Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I’ve recently discovered that chocolate isn’t the only delicious product to come from Switzerland. Yet again, I am woefully late to jump on a bandwagon, and I have only recently had the opportunity to introduce myself to Tauer Perfumes.
Andy Tauer is a niche, independent perfumer who started his line a few years ago after giving up a career in molecular biology (oh my god!). He has become well-beloved for his incredible fragrances (everyone, and I mean everyone, has told me about L’Air du Desert Marocain for a long time now), and well-respected for his views on what it’s like to be an independent perfumer; his blog is both a fun read and an illuminating read.
After a lovely email exchange with Andy, who is as kind as can be, I placed an order for a Discovery Set ($39.70USD with the conversion rate from Swiss francs), choosing five fragrances I thought I would enjoy. Andy was sweet enough to send me a few extras, but I can’t talk about those right now! I’ll be reviewing those elsewhere, so look out for that (and I’ll supply more information on that later!).
When it was time for me to finally start sampling my Tauer order, I had to ask for help. It’s so overwhelming to choose a fragrance when faced with so many delicious options! The darling Candy Perfume Boy (do you read his blog or follow him on Twitter?) recommended I start with Une Rose Vermeille, so I did.
(picture borrowed from the Tauer Perfumes website!)
I am so, so glad I did. Une Rose Vermeille is quite possibly one of the most stunning roses I have ever smelled - and happiest. This is definitely a radiant, smiling sort of thing. I’m actually pretty stunned that I like it, because it’s so far from my usual fragrance choices.
The initial spray is incredibly bright and lovely. This is a summer day in a bottle, fresh juices in the morning, grass and small flowers under my feet. The bergamot and lavender aren’t obnoxious in the least, their crispness intensified by a very zingy lemon. In my notes, I said that the lemon “tarted up” the bergamot and lavender. Unlike most of my experiences with hesperidic notes, the top notes here are decently long-lasting. You can even smell a hint of the rose that makes up the heart of this fragrance.
Oh, the rose...the rose in Une Rose Vermeille is incredible, large, and lovely. At its heart, this fragrance is a huge bouquet of roses and violets, a hint of sweetness lent to it by a zingy raspberry note. The flowers envelop its wearer; I had a serious “Angela on the ceiling with rose petals in ‘American Beauty’” moment when I first put it on. What I enjoyed the most about the rose used in this fragrance is that, to my nose, it’s a very green rose. There is nothing powdery or old-lady stuffy about it. These are roses that were just cut from the bush, all wet with dew and still leafy. The smell is voluptuous and one that is constantly metamorphosing. Truly lovely! I couldn’t help but smile every time I smelled my wrists.
There is less of a drydown, and more of a progression with Une Rose Vermeille. The best way to describe the last few hours of this fragrance’s wear is to compare it to a rose blooming: roses generally are at their most lovely - fully bloomed and exceptionally pretty - just before they begin to wilt. As a rose blooms and then wilts, its scent becomes almost sickly sweet - indolic, if a rose could be described as so. That is exactly what the base notes accomplishes: the lifespan of that pretty bouquet.
Here is my initial description of the last few hours of Une Rose Vermeille, taken from my notes (yes, I take notes on my perfumes when I wear them!): “This fragrances dries down into a gorgeous, sweet, warm, skin-like sort of thing. The fruitiness so evident in its first few hours of wear disappears and the smell becomes near vulgar - the roses smell just past their prime, teetering dangerously into decay. The last hour or two is all warmth and powder, tonka and ambergris married, two cozy bedmates. The brightness of its start dims, but the appeal never diminishes.”
A poet, I will never be.
I generally prefer my roses tempered by heady patchouli and musks. This is one of the first times I can recall genuinely enjoying what I would normally call a “feminine” fragrance. I couldn’t get over it, but goodness - this is just so pretty!
Andy, you did well!
Une Rose Vermeille retails for $149.90USD on the Tauer Perfumes website; samples are available on the website as well, and on Luckyscent.