Monday, August 1, 2011

Pentachords, from Andy Tauer -- a samples drawing



In an interview Andy Tauer gave recently, he talks candidly about these new fragrances, and how they came about. The central issue was a difficulty he was having working with iris roots in the development of a previous fragrance. Since that’s one of his favorite and most-used notes, he had a problem to solve.
He wondered, he says, if.  If a scent could be reduced to its fundamentals while still being harmonious. If the classic pyramid structure could be transcended in a way that would still leave room for development. If he could come up with a series based on these ideas that would work; what to call it, how to describe it. If stepping onto an alternate path for a time would fit with his developing brand. 
Near the end of the interview he speaks of how he came to the decision to do this. New roads; the creative process itself in which nothing is ever really “finished,” but can always be better, which is well-known to any artist. And the knowledge that a new road leads to discovery of all sorts of other new aspects that can be applied to one’s new work, and as tweaks (which are hard to resist) to one’s older work. 
The battle of Natural vs. Synthetics goes on, of course; Tauer’s previous work has mixed them in quite complex formulas. These fragrances, the Pentachords, are made from synthetic molecules. The intellectual and creative challenge he gave himself -- construct 3 perfumes using only 5 ingredients each-- meant that every ingredient had to perform every function expected of a perfume. Using the molecules was part of the solution. The other part was using the most interesting molecules, ones that evolve on skin as naturals do, in harmony with one another. He tried a number of synthetics, most notably a variation Irone Alpha -- as expensive as rose absolute -- before finding the right ones.
These words are a joy to write. Not many perfumers would ever consider revealing their own artistic processes, much less their dilemmas. This speaks to perfumery as art, in a way we’d all love to see more of...ok, already, what do they smell like?
There are three, the series named after the five-note diatonic scale, the individual fragrances named after the colors they evoked to Tauer.
Verdant” is a green (are you surprised?) After the initial leafy burst, it reminds me of walking into a humidor. There is tobacco here, making this very different from most “green” scents, with their usual trinity of galbanum/vetiver/violet leaf. Tauer fans will recognize a bit of spice, too, along with the hints of galbanum and leather. It’s not sweet, nor is it sharp. It’s a great masculine and a distinctively different feminine.
Auburn” is a Tauer through and through. It’s a bit like his "Orange Star," with its fruity-not-bitter orange, a bit of honey and lily like his "Zeta," and a dash of L’air du Desert Marocain (just a dash) in there too. Lately I’ve been exploring the world of mixology, in which cocktails are constructed much like perfumes. I’d love to see how a flavorist would approach these notes.
White,” my personal favorite, has been described in terms of snow and silvery violet, but to me it opens with rich, foody vanilla, then a strong violet aspect and a base of ambroxan (or one of the other myriad names which describe synthetic ambergris) and some white-woody musk. Try as I might, I can’t see this cold; it’s divinity, an old-fashioned kind of white candy my grandmother made. The violet, which is the aforementioned irone alpha, does shift and glimmer. (Most ionones render me asnomic to practically everything else in the fragrance; this doesn’t.) All this being said, “White” is a cool-weather fragrance, which I plan to wear when our weather cools (if it ever does).
And these last. The “White” in particular lasted, even on me, all day.
These fragrances won’t be released worldwide until mid-September. At the moment, they’re only available at Campo Marzio, in Rome. Be the first of your friends...leave a comment, any comment, by midnight,  August 7, US Eastern Daylight time. I’ll do a random drawing and send the winner the pictured set of generous carded samples.
To watch the interview with Andy Tauer, go here.
Full disclosure: The sample sets were set to me by Tauer Perfumes.



39 comments:

Melissa said...

I adore Andy's fragrances. They're so distinctive! And I have been really anxious to try the Pentachords since I first heard he was doing them. I'd LOVE to be entered in the drawing!!

Alnysie said...

Count me in, please! I haven't yet smelled any of his perfumes and would love to do so. I'm very interested in all three of them, but especially by Auburn and White (I guess I'm looking forward to fall already!)

ccdouglass said...

I would love to be entered in the draw! I have yet to experience any of Andy's scents and am hoping I'll be lucky enough to do so. Many thanks!

Carrie Meredith said...

Please include me in the draw- thank you!

Maureen said...

the only Tauer fragrance I have tried is Zeta...I liked it very much, but it did not last on me very long...3 hrs. max. I would like this if it is like Zeta but lasted a little longer. Please enter me in draw. Thanks.

Любов / Lyubov said...

Never tried anything of Andy Tauer - good idea to popularize it in the Eastern countries!
I expect something unique and my intuition never misleads me...Hope to have the chance to try!
Thanks for the draw!

Elisa said...

Enter me in the draw, pretty please! I'm a huge Tauer fan, always anxious to try his new stuff.

Cymbaline said...

Please enter me in the draw! I have a FB of Zeta and LDDM and am interested in sampling the Pentachords.

matildaben said...

I'd love to be entered in the drawing. Andy's fragrances are so fascinating.

ElizabethC said...

Please enter me in the drawing. These sound amazing!

anotherperfumeblog said...

I would love to be included as well. Thank you!

Lavanya said...

I am very curious about these- Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

Undina said...

Please enter me into the draw. Thank you!

olenska said...

I love the minimalist game Andy Tauer's elected to play with his craft. Discovery and fun are alive in perfumery! I'm grateful to read more about his process, and I'd love to be included in the draw. Thanks!

Diana said...

I am completely gaga for Tauer Perfumes, and so *EXCITED* to try the Pentachords. Thanks for the review and the draw It's all very exciting.

Michael Singels said...

Please include me too! While I tend towards naturals, I have seen a lot of praise for Andy's work and would love to see the fruits of the Pentachords project!
Thanks,
Michael

Irina said...

Oh, please, enter me the draw
I'm so thrilled about the concept
I think it's the first draw of Pentachords, ever

thanks a lot

flavourfanatic said...

Hi! I won Zeta in a drawing on your blog and it was love at first sniff. Now, I hope to get lucky again. Best wishes!

womo531 said...

If I had all the money in the world, I'd get a bottle of everything Tauer creates =)

Gator Grad said...

I am really interested in these, particularly WHITE (violet is going to be my next iris, I think-- right now, I love everything iris). And I'm loving his new bottle designs. I'm thinking that I should get Zeta.

Susan said...

Andy is probably my favorite living perfumer. I'm dying to try all of these! Thank you for entering me in the drawing.

sara said...

Please enter me in this draw. I think Andy is amazing and I can't wait to try theese.

Isa said...

I have never tried Andy Tauer fragrances but I admire him so much... Pentachords sound great, especially Verdant. Anyway, I'd love to try them all. Thanks on this draw! :)

samberg said...

The man seems like such a sweetheart that that I wish I could love everything he releases instead of just most of them. Thanks for the draw.

a.k.a. Warum said...

Thank you for the draw, i am very interested in these. Especially the auburn -- a color of my hair :)

Datura5750 said...

I am so looking forward to these!

bookishredhead said...

I can't wait to savor each of these!!! So glad you got samples!
M

Stephen Hough said...

As a musician I'm immediately drawn to the idea of chords - five-fingers at the piano, fragrance harmonies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the link to the interview with Andy -- it was fascinating. He is so straightforward and down to earth and so willing to share his inspirations and processes; that makes his blog a must-read too.
I'm intrigued by how his creative restriction of 5 synthetic ingredients to create the Pentachords will play out. Sometimes these challenges are more interesting for the creator than the audience, but I loved the similarly restricted poetry book Eunoia by Christian Bok (a poem in five chapters with each chapter making use of only one vowel).
So while it was interesting to hear in the video that he is working on at least one more pentachord (inspired by hyacinth), I'm also happy to look forward to the vintage-inspired MIRIAM.

Thanks for the draw opportunity.

--Lindaloo

ololiuqui said...

I'm vert excited to try this new scents from Andy Tauer.I'm admirer of his work,his creativity always amazes me.

Michelle said...

Please enter me in the drawing, so excited to sniff these! Thanks!

rosiegreen said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I am longing to try The Pentachords. All of Andy's work is wonderful.

Kelsey Anderson said...

I love Andy Tauer's fragrances! I can't wait to try these! Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Clara said...

Oh wow, these all sound amazing! I would love to try these - please enter me!

sean's jo said...

I think the pentachord series is such an interesting concept and would love to try any one of them. Thanks for the draw!

Bob J said...

Everyone loves Andy, men and women alike. The fact that he has been able to further his career and his passions through endevors outside the standard realm of scent simply accentuates his percieved creativity. Not to put to fine a point on it, but...Go Andy !!!

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