Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tauer Perfumes Rêverie au Jardin

Please find buying information as well as a short bio of Andy and a run-down of his line here.

If it seems I have been ignoring my blog this last week, it is not only because our little family is moving this Saturday. It is also because I find myself having a great deal of trouble reviewing Andy Tauer's new scent, Rêverie au Jardin. Launched this month, the fragrance contains: high altitude French lavender, galbanum, fir balm absolute, bergamot, Bulgarian rose, frankincense, ambrette seed, orris, vetiver, tonka, oakmoss, vanilla, ambergris, sandalwood and cedar.

Well, this is just a puzzler. I should love it. It's beautiful - another seamless piece of art by Andy. But it is profoundly 'Not Me' and I do not understand why. It is very similar to my beloved Nicolaï Pour Homme and indeed remedies some of the things I find difficult about that fragrance: the clanging, jumbled topnotes, the sweaty fruit moments, the mediocre lasting power. Rêverie is initially fresher and more herbaceous, and yet ends up being very grounded overall. I am tempted to blame my problem on what Andy calls "tangy galbanum", as it's a note I always find difficult, and I do find the opening moments rather too tangy for me. I think, however, that the pine is a nice balance here and what really makes the fragrance wrong for me is the solidness of the base.

I find that many of my favourite perfumes have a bright transparency of the topnotes (citrus, neroli, green notes, lemony spices and sharp, almost chemical smells) laid over a creamy base ("waxy" florals, sandalwood, gourmand notes like rice or chocolate, lactones, musks, oakmoss, smoother woods and the softest leather notes). Even if they are very dry (not sweet) or airy/smoky, there is a soft richness to them. Rêverie has too mineral and solemn a base to work this way. I admire the austerity of it, the frankincense, vetiver and woods giving off the feeling of chilled stone, as in a church - but I am unable to see myself wearing it often, because the texture doesn't work for me. Despite the name's reference to gardens, I do not get living plants or green landscapes from the perfume. Rather, if I get any "outdoor" sense of it at all, I visualize the scent as Andy writes: "twinkling like a star". All this to say it is a wonderful scent that I will leave to the numerous Andy fans who will appreciate it in the way it deserves. The lasting power is fabulous, by the way, but the fragrance remains closer to the skin than Andy's other scents.


At 3:23 a.m., Anonymous Kathy said...

Hi Erin,

I agree completely. I think that it is a beautiful fragrance, but there is something in it that makes me feel unsettled. Andy has created a wonderful lavender fragrance that makes me feel dreamy until a jarring note comes through on me. I miss having a warm base too to round things off for me. I will give it a few more tries, but I'm not sure that I will wear this one too often.

At 6:14 a.m., Blogger chayaruchama said...

Believe it or not, this is quite modified from the original mod...

I think that part of the difficulty [Jesus, here I go again !]lies in two areas :

1)the difficulty in reining in the galbanum and fir absolute; they are extremely forceful components.

2)the fact that Mysore sandalwood is now verboten !

I am the world's worst nag here, and I know that it's not ecologically nice-
BUT Mysore has a whole round, soft, squooshy feel to it that makes everything softer, and better.
Rosewood, too, alas.

The top notes have been lifted considerably-and the base softened- but I might have preferred a bit more of each.

Is this your impression, too ?

At 10:31 a.m., Blogger Erin said...

Kathy: Thanks for agreeing - I'm glad that it works so fabulously for others, but I was beginning to wonder if I was going crazy! "Unsettled" is exactly how I feel, even though I can objectively see that it is a beautifully crafted fragrance. Like you, I do not think that the problem is the lavender - a note I love - and I enjoy the expansive, dreamy quality of the opening pine/lavender combo.

At 10:40 a.m., Blogger Erin said...

chaya: Great info! Yes, I suspected that there were some significant modifications, because I remember either Patty or March mentioning very herbaceous lavender along sunbaked dirt roads, whereas this seems to be more a top-of-Everest fragrance. My opinion on galbanum being well-documented by this point (I need it to be *very* reined in), I will speak to the sandalwood/base issue: well, perhaps I won't, as you've captured my feelings very well in your own comment. That round, soft, rich feeling is what I was looking for, a freshness fading to warmth. Alas, I love rosewood, too.

At 8:04 p.m., Blogger marchlion said...

How fascinating! I haven't said a word on PP blog, and this is why ... I love Andy, I do. I've loved all his scents but this one. I got a mod of this several months ago and liked it very much; it was a summery lavender on a shady lane, if that makes sense, and I don't even like lavender that much, but it was gorgeous. The final version smells, well, sort of pine-sol-ish on me. (I agree with Chaya). I feel like I'm being strangled by a fir tree or something. So, if you'd like company in your unsettled-ness, here I am. Oh, look! Reading down further in your comments -- you remember correctly. This is much different, and I'm sure some will like it better (it's more assertive) but I miss the airiness of the first mod, which resembled Orris somewhat in feel (although not at all in scent.)


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