Oct 302013


Fedex picked up Ingrid and more this morning in Zurich, packed as dangerous goods in 4 big heavy parcels, leaving tonight for Paris where they will change the plane and head for LA, after passing customs in Memphis.

I skipped the lunch break and turned towards my ipad and a bottle of Ingrid and sketched a naked flacon of Ingrid. Now, I sit outside of my “factory” which consists basically of two rooms, on a bench in front of the pizza take-away, with a coffee next to me, glimpsing into a late October sun, under a blue sky. It is warm, much warmer than usual for end October and I am still sweating from carrying the parcels for Spain to the local post.

It is a good moment. The orders are out and, if all goes well, all will be set for Ingrid and her appearance in Los Angeles. And my visit there. It is a moment to take a deep breath and in a sense, I feel that my illustration, as sketchy as it is with little time and care going into it, is part of this moment. I haven’t had time to sketch lately. Too much work , too much going on, too much noise everywhere. Sketching Ingrid was a moment of peace, feeling a bit proud, and in a sense relieved. Finally it is out. I love the label and looking at it while trying to bring it onto the ipad screen I feel how memories come back. Endless phone calls, forth and back, so much work on details, together with Brian. Details hardly anyone seems to realize, I feel sometimes. I remember packing the first 60 bottles of Ingrid. A lot of work, and we wondered, my partner and me, wrapping and labeling for hours. What for?

I love the idea of Ingrid sitting in a plane’s big silvery belly. Gently shaken over the ocean. It is one of these miracles of our times: Logistics, global supply chains, with bottles from France, labels from Germany, essential oils from exotic places, an assembly in a little room in Zurich, and a Fedex man picking it all up. I will fly to LA, for almost nothing, as tickets are still very cheap these days. The logistics of transporting human flesh from here to there: A temporal exception, maybe, and there is no saying whether generations after me will still be able to enjoy a flight over the Atlantic for close to nothing.

I had a hard time sketching the flacon’s form. It has many curves and getting these right is not easy. I was trying colors, too, but decided against any color. The black and white lines bring out one quality that I love about Ingrid: It leaves room to imagine her, the scent’s secrets, the hidden, the protected, the uncertainty, guarded behind layers of beauty and masquerade.

Outside, on the other side of my bench, cars and trucks pass by. It is an industrial and an industrious area. A constant movement of things and people.

 Posted by on October 30, 2013
Oct 102013


I am on my way back from Florence, after 3 days at Pitti Fragranze, THE perfume fair in Italy and probably the world, focused on “niche”.

With Pitti Fragranze growing on a seemingly exponential scale, you might wonder what this means. I am not discussing terms and definitions here: Let’s just say that Pitti is the fair for whatever runs under the term niche and selective and artisanal perfumery. There is a big confusion in the market and I am actually looking for clarification and separation.

Writing on the train, in a new coach of the “Frecciarossa” line in Italy, with all its comfort, punctual arrivals and departures, high speed and well organized booking and new infrastructure, it is easy to forget the every day struggles of another Italy, a country still in the grip of an old dirty man. Yes, I wrote that. I do not refer to nor do I discuss political opinions: Being a guest here in Italy, I’d rather not. But I feel that there are other perspectives from which one can look at things, here in Italy. It is a question of style, and the dirty old man excludes what I love about Italy so much. Style.

I always feel under-dressed, not properly dressed, when in Italy. Even the simplest jeans, combined in an Italian way with shirt and shoes and perfume and glasses and jewelry, look better and are rendered into something unique and special and perfectly matching their wearer.

Thus, you can imagine: Perfume is important in Italy. And when things are done artisanally, it is a plus here because , the way I view it, it still matters here how things are produced. I think I am bit nostalgic there, and sometimes miss the time when perfume was about style, and not just concepts. Too many concepts. Mine included.

The three days at the fair were exhausting, yes. I was standing there for 8, 9 hours, at the stand, talking, spraying, inhaling Noontide Petals mist in minute intervals as Noontide Petals was the new bottle in Tauer bottle land, enjoying powdery aldehydes and rose and incense and sandalwood a-go-go. And the more I sprayed and explained and talked, the more I realized (again) that all these notes and ideas shared with perfume lovers and buyers and sellers do not matter really. The discussion yesterday, sitting over a large table with perfumer friends, like Yosh, Ineke, Oliver &Co, Spiros and Louison, touched upon notes and their irrelevance, too. But still, all agreed that they are needed. Having thought about it for a while, relaxing on the bed after breakfast, I decided that notes are like a springboard into a pool. It helps jumping into the water, but it does not tell you one word about the sensation when you land in water, belly down or up.

This morning, on the bed, being dressed and almost ready to leave, letting the mind wander and wonder for 30 minutes, looking at my un-stylish jeans, and trying to sketch the proportion of the room right, a room that was my home for 4 days, I was at peace with the crazy world of perfumes.


– Andy Tauer

 Posted by on October 10, 2013