An Inside Look At Independent Perfumery 1st Annual Tigerlily Perfumery Skunk Works Weekend
"I have a mission." Andy Tauer
Andy Tauer is a man on a Mission: To make people smile with exceptional fragrance!
L’Air du Desert Marocain transcends perfumery—it is an experience. Ambergris and spicy cedar shape a smoldering sirocco in the vivid foreground of this heat-haze mirage. Tempting coriander, and darkly divine cumin waft from souks to the kitchen tagine. What enchantments await under a starry Moroccan sky? Tendrils of incense from a nearby mosque shadow-play in haunting silhouette. I’m transported to a twilight Maghreb desert with arid labdanum.
This midnight blue pentagon is the genie in a bottle, making your fragrant dreams come true. With a sleight of hand, he brings you to the world of Paolo Cohelo's _Alchemist_. It is magical.
The perfumer’s mission explores both metaphorically and geographically. Through his oeuvre, Tauer takes us through the deserts of Morocco, Maghreb, Kandahar, and verdant gardens. It’s this expansive imagination that makes Tauer exceed chocolates and time pieces as the best Swiss export. L’Air du Desert Marocain is the definition of niche perfumery to me. And yes, I am smiling.
"Exceptional Beauty." Jeffrey Dame
What defines ‘Exceptional Beauty’? Beauty itself is subjective, and depends on the beholder. To be an exceptional beauty, however, demands Uniqueness. A similar construct underlies modern and postmodern art. The purpose of this movement is to create Art that has never been made before. Each artist conceptualizes the new and heretofore unseen; presenting a cohesive body of work that explores this theme in depth. Simply re-working an existing motif, or repeating an already-done idea, fails to make the mark.
Where contemporaries assembly-line sweet gourmand vanillas, or overuse aroma chemicals like ISO E and ambroxan as default, Dame Perfumery thinks outside the box. What if, vanilla can be refreshing with a citrus burst opening, and also be full-bodied, dark, and exotic? Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is a fresh-spicy presentation without the over use of sugar. The name pays tribute to the Aztec word tlilxóchitl, meaning black flower – a species of climbing orchid native to Veracruz near the Gulf of Mexico. A well-balanced blend of citrus top notes, floral support, musk, patchouli, and tonka elevate Vanilla to its grown-up, seductive best. In the modern perfume world we curate, Black Flower Mexican Vanilla reigns in the permanent collection.
With originality like this, Jeffrey Dame breathes new life into 21st century perfumery. Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is hypnotic decadence, and above all, Exceptional Beauty.
"Exquisite, Whimsical, Botanical Perfumery." Laurie Stern
Our perfume fairytale begins – not with a spray of top notes – but our protagonists, Velvet and Sweet Pea. Two felines, tortured in an animal testing lab. Enter Laurie, our compassionate heroine. She rescues the cats, gives them a home, and turns their lives around. Two kitties return the favor, and give Laurie a new life mission. Using her botanical background, she builds a Purrfumery with a natural-organic focus, and 100% cruelty free ingredients. We present to you, an Exquisite, Whimsical, Botanical Perfumery!
Laurie Stern employs home-grown botanicals to handcraft floral essences with organic jojoba oil for her Kittylicious line, and organic grape and sugar cane alcohol for her eau de parfums and parfums. One whiff of Jewelry of Heaven makes it clear, how much care goes into her craft. These small batch artisanal perfumes are charmingly presented in bottles featuring Velvet & Sweet Pea. Their boutique delights with Victorian sparkle and vintage treasures.
After a citrus opening, layers of Rose make Jewelry of Heaven sparkle. Turkish, Himalayan, and Queen Nefertiti rose tincture dance on the edge of decadence in this glamour puss perfume. A full-bodied rose is made delicately sweet with jasmine grandiflorum and orange preserves. A fanciful homage to 19th century jasmine-rose with a modern fruit twist. Jewelry of Heaven is luxury with a conscience... the real cat’s meow. And you know what the best part is? The fairytale’s a true story, and they lived happily ever after.
"Wildly unique and wearable." Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors
Think fast - you've mixed Strawberry and Vanilla. What do you add next? The obvious choice is floral or amber. Where other houses default to patchouli, Josh Meyer goes for PINE. Not surprisingly, Cape Heartache smells like no other perfume in the world. It's the unexpected pairing that brings out the wildcard, like "Pride & Prejudice and Zombies". Imaginary Authors is unafraid to experiment and take great risks.
Cape Heartache is an immersive experience, surrounding you with an evergreen forest in the Pacific Northwest. Dark shadows form trees in the desolate landscape, under a dense mountain fog. Fir needles snap as you make your way through strawberry shrubs and craggy lichen-covered rocks on the forest floor. Breathe in deeply, and you're rewarded with balsam fir and the smell of crushed berries. You can almost smell the fog covered terrain. Instead of mixing notes to oblivion, the fruit and conifers are astoundingly well articulated. Almost palpable smoky incense makes this scent an indulgence of the great outdoors.
Cape Heartache is a triumph. Modern, violently avant-garde, and effortlessly wearable.
"Old World Discovers New." Ineke
Close your eyes and imagine your halcyon school days, when carefree hours blur afternoons to evenings. For Ineke, this nostalgia returns to a café in Paris, where she lingered for hours over cafe crème and perfume study. One facet of her formal perfume education involved the “old world” of men’s classic colognes from the 60’s and 70’s. But more recently, a move to San Francisco incorporates new material and techniques in her work.
Field Notes from Paris blends classic fougère with a ‘tobacco-as-unisex’ element which is thoroughly modern. This woodsy oriental opens bright with citrus, lavender and coriander seed. Clean tobacco curls sweetly around tonka and patchouli adds strength, before riding off into the sunset in a soothing leather-beeswax mist. Field Notes transitions with dexterity between the bergamot-coriander electricity to warm luxurious tobacco flower. It provides the escapism I was hoping for, to a sunny afternoon in Paris.
Building on a historical base, Field Notes is a modern take with gender-agnostic Tobacco. Innovation, progress, and evolution are the hallmark of independent perfumery. With great finesse, Ineke delivers the Best of both worlds.
"Revival and Reinvention." Fitzgerald & Guislain
Decked out head-to-toe in Victorian sartorial splendor, Alexander Chesebro and Ian Fitzgerald rediscover artisan, natural perfumery. Their perfumes combine modern materials such as botanical isolates with rare historic ingredients crafted in-house, including precious enfleurage extracts and animalic tinctures. This is Old World craftsmanship at its best. Only botanically-sourced CO2 extracts and absolutes from reliable suppliers enrich their blends.
Extrait explodes with liquid-sunshine Osmanthus, drenched in apricot-honey. Transparent osmanthus remains constant throughout the composition, while the fruit segues to mimosa and decorative dried-rose bouquet. A harmonious transition to hay notes conclude our olfactory journey. The foundation for this aromatic adventure is an exact reproduction of a nineteenth century animalic perfume from the house of Piesse and Lubin. Fitzgerald and Guislain’s re-inventive repertoire of osmanthus absolute, natural apricot, and jasmine Grandiflorum enliven this poetic piece.
Extrait d’Osmanthus is evocative of my childhood spent in Kanagawa, where we gathered voiles of creamsicle-colored flora in origami vases. Vintage chiyogami paper bowls brimmed with osmanthus-- sprinkles of orange rain in the wind.
Fitzgerald and Guislain reinvent a time-honored tradition for a modern audience. Extrait d’Osmanthus makes a lasting impression.
"Embracing the dark and the light." Heather Kaufman
Cléo de 5 à 7 is a 1962 French noir film that provides inspiration for the eponymous fragrance by Jolie Laide. Our heroine despairs over a possibly fatal medical diagnosis, and spends two hours agonizing over pending results. Facing her mortality, existential themes of ‘meaning of life’ and despair cloud her vision. In the end, Cléo meets a soldier heading to the Algerian war, who makes her realize her self-absorption amidst greater global events. This awareness, along with favorable test results, lead to the adoption of a brighter outlook. From the ugliness of health fears and selfishness, are borne the beauty of her new disposition. In a sense, beauty cannot exist without the grotesque; just like light cannot be without dark.
Heather Kaufman dexterously crafts a quirky elegance with natural materials. Botanical perfumery is the embodiment of unconventional beauty, unlike the assembly line, lab-made perfection. Like our heroine Cléo, nature has asymmetry and roughness- imperfections alongside the seductiveness. Cléo is no airbrushed Barbie doll.
The perfume Cléo presents a juxtaposition of dark and light through bright citrus florals overlaying a dark leather and agarwood base. Citrus and jasmine explode in a spirit-lifting prelude, and remain throughout the composition. Leather becomes more pronounced as time goes by, and the oud so mysterious and inviting. This fragrance captures the emotional range of the cinematic rendition, from heart-thumping excitement to enlightened calm.