When I was testing Une rose chyprée for the first time, I was eating creamy Greek yoghurt sprinkled with shredded Valhrona 72% dark chocolate on top (an indulgence of my own imagining, highly recommended btw) and releafing through A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals by Spiro Kostof.
The first impression as the drops of scent hit my skin was that I was actually tasting a bright mandarin-jam-filled chocolate nugget~a fun and intriguing experience which I would suggest you try at some point! Subsequent testing confirmed that the bright halo of clementine (and some linalyl acetate?) which was so unexpected and so deliriously juicy in Incense Rosé as well as in Mandarins Ambrées (the homemade soap Andy makes for the holidays) is making its appearence again. In the memorable words of Luca Turin on the former "The combination of rose, cardamom, and mandarin is so warm, so welcoming, you feel as if you’ve just heard a piece of good news you cannot quite remember."
Same goes for the affectionately called "Tauerade", a chord comprised of orris root/irone alpha and woody ambergris, which seems to weave through his work, the signature trait of an artist who has his own distinct style. That style has been loved by many fragrance aficionados starting with his masterful L'air du desert marocain and has progressed into a genuine cult, catapulting Tauer into the pantheon of independent perfumers worth of intently watching today.
But where is the rose?, you might be asking. The rose is there, but forget everything you have ever heard about your grandma's sour flower water, the toilet refresher that has you pinch your nose with its citral and geraniol intensity and the dusty pot-pourri that has been sitting on the mantelpiece begging for mercy into being thrown in the dust-bin already! None of those impressions is here and may I say it loud: "Thank God!". The diffuculty of working with rose is exactly the cultural associations with hygiene products that smell like sour wine and mouldy, crumbled pot-pouri bought by people who randomly heard about home fragrancing circa the early 1980s. Very few compositions get away with smelling like rose yet avoiding the miasma of the above, either by accenting the powdery violet ionones aspects ~such as Paris by Yves Saint Laurent and Creed's Fleurs de Thé Rose Bulgare~ or highlighting the jamminess of the fruitier facets of rose ~like in Liaisons Dangereuses by Kilian. Alternatively they can go the more covert chypre way, resulting in Cabaret (Grès), Aromatics Elixir (Clinique), Rose de Nuit (Serge Lutens), Diabolo Rose and Un Zéphir de Rose (parfums de Rosine). Andy has successfully solved the problem of working with rose and none of his fragrances evoke unpleasant images; only opulence.
The chypre accord of Une rose chyprée is built around oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum, and bergamot, while Tauer also uses treemoss in a balanced ratio resulting in a composition that is obviously chypre. The clearly perceptible vanillic undercurrent with a drop of Tolu balsam on the other hand gives an oriental nod, providing a soft, thick, envelopping mantle fitting both genders in its velvety embrace. A lightly "clean" effect is surfacing along with gentle spiciness like clothes clean, starched and pressed with a hot iron, a nod to his Vetiver Dance and the unreleased Eau d’épices. I asked Andy about the interesting effect, thinking that it could be the Lilial (which is very obvious in Vetiver Dance), but he told me that it might be the Givaudan aroma-chemical Okoumal, also present in some detergents: "It adds a vibrant undertone and is extremely lifting, especially to otherwise dark and stuffy woody resins".
The overall feeling of the fragrance is of a "thick" scent although it doesn't become stuffy. The lasting power is way beyond average, the fragrance stayed vibrant on my skin for a good 8 hours.
According to Andy Tauer
"Une rose chyprée is an oriental rose on a chypre base. It is built around two natural extracts from rosa damascena, the absolute and the steam distilled essential oil. Its heart is lifted by spices (Bay and cinnamon) and a fresh accord built around bergamot, lemon and clementine. Green Bourbon geranium oil lets the rose petals shine and contrasts with the dark resinous accord in the base, built around labdanum, oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver and vanilla".
Une rose chyprée is the first scent of a series of things to come, namely the special line Tauer Perfumes "mémorables" (please note it's Tauer Perfumes and mémorables; not "perfumes mémorables" which would mix the two languages!). The aim is to present small size fragrances (0.5oz/15ml) like a sweet praline to be savoured. All of them will either be eau de parfum or parfum concentration (Une Rose Chyprée comes as an eau de parfum), none of them limited editions. The funny little bottles, resembling nail treatments, are practical and come packaged and tied with deep yellow ribbon, finished entirely by hand. I like Tauer's philosophy by which he doesn't put the emphasis on the outside or the details of fancy names and such but on the inside; namely the juice!
Andy had been working on this scent for a year and you can read his thoughts and problematics following his blog. Une rose chyprée will launch officially on July 1st, available through Tauer Perfumes (price 65 CHF and 20CHF shipping worldwide), Aedes, First in Fragrance and Luckyscent.
I have two samples to send to two lucky readers. State your interest in the comments!
In the interests of disclosure I was sent the small 15ml bottle by Tauer himself this time. If my previous dedication is any indication, you know my tastes have not been swayed.
Photo of Yoghurt and Valhrona Shreds © by Perfumeshrine. Kirsten Dunst from Miu Miu 08 via IamFashion.blogspot.com Bottle via Tauer.