Tauer Perfumes Incense Duo

I´ve been toying with Andy Tauer´s incense mods, Incense Extreme and Incense Rosé. I wrote him months ago, after Orris stole my heart, that I wished he´d do an incense fragrance. He said to me via email recently: “I remembered your earlier mail, about the frankincense, and basically you, together with the CO2 extract quality that I got my hands on, kick-started me on this. Now, I do not know whether you will like these two fragrances built around frankincense. But I will be delighted to send you a sample each. I will not touch the formula any more, I consider them finished.” He also gave me permission to blog on them.

Opening my international envelope of Incense Extreme and Incense Rosé, I caught a very Tauer-esque aroma – a ghost of his beloved limited run, Orris, which contained frankincense and orris. Andy´s fragrances tend to be strong – some stronger than others, but I can´t recall any particularly shrinking violets among them.

Anyway, the notes for Incense Extreme are coriander, orange leaves, orris, Texan cedarwood, frankincense, ambergris. Andy says: “I wanted to create an incense that is intense and clear. The result: a minimalist, copped interpretation of incense, a touch of spices, powdery orris, dry cedar wood and ambergris support the frankincense, that is rich, crisp, red and intense.” Savvy sniffers will note a slight resemblance to Orris (which had more orris and less frankincense, along with a much longer list of other notes). Lovers of Orris will be pleased to hear that Incense Extreme contains the same soaring, faintly sweet heart. The sweet-tart citrus of the orange leaves is prominent in the opening, and combined with the coriander it´s a dense, almost masculine scent. There´s a moment when the orange note fades and the coriander jumps forward. Then the frankincense opens up and begins to dominate. The cedar is quite mild to me, more of a general woodsy note, and I´m assuming the ambergris and coriander contribute to the faintly musky drydown. I´m going to quibble with Andy´s idea of “minimalist” – the list of notes is short, but the smell is quite complex. Yes, it´s clearly and absolutely about incense, but it doesn´t feel like an incense “soliflore” the way some other niche incense fragrances do. The orris, cedar and ambergris provide a strong, woods-metallic platform for the rest of the mechanics. The longevity (as with other Tauers) is excellent. Rich, crisp, red and intense – yeah, I´ll buy that. If Orris were the femme version, this somewhat related scent could be its masculine counterpart, although both of them are easily unisex, in my opinion.

I was less excited about sniffing and reviewing Incense Rosé, because as many of you know, I´m not a world-class rose fan. I´m nervous reviewing it, because … well … I like it so much I keep thinking there must be something wrong with it, frankly. The notes are clementine, bergamot, castor, Bulgarian rose absolute, orris, Texas cedarwood, frankincense, labdanum, myrrh, patchouli and ambergris. Andy says: “This rich and intense fragrance is at its base inspired by smoking frankincense, oriental woods and rich rose absolutes. I wanted to create a fragrance that breathes in the tradition of perfumery, and I wanted to capture the floral beauty that hides in frankincense.” Well, amen. Incense Rosé opens on a juicy clementine/bergamot, with the rest of the notes rushing in close behind, and the combination is a rich, macerated smell – you want to describe it with the same sort of adjectives you´d use for some smooth, aged cabernet. At this point it’s clear Andy hit the mark in his oenophile’s description — without smelling like wine, it has that liquid, nuanced depth, fragrance as palate-pleaser. The myrrh, patch and ambergris provide a medicinal, bitter counterpoint to the rose and orris, and it´s perfect – I keep coming back to the word smooth. Anyone looking for a soft rose soliflore, something sparkly and sunny, shouldn´t stop here (they´d be looking at the wrong perfumer, anyway.) This is an audacious, virile scent, practically striding through the woods in a brown velvet cloak. And yet … just about the time I applaud, I realize the scent´s changed into its red flamenco dress, a tart candied note lingering all around me. By the time I´d taken stock of that shift, we´d climbed back in the saddle and ridden off again. I love the duality — watching the masculine and feminine aspects of this fragrance tango together.

So, Andy – once again, I tip my hat to you. You are full of surprises. As much as I admire the Incense Extreme, I have to admit … to my amazement, I prefer the Rosé.

I thought that he wouldn´t be releasing these as part of his line, but I believe I´m wrong and they´re coming out in January. I´m sure their release will be all over the blogs, so keep your eyes peeled.

Also … Andy lost his mom recently. He asked for prayers rather than emails. I whisper mine to the bees in the garden; maybe you could send some his way, too. If you visit his blog, his godchild drew a picture of his mother and sent it to him. His mom is an angel. Of course.

image: hikejapan.com

Gaia September 28, 2007

Very late to the party, I know. But since we're talking Andy and his work, I feel compelled to chime in. There's no other release that excites me like this. I'm going to buy both and I just know I will love them. I agree about the Tauer-ade and I think I also get some from Lonestar, when my husband is the one wearing it (it goes in a totally different -but wonderful- way on my skin). That base is probably what grabs me on the emotional level like no other fragrance. It's just so completely me. I was this crazed and rabid fan even before I met Andy in person. I'm so glad to see how loved he is- he desrves every last bit of it.

JenniferR September 27, 2007

late to post, but I simply must. kerthunk! I am completely, totally, utterly overwhelmed. Incense is mine, dark roses are mine ... I do not buy things unsniffed as a matter of principle, but I do believe that principle will fly out the window the moment I catch a whiff of these releases ... Andy is such a genius. And from what I read on his blog, and others, such a darling. (On me, BTW, l'air du desert morocain lasts, well, forever. it's still on the sweater I'm wearing today, and I last applied it to my skin over a month ago. It's only getting lovelier, even on fabric.)

Dusan September 27, 2007

Andy is a lovely, generous and talented man. I'm wearing L'eau d'épices today and thinking of him. It's such a bright, sunny natural scent. Don't tell anyone but I call it Baby Poison--wonder if anyone else got the same association. Ah! the Incenses. You make them sound majestic. I'll be counting down the days to January fer sure. Have they got anything in common with my beloved L'Air? P.S. It seems my email to you has disappeared somewhere in the Net limbo??

Robin September 27, 2007

These sound so perfect -- both of them! Hope they'll be released soon.

grizzlesnort September 27, 2007

What does he mean by Texas cedar? As a former Austinite who suffered from "cedar fever" (allergies) not sure I want to go near anything that has Texas cedar in it. It's actually a juniper that's locally referred to by everyone as "cedar." Hmmmm...

Marina September 27, 2007

I did not just read this. darn, they sound great!

Teri September 27, 2007

Can a nose salivate? If so, mine definitely is in anticipation of these two incense frags. I adore incense, the smokier and more mysterious the better. And I adore Andy and send prayers and warm thoughts his way to support him in his time of loss. My son teases me about my incense jones - calls me his 'goth mom'. I tell him it's more 'Catholic school girl mom'. I still remember the Sisters speaking in ardent whispers as we filed into the church on high holy days. As the priest walked down the center aisle, swinging the censer, you really felt a part of the grand mysteries of the Church.

Jennifer September 27, 2007

I believe "green with envy" is the proper description of me right now.

donanicola September 27, 2007

I've sent my prayer and will keep him in my thoughts even though all I really know of him are his wonderful scented creations. It took me a while but I finally fell for Orris over the weekend. Well at least I have a sample. My other favourite of his is Lonestar followed by the Maroc one which isn't for elle. Unfortunately there was a piney something in RdJ which didn't agree with me but as I love incense and dark rose scents I have a feeling I'll feel like I'm in heaven when I sniff these. How lovely to have them to look forward to in the dark days of January.

Christine September 27, 2007

Poor Andy. I'll keep him in my thoughts. In other news, would you believe I've never sniffed not one of his creations although honestly there hasn't been one that didn't sound appealing. I really need to hit the lotto so I can start sampling everything I would like.

GalileosDaughter September 27, 2007

The Incense Rose sounds absolutely magical. Orris was, so to hear that the Incense contains even a slight resemblance to it is so exciting! I've been following these on his blog and can't wait until they are released. On his blog a few days ago, he mentioned champagne, and I thought," if there is one person who can truly capture champagne, it would be Andy Tauer." Continuing to send prayers to Andy.

Nina September 27, 2007

March, all those mentions of Orris are making me weak at the knees. I love Andy's complex, powerful scents...and Orris is a masterpiece. Perhaps, for once, I will love a rose scent... Andy's Mum must have been very proud of him; I include her in my prayers.

Kelley September 27, 2007

March, excellent reviews. I wasn't crazy about Orris but I am very much looking forward to these. My skin destroys rose and orris notes almost instantly. However, incense is another story. Wearing frankincense will be as close to church as I will get (being the biggest heathen around).

Judith September 27, 2007

Oh, these sound wonderful! I am turning a bright shade of green in envy! I can't WAIT until they are released (especially the Rose, both because of your review, and b/c I'm a dark rose addict to begin with). Sympathy, love, and prayers to Andy.

chayaruchama September 27, 2007

I look forward to these two- particularly, the Incense Rose. I think Andy is feeling 'buffeted' by all our support- In the end, however, grief is such a private and powerful thing. May he heal.

Louise September 27, 2007

Thanks for a lovely review, March. I can't wait to get my paws wrapped around both fragrances-and since I am suddenly now drawn to rose, hoping the Rose one works on me. I have been wearing le Maroc pour Elle a great deal lately. My heart goes out to Andy. It is such a painful time losing a parent, in some measure made a little easier if the relationship was rich and happy. Perhaps the memories of the time together are just that much sweeter and comforting. That is what I wish for Andy-and for him to receive all the love sent his way.

Maria September 27, 2007

March, Incense Rose is perfect. It's the one my DH and I fell madly for. Extreme is beautiful too, and I'll wear it and admire it. But the one I'd do something extreme for is the Rose. I felt so much for Andy and did say several prayers--one of thanks to his mother for giving us Andy. And thank you, March, for giving him the idea to create a perfume with frankincense.

Lee September 27, 2007

Like you all, I felt for Andy and didn't email him. He's a special man. Now, me and incense. I've smelled a version of one of these (I think..) and loved it, though personally the only incense I can wear is Encens et Lavande... The others seem to suffocate me, for some reason (no comments about sin, thanks very much). What do you think that's all about?:-?

Flora September 27, 2007

I am thinking of Andy, of course. I hope he takes some comfort in knowing how many people care about him at this time. I am almost afraid to even think of these two being released - especially the Incense Rose'(though the other is just s good I am sure). Your description makes me want to curl up in the the fetal position with a bottle of this stuff and not let anyone else touch the precioussss. MINE, all mine! I must HAFF EET!

Gina September 27, 2007

I'm in heaven. The two last blogs written were about two of my favorite perfumers in the world, Sheldrake for Lutens, and the amazingly talented Andy Tauer. I buy everything Andy makes, I love them all. I'm SO excited about these two, incense perfumes being my favorite. Thank you so much for reviewing them! I'm drooling!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to January. I'm really not a "pray-er" either...I looked up the gorgeous clear blue sky the day I read about his mom and felt sadness for Andy. Losing your mom is beyond words. I wished him peace during his grieving.

Tigs / Erin September 27, 2007

These sound just thrilling. Andy's releases are the scents I most look forward to, and now I'll be in an agony until January. I do not pray, exactly, but I appreciate and I appreciate hard. Since I learned of Andy's mom's passing, I have thanked her a number of times for Andy.

tmp00 September 27, 2007

I am so jealous I could pee! :(( I did read about Andy's loss, and true to his wishes i did not email him. I did say a prayer in my fashion, and it pleasures me to think that he had so many wonderful years with her and she was witness to his acheivments. I'm sure she was terribly proud.