I always feel like cheering when I see perfumers innovate, experiment, challenge themselves, or do anything that’s “out of the box.” So when I heard about Andy Tauer’s Pentachords — three fragrances, each containing five notes and each note a single molecule — I thought, “How cool is that?” But somehow life got in the way, as it often does, and I never got around to sampling.
So recently when I was offered the opportunity to try them, I jumped at the chance, as odds were that I’d end up loving at least one. Anyway, here are my impressions of each; as always, your mileage may vary.
Verdant strikes me as sharing a similar orbit with Ormonde Jayne Woman — in spirit, not actual chemistry. This Pentachord is not your bright, sunny “Sound of Music” meadow kind of green, but more of a darkly lush forest primeval, I’d say. Like something out of a fairy tale, with a hint of danger lurking just beyond the surface beauty. At first spray, its intense chord of leaves and earth arrives with a slight underpinning of mint, at least on my skin, although not sure where that’s coming from. Perhaps it’s part of its forest floor aura — a carpet of moist, dark soil and moss-covered stones, or maybe one of the rich, vegetal scents you might find deep in a garden. The dark green then softens and yields to the leather, amber and tobacco, which round out the scent nicely and add subtle nuances. If Mother Nature wore a fragrance, this easily could be it.
As Patty noted a while back, White does indeed have a cashmere-like feel to it. In the opening, I barely get any orris as my oddball skin seems to amp the violet intensely. But after a bit, the vanilla, ambergris and wood come into their own and smooth the composition into a creamy, almost powdery softness. This is a dreamy, wrap-yourself-up-in-it scent that’s a bit cuddly, comforting, but not cloying. Sounds especially appealing on a chilly day (or night).
Last but not least is Auburn. Upon first whiff, what should pop into my head but L’Artisan’s Nuit de Tubereuse. No, they don’t smell alike, but both struck me as having that moment when your eyes open wide as you encounter something totally unexpected. Auburn’s bright citrus tinged with cinnamon is tantalizing and mouth-watering without veering into gourmand territory, no easy feat. This cinnamon is not the bold blast of Red Hots candy, but softer and more muted, mature even. Perhaps not immediately recognizable as the spice if you didn’t know that’s what it was or hadn’t seen the notes. The original burst softens as the tobacco, amber and sandalwood come into play; they tone down the “shine” from the opening but still allow it to linger softly throughout. From there it cruises into a long-lasting warm radiance that I can only call “scrumptious” as I sniff my wrist repeatedly. I could definitely see myself wearing this happily, if, as they say, a bottle fell from the sky and into my lap.
I’m going to share samples of these with one lucky commenter. To enter, tell me what’s your favorite Tauer, or if you don’t have one yet, what sounds like it would be the one for you?