Hey, everyone. I think I’ve caught up on responding to comments and questions therein, particularly on the attars. Also here’s a tip my friends already know: if you don’t get a response to a question, just bug me again in the comments, they feed into my email inbox. I have a terrible habit of putting off a response because I want to look some detail up for my answer, and then I don’t answer at all. Yes, that’s bad, and please don’t take it personally. Okay, on to the post. — March.
We’re doing something fun and different today! Tauer Perfumes and LuckyScent are giving away two bottles of Andy Tauer’s new scent, Carillon pour un ange, right here on the Posse. So leave a comment below (ONE COMMENT per person, please, I’ll delete others.) and we’ll choose two lucky winners via random.org and I’ll announce them Wednesday. LuckyScent will be shipping the bottles directly to the winners. UPDATE: WINNERS HAVE BEEN SELECTED AND DRAWING IS CLOSED.
In conjunction with this, and I’ll get to the fragrance review in a minute, Andy’s inviting you all and anyone else who wants to participate in an e-book charity project, link here with details. The topic is: “A MOMENT WITH LILY OF THE VALLEY. Anything goes: You write a poem, draw us a picture, or write us a story.” All you LOTV fans, here’s your chance to shine!
You can either email it to them or mail it to them (instructions below and at the bottom of the link). They’ll publish a selection of the submissions in an e-book, with the proceeds donated to charities chosen by a vote on his blog. Direct quote from Andy: “I see an environmental, a human development and a charity devoted to push forward peace as the selection for the vote.” Also, today is coincidentally the fifth anniverary of Andy’s blog, if you want to drop by and say hi and check out the new site design he’s just unveiled.
Important note for eBook: “your submission, whether via email or by mail, must be original and must not contain any copyrighted material. Please do not copy any content from other sources such as pictures from websites. You must grant us the rights to publish and confirm the originality of your work. You do so by sending these sentences together with your work:
I confirm that I have full copyright on my contribution. It is my original work and not copyright protected anywhere. I agree to pass on my copyrights on the contribution to Tauer and Luckyscent for later publication of my contribution in print, ebook, or both. Tauer and Luckyscent may publish my NAME and my WEBSITE together with my contribution in print, ebook or both and for communicating on my contribution. Tauer and Luckyscent may use my e-mail and personal information to contact me about my contribution and its publication.”
Include YOUR NAME for publication and YOUR WEBSITE for publication (if applicable.) Send by e-mail to [email protected] dot com or by regular mail to : TAUER GmbH, Re: LOV, Limmattalstrasse 63, 8049 Zurich, Switzerland.
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Alrighty, then. On to the perfume: LuckyScent quotes Andy as describing Carillon pour un ange as “a green choir of flowers.” Notes listed are rose, ylang, lilac, lily of the valley, jasmine, leather, ambergris, moss, woods. Andy also says on Lucky: “smelling lily of the valley is always a joy for me. I love the idea that you cannot buy a natural concentrate of lily of the valley, that the flowers resist to any large scale concentration of their fragrant soul.”
I, on the other hand, as some of you already know, am not the Queen o’ Muguet. I am the person to whom a friend offered some vintage Diorissimo recently – a generous decant. For free. And I tried it one more time and said … no, thanks. Because it’s wasted on me. It should go to someone who loves it, yes? Someone who will appreciate it. Part of my particular problem is that I’m scarred by the ubiquity (at least in the past, before laundry-musk took over the world) of lily-of-the-valley-scented household items, bath soaps and candles and linen sprays and what have you – a green-sour-soapy miasma I associate more with the dreaded Aisle of Glade in our Safeway than with the actual, dollhouse-scaled flower. I think many of us can point to the same issue with rose and hyacinth. If you’re traumatized by enough “spring bouquet” bathroom sprays scents, those notes will haunt you forever.
But Carillon doesn’t go anywhere near the Aisle of Glade. The top notes on my skin, or a squirt of the scent in the air, yields his choir of flowers – a spring green and a hazy purple that I’d have guessed was galbanum, muguet, hyacinth and something bright and grassy but not rooty at all. For those lucky few who tried it, I detect (and Andy confirmed) a faint echo of Hyacinth and the Mechanic, his experimental mod. There’s something sweet and earnest and genuine about it. I close my eyes and it’s as if I’m holding a bouquet of flowers, freshly picked, with bits of crushed grass in there, pressed against palm of my hand.
Then there’s the base. Shall we talk about the base? Andy told me the base is “rich in ambergris, then there is a bit of vetiverol (woody, vetiver like note without the dirty earthiness), some oakmoss fitting with EU regulators, a hint of a sandalwood note to fix things, and a fine styrax line that again fixes things, adds a hint of leather, sets an accent…” It’s not the civetty skank of Diorissimo, but it is mossy for sure, lightly woody and resiny, balancing an intense liquid-ambery sweetness that I’m assuming is the result of a honking dose of ambergris. It is also (sillage monster alert) intensely powerful. I set my smallish, capped spray sample down on the kitchen counter at one point, came back later, and realized I could smell it from several feet away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I don’t find Tauer scents to be timid, tenuous things in general; even by those standards it’s strong stuff. A light spritz is just right, and I wouldn’t want to overspray.
I turned Andy’s question on himself: do you have any thoughts or associations about lily of the valley that you’d like to share with us?
His answer: “When you say lily of the valley to me, I can see a green natural scent forming in my head. It is there, in me, imprinted in my scent memory after sniffing on thousands of little white bells. I simply cannot pass by a lily of the valley without bending and sniffing. The scent is so much more and larger than the tiny little flower would make you think. Contrary to jasmine or orange blossom, where little flowers surprise by their powerful fragrance that sends you into fecal territory, there is a purity going with it lily of the valley. It is a clean scent, contrasting to the rich forest soil where it blooms: In the climate of my home village it blooms in May. There where it thrives in May, the soil is damp, covered with moss and soaked with the fragrance of fungus breaking down the beech leaves of last year, the vibrant incense and ambra of fir brushwood in the spring sun. For me, lily of the valley is spring, and spring’s explosion of fragrances and colors after winter’s suffocating icy grip.
Lily of the valley is my mother, wearing Diorissimo. Lily of the valley is my partner (the W.-factor on my blog), testing my fragrances since years, and passionately discovering lily of the valley over and over again.”
So there you have it. Andy says he’s “clueless” regarding his creations, but reading his email, I think I’ve sorted it out. Carillon pour un ange is a handwritten mash note, a valentine delivered in July, when you’re not expecting it, when the heat makes everything a bit interesting. Not that there’s any wrong season for love.
my sample: courtesy of LuckyScent