|Summertime by Ash Straker ~ Source: deviantart.com|
And maybe, in hindsight - or im Nachhinein, as the lovely German phrase goes - I had too much exposure to Andy Tauer's line too soon, before my taste had become robust/evolved enough to appreciate his work. For with the exception of the transcendental L'Air du Désert Marocain, that dusty-ambery-spicy rose scent inspired by an arid wind wafting the curtains of a Moroccan hotel in the early evening breeze, none of the early releases worked for me. I found the 'Tauerade' base in most of them - to borrow March of Perfume Posse's amusing coinage for their signature drydown - too raspy and scratchy, in a wire wool-ish kind of a way.
|Medieval, Andy Tauer's friend's bookshop in Zurich|
But over the years one or two of Tauer's later creations seemed exceptions to this - Carillon pour un Ange, for example, though even that scent had a distinctive metallic tang, in a clear case of 'galvanising the lily'. I didn't mind Zeta either, which also had this metal facet that never tips over into abrasive Brillo pad territory. Orange Star, meanwhile, I struggled with on account of soap, not metal, and when I was in Paris in June with Undina, I dismissed Noontide Petals on similar grounds.
The next thing that happened was that Freddie gave me a sample of Tableau de Parfums Miriam to try and I was immediately smitten.
Notes: fresh citrus accord, geranium, violet blossom, rose, jasmine, ylang, violet leaf, lavender, vanilla, orris root, sandalwood
There is a slight sparkle of citrus and aldehydes in abundance in the opening, but they were ultra quiet, like the vibration of many tiny humming birds' wings, or bubbles of Prosecco streaming to the top of a flute. And I am not talking about the violent fizzing of a cheapo bottle of Highland Spring here, but more along the lines of a delicate 'petillance'. Or - if anyone has ever had physio delivered by one of those machines that massages your muscles with micro-pulses - it was the olfactory equivalent of that mildly buzzing sensation. Not unlike the polishing brush at the dentist, come to think of it - you know, the one with the insane tickle! Yes, I found Miriam pin prickingly effervescent, elegant and feminine, and vintage / retro in feel.
I can best sum up the general style of Miriam as 'finely milled Chanel No 5' - or Le Dix perhaps, on account of the greater presence of violet. It is more restrained than either of those, more dialled back, making it more wearable in my book. And greener and earthier and more chypre-ish than those two. Kind of 'murky' or 'muddy' to be honest, but not in a bad way. Can you have aldehydic murk? Clearly you can in my world, and on my wrist. In fact the more times I tried it, the less citrus and fizz and the more of this earthy quality I got instead, as if the brightest of the aldehydes had actually risen to the top of the vial, and I was now sniffing the olfactory 'lees', which were still nice. Oh, and in its final stages Miriam assumes a smooth yet powdery, snuffed out quality, which is also lovely. In short, Miriam has all the good attributes of a vintage fragrance and none of the bad (aggressive aldehydes, aggressive galbanum, aggressive oakmoss or animalic notes etc).
Heartened by this unexpected epiphany, I decided to fish out my sample of Noontide Petals next, and before spraying it on I studied the notes.
Top notes: bergamot, aldehydes, Bourbon geranium
Heart notes: rose, ylang, tuberose, jasmine
Base notes: patchouli, frankincense, vanilla, sandalwood, iris, with a hint of styrax and vetiver
Why, I thought, I absolutely should love this one, especially as we are talking just a 'hint' of styrax, and not the industrial quantities found in Yatagan or Amouage Tribute Attar. So this time I decided to tough out the detergent stage and see what came next, which I had not had the patience to do at the time of my visit to Jovoy. And was I glad I did! For Noontide Petals gradually moved through into a phase which, while still soapy, was less detergenty so and more plain clean, cut with a bright lemony sherbet facet, like shafts of sunlight poking through a veil of cloud.
So I would be interested to know - how is your own hit rate with Tauer Perfumes?
How do you get on with 'Tauerade', metal or soap - if you detect these elements indeed?
And have you - like me - had any late onset epiphanies with the range?
Finally, here is Graeme, the Andy Tauer lookalike again - funnily enough, I am going back to that same venue tomorrow and will be sure to look out for him!