The following post was written by regular reader, commenter and perfume lover extraordinaire Tara from London. I am delighted she agreed to share her experiences with the coveted new Tauer collection with us and I hope she will agree to write for Olfactoria’s Travels from time to time. Welcome Tara and thank you for this wonderful post!
I was lucky enough to win a prize on Andy Tauer’s blog recently, which included 3 samples of the upcoming collection from Tauer Perfumes. The Pentachords (five chords) Collection consists of three fragrances, each of which contains five notes and each note is a single synthetic molecule. You might think these compositions could be pretty basic affairs but remember they are in the hands of the renowned indie perfumer, Andy Tauer.
Tauer’s creative concept and challenge to himself was to reduce perfume down to just a few ingredients of the highest quality. In doing so, he proves that synthetics in perfumery definitely do not have to mean cheap, and that more ingredients do not necessarily make for a better end product. Less only means more in this case. The names, Verdant, White and Auburn perfectly represent their scents as well as the Collection’s simplicity.
Notes: dewy leaves, suave leather, brown tobacco, sweet earth and vibrant amber
Somehow this combination of notes manages to conjure up an entire forest of ivy, resonating lushness and fecundity. Now, you are not walking by a forest, or sniffing ivy on the breeze, you are standing in the midst of dense, green vines, rays of sunlight are glinting through the canopy and the scent of damp soil is rising from beneath your feet. The depth and pungency of Verdant is quite astounding. It is entirely natural smelling, as are all three fragrances despite their synthetic nature. This could well be the green to end them all.
Notes: violet blossom, orris root, bourbon vanilla, amber gris and warm woods.
White is nuzzle-your-own-wrist yummy and I think it may prove to be the most popular of the trio. Though be assured there are no freeloaders here! The violet flower and orris root are most prominent early on and are so beautiful they make me swoon. The soft base of vanilla, amber gris and warm woods adds a fair amount of sweetness and some powder. It evokes the dreamy feeling of sipping milky hot chocolate in the snow.
Notes: citrus blossom, warm cinnamon, fruity tobacco, dry amber and creamy sandalwood
I‘ll admit, I am not generally a fan of cinnamon notes in perfume but Auburn changes all that – and how!. This is not the nose-tickling, harshly spicy cinnamon that makes me want to back off (and sneeze). This is the softest, most welcoming cinnamon ever and manages to be both fresh and warm at the same time. The orange citrus cuts through the sweetness and the supporting notes are rather dry, so this does not remind me of the bakery, but it is comforting none the less. Auburn is a strikingly original fruity cinnamon and Andy himself says it makes “a statement” which it certainly does.
There is not a lot of evolution with any of the three, which is to be expected when there are just five ingredients but, the emphasis does shift somewhat between notes over time. Longevity is extremely good and sillage is enough to get you compliments (and I have) but not enough to overwhelm.
What I like about this minimalist Pentachords Collection is that it showcases Tauer’s artistry and the outstanding results you can get from top-notch synthetics. With so few ingredients, there’s nowhere to hide. I am very hopeful that there will be further additions to the Collection at a later date. Andy says he has five “in his books” but chose to release the three most diverse. After experiencing the quality of these three, I am keeping my fingers crossed.
The Pentachords come in 50ml and are exclusive to Rome’s Campomarzio 70 until mid September when they will become available from the Tauer website and retail stockists.