The only thing that makes me happier than a surprise package from Andy Tauer with a sample of his new scent is a surprise package with two new scents. So today we’re having a Tauerfest, because he sent me their five-sample set. Look at that image at left, it’s adorable, no? People can order any five samples, they come in a little metal box, here’s a link to the page on his website. I’m reviewing the two new ones, Eau d’Epices and Une Rose Vermeille, with some random Tauer-perfume asides.
First up, the new Eau d’Epices, with notes that made my heart go pittypat the first time I saw them in Patty’s post. Here, I’ll crib from the website: “Head notes: An Indian basket of spices with cinnamon, cardamom, clove and coriander with red mandarines. Heart notes: An opulent heart of orange blossom, jasmine, orris root and incense. Body notes: A woody cistus ladaniferus resin, softened with ambergris, tonka beans and vetiver.”
In general, Andy’s scents have a lot of presence; they are not shy little things. L’Air du Désert Marocain? Lonestar Memories? Orris? Rose Chyprée? If you spray them on unsniffed I hope you love them, because otherwise you are going.to.die. Before sniffing, I’d placed Eau d’Epices in my mind near Desert Marocain – it’s got a similar spicy/resin-y thing going on in the notes list. However, the spices in Epices, at least on my skin, are sheer and subtle. The fragrance starts out sweet and citrusy, with lots of juicy mandarin, and just a touch of spices, very well-blended. At this point it seems almost closer to Orange Star than to Marocain. The orange blossom and jasmine add to the scent’s rich, waxy sweetness. The flowers fade and then the fragrance shifts toward the incense and resins, and the vetiver, like the orange blossom and jasmine, is clean rather than indolic. There’s a hint of the orris from his Orris scent, and that ambergris base of Andy’s, and that’s essentially the story.
Epices was a fragrance that didn’t wow me at first, mostly due to its quiet opening. There’s something seamless and rounded about the fragrance, although it’s not exactly unobtrusive. Like most Tauers it lasts forever on me, and the soft woody/spicy/incense drydown lingered for days on a sweater. My 14-year-old (who isn’t wild about a lot of my perfume) told me twice how very much she liked it, probably to encourage me to wear it more often. Over the course of five days, two other people also mentioned how pretty they thought it was – and, given that I was wearing a single spray on all those occasions, you can draw your own conclusions about its sillage. The drydown falls between the cool incense/earthiness of Marocain and the warm, sweet woodiness of Donna Karan Chaos. If you can get yourself past the fact that Eau d’Epices not going to perform any wild gymnastic gyrations before becoming the perfect comfort scent, it’s worth checking out. I’m looking forward to wearing it in our cooler weather.
Tauer’s Une Rose Vermeille manages a miracle a third time – a rose fragrance that I, not much of a rose-lover, can embrace. (His earlier scents, Une Rose Chyprée and Incense Rosé, manage to fold the rose into a chypre and a balsamy-woody incense, respectively.) Notes for Vermeille are: “Head notes: A citrus chord with lemon and bergamot with a whisper of lavender. Heart notes: Sumptuous bouquets of roses and violets, kissed by luscious raspberries. Body notes: The richness of vanilla, sandalwood and tonka beans, touched by the elegance of ambergris.”
And … LOL, Andy Tauer. In Vermeille, he throws the rose under the berry bus. The resulting mash-up is worth slowing down for, so you can do some serious rubbernecking. There is a lot of rose. And yet it’s been macerated and turned into something quasi-edible, like raspberry trifle, heavy on the clouds of vanilla cream and topped with rose-water-scented jam and maybe some orange marmalade – the tartness of the berries and the lemon keep things from getting too sweet. I have long suspected Andy Tauer of possessing a sly sense of humor, and there’s something very playful going on here. Its rose-liquor-fruit-green effect calls to mind a vintage bottle of YSL Paris EDT Also, while wearing Vermeille I got the full backaway (sillage alert!) from a woman in the elevator at Trader Joe’s, an effect you can reproduce with Paris. Two spays of Vermeille was apparently one spray too many, at least on me. Une Rose Vermeille dries down into the spicy/sandalwood/vanilla goodness of something rather like Organza Indecence, one of my all-time favorite comfort scents, only this is the luxe version – a parfum, maybe, and made with better ingredients. (He’s using essential oil from Fiji sandalwood, btw.)
1) Test driving five of these together (I also received Orange Star and Rose Chyprée) reminded me that Andy’s scents often smell great together – not layered necessarily, but if I had a little bit of one of these on my left arm and the other on my right, all combinations were pleasing to the nose. (Wearing Orange Star at the same time as Eau d’Epices was particularly nice.)
2) Orange Star really needs to be sprayed on, so give up right now on dabbing your sample. And man, I wish that astonishing mandarin-clementine opening could go on forever, it’s the juciest, zestiest, most realistic squeeze of orange note I’ve ever smelled in a perfume.
3) I am a big fan of incense and Andy’s esthetic, but I might as well admit: I never really understood all the raves over Marocain. It seemed a little too herbaceous and masculine for me to want to want to wear. Well, this time I got more incense plus this huge, long smoky note in the middle – like a distant bonfire burning in the desert – and promptly fell in love.
4) For those of you who’ve read this far, here’s a reward – Andy’s offered me another giveaway, a bottle of either Eau d’Epices or Rose Vermeille, you don’t need to specify which one you want now, just leave a comment saying you want in, and I’ll use random.org to choose a winner. Drawing is now closed, winner of the draw is Melauriga, hope I spelled that right, I’ll email you. Congratulations.
Sample source: Tauer Perfumes
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