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?(...)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

made by

I am very excited and honoured to send you a link today that you mustn’t miss: Go and visit Made by Blog (http://whatwedoissecret.org) and discover the start of an experiment that will unfold in the coming weeks and months. We are given the chance to witness the creation of two perfumes, custom made, and get the chance to sniff experimental versions, trials of Katie’s and Marina’s dream perfume, created by Clement Gavarry and Laurent le Guernec, both from IFF. Both perfume wishes are demanding, challenging a perfumer’s creativity, and it will be exciting to see how their perfume wish materializes in a bottle. Both perfumers get the chance to create a fragrance without restrictions in terms of price or marketing deadlines. Thus, I guess we will witness a dream come true for the perfumers, too.

I am excited and thank Kathie and Marina again for inviting me on this venture. This experiment will be interesting for many aspects; like learning, discovering, educating, wondering, witnessing, being part of it, sharing, ….

Just like Luca Turin described in his new book “secret of scent” that I still have not finished yet, but already like a lot and find very interesting, there is a high risk of entering the domain of sex and physical attraction once you start talking about perfumes with people, even if you do not really know them. You end up (like yesterday evening) with more or less strangers telling you about ex-lovers who had this horrifying perfume that was covering all body scent of the gone lover, which was a pity because he smelled beautiful all by himself. Talking about perfumes and the sense of smell kind of brings you right at the bodily heart of things, opens up a route to topics you wouldn’t dear touching otherwise. Funny, isn’t? Or would you ask between main course and dessert the girlfriend of your husband’s buddy what her ex-lover smelled like?

examination actions

Lately, when being exhausted but not ready for bed yet, I watched a TV discussion on human evolution and what sets us apart and there the sentence was dropped “Thinking is examination of actions in your mind” which probably is true. Thus, while engaging on the endeavour of Lonestar Memories packaging, I had time to do these examinations of actions in my mind. Initially, my brain was functioning according to this idea (and I examined various actions in my head) and I had an idea: Putting my posts and some comments on this blog, that deal one way or the other with the Lonestar Memories scent, in a condensed form on the business website (or here). Thus, allowing all interested perfume lovers to witness again the unfolding of a story.

Thus, I started packaging and soon, my thinking was not examining a lot anymore. The routine of putting the cardboard boxes together infected the upper brain circuits and the mind wandered around. I took a piece of paper and wrote down from time to time what happens up there. Here follows an excerpt of some synaptic responses….

- The hemp rope smells wonderful, funny though; I never thought about it, this hemp rope smell fits nicely with the Lonestar fragrance.

- The whole package with the cowboy and the white cardboard box looks cool

- I love that cowboy picture, such a cutie, still convinced: a perfect match.

- That fragrance really is the real stuff, a scent which is very true, hmmmm I like it.

- Once it is out, it is out. What will they say?

- Limited progress, I have to get faster.

- I should order more white paper

- I want to work on my lavender note

- These sample labels drive me crazy

- I hate cardboard boxes and hemp ropes

- Ahh… a hundred samples more to go.

- Oups I torn the sticker apart

- Oh my… I just put on the same sticker twice, can’t even handle that. I have to concentrate.

- At least my samples look more expensive than the ones for Dior’s eau sauvage, I prefer glass to plastic. I wonder what Roudnitska would say about the modern Eau sauvage sample vial. He’d probably cry.

- I am there where I was 25 years ago, working for Migros during the summer break (Migros = small walmart). But instead of typing in numbers and fooling around with canned food, I fool around with scents and their packaging. That’s evolution

- I need a beer

- Do people realize it is all hand packed? Why should they care? They do not care, but they will realize that this packaging cannot be assembled by machine. Thus….that’s a Unique Selling Proposition. All hand packed in Zurich. Cool. I have to tell this.

- I wish it wasn’t my hands doing the packaging

- I need another beer

- I’ll continue over the weekend

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Artificial Intelligence

Therefore...patience and little perfumery posts about perfume creation but more about packaging in the coming days

And here's today's post....

I love AI, the movie, even if some of the science towards the end is wrong. And I found out lately -when watching it again for the x-th times- that even in a quite far away future Chanel will still be there. (this becomes obvious in the scene where the AI boy perfumes himself with mommy’s treasure, I think it is Chanel 5, but I am not sure). So far so good. Thus, the ice caps may melt but we still can get our perfume classics. I just wonder what it is going to smell like, then in something like 75 years from now when most of our pole’s ice has poured into the seas and turned Venice into water world Atlantis. Looking at this week’s weather I can not fight the impression that this melting has started a while ago and most of the melt water comes down on Switzerland right now.
Well, there is not much we can do(about the rain, not the ice caps. The later issue must be addressed now) but perfumery wise, we could extrapolate Chanel 5 towards 2073, in a similar way we do extrapolate the fate of the ice layer on our poles, and might still come up with a decent scent, fitting entirely with IFRA’s newest recommendations for 2073, featuring upper limits for linalool of 0.0001 percent and eugenol at 1ppb. In Europe, the perfume wrapping features a holographic chip, in line with the newest Communication 1195843A201 from the Commission, based on the latest results of a cell line test that proofed again the toxicity of alcohol at levels of 50%. Therefore, pointing out to all potential buyers, the chip displays the warning message in all 48 European languages that this particular product contains 524 compounds being considered potentially dangerous to consumers as follows: Water, alcohol, eugenol, linalool, limonene,…
While thinking about this dark world of future perfume regulations, I cannot but realize that most of my favourite films do not feature perfumes. Neither the Alien monster nor Ashley, the highly sophisticated robot, use perfumes. I do not remember any of the Carbon Units using perfumes, although everything would be in place to nicely reproduce any perfume, using the clever machine that produces Captain Picard’s tea. And in Space Odyssey 2001 there is no room for smelling strips either.
Well, maybe this is due to the fact that this future is too far away and Chanel has gone out of business? Or is due to the fact that in a space ship there is simply no room for perfumes? Or are these Sci-Fi heroes just too damn tough to wear perfumes? I do not know, but I am sure, Ashley would love a nice decent lavender note.
(pix from http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Main_Page)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Interview questions

Looking back to an interesting weekend with attractive interview questions to a perfumer, one being the question for one’s motivation to do what one does, in a world with launches and re-launches of scents on a daily basis. An answer: To create a fragrance that did not exist before, and share it. Thus, creation and sharing as driving force?
Looking back some 15 years, creating things was one aspect that I also enjoyed when working in the lab, trying to get my PhD done in chemistry, working with bacteria. At some time I was genetically modifying my little Escherichia coli with junks of archaebacterial DNA, thus have them make a particular protein. In a sense I created my own private E. coli, never seen on this world. It feels good to build something new, especially if this something is a living cell. Sharing in this context meant publishing results in a scientific journal. Publishing is like having the flash light turned on, pointing to your results, leading the scientific world to what you have done and reached.
Back then, in the laboratory, the goal was to proof an idea. In that particular case the idea was related to the evolution of all species, via a common ancestor which used RNA instead of DNA to store information on how to build its proteins.

Coming back to the interview… maybe this is another motivation. To simply proof oneself that a vision can become reality, that one can do it?
Well yesterday, while thinking about these and other questions, I proofed to myself that I can do 200 samples between jogging and cooking dinner, that’s already something, isn’t it?

Friday, May 26, 2006

chemistry and mysteries solved

Whenever in the past I sniffed Comme des garcons' Red palisander (whichI like very much), there were a few lines in there that I did not understand and now how it might have been done. It became clear that it can't be a complex essential oil isolated from nature's treasure box, but I guessed it is a few single compounds from the chemists treasure box. Now, with my samples from Essencia featuring a few Givaudan samples, I at least have a good guess for one line in Red Palisander what it is and I still like it a lot. Even more than before.
As a matter of fact, there are chemicals that are -although being no complex mixture- very complex per se. I guess 4-(1-Ethoxyvinyl)-3,3,5,5-tetramethylcyclohexanone is one. It is wood, amber, tobacco, red, warm, with something vibrantly cedarwood like, but different. hmmm....yummie stuff. And I saw immediately how to combine this one with lavender. I just can't wait to test this idea.
Two things are interesting here: How complex the impression by one type of molecule might be and how the brain immediately comes up with combinations and axes where this scent impression might fit.
Imagine: If one molecule brings about already dozens of scent impressions, how much more is then in natural extracts with their vastitude of chemical compounds combined.....
For all those of you interested in learning what are main chemical ingredients in natural scents:
Visit Bo Jensen's website here. It is still growing and quite educative.

And with these words I send you my best wishes for the weekend. I hide in my perfumery kitchen, admire the Lonestar Memories flyers that arrived yesterday and dream of 4-(1-Ethoxyvinyl)-3,3,5,5-tetramethylcyclohexanone

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Sitting in the train again to Berne, the last time for the rest of this week. In my backpack sits again the mixed l’art pour l’art scent, but again slightly modified, diluted prematurely just to see (you remember?- the thing with the orris line). Although I felt beautiful with the scent on, there was one issue troubling me: The very start, the initial development of it. In the first impression on skin (not on paper) there was an edge coming probably from the black pepper I am using and eventually also a brownish-hard tip coming from the agarwood/vetiver in the back. Thus, I figured out it might be worth accentuating the citrus line in the top note, softening it a little bit more with bergamot (and Bergamot is quite helpful doing so: Softening and smoothening, a helpful quality similar to Jasmine, allowing to cheat just a little bit). I also added a touch more of the grapefruit, without it letting stand out, a bit more Hexylsalicylate, thus rounding the top up without interfering in the back and now I just hope.

While writing these lines I listen to Steve Reich’s Trains. Minimalistic, chords of violins, playing with recorded words from people, talking about trains, their memories, travelling from New York to Chicago, people riding in comfortable trains while Europe and the rest of the world was disappearing behind smoke and fire, in a storm that extinguished everyone being in its way. Jews, Sintis, homosexuals, men, women, children. The most touching scene in this play is “ the war is over” followed by “is it true”. This moment is heart breaking every time.

I listen while watching patches of green passing by. Cows, women with dogs, elegant highways with shiny cars in the morning sun. Steve Reich’s motivation, if I understand properly, was also to work on his feelings of guilt, as he was travelling innocently in these trains, being a Jewish boy in the US, while in Europe we lost the last bit of our innocence and the Jewish world ceased to exist.

Today, we still travel in comfortable trains, while part of this world is burning, far away, yet ….you may smell the smoke if you care. I send you peaceful wishes for tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I feel happy

From time to time my statcounter account behaves like a wheel of fortune. Besides the referring websites from my fellow perfume lovers and bloggers around the world, a few interesting referring pages show up that I like to check out. Being a curious person, I wonder how people find things on the web (well, to be specific… my things) and then there is this fun factor of discovering sites you wouldn’t dream that they exist. Here is one of these sites: A universe of feelings across the blogosphere, with the aesthetic of bubbling space. (http://www.wefeelfine.org) Thus, I feel happy and hope to find me there, in this emotions universe, by tomorrow.
One reason for my “I feel content”: Early July we were given the chance to have our perfumes present at a sensual, oriental, women-only celebration and I prepared yesterday a slightly modified overview leaflet about my two perfumes for this event, allowing to glue the samples directly onto this leaflet. I feel pleased because it is such a nice fit, my perfumes with this event, and I feel proud to be given this opportunity, allowing me to widen the circle of people getting to know the scents.
I also feel amused because I read yesterday a funny post on Scentzilla.com featuring among other things some ponies, and an interesting and also quite funny post on Legerdenez about the never ending stream of modifications of perfumes, from the wonderful original to the spring version, the sport version, the male edition, the baby powder, a teenager version, …. When leaving the computer yesterday evening, I had visions of huge lemons, squeezed to oblivion.
Finally, I feel thrilled because I will very, very soon get my parcel from Essencia with lots of goodies that feed my curiosity. And I feel excited because another parcel, containing lots of flyers with cowboys is also on its way.
Well, I feel that my “I feel” statements should do it by now. Enjoy your day and tell us how you feel.
Ah.. here’s another one: I feel beautiful, I carry my experimental l’art pour l’art orris note.

Monday, May 22, 2006


First a quick glimpse back to last Friday: It was a superb evening, with lots of laughs and funny stories and some discussions on perfumery, of course. (And yes, Ylva, I recovered from the different drinks…the problem is usually not the mixing of different vines, it is just the last glass that’s too much)

And while cleaning up the table and fighting in the kitchen against physics and the law of ever increasing entropy, I was thinking about Vero’s flowers. She brought (thank you again!) with her the most amazing roses I have ever smelled. Well, first they look beautiful, thick heads, pinkish with increasing red at the ends of wild petals looking like wings of an exotic butterfly. And then they smelled, like pure phenyl ethyl alcohol. Well, every rose kind of smells a little bit like it, and the absolute of roses, the thick orange syrup of solvent concentrated, man made rose essence absoluet, contains on average about 50% of it. But still, this rose’s scent was special. A clean phenyl ethyl alcohol layer surrounding their half open buds, eventually with a touch of something peppery, but just a touch, not much more than a reference to other roses that work so hard to smell complex and intriguing. Not this one.

This is the natural pendant to a single molecule scents. Well, almost. Contrary to single molecule perfumes, there is still a hidden layer of complexity within this rose scent. I love this rose, but I do not like the idea of single molecule perfumes. Looking at my bottle of Ambroxide diluted for use in ethanol, I can imagine how well this would be appreciated as single molecule fragrance, for sure, as Ambroxide is a molecule with many scent facets, but my daily, personal look into the mirror of truth would tell me that I tricked my customers with something that is not original except for the initial idea of bottling one single compound.

Thus, my weekend was phenyl ethyl alcohol dominated, following me up the imaginary woods where my private synthetic lily of the valley blooms, and down the plains of my garden place where my Clementine tree heard the message and started blooming again, and suddenly I wonder where this molecule is not to be found.

Friday, May 19, 2006

After 9 hours

Well, after 9 hours in front of my computer screen, the time has come to say byebye to this technical masterpiece in front of me and move on to more agreable tasks.
The kitchen is calling because Pascal, his friend, W. and Vero and myself will ....celebrate!
The reason: Luca Turin's article.
The place: My place.
How: Apero with Champagne, Salad with white wine, green asparagus risotto with meat and a delicious red wine, strawberries with vanilla-cream and a schnapps to survive the night.

The scented background: Lilac flowers spread on the table, rosmarine on the meat and Lonestar Memories waves emanating from W. (that 's his priviledge and burden... W. is the one and only beta-tester).

Finally. When visiting his father yesterday in the nursing home, an old lady approached W., asking him what fragrance he wears, because he smelled extraordinary wonderful...That's what she said and then she told him that she possesses some 400 hundred perfumes....the collection of a long life.

What a nice compliment. The next time, he brings a sample with him to the nursing home....makes 401 perfumes!

I send you all fragrant wishes for the weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mr. C

One of my favourite perfume blogs features again Mister Colombina reviewing a scent: Today on http://www.perfumesmellinthings.blogspot.com/. Not to miss and as refreshing as a May rain after a humid pre-summer day, washing off yellow layers of pollen and cleaning a lilac saturated air. I love Mr.’s post for his naturalness and the questions that he raises. Reading his comments and following a little debate on basenotes about the influence of forums like basenote on the industry yesterday… here a few thoughts:

- Some perfumers give strange (French) names to perfumes that people do not understand. Like L’air du désert marocain. Now, the sun king Louis XIV left this planet long ago. You remember him from school? This was stinky Louis, who never washed, because it was considered unhealthy back then, but he perfumed himself and his surroundings to compensate, a king who said that the sun would never go down in his empire, the king with the many mistresses and his lengthy toilette routine. Hence, French isn’t understood anymore all around the world. I got this comment a few times, like “ how to pronounce this name air du…”. I promise to do better the next time. Lonestar memories will be shorter and very english. But still, who knows what “Lonestar” really means?

- An untrained nose brings things to the point. Like “Where’s the beef?” Or.. “where’s the hemp?”… (No offence, Mr. Colombina…) I appreciate a certain naivety very much (my dictionary tells me that I could also call it simplicity… back to Luca Turin’s line of thinking….). Why? Approaching a piece of art or craftsmanship without much knowledge about how and why it was produced, you will approach it without searching for a hidden message, without your x-ray glasses on in search for a sublime line of associations, a formula that secretly introduces a twist and you will not wonder what the artist’s message and inner motivation was. You rather look at it and you like it or you don’t. The question that comes up is of course: Why do people like certain fragrances more (AND LONGER!) , like for instance Eau sauvage, than other scents? Because Eau sauvage is truly beautiful, beauty being harmony and asymmetry at once, being elegance and simplicity joined, and composition with love and care, and an untrained nose will see this inner beauty, too.

- Finally. Some perfumes carry names that evoke scent expectations that are not fulfilled. This is, of course, a very personal matter, depending on the background and experience of an individual. On the other hand… do you really expect Angels to smell like Angel?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Green things

First an urgent call to Greeneyes… contact me please because you are the lucky winner of last weekend’s benevolent blogging.
Talking about green things…. I am faced with an out of control vegetation in my little garden. A private jungle with some coloured, nicely smelling spots interspersed, a constant memento of things that should be done and aren’t done. (see pix)
Talking about another green thing: Lavender, being the object of a hate-love relationship in my personal perfumery work. Looking at it from an analytical, but personal point of view, I see 4 important axes to consider when working with Lavender:
Sweet flowery
Airy woody
Overlaying these axes: The fact that Lavender may be used as top note, middle note with some troubles, and is hard to be extended.
From time to time I am brave enough to look at it again, face my misery of not having one nice formula constructed for a Fougère that would go beyond really simple sketches. Yesterday’s experiment: Lilley of the valley notes entering the floor after a vibrant Lavender start. I love Lilley of the valley, smelled them yesterday afternoon again and thought that this green flower scent, with limited sweetness, might work nicely. Considering the whole session as a learning experimental thing, without any ambition to get somewhere specific (l’art pour l’art kind of thing), I was producing a nice washing powder scent initially, which by more additions turned into something less agreeable. Thus, you want to perfume your washing powders? Linalool, lavender, lilial, methyl-cyclomyrrhketon will do the job…..

Next: The initial idea is not bad, maybe I should first get the Lilley of the valley blend and then build things around it? We will see.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

We have a winner and the official photo right at the moment

And we have a winner, congratulation


Yes, you have won one of my perfumes, your choice, please mail me on perfumer(at)tauerperfumes.com and tell me which you would like and where I can send your price.
(The pix shows the actual drawing, W.'s magic fairy moment)

And for the rest of the day, here is a thought for you...

"The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw."
Havelock Ellis

Monday, May 15, 2006

Visit this blog tomorrow morning for the official announcement of the winner of one Tauer Perfume, following the benevolent blogging! Maybe it is you…?

A warm thank you to all who participated and made this a big success. I think I will round the number of comments up to come out with a round sum for FINCA. It feels good to look back at yesterday’s comments flood and I am glad I participated.

And now: Back to perfumery. I got an interesting book on Saturday, Moschus im Tintenfass (“ Musk in the ink well”) by Kai Borrmann, about scents in the islamic literature; that is going to be some interesting reading for sure and I will probable post about some things later. I got a pdf copy of a rather scientific condensation about rose oil distillation in Islamic Andalusia, that was quite interesting, too (thanks to Mr. Borrmann). But, I have to admit it, bringing me at the limit of what my nervous tissue can handle in French. Most interesting: The direct distillation of rose oil, without water involved (contrary to the water steam distillation process). It looks to me like a rather harsh process, delicate to master and urging for a tight temperature control regime. I wonder what this oil might have smelled liked, for sure different to the modern absolutes or essential oils that are produced by steam distillation. I haven’t seen something comparable offered nowadays.

Then, there is the Bois farine by artisan parfumeur. Leopoldo….I perfectly understand your description of this scent. A gigantic cumulus of well-being, tender loving care and comfort comes with this crystal clear perfume. I tested it right away on my skin, without checking any references beforehand. I got a first sniff of powder with a touch citrus, but just a touch and it was gone immediately. Then I got the most powdery woods you can imagine, together with the yellow sweetness of saffron. Not that saffron would be in there, but there is one aspect of saffron, that I recognized. It reminded me of the powdery, saffron like line within myrrh oil, that I like so much. Thus, I’d swear there is myrrh in it (or a substitute). Then I got the most powdery cedar wood you can imagine combined with a caramel sweetness of baked bread or cookies. But, contrary to the Cuir de Beluge which I still consider to be Cuir de Cookie, the sweetness of bois farine fits much better.
Well, ok, I have to be honest with you. For me, this is much too sweet, but I can see how it fits together with the wood and the composition is well done (I’d guess it’s Maltol or derivatives that introduce this bread, cookie comfort line. A compound that I so far never dared using). Bois farine has also an excellent recognition factor. You smell it once and you will remember it. What I really liked about it was …. It is a new idea, something I haven’t seen before. And it lasts, hours and hours and hours of comfort blanket, but…… it does not develop much, it is just there.
Do I like Bois farine? Yes, indeed, I like it. Do I love it? Hmmm…not really. I want my blankets coloured in all colours of the rainbow, I want a vivid surrounding for an exciting night. Bois farine won’t give you that. It is a beige fabric, carrying you through a dreamless and peaceful night.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Thank you for your comments

Thank you for visiting and thank you for posting a comment!
What you have to do: Place one comment on this blog now.
--> Today is the day where your comment really matters. For every visitor posting one or several comments I will donate 1$ US to FINCA.
What else do you have to consider? Label your comment with a unique identifier (like a number, your name or the name of your pet). Why? Because there is a chance to win something here and now!
--> You have the chance to win a perfume of your choice, either le Maroc pour elle or L'air du désert marocain. After Mother's day, W. (a famous actor on this blog) will draw one out of all comments and I will announce the winner, asking to send me an e-mail with the address to send the price!
What else? Enjoy!
Thank you again


and do not forget to visit the following blogs, participating too....and if you are not tired yet....read the below, personal Mother's day thoughts

Well, so it is Mother's day and I will soon take the desert out of the fridge and visit mom, together with W. and I will cook lunch for us in her flat. We will eat, sit together and talk. In itself this is not that exciting. I visit mom quite often, once every week or so. But it is Mother's day and so there will be a hint of something special.
We will probably look back in time, as mom likes to do thinking of days past long ago. Like when we were a familiy with father, two sons and a mom. Living a simple, yet decent live. She will tell us how my father used to put the cigarettes money into a box, once one pack was smoked. Thus, once the ten packs were smoked the money was there to buy another ten packs. I will sit there and listen and think my own things.
Like what it was like when I was a little boy. I do not remember much, but some things will stay for ever. Like peeling apples for the apple cake and eating some of the dough, or like building stuff with her that I found exciting. I now realise how boring this must have been for her.... or like sitting in the living room at my beloved ant Rosa, who owned a TV (we didn't because my father did not wanted us to watch TV. He was a wise man... ). Rosa, who wasn't really an ant, but a good friend of my father, 20 years older then him and even wiser; she was my mom's angel. Our family and my mom owns her a lot. When my mom was pregnant, from a married man (my father), she lived at Rosa's and Rosa took care of her. Like she did for the rest of her live for our little family. She was educated, had a good job and had an even higher educated heart. Rosa was never married. She had a lover whom she left in 33 when she left Germany for the rest of her life, I think her beloved man died in the big war, as did my mom's father.
Thus, my mom was at Rosa's and looked for a flat to raise her family, together with a man she hardly knew back then, who was my father and who loved her very much. He was 20 years older then she was, but I guess that didn't really matter for the two.

Thus, I will soon sit in the living room of my mother and think back to the time we have spend. A relationship that I have never chosen but that turned out wonderful, I hope for the two of us. That's (I guess) the trouble being a mother... you don't really have the choice. You are mother, once and for all. A gift and sometimes a burden.

When we spend time together, I feel the band, the band that holds us together. This band brought me far and her even farther. I remember her visiting me when I was living for a year in Texas. She didn't speak one word of English except for hello and byebye . But she wanted to be droped at the local mall and spend her day there, shopping. And in the evening I picked her up again, with bags filled up with clothes and stuff. I do not know how she mangaged, but she did.

I remember her in Spain, where she was travelling with my brother and me and our dog (a spaniel, he loved the sea and the Spanish loved the dog, because it really was the only Spaniel around) the first summer after my dad died. She wanted us to have a real holiday, so we went to Spain and for a day, I was for the first time in Morocco. A place where, some 20 years later, we were again, mom and me, and W. This time on my expenses and visiting Morocco from north to south.
And I remember travelling with her in Kenya, a voyage that I gave as a gift, because I like to spend time with the people I love, how she was shaken by the poverty. She had a hard time to see us living in luxury resorts, taking showers and drinking wine while outside the African women were carrying their water home, miles and miles, dirty water, for a thirsty family.
Thus, if mom had a computer, she would comment on my blog, too.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

24 hours

Some hours more to wait before you may post your benevolent comments...
Here is the updated list of all blogs participating. It looks impressive. I will for sure be an exciting blogging day, too. (by the way.... I will visit my mother with W., we will cook for/with her and enjoy the afternoon.... But I hope to come up with a nice post before leaving home in the morning).
See you soon on this blog again!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Dear all
I am just testing my feed...no reason to worry.


My blog’s feed does not seem to work. Hmmm…. thinking about bits and bites and code snips again instead of perfumes. I discovered this annoying fact this morning and tried to find out why. Well, blogger seems to provide limited functional options there (an outdated atom version? Can’t be…right?) and copy/paste posts from outlook mails seems to create problems, too (leading to <:0 p> kind of tag things). The help pages on blogger are as usual completely useless and I realized again that I wanted to get my blog on another platform since a while. Needless to say that this feed would have been important just right now. Well, be it. More discoveries this morning: I woke up with a soar throat, I have to fly to Brussels today, and forgot to book the hotel (done by now), and I discovered that my nice trousers, being part of my uniform for the Brussels EU jungle, needed manual fixing (done by now) and the orris’ fragrance latest version that I wanted to test in premature dilution in Europe’s capital isn’t diluted yet (not done, will follow on Saturday). Yesterday, I had a deep sniff of the undiluted magic mix and I am optimistic to soon close this chapter. Talking about dilution: Next Saturday will be an exciting day: The Lonestar memories concentrate will turn into eau de toilette. Countdown running, a couple more weeks to go. Exciting.

But at least I have the Bois farine by L’artisan parfumeur with me. Let’s see how it will do, somewhere between here and there.

And here’s the last reminder: Visit this blog on Mother’s day and comment! For every visitor (with comments) I will donate to charity. And make sure you don’t miss your chance to win a Tauer perfume of your choice: Le Maroc pour elle or L’air du désert marocain!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ténacité des parfums et pseudo-fixation

Roudnitska in his Le parfum (talking about fixation)

Les produits lourds, en freinant exagérément l’évaporation de la composition, nuisent à sa vigueur et l ’ »étouffent ». De sorte que le parfum paraîtra « plat » le premier jour, un peu moins le second et le troisième jour, c’est-à-dire trop tard, et il sera de toute façon trop « sourd », sans nervosité.

Literally translated : The heavy products, by slowing and breaking the evaporation of a composition too strong, damage its power (Andy Tauer: Probably he meant diffusive power) and take away its breath. In a way that the perfumer looks flat at the first day, a little bit less flat the second day and again less flat the third day, which means: Too late, and it will by all means just be silent, without nervousness .

Well, my translation isn’t that good, but I think the message comes over. What Roudnitska talks about here is the thin line that you must walk when using fixing base notes, heavy notes. Fixing and making a fragrance last, is simple per se as long as you do not care about its diffusive power and its character and aesthetic quality. Take a bottle of Ambroxan and dilute white magic powder with ethanol and the mix will last for ever on your skin. But, except you are a hard core Ambergris addict, that isn’t exactly what you –perfume lover or perfumer alike- aim at. Thus, adding depth to a composition of delicate lines and colours without changing the entire composition is a tough one. Roudnitska did not mention it, but the base notes are also the notes that interact most with our skin, thus complicating the game.

What’s the bottom line? Maybe it is: When dreaming a new perfume, do not just dream roses or Lillac, dream the base, too.

Or: Less is more.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trial insights

We tend to cover our naked bodies. Some of us do it with good reason, in the case of other individuals it is a pity. For the later, the hidden skin increases the interest, setting a series of imaginative visualizations in move, which do not fit with reality and quite often lead to thorough disappointment once visualization meets reality. In my perfumery work, visualization plays a role, too, not a key role, but still. Usually, at the end of a series of many, many trials ultimately finding their way to the local waste disposal where they are burnt and thoroughly oxidized, I think about how to visualize a particular scent. Not that I have done this many times, yet! My creative process is somewhat slow and I do not expect to create hundreds of perfumes in my life that need pictures.
Thus, I thought I share a visualization trial for the L’air du désert marocain that I developed and then threw away again. Back then, a while ago, I thought a nice picture might be the sunset in the evening, over semi-desert, the time when the earth is still gleaming but the air has already cooled down. Fragrance of spices and earthy sand fills the air. (I posted about it before… the picture guiding me in the development of this scent was slightly different: A bed in Marrakech, window open, moon raising, scents from the nearby desert and the spices from the streets below….)

Thus, I took a sunset over a rather flat savannah, fooled around with the colours (2 hours), choose the appropriate chest (2 hours), brought the upper body to perfection with photoshop (5 hours) and tried various modifications (5 hours). And deleted my idea from my brain (5 sec). It did not fit somehow. Too…naked? Leaving too little room for imagination? Next was the moon raising picture that you all know, kind of 70-ies minimalism, red and blue tones, no skin, no nothing, but leaving an entire Saharan desert for imagination

Monday, May 08, 2006

Steaming Lilac

When I read the interview with Rene Laruelle on basenotes I couldn’t help but immediately found myself transformed back to our kitchen, some 35 years ago, peeling apples and baking apple pie with mom. Rene Laurelle mentiones cooking as one starting point for perfumery, a source of stimulation, the scent of spices being true inspiration, an interesting thought, indeed.

Well, I guess he did not think in making chicken nuggets and fries in the oven. The inspiration you can hope for from these fat soaked delights is rather minimal. Yesterday’s menu was nevertheless a full success. My little godfather girl loves me. Her love wasn’t diminished by my proposal that we should all go for a walk, down on the banks of the Limmat. Which we did, slowly moving from one flower to the other, sniffing and laughing about noses turning yellow, watching dogs jumping into cold water and three boys doing the same. They had our unconditional admiration; true heroes.
Thus, a lovely afternoon and a break from the perfumery routine, consisting of boxing perfume bottles. The evening ended with a glass of vine together with W. at Pascal’s who was very pleased to be stocked up again, after an exciting week with lots of customers visiting his shop and discovering my Moroccan fragrance babies. On our way home we passed by a steaming fragrant ocean, almost solidified waves of Lilac breaking over us, an orgiastic storm nourished ultimately by the need to reproduce, fragrant waves touching a yellow moon. The same moon saw me watching a black sky before going to bed. I saw star dust entering our atmosphere, vanishing in a line of light, and had a wish free.


And here is a reminder on next weekend's benevolent blogging! Please visit this blog and my fellow perfume lover's blogs and post your comments. Next Sunday, your comments matter....and do not miss the opportunity to win a perfume from Tauer perfumes!

Here is the list of today of benevolent bloggers:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

riding downtown

Busy, busy, busy weekend:
Trying to get my intestines ready for my little goodfathers child birthday feast tomorrow (chicken nuggets and fries, tons of it, she loves it, I eat it.)

Samples are requested urgently downtown by Pascal from Medieval art&vie, as well as broschures and the real thing (perfume bottles). Guess why?

The French translation of the few text lines are finally integrated in the flyer and the little broschure of my Lonestar Memories eau de toilette. The print material has received W. 's blessings and awaits a final GO! by Pascal and then the files will fly to Germany for print. Pascal is really good in finding mistakes & typos... although the last typo I found went undiscovered for about half a year. Embarassing...

So, my dear perfume lovers. An exciting week comes to an end. Fragrant wishes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

deformation professionelle

Back from a 3-day meeting at a magic place, on the banks of Lake Geneva, in a former monastery, with wonderful huge trees, producing pollen like crazy and leading to quite a few hatschi's.
The wall of the entire building were covered with blue flowers hanging down like a gigantic flowery water fall producing a cascade of an airy, musky, sweet scent.
It was growing in intensity at dusk and was ...well, kind of a natural flower bomb.

The scent was somewhat light, airy and reminding of Hexylsalicylate and other salicylates. I found it wonderful, but would have wished it a little bit darker, woodier. Et voila, this is what I call deformation professionelle. A place to observe this effect in pure form: Hospitals. Enter a hospital as a patient and you will realize that somehow you have transformed into a huge baby, being the focal point of empatic activities. The nurse will sing gentle words, ask you how you are doing, a melody of tender empatic lovely care which is the result of 1000 times the same question.
The same is true here, a sniff which sets in motion a brain that tries to figure out how the scent message is composed, and how nature could be improved. Or modified, or brought to perfection or abstracted, to make if fit better with one's expectation. Thus, my dear Wisteria, I would like to have you a little bit less present, I would like to crown your sweetness with a brown line of Ambrein and add a touch crispiness to it, just to make you ... perfect? Well, I guess you are perfect in a sense. So, I would like to make you different!

(Pix: Chinese Wisteria, Copyright Floridata.com, Jack Scheper, see also floridata.com )

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

travelling to Geneva..

I am in a hurry, getting stuff packed and transporting myself to Geneva.
As announced I will not be able to post or comment much (few exceptions).
Well, I guess when I am back here on Friday, there will be a post coming then, at least one before the weekend.

Thus, in the mean time, I send you my best wishes and please....drop by at the newest NZZ Folio with Luca Turin's column, I liked it a lot

You will find it soon here (I hope this link will work, as it is not online yet, I just guessed) http://www-x.nzz.ch/folio/curr/articles/parfum_engl.html

Monday, May 01, 2006

shocking details

Dear fellow perfume lovers
Here comes, as promised to dear Prince Barry, some private details, pictures of last Saturday's party. I have just collected a few, hoping you will like them. We were 36 + guests and we all had a good time.

Not related to perfumery, except maybe for the fact that a few of the people on the pictures wear my scents from time to time....
so from top to down...
so, that's how it looked beforehand. On the wall, pictures of Werner when ...well some years ago.
Guido and his friend. He cooks and she serves.

Two dear friends, Alice and Pascal, both wearing from time to time my perfume L'air, both loved very much

Again, two dear friends, Markus (front) and Ruedi, his friend

And then we see a happy family drinking, Werner the teacher doing the test with Susi (we made a competition, a test. Who gave the best answers could win a own home made glass of marmelade: first price 3 glasses, second 2 glasses, third 1 glass.
And finally, Werner's speech, talking about life and death and stuff like that. Wine helped to make us laugh and not fall asleep :-)

to wear it or not

After a lot of festivities and W.-related comments on this blog: Back to perfumery!

Hurray, there was time and money left this week end to visit my favourite perfumery in Zurich again, Oswald, where I was –as always- treated like everybody else, which translates into …being treated like a king. I really love this perfumery! So, I was presented a few scents and had a chat with a charming lady. We discovered a few scents that she considers wonderful fragrances…. But ….not to wear. So, I asked her, what is the use of a perfume if you do not wear it? And she said, Oh…there are perfumes that I really like on a Kleenex, or I spray them in a room to make me feel comfortable and enjoy the scent. But I do not want to carry it with me on my body. So, I said, OK but the perfume needs the body to develop and bloom and she says Nope! Some perfumes might even be spoiled on skin. The composition shows best when just sprayed in a room and it is only there that you’ll get all the notes at once. “Hmmmm”, I go and am still not convinced. Ambergris needs a body. It needs the warmth of skin, blood heated layer protecting us and barrier, multilayered interface with the world. One of my favourites is: “Watch out for interfaces, it is there where things happen”. This is true for science, or for society. Look at the interface between east and west, north and south. Watch out and see things happening!

Tomorrow: A short post in the morning only, because I have to rush out for a 3 day meeting in Geneva. Depending on my WLAN access there will be posts or not.

Tonight: some pixs of a party, eventually.