I lost my job (well, was made redundant) during the 2008/09 financial crisis and socked some of my redundancy payment into starting an online niche perfume shop. It lasted for six years. The key brand unpinning it lasting that long was Tauer Perfumes. I still marvel at Andy Tauer having that kind of faith in me given I was a complete non-entity in the perfume world. There are a number of things I’m proud of, one of which is basically having launched Tauer in the UK (my titchy online shop even made it into a holiday perfume list in the Financial Times).
I can still recall the first time I sampled l’Air du Desert Marocain and how blown away I was, which sort of gave me the oomph to write him about stocking his fragrances way back when.
So, given that and in any case, I was quite excited to read about Sundowner. Got my sample and sprayed right away – potentially having forgotten I might have sprayed on Byredo Mumbai Noise earlier (a bit on that below).
So, had to have another initial go the next day when I knew my skin was ‘clean’.
Per Andy Tauer’s website, “Surrender to the darkness of the night with a boozy cocktail and good dose of velvety smoky happiness with the last sun on your cheeks”. Personally, I think this juice is somewhat darker than these words imply.
Notes for Sundowner include tobacco, cocoa, patchouli, rose, orange peel, bergamot, cinnamon, cypriol, sandalwood, tonka, ambergris and vanilla. I am sure I can smell some rum but that may be the tobacco and the cocoa dancing together.
This starts out so dry I was a bit taken aback. It was astringent initially and I wasn’t sure that was going to work for me. But it warmed up and … ummmm … that rum which isn’t in the notes list and maybe is tobacco, cocoa, vanilla and tonka. Maybe this is the smell of tobacco leaves drying in the sun (I’ve never smelled that).
And then there is something sour in this – maybe the patchouli – but it’s not a ‘bad’ sour. A hay-like aspect maybe that sometimes comes with tobacco. The top of this is not remotely sweet in the way that l’Air can be. Is there some incense in there? Maybe not.
As it opens the sour aspect dissipates and the tobacco becomes more tobacco than hay, with maybe some orange peel and the cinnamon really starts to be apparent. After a bit longer I was reminded of the clove-stuck-oranges my son made in primary school at Christmas time which get muskier (and better) as they age.
I get that creosote note of Lonestar Memories which is wonderful.
Anyway, this dries down to tobacco, creosote, orange peel and cinnamon. To me, that sounds good and actually it is so much better than good. It’s still not sweet. It feels rough. No suede, no cashmere here. Something grungier and wilder.
This is Andy Tauer walking the line between beautiful and weird, which is where his best work sits.
A word on the bottle. Tauer bottles have that beautiful idiosyncratic shape and a wonderful heft. However, for me, the jury is out on the graphic design for this.
Further, Sundowner is sort of an odd name. To me, it refers to a cocktail had at sundown. In other reviews I’ve read, people seem to find a sadder meaning, relating to end of life. In neither case does it seem to fit with the fragrance. I have always felt that LDDM fit so well with the perfume it’s a bit odd that the name in this case doesn’t quite live up to the juice. Would that keep me from buying it? Of course not.
But will I be buying this in the short term? Really, I don’t know. I can’t think straight during the holiday season and anyway in the past six months I’ve said I wanted to buy something so many times it’s gotten sort of pointless. I’m thinking I’ll look at what I ‘really’ want to add to my collection in a couple of months, when the haze of turkey, sugar and over-hype has dissipated. I’ve got a significant birthday coming up – surely, it will need a bottle of perfume.
Just a note on the Byredo (def have a look at Patty’s full review of this http://perfumeposse.com/2021/10/19/byredo-mumbai-noise-review/).
I wanted to love Mumbai Noise for the reasons I do love Sundowner: beautiful weirdness. But, on me, MN doesn’t quite work. It seems to lack cohesion, I guess, and is so dry it gets a bit hard to take. Still, I think it is wonderfully interesting and we definitely don’t get enough ‘wonderfully interesting’ in perfumery today.
So, have you tried Sundowner? If yes, what did you think? And what about vs Mumbai Noise?