Eau d'Épices is an interesting study in how to make a non-typical "oriental" or "woody" spice which would float rather than sink. Does it succeed? You'll be the judge as this month sees the reissue of Eau d'Épices. Eau d'Épices has been in the works since at least 2007, you see, when the first samples were given to a coterie of Tauer fans. The official launch happened in 2010 and then the scent was discontinued, to be reissued now.
Those who remember the soap Mandarins Ambrés that Tauer issued during the countdown to Christmas will recall the chord of labdanum-laced tartness that remained on the skin for a long time. The cleverness lies in that this classically oriental chord is buttressed in the fragrance Eau d'Épices by an allusion to soap which brings us full circle to the creative process chez Tauer: the core of this "spice water" is made of orange blossom absolute which via its cleaner facets and the indirect use of orange blossom (as well as its greener, fresher analogue, neroli) in time-honored Eaux de Cologne brings to mind the sense of freshness and purity via association.
Tauer loves his orange blossom (and if you're following his line you know that) and this is a natural essence he obtains alongside the Egyptian jasmine material he uses. Some tart notes emerge in the evaporation, a feeling of bitter-fresh grapefruit (not listed) or something like lemony verbena or lemongrass (also non listed), but the overall feeling of this core is buttery to me and this increases as the fragrance prolongs its visit.
But that is not all. There are two other dominant forces in Eau d'Épices.
One is the evident one: the "indian basket of spices" as Andy puts it —which would make phobics of impolite bodily smells scour the list for cumin, the essence which is routinely blamed for a sweat and body odor note; let me here take the opportunity to clear this fear, this perfume won't produce questions about your state of cleanliness. It is a full on spice-fest at the start (lots of IFRA-defiant cinnamon, orange blossom complementing coriander, clove and clove), but that evolves very soon and I can see how the expectation of a typical spicy oriental would let fans of the genre conditioned to expect Caron's Poivre or Coco by Chanel somewhat down. Eau d'Épices, aka "Spice Water," doesn't distance itself from the tradition of "cologne," something meant to be splashed to impart a sense of exhilaration but done in a new way, a way of spices instead of herbs.
The other undercurrent (and it is a very prominent one) is the incense-y chord that Tauer loves so much. It's an interlay of resinous-smelling/amber notes of which ambreine and ambroxan are constants. Maybe it's the hippyish vibe, maybe it's the traveling bug, these notes bring on a sense of far away lands, away from our modernized antiseptic environments.
Eau d'Épices: back on the Tauer website. As love it or hate it as spices themselves.