“Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh
Another lonely day, with no one here but me, oh
More loneliness than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh”
By The Police, “Message in a bottle” (1979 Regatta de Blanc album)
(uploaded by 0belus0)
Swiss based niche perfumer and official Hall-of-Fame-sweet-person Andy Tauer had a brilliant idea: sending a mod of his new scent over to his fans all over the world, one sending the bottle to another, trying it out and leaving feedback on how it impressed them. A fun concept that takes us back to the core of all art: to communicate emotions, ideas and thoughts that are starting to take shape through a continuous intemingling of creative minds. Tauer is an interesting personality, as we have come to personally attest through this interview some time ago.
The bottle began its journey a few months ago from Boston, which was its first stop and like precious contraband it travelled hand to hand to various destinations. G was considerate and kind enough to think of me, sending this over on its journey. And from my hands it will also go to another perfume lover.
But what is this scent? According to Andy himself: Hyacinth and a Mechanic is "a floral scent, a bouquet of powdery lilacs, green hyacinths and gentle lily of the valley. A bouquet of May flowers, in the hand of a mechanic with an undertone of oily skin."
To me it was reminiscent of the Tauer style and yet not quite. There is the intense greeness of the beginning that reminds me of the stunning bite of galbanum in the vintage Vent Vert. In a way this is the feeling I got while reviewing Rêverie au Jardin, Andy’s lavender scent: the bracing opening, giving way to calmer proceedings. But where Rêverie melts into a cosy, musky powdery embrace, Hyacinth and a Mechanic remains intensely green with a higher pitch, a clean soprano note that sings sharply and crystal-like of spring flowers suspended into a chilled snowball, cascading white flakes. Contrary to his ambery, dry L’air du desert marocain and musky soft Rêverie au Jardin, which both exude a very earthy, grounded aroma, I seem to perceive more aromachemicals in this one that account for a more abstract and linear approach. I do not smell hyacinths from the flowershop, neither was this the intention, I believe. There is rather the impression of green flowers that have been growing on a flower bed that has been trambled on under a heavy boot.
Notably, flower notes in masculine perfumes have been a new direction recently, what with Dior Homme and its iris rooty accord, Dior’s Fahrenheit 32 and Fleur du Mâle by Jean Paul Gaultier. However, those remain into the realm of the unchallenging: although most men would be a little surprised not to find the classic wood or citrus notes they are conditioned to believe constitute the typical XY smell, they still retain the well-worn slipper familiarity. Tauer’s creation is definitely niche and proud of it.
The second element that became etched into my mind is that somewhere in the middle of this there are ionones, echoing violet leaves and spicy blooms; a sweetish coquettish note that you wouldn’t expect in a butch fragrance such as the name suggests. But then this is no butch scent. The mechanic in question is not rough, callused, smeared with black grease from manupulating the insides of a car. He is rather presentable and his jeans are worn, but not tattered nor grimmy, although there is the uncertain whiff of some honeyed, slightly urinous aroma wafting from afar: his leather gloves, his huge belt holding all the tools of his craft. The leather part seems pungent for a very short while, but not as potent as in his Lonestar Memories.
Last there is the surprising resiny base of someone sensual and rather spiritual behind the manual labour, a characteristic that never escapes Andy Tauer in his fragrant endeavours and is probably a reflection of his own sensibilities.
The staying power is excellent, sustaining the slightly oily residue on skin till the next day.
Hyacinth and a Mechanic is not in production, although I hope it will be someday. You have to wait for it to land on your shores, bearing its fragrant messages.
In the words of the Police:
“Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home”.
Read how this all begun on Andy's site. You can read two other takes here and there.
Stay tuned for another post tomorrow and a recapitulation of the year on Friday 28th on my own terms.
Oh, and don't forget to vote on the poll at the upper right hand corner!