heavy as always, shiny and promising lots of goodies she lays in front of me, untouched, shimmering. Annabelle is a printed assembly of shopping guides, mixed with some VIP stuff, hints and tips, and lots of impeccable beauties posing for clothes and handbags.

I checked once how much an add would cost me there and forgot about it immediately. It is so expensive, I even stopped dreaming about it. Out of scope! It just tells me that the margins for certain products, like perfumes, must be enormous, fitting perfectly with their sky rocketing marketing budgets. With a 1 full page add costing something in the range of at least 20’000$US, and a perfume costing in the average 50$US it is straightforward to see that these perfume houses’ business models are totally different to mine.
This edition’s beauty news features my L’air du désert marocain and I am very happy. The picture of the flacon is very well done and the text goes like: “(literally translated) voyage of the senses- with notes of coriander, cumin, bitter orange and jasmine in combination with cedar wood and vetiver in front of an ambergris background, the eau de toilette intense enchants like a voyage through the Maghreb desert. L’air du désert marocain is after le Maroc pour elle the second creation of Zurich based perfumer Andy Tauer – a charming landscape of scents for her and him”.

Thus....I have to move on with my tauerperfumes website and introduce (planned since a while) my media coverage page....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Tomorrow, I will be in the mountains, in the snow again (promise to myself: It will be the last time this season). Thus: No post tomorrow but a quick note tonight.
Although this is a "business blog" I have to admit that it contains also, simply by nature of blogging, some personal stuff. So... here comes a personal note entirely non perfumery related. I am a technocrat and this is why I thank technology and modern medicine that the surgery went well and that hopefully my mother will be cured from her cancer. 100 years ago things would have been quite different. Sometimes, in light of all the troubles that follow our way of handling technology we (I) tend to forget what we, as group of brain troubled mammals, have reached.
And then, there is a whisper in my head, telling me that, still, we are not controlling everything and that there might be forces beyond our imagination that should receive a humble "thank you", too.

In this sense: Thank you from a technocrat.

(pix: from adamci )

Hot gun

When I was an innocent boy living my innocent life on the Swiss country side I was once approached by a girl from my class with the decent proposal to write something nice into her poem book. You know… one of those girly books with lots of pink and dancing ponies where friends and secret lovers would write down meaningful sentences for eternity. I belonged to the category friends and suffered because there was not much meaningful in my head back then. Thus I wrote (in German, literally translated here): “ There is an end (point) to everything. Only sausages have two.”

Without knowing, I was the herald of an eternal truth; men and women are different. She must have realised within a second and I fell out of the inner circle of beloved companions.

Thus, like a sausage has two ends, there are two sides to almost everything; it applies for the flyer for the Lonestar Memories, too. (I ask you to forgive my clumsy introduction….I could not think of anything better…)

Pix: What you see is a draft layout of the flyer. The color is slightly brownish-yellowish. Its functional purpose is two-fold: On one hand it provides EU conform labelling information about potential allergenic ingredients and information where the stuff is produced (somewhat faded in the background at the bottom). On the other hand, it will allow me to make one or two statements in English, French and German there where is blind text now.

When serving as sample flyer, immediately adjacent to the white field with blind text a 1.5 ml sample pump spray will be glued. A proud owner of a little hot glue pistol, I can glue sample bottles real fast….perfumer with a hot gun…..

Monday, March 27, 2006

Packaging issues

One word about bananas: Their packaging is perfect. Reasonable protection, easy unpacking and a truly honest envelope: You know what you’ll get. Contrary to some citrus fruits where you peel your basket ball sized grapefruit for hours and end up with a tennis ball like dry piece of something.

With the decision on the flacon taken, the last three days saw a first round towards packaging and labelling. There is a sensual and emotional element to all of this, linking a customer’s buying process with the end product. As we sell a substantial share of our products to clients directly on the internet, the packaging might be the first physical encounter between the real thing and a patient customer. This encounter, together with the visual aesthetics and the textual messages seen before in a web store environment, will -I am convinced- influence the overall impression of a fragrance. Of course, the most important parameter for me is the scent, the composition, followed by the composition and the scent, the scent and once again the scent. No compromise there: But somewhere down the line comes the story around a scent. And this story is linked to the packaging and visual/textual messages therein.

Then there is another aspect that I need to consider: Practicability. And simplicity: We need things to remain producible and affordable. Affordable in the sense that for every Dollar/Euro/Franc we spend more on packaging, we have to ask at least a Dollar/Euro/Franc more from our customers. Basically we would have to ask for more money for a shell around the perfume that a client will through away immediately anyhow.

You remember: One of the key motivations to do what I do is to set a contrapunto, a counter point; I want to make perfumes that are guided by a love for scents. I want to make perfumes that are honest with an honest price tag to them. I want to invest into the materials that go in them rather the materials that make the packaging.

Thus, a first draft of a packaging:
Cardboard box, solid, white. A flyer, fitting the size of the cardboard box, printed two sided, standard flyer format. The top side shown on the picture goes on top of the cardboard box. A rope made of natural sisal holds things in place. In my eyes: Simple and honest.

The cool thing about this flyer: It gives product info on the other side and it might serve as sample flyer, too. Holding the glued on sample spray bottles on the other side … more shown here tomorrow….

Friday, March 24, 2006


What you see to the right is a picture of the going to be flacon, 50 ml for the Lonestar Memories.
It is a simple flacon with a functional pump spray, spraying 80 micro liter.
I have thought about it a long time... I need to streamline things a little bit...therefore, I have decided for a neutral flacon which will allow me to later also use it for other creations that might follow.
I also liked its understatment appearance and they way it feels in my hand: Not too big and not too large.
The bottles are ordered and I get the longer the more nervous.

Then arrived the business cards today; slightly shiny surface showing my coordinates in english, only "Parfumeur" is French. I thought it sounds much better than "perfumer"... ...ouhhh, I am proud. I will now include one business card with every perfume leaving my little factory. On the back of the card it will say handwritten "Enjoy! Andy Tauer

And now, my best wishes to you all...Enjoy! Andy

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gut feeling

(pix: www.sxc.hu, from the saint )

Graphics and a gut feeling

So I bought this book the other day about this century’s graphic design and designers, featuring examples of 100 or so top designers and examples of their work, or should I say art? A diagonal inspection reveals stunning ideas, simple and consequently implemented in artful design, mixed with weird creations where the form seems to dominate the function. With every designer (studio) presented goes a simple sentence, highlighting a key aspect of his/her work. Favourites of mine: Angus Hyland “Continental modernism meets British eclecticism”, Fernando Gutiérrez “ It all begins with an idea (ideas make money: money doesn’t make ideas) and you respond to that idea, using your knowledge to present it in the most seductive, engaging manner possible”, Suburbia “We are reaching for a perfect synergy of information, image, design and parties”, KM7 “ fight for optical pleasure” and some more. The last designer described his visions as such: “Moving in a world in which reality is becoming more and more a subject to the media, in which MTV-isions dominate and transform our personal way of seeing things, in a world where the media are pushing forward an obfuscation of regionality, I simply want to underline the importance of reaching back to your gut feeling. Create, don’t imitate!” This, I really liked. Reaching back to your gut feeling!

Thus, what is my gut feeling telling me right now? It tells me to keep things simple, and clear, the bottle packaging, the sample packaging, the style and shape of textual labels for my Lonestar memories perfume, and to keep the bottle simple, kind of straightforward. Thus, I have ordered the 50 ml glass bottles yesterday that my gut told me to go for. A nice aspect of obeying this inner voice: Zero cash out for marketing studies…..

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Holmes’ rose

One of the initial notes of the Orris2 trial is the rose accord with interplaying pepper and some more facets like a hint of cinnamon and citrus (white grapefruit….). So, I looked at the rose accord in detail and thought I want to modify it just a little bit. Sniffing it on paper, and thus diluting the series of events, brings out the scenes more prominently than spraying it on skin. The little paper strips are like the magnifying glass from Mr. Holmes who looks on the dead body in the living room and who then knows immediately who killed the house lady:

It is not the butler, but the gardener…. Proof: A tiny tip of the freshly mown grass on the tip of the house lady’s high heels and a dead ant that lives in middle Europe climate in green houses only. This little piece of evidence tells our detective about the sad marriage of pour Lady Desperate. She is married to a bored Lord with his land house where she fits the furniture with here immaculate white skin but finds no passion. The rose in full bloom finds herself lost in a grey, foggy garden. Lady Desperate whispers her sad secret to the orchids in the glass house where she waters the silent flowers with her desperate tears. Here, in this exotic garden, she finds passion; her rosy cheeks flush like tomatoes ripening under a Sicilian sun, when the gardener touches her shoulders with his strong dirty hands. Here, she spends hours of lust and desire. Chased by wild animals finding their way through the jungle of conventions, she would fall and loose herself. One evening, she had to confess. She had to promise to her husband. She had to end it all, and running out in despair before supper in her high heels, she seeks a last tender touch of these hands. And finds a gardener who can not live with the truth. He, in love himself, a man of no words, wants to hold her, and breaks his most precious treasure by holding it too strong.

Holmes is very touched, so are we … and we continue with the rose accord: The rose is somewhat too lemony sticky to me, I want it fresher, greener, without loosing the volume. So, let’s search for evidence on our paper strip and in the paper files….. The rose accord in Orris 2 was built on rose essential oil for Bulgaria, rose absolute from Turkey and rose geranium from Eden. I looked at the certificate of analysis of the Eden rose geranium again and rediscovered that citronellol is the key component there, with linalool and geraniol following, some phenylethylalcohol that you also find at ca. 50% in rose absolues and. But: What to change? I think I will reduce the rose geranium (and hence the citronellol) and introduce some phenylethylalcohol additionally, together with linalylacetate which is the green cousin of Linalool, and add a touch more of the rose essential oil. Exciting, isn’t it? And relevant: I know that when giving a powerpoint presentation to the information flooded public, you have around 45 seconds to win their attention and interest. You miss these 45 seconds: No chance to regain your public’s attention (except you are willing to table dance or make a fool of you by other humiliating means). I have no proof, but I am convinced that the interest for a perfume might be decided in the first minutes after spraying, too. Interest doesn’t mean a buying decision but at least: Looking at it again.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


One aspect of perfumery the way we do it is: Packaging of perfume bottles. Hurray. The positive thing about it is the intrinsic monotony. It allows for serious meditative thinking about here and now and there and tomorrow. And with every label finding its way on a cardboard box you get the opportunity to thoroughly consider ways to improve. These improvements will have to come sooner or later if I extrapolate the last twelve months. In that sense, statistics can be dream stuff. Faced with a sales curve pointing up, I seriously and reliably predict that within 20 years every second human being on planet earth will have ordered a sample and UPS star ships cruise in the inner solar system delivering my perfumes to happy aliens seeking fancier perfumes than their alien fragrances.

In light of yesterday’s endeavour I feel an urge to pay tribute to W. (you remember: the W. factor…). One reason, why these perfumes of mine exist is: Slavery, with a master slave (me) and a happy helper slave W. doing the less critical stuff. The only compensation he gets: Free perfumes in all variations, finished or not. Thus, a warm thank you, W.!

A final note about the contrapunto of yesterday: Looking at the Orris scent (orris scent=prototype name), in its version 2, after extensive maturation for 5 weeks. Not bad, not bad at all, but as I mentioned in an interview lately (going to appear soon…): It is my privilege not be obliged to any marketing or sales department. So, free like a hippie after 2 hours of meditation and a brain flushed with LSD I can move on dreaming a new scent. Happy me.

Monday, March 20, 2006

So, we had a lovely come together again, Vero and me, and I thought you might be interested to see for yourself. The ambiance was somewhat non-trendy, no lounge feeling there, being the lobby of the Storchen hotel, very downtown in Zurich. But, the Chardonnay is excellent, and they don’t mind us sniffing strange things. Like sniffing “Game for men”, the newest scent from Davidoff. I read on Marlen’s blog the other day about how to make sure never to leave a perfumery without a sample….thus, when visiting the local perfumery-soap-and-all-you-need-to-be-beautiful-shop I tried this tactic. Smiling around and breaking out in ohh’s and ahhh’s about the beautiful packaging of this new perfume, that I found so interesting and lovely arranged (they plastered half of the shop with game perfume bottles) a charming sales lady had no choice then to offer me a sample, which I gladly took. To sooth my bad conscience I bought a refill for my CO2 bomb to make my own Zurich mineral water.

You know, when you spend your Saturday evenings, filling samples of Le Maroc pour elle, you kind of feel like sitting in the glasshouse and you don’t want to through stones….. Well, be it. Vero and I sniffed a few things, for me personally the most relevant was the Sandalwood sample that Vero got from Essencia. Relevant because I use high, very high quality Sandalwood in my Le Maroc pour elle, and I mentioned it earlier: We are faced with a Sandalwood crisis. Essencia people told us that by now they even got troubles getting a good quality Sandalwood spicatum from Australia or the Vanuatu one because the big companies (IFF, ….) buy up everything. Really everything. Even the trashiest stuff. Thus, we smelled Sandalwood from Fitchi (I think it is S. alba, but am not sure: I have to check) that might be in stock at Essencia for around a year….. It is excellent, a little bit spicier than the Mysore quality, a touch more stingy, but far less than the S. spicatum. It is very warm, and has this flowery quality of the Mysore Sandalwood. It is better even when applied on skin and lasts very long. Besides the Vanuatu from Eden, this is the best replacement I have experienced so far. It is somewhat expensive, 100 gram around 200 Swiss Francs, translating into 160 $US, but this is an other issue. I will, I guess, order some. Just to be on the safe side. If I was brave enough, I could have made a fortune by buying Sandalwood two years ago and selling it today…..

I will not buy, however, the game stuff. Perfumery wise there are lessons to be learnt from Davidoff. Nice packaging, appealing bottle, good name, and they still use the term and signature of “Cool Water” on their sample packaging: Linking a new product to an existing one, trying to transfer some of the Cool Water glory to aggressive cucumber juice. Oups, I shouldn’t …. I sit in the glass house.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


A bug had severely affected this blog yesterday. Now we are up and running again. I was very angry with blogger, not about the technical problem but about their communication which was non existent. A word would have been a word.....
It is time to speed up my plan to bring this blog on my own server......
I send you now again my best wishes for the weekend. Enjoy and see you soon again here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Clean lounge

It is decided: I got the cowboy picture shown earlier this week. Uff. I feel much better now, now that it is on my computer's hard disk. A closer inspection at higher resolution showed me a little defect in the hat..... cool. I like it a lot.
This authentic flaw I will leave. Some stuff I have to optimize, like the background, eventually.

And in light of many hurdles take so far I decided furthermore to clean up a little bit and get rid of some pieces of the past again; and of the leather's development process. It might be interesting to keep all trials in physical form for future reference, but I stick to the excel files and consider the rest as bagage of the past: You want to get rid of it fast. Otherwise you will soon get nowhere due to its heavy weight.
The cleaning up process is heavily supported by sound bites flying around my ears, I could go on like that foreever: Tune in to lounge radio and you will see what I mean

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The good news of today is: All fragrant building blocks for the leather are stocked up to produce a first batch. Yesterday, the final missing materials arrived from Essencia, like the Tonka beans resinoid, the Bourbon Geranium essential oil, fresh rectified Birchtar, and Jasmine abs. and and and. Together with some stuff from France and from Eden we have everything ready and the count down starts running. It is getting exciting but also painful because sooner or later everything will be ready and waits for the concentrated batch. The undiluted mix of oils and resins and absolutes needs to mature before it can be diluted with alcohol.
Based on what I smelled, comparing previous dilutions of my master mix at previous time points, I realized that the leather stock needs at least 2 months maturation. 2 months to transform itself and get softer, rounder and deeper. The difference of diluted samples right after mixing the stock and after 2 months maturation is striking. Especially the smoky-woody lines need time to fully develop. Well, I guess there’s ample time to work on sample packaging material and brochures…..

(pix: business card, finally in print these days)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dances with post officers and a space dream

With the risk of sending my readers to the oblivion of boredom: Here’s an update of sample shipments. Of course, the very moment I have sent the samples and a perfume again to patient clients this weekend, this very moment the original order shipment finally made it there. I guess we all are happy! While still finding peace in imaging how happy my customers are (now that the parcels arrived), I read my mails this morning. Praised be Airbus or Boeing, kissed friendly customs employees, hugged the post officer and her co-workers! A sample shipped from Zurich made it to the US within 5 days, in non-priority mode. …..but as always in life, there is a flaw to this wonderful news: Unfortunately, my treasured Medieval team forgot to put in one of the samples ordered. Hrrrrrgggg!

I wish myself into Startreck world, where Mr. Kirk and Scotty just tell a sophisticated machine that it would be the ideal moment to produce some samples of Tauer Perfumes. And –bang!- using E=mc2 out comes a little pump spray with L’air du desert marocain. Kirk sprays it on, Miss Uhura immediately looses her temper and sits on his knees and happily they fly off to safe yet another world; the happy perfumer on the other side of the galaxy plays in the mean time with alien ingredients to create a truly alien perfume and only Mr. Spock wonders what the fuss about these perfumes is all about…..

(pix courtesy www.startreck.com)

Which brings me to the last serious point of this post: What’s an alien smelling like?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A star from the past

Did you know? We live in the past. Everything we become conscious of happened already. First our nervous system needs some time to process signals coming in for instance a hand touching our skin; second there is a time gap due to the fact that light needs some time to get across space to reach our light sensitive cells, be it from the flower right in front of us, be it from a star far away. The sun could explode without us realizing it for about 10 minutes. Which is kind of cool… the crown of evolution dancing self forgotten on its planet while the star that makes all this dancing possible is extinguished since 5 minutes!

Why this strange introduction to this post? I had the chance to look at a star from the past last Saturday: Vero had acquired many, many years ago a beautiful baccarat flacon together with a small pump spray of Vega, the original. Unopened. We didn’t dare touching the baccarat, but we dared comparing the Vega in the little pump spray with mine, bought in Paris, the re-edition eau de toilette. Wow! What a difference.

Vega (the original) is much rounder, the very first impression is less spicy and more powdery, there might be more bergamot in it, and the second impression is the rose, the rose which is there, hidden but visible and present. So much nicer, so much more natural than in the re-edition. We couldn’t fight the impression that the re-edition is –as far as the rose is concerned- much more artificial. And then there is the powder again, together with strings of animalic notes, maybe oakmoss, beautiful! The whole scent picture was more complete and balanced. The re-edition was a little bit like a very well done lithographical copy, on glossy paper, brilliant and beautiful, but not the original!

What was different on paper was even more different on Vero’s skin; here Vega was a couple of layers more, soothingly playing with the skin. Thus, our conclusion this Saturday afternoon was: Guerlain should name its reedition “étoile mémoires” or “memories of Vega”. We will have to live with the fact that some stars will never twinkle again.

For a little picture of Vega on the sky.... follow this link

Monday, March 13, 2006


This weekend’s highlights: Long delivery times to the US, changes on the website, which are intended to give our customers a better choice to have samples shipped priority, desperate trials on a business card design and my dear Vero and a Vega of the past (a topic for tomorrow).
When going for my groceries I usually try to buy stuff that is ecologically reasonable. This may implicate not to buy foodstuff arriving fresh and luscious from far away places by plane. I am not religious about it, but when there’s a choice why not by cabbage instead of exotic or off-season vegetables? Coincidently I shipped a little parcel with a Le Maroc pour elle before cruising through my local food paradise on Saturday. We were faced with a perfume lost in space somewhere between here and the US, probably customs related. Maybe customs associates with Le Maroc pour elle something like “Arab country”, with “pour elle” being a trick to fool customs; maybe they see a hidden dangerous message within this flacon, undermining home security? Who knows, we live in strange times; unfortunately, with all our virtual coming closer to the most hidden place on planet earth we still face the ugly reality of transporting goods across borders.

I wanted to bring my patient customer’s misery to an end and thought I will make her happy, sending off a priority shipped free replacement for a perfume that sits somewhere waiting to be cleared. The price tag for this idea: 19 Francs, about 15 $US for shipment of just a few hundred grams perfume in a glass flacon and cardboard, all neatly packed.
In my grocery story I came across fresh asparagus from Mexico for an astonishing 7 Francs twenty cents a kilogram. Shipped all the way by plane, fresh and yummie looking. Now, could anyone please explain to me, why my innocent parcels cost almost three times of what I pay for asparagus? I know that sometimes the working conditions for Mexicans are close to modern slavery, thus in a first assumptions we may assume that human labour does not matter much for the final price tag of these green vitamin sticks. Thus, how does this make sense?
Maybe, we should consider sending our perfumes as asparagus packages?
pix by me1234567, from www.sxc.hu

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lonestar letter

Good news, Barry....
Lonestar Leather has made it to the top of the list. But some doubts remain whether I do not touch the rights of Juvena with their Lonestar perfume. Thus.... the letter is on its way, asking for permission sort off. By the way: Juvena is one of the top cosmetical companies. They are very innovative in the field of pharmacosmeticals. And their head quarter is basically just around the corner.
Funny coincidence. Eventually, two Lonestar perfumes will have been born at the same spot in Switzerland!
I wish y'all a nice, sunny weekend
(pix: Violet, seen and smelled last spring)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Best moments

Designing a perfume is, you may have realized, fun on one hand, a never ending story on the other hand. Being my own little company with no master of finance, no CEO, no managing director, and no marketing weasel, everything that follows this perfume building is equally fun. At least for me. Thus, I may waste my time thinking for hours about Texas Memories versus Lonestar Leather (Texas Memories is still ranking high, Lonestar Leather will be checked with Juvena for objection). I like to fool around with ideas in terms of packaging of samples, leaflets, brochures, recognizing of course that for niche in the niche of the niche players like us the scent is the key. I dream of large posters, hanging around in Zurich and on Champs Elysée, I have beautiful visions of TV commercials featuring my products. And, after flying high in this dream land, I come down, softly landing on planet earth again, where gravity is still reliably preventing us from jumping too high, making sure that we do not all fly off into a cold, dark, empty space. Thus, I sit here, fixed neatly on my train seat cruising over planet earth, and look at a picture that I found after hours, hours, and more hours to go with. It felt perfectly, immediately, and I think I could go with it. In search of a visual mirror of what the leather is all about, with two, three things to say here:

First: I wanted a human being, a man, to go as image with the scent. The L’air du désert marocain image with its 70-ies style drawing, very reduced to the max, almost with a touch of art deco went very well with this scent. I designed it myself and it took me days until I came up with the right thing (Thank you Marlen for your compliment, I appreciate). But this time, I want a man to go with it, at least for two print products: A brochure and the sample packaging.

Second: I have realized on Marlen’s blog that using a human being picture might be delicate and I just hope Marlen will show mercy…..

Third: Not too much exposed skin here….

Forth: I am, I guess, little evolved in terms of marketing. Here, I use basically no higher brain functions but rather stick pretty much to my instincts…..

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


(picture from www.sxc.hu, uploaded by pixx )
While cruising one of my favourite places for perfumes and their discussion yesterday, Perfume of Life, I came across a post about seduction. Something like which perfume to seduce Mr. or Ms. Unknown (or Known?). Our dear prince Barry commented asked the intriguing question who would need perfume for that; a good point. Well, I wouldn’t. For me, perfumes are one item of narcissus’ tool box. Something like: “Today I want to enjoy the scent of Caron pour home again, for my pleasure and a self satisfied look into the mirror”, by the way: Caron is the fragrance that I enjoy right now, it is truly wonderful. I like my fragrant reflection today in that sense. Thus, no Axe effect for me, or at least not an effect I am actively looking for.

Any collateral seduction effects are, of course, always welcome, and be it only to subtly sooth my fellow citizens and make them like me. Well, I am not a philosopher, but since Sartre’s “closed doors” we know that “l’enfer c’est les autres” (“hell, this is the others”). In this line of thinking, we just want them, the others, to like us, by applying a nice, decent fragrant aura? An existentialist’s view on perfumes might be interesting, indeed….

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


While enjoying the comfort of a glass of Ballantines Sunday evening, I looked back to memories of around 10 years ago. I lived in Texas back then for around a year. I was working at Texas A&M University in College Station (more on Wiki...). Most of you probably are not aware that College Station even exists, but I can assure you it is there and it is a lovely place to live, in the middle between Houston and Dallas, embedded in rather flat, very green surroundings, with a huge state forest half an hour south, kept humid by the warm waters of the near gulf, yet only a few hours away from hill country up in Austin, and the semi-desert in the west towards new Mexico. I was fortunate enough to move there and feel at home immediately thanks to lovely friends, like Mike Manson, my professor taking care of me and his wife Lily, like Josy, like Jon, both living nearby in Brian. Thus, I was introduced to the steakhouse at Lake Summerville, where you would get their largest steak for free, provided you could eat it all, enjoyed many cook-out’s and barbeques somewhere outdoors, sometimes even with a view to nearby oil pumps, moving up and down as regular as a Swiss watch. It was oil that made Texas rich, but it owns its mere existence to the will and tears of people in search of a better future, and a war between neighbours. I visited places like Big Bend where the Colorado is the sharp separation between wealthy America and a Mexico still struggling to find its way towards worldly paradise. I spent hours in my Pontiac just driving around, letting a scenery fly by that left staying marks in my memory like the cattle’s branded ranch marks.

It was a place where I felt home. Now it is a place of memories. Texas Memories.
I guess, that’s it gonna be. Texas Memories is what the leather is all about. That’s what I will name it: Texas Memories.

What y’all think?

Monday, March 06, 2006


The last few days were dominated by snow (we got lots of it) and by bringing some pieces together and placing orders for …. the leather!. The snow was helpful as it covered Zurich with 50 cm of white matter that effectively brought traffic to a stop and transformed my little city into a silent and very peaceful place.
As we live rather central we could go to the movies on Saturday evening by foot and watch Brokeback Mountain. It is a very, very well done film, touching for it is about love, forbidden love and impossible feelings, feelings that seem to be too big, a present given to mankind that is hard to deal with sometimes. For several reasons I couldn’t fight a few tears, filling my eyes in the dark of the theatre, while the story of these two cowboys in desperate love for each other developed. At the very end, however, the movie is much bigger, it is about a “condition humaine” which is hard to cope with; it is about society, built by us, complicated woven network of rules, permissions and interactions. A net that holds us, protects us and limits us. And then the movie is about this moment when we are touched by angles. It is like God wanted to proof that we can be more. A moment in time, unconditional worship of another human being, changing a life for ever, leading to heaven or hell.

And I could visit Pascal’s shop where my mission samples and stocking up was successfully accomplished. I met a few customers of his which always is a pleasure. I wished I had a shop of my own, where I could sit, talk to people and enjoy their reactions.

In all this snow I had some time to think about the leather perfume and the motivation behind it. I read the original post on this blog again, where I initially described my vision for this perfume. I never thought about it: Why. Why did I want to create a scented picture of this lonely rider, returning to the fire place, with his rough shell and soft heart. Later in the evening, I found two simple rules of mine verified: It is always worth doing some thinking about oneself, and a glass of whisky always helps. Well, honestly, I did not have to think that hard…

Thursday, March 02, 2006


A short post, as promised. I learned that Coco Channel tested the new trial versions of No. 19 on herself, applying too much of it, wandering around and waiting for responses. Those trials that people would not react to, where for the trash….Thus, I sit in the train, heavy dose of my orris trial version 2 on my skin and wait. And wait. And wait. Well, I guess Switzerland is not the right place to get public reactions to a perfume. Maybe my fellow travellers are too polite…

Orris number 2 is somewhat ethereal spicy in the start, the green pepper coming through directly (softening and broadening needed?), however, together with the cinnamon hint an interesting line. The orris accord is ok, the rose needs some work to be done not including the frankincense spirits which are fine for me, and I feel the background (sandalwood, agarwood, vetiver and some ambergris) needs nothing more and nothing less. The only thing to be seen: How long does it last. Overall, the composition is maybe a little bit too light, it may need some dirt, for instance my castoreum substitute that I got from Biolande, Grasse, France. And then…there’s a commercial thought closing this post: Who can afford such a perfume? With the Agarwood from Eden Botanicals (the real stuff, CO2 extracted, hard to get and expensive), the two roses that are used in there (absolute and steam distilled essential oil), the CO2 extracted Frankincense from India, the Sandalwood…. If this composition will ever see the world commercially, then it will be expensive and limited in amount (30 ml) and series….

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stars from the past

This post is going to be somewhat lengthy… my apologies. Tomorrow will see none or shorter posts.

Although I only spent some 48 hours in Paris, I could write about it for hours. I guess I haven’t mentioned Le Salon de l’agriculture international in detail, yet. Coming from the land of tunnels, cows grassing in the mountains above and cheese rolling down the hills, I was amazed about the diversity of France’s agricultural products and couldn’t resist buying my 60 year old Cognac from a small, very small producer not known in the world. This Cognac has aged for 50 year in an oak barrel and is like a perfume. A revelation! I have seen lots of rabbit breeds there, too. The “geant de Flandre” being the biggest, some 8 kg of rabbit with long, straight ears and a lovely round face. (I love rabbits!) and cows entirely degenerated to steak on four legs…

But let us come back to the Guerlain visit…..

I have seen Vega, a brilliant star from the past (1936), reborn and shining again. I couldn’t resist buying the simple, lab glass like flacon with its art deco label. I sniffed it first by placing my head in a compartment in the wall, where they would spray a little bit of it from the back, allowing smelling the entire composition… in theory. In practice, I prefer to smell it on paper strip, where it is just wonderful. A fresh start, very spicy and slightly terpene dominated (Rosmarin?) with a lovely citrus freshness, I guess Bergamot with others. It is warm and fresh, spicy and round, which I find intriguing, and very hard to reach indeed. The eau de toilette moves then over to the powdery aspects of ylang, somewhat fruity and of excellent quality, a touch Vanille is reaching out from the back already and the heart is opening with flours that are somewhat fruity, still a little bit spicy and wonderful: I smell orange flower and rose, abstracted somehow, and artfully integrated, wonderful! Finally, the musky back, cistus with woods, oakmoss (I guess) comes in and intermingles with the fruity flowers that never are too sweet. It is a stylish, classical perfume of the past, but in my nose it still is modern, like the art deco style has a modernity to it that sometimes is striking. I haven’t applied it on my skin, yet, and I would guess that its lasting power is somewhat moderate, but who cares…. This perfume asks for an immediate replay. Go and get it!

Then there is the Cuir de Beluga, that I also bought, because I did not understand the scent in the shop but found it interesting enough to study further. Yesterday, while sniffing on Cuir de Beluga soaked paper strips, I wanted to write something harsh about it. Something like:

Cuir de Beluga is not thoroughly composed. It is pretending to be more than it is. Indeed, it is a scent that is artificially pumped up by a marketing team that has lost any track to Guerlain’s name and what made Guerlain the world’s most famous perfume house. It is a cheap soup, with a recipe like: Take x parts Vanillin, add x-2 parts Vetiver (Vetiverylacetat) mix it with a hint of something smoky, and round the edges with something nice like bergamot (0.5 parts) some other stuff you find around the corner for 10$ a kilogram and fill it into bottles that are not too expensive, because you will need all your money to pay an army of marketing staff to sell this vanilla soup. The entire composition cooks down at the end to vanilla and vetiver. A cuir de Cookie, slightly baked too long, with a touch cacao in it, and a few dried fruits.

But then, I gave it another chance before going to bed and applied on my skin. I was baffled for I smelled something very different. This perfume is definitively to be tested on skin. And I must admit, that I should have tested it on skin beforehand. There, it turned out to be smokier, indeed I found a new aspect, smoke and earth, that comes from Cypriol. A natural scent used by the tons in India, that I always found very hard to work with. I detected some tobacco notes, too, that interplay with an aerial citrus chord (mandarin?) which is nice. Then it cooks down to vanilla and a dry vetiver again, maybe with a touch of cistus, patchouli,…. Honestly, I am disappointed, but maybe I have just a somewhat biased expectation of a leather scent. I will give it another try and would like to close my Paris story here.