New(ish) Perfume Review Tauerville Rose Flash- Anticipation Rewarded

In the hustle and bustle of trying to cover all of the new perfume releases I frequently make decisions to leave something for later. Those kind of decisions seem to happen more frequently during the last few months of the year. I receive samples on a daily basis and for the ones which take some effort to track down I sometimes just say I’ll do it in the New Year. Last fall independent perfumer Andy Tauer began a new brand called Tauerville and its first release was Rose Flash. It has taken me a year to get around to trying it. Now that I have there is much to say about the perfume and the concept.

Tauerville came about because Hr. Tauer wanted a place to experiment. On the Tauerville website he says he wanted it be a place where he could “break the rules”. It is an interesting idea that one of the preeminent independent perfumers in the world needed a place to break the rules. Surely he could break down expectations in his established Tauer Perfumes line. Except once you have a reputation and a brand there is a loss of freedom to go too far out of the boundaries your previous releases have defined. With Tauerville Hr. Tauer had a clean slate; the opportunity to create without expectations. What was also great about this idea was it was also going to be modestly priced coming in about two-thirds the price of the regular line. The perfumes would be produced in limited runs with no guarantee or expectation they would be produced forever. It makes them sort of a limited edition although the truth is there have been three Tauerville releases and none of them have been unavailable for very long.

andy tauer

Andy Tauer

I finally got the chance to experience all three Tauerville releases to-date at Pitti Fragranze 2015. Incense Flash is the most recent and was preceded by Vanilla Flash. Both of those are in eau de parfum strength and carry a delightful translucent quality. If I was looking for a place where Hr. Tauer was breaking some of his previous “rules” it would be that opaqueness in both Incense Flash and Vanilla Flash. There is a shimmering quality to both that has not appeared often in the original line. Rose Flash is something else again as Hr. Tauer made his first Tauerville release at parfum strength. Rose Flash does not shimmer it surrounds and envelops you in a rosy embrace.

Hr. Tauer has left those of us who will write about Rose Flash to be the ones to dissect it. His desire was for the wearer to just let it be without picking it apart. If you do that what you will experience is the smell of a living rose garden at its fragrant peak. I am pretty sure there are at least two sources of rose in here and maybe a third. Rose Flash is all of the rose: bloom, leaf, bush, soil, and thorn.

When I wear Rose Flash I smell a demure rose along the lines of Rose de Mai and a spicy rose like a Damascene version. As those reach my nose in the very early moments there is also sunlight as some citrus notes glint off of the petals. It eventually gives way to green with I suspect geranium providing the first hint of verdancy before more prominent green notes arrive. Underneath it all is a bit of the woodiness of the stem and the soil of the earth. The longer it dries down on my skin there is the piquant bit of thorniness some spices, cinnamon I think, add as they provide a contrast to the powdery rose source while complementing the spicy rose source.

Rose Flash has 16-18 hour longevity and low sillage. As it is at parfum strength it is a skin scent for the great majority of its development.

There was an old television commercial set to the song “Anticipation” by Carly Simon. It showed a child watching a slow moving ketchup on its way out of the bottle on to his hamburger. For a year I have been hearing Ms. Simon’s song in my head as I anticipated my opportunity to try the Tauerville releases. Upon that moment all of my anticipation was realized. Hr. Tauer has happily created a new perfumed sandbox for him to play in. We are all the beneficiary of the new constructs which arise there. All three are worth trying but if there is room for only one Rose Flash is the choice for me.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Tauerville at Pitti Fragranze 2015.

Mark Behnke

Colognoisseur Pitti Fragranze 2015 Final Wrap-Up Part 2- The Top 10 New Fragrances I Tried

I spent three days at Pitti Fragranze 2015 trying 96 new perfumes. It turns out it is very difficult to reduce that list down to ten. A year ago it felt like there were many brands vying for the same bit of olfactory space. This year as I look over the list below I am really pleased to see no obvious thread of similarity running through it. Here are the typical caveats for this list. These are all initial impressions obtained from a small patch of skin during three days where there is nothing but perfume in the air. Also these are the Top 10 which are new to me. Releases like Arquiste Nanban would have made the list but I had it before coming to Florence. I also did not mention Pitti-only perfumes like Pierre Guillaume’s Lumiere Fauve which would have also been on this list. Here is the list in alphabetical order:

ALTAIA Yu Son– Married creative directors and owners of Eau D’Italie Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena did some ancestral research and found their great great great grandfathers intersected in Argentina. It has produced an inaugural edition of three new fragrances all by perfumer Daphne Bugey. Yu Son is the orange-centric fragrance that cuts right to the heart of their story.

Essenzialmente Laura Lavanda- Perfumer Laura Tonatto has debuted a new line of fragrance with 39(!) new entries. It is overwhelming but buried within all of that new perfume is a trio of lavender fragrances which deserve to rise above the clutter. The best of them is the simplest as Sig.ra Tonatto combines five sources of lavender to create a supernatural lavender accord.

Ineke Idyllwild– Independent perfumer Ineke Ruhland had been focused on her Floral Curiosities collection over the past couple of years and her alphabet series had fallen behind. Ms. Ruhland is about to rectify that oversight with not only I but J coming out in short order. It was Idyllwild which completely mesmerized me. Ms. Ruhland took me through the building blocks which make up this gorgeous smoky rose. It left me more impressed than ever at her ability to construct a perfume.

mcg elephant and roses

Maria Candida Gentile Elephant & Roses– Sig.ra Gentile was daydreaming at her home and she imagined an elephant walking through a field of roses crushing them as it passed. Her translation into a fragrance was to merge the animalic odor of the elephant with the floralcy of the rose. She chose a Turkish rose so that the spicy components would pick up the animalic accord it was paired with. Now when wearing it I see the pachyderm amongst the petals.

Masque Milano Romanza– Creative directors Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi have reached the act of their olfactory opera where the love story is told. Nose Cristiano Canali and the creative team decided on narcissus as the smell of passionate love. Romanza is a narcotic love poem written in bold floral strokes. I broke my first vial and my bedroom was filled with this narcissus swaddling me in its addictive embrace. I never slept so well.

Naomi Goodsir Iris Cendre– This was hands down the most buzzed about perfume at this year’s fair. Knowing nods were traded by those of us who had tried it. Ms. Goodsir and her creative partner Renaud Coutadier working with perfumer Julien Rasquinet created a green iris which never turns powdery on my skin. I already cannot get it out of my head and have been wearing it since my return. It is everything about perfume that I love; creativity, a twist on the familiar, and something eminently wearable.

Nomenclature Efflor_esce– I admit any perfume based on synthetic molecules and packaged in stylized Erlenmyer flasks is always going to have my attention. Creative directors Karl Bradl and Carlos Quintero working with perfumer Frank Voelkl take the synthetic Paradisone, a modern successor to Hedione, and put it at the center of Efflor_esce. Surrounding it are florals osmanthus, tuberose, and neroli paired with bigarade and bergamot. Paradisone is the unquestioned star of the show but the complementary notes chosen by the creative team make it sparkle and shine.

olfactive studio selfie

Olfactive Studio Selfie– Creative director Celine Verleure usually uses a photograph as her brief. For Selfie you are faced with a mirrored surface to see your reflection within. To capture the narcissistic tendency to take one’s picture all the time Mme Verleure turned to perfumer Thomas Fontaine. Together the perfume they created has a fantastically realized heart of cinnamon, balsam, lily and an accord of maple syrup. I am not sure I get the relationship to egotism but I do know I definitely want to see my reflection in a bottle.

Olivier Durbano Chrysolithe- I mentioned this last year that M. Durbano really has grown as a perfumer. Chrysolithe confirms that assessment. M. Durbano returns to naming his fragrances after crystals. There were a number of perfumes I tried this year which contained sage. M. Durbano, by combining it with cumin on top; cedar and vetiver in the base, forms a sage which shows off all of its many attributes spectacularly.

Tauerville Rose FlashAndy Tauer working on his second line of perfumes has created a set of three flash fragrances that are all extremely good. I purposely held off trying these because I knew I could experience them for the first time with Hr. Tauer at Pitti. We saved Rose Flash for last and it just slayed me. If you like Une Rose Chypree this is Hr. Tauer showing you a different face of rose. It carries a definitive signature of the rose bush with the green of the leaves matched with the woodiness of the stems. Over it all a spicy lush rose prevails. There is nothing not to enjoy here if you like rose perfumes. Just make sure you get some before it is gone.  

That’s it for my wrap-up of Pitti Fragranze 2015. Full reviews of all of these will be forthcoming over the next few weeks plus many others which just missed making the Top 10. Thanks for following the coverage of Pitti Fragranze 2015 on Colognoisseur.

Mark Behnke