Photos from An Evening with Andy Tauer

Andy Tauer stopped by Fumerie on November 18th to debut his newest fragrance, Hyacinth and a Mechanic, and to chat with his Portland-area fans. Over the course of the evening, he discussed the modest beginnings of the Tauer line, the release of his now-iconic fragrance L'Air du Désert Marocain, his overnight success and the impact of Tania Sanchez's 5-star review in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.

One of the most exciting parts of the evening was the unveiling of Andy's newest fragrance, Hyacinth and a Mechanic. The fragrance is a daring combination of hyacinth, lilac, muguet, leather and petroleum and presented as a 100 ml eau de toilette. Hyacinth and a Mechanic is the first release of a new collection, Tauerville: Stories. Andy released the fragrance specifically for the event and currently has no plans to offer the scent as a regular part of his line.

Attendees were also afforded the unique opportunity to purchase Andy's vaulted fragrances that are normally available only in Switzerland or through the Tauer website.

You can check out photos of the event below. We would like to extend a special thank you to Kat Butler who was kind enough to document the event for us.

Perfume & Poetry






My wife Wendy Bourgeois got me into perfume. She has built her obsession for years now, while I am a total novice. It wasn’t precisely that I wanted to catch up with her nose, but I have my own obsessive ways of apprehending a thing. I began to think about perfume as a problem to solve, and it was out of this need to solve a problem that I came upon the idea to this project.

Patrick S. Rogers

Patrick S. Rogers

Wendy Bourgeois

Wendy Bourgeois

Wendy Noonan

Wendy Noonan

Sara Kolp

Sara Kolp

I had just applied and been accepted to PSU for an MFA in poetry, but at the last minute I found I was two credits shy of completing my undergraduate degree. I had to scramble to find a suitable course of study I could complete by the end of summer. I had been tinkering around and talking with Wendy about the idea of putting together perfume related description writing workshop. She suggested I use that idea as my class. 

I’m pretty heady when it comes to my obsessions and as a result of that headiness I have the tendency to make things more difficult than sometimes necessary. While constructing the class, I thought one way to think about perfume would be to think of each one like a text, or like a novel. I thought what if each perfume acted as a novel for the nose. With this in mind I wanted to bring the perfume to the writers stripped of context. I was interested in how one perceives the very thingness of scent. As a reader of perfume and then to write about them, I didn’t want to be influenced by the maker’s name, or the name of the perfume; I only wanted to read the smell. 

It was then Wendy and I contacted Tracy and André at Fumerie Parfumerie. They were gracious enough to curate the experience. For five weeks straight, Wendy and I devised a different writing exercise each week and each week André put together a package of unmarked samples for us to smell. After the first week, this exchange became like a conversation. We, the readers groped around in the dark trying to find new ways to access meaning, while André and Tracy were our light bringers showing us the way. Each week we came back with more questions, and each week they responded with their own questions: “What about this?”,  “How about these three?” or “What if you thought about this variation on a theme?”.

The work we writers performed is varied and expansive: ruminations on specific memories, philosophical questions of just how memory works, magical realist travel to places in the imagination, animals, plants, sex, love, revulsion—everything from the sacred to the profane. 

Profumum Roma Trunk Show Photos

The evening of October 26 was a celebration of the elegant creations of Italian niche perfume house Profumum Roma featuring special guests Luciano Durante and Fabrizio Cipriani. Durante is one of the founders of the perfume house and Cipriani is a longtime friend of the Durante family and currently serves as the North American brand manager for Profumum Roma.

Over the course of the two-hour long event, Durante and Cipriani discussed the origins of the house, the inspiration behind many of Profumum Roma's creations and what drives the Durante family to create new fragrances. Durante and Cipriani then fielded questions from audience members with Cipriani listening intently and acting as Durante's interpreter.

Audience members were then invited to sample the collection of over two dozen fragrances, all of which were laid out on the counter. Check out some of the photos from the event below. We would like to thank everyone who attended the event and a offer a very special thanks to Luciano Durante for flying all the way from Italy and to Fabrizio Cipriani for participating in and helping to plan this wonderful night!

Apologies for the low quality of some of the images—circumstances forced us to use an iPhone camera to photograph the event so they aren't as sharp as usual.

Exploring Iris Fragrances

The iris flower in all its purple and white glory.

Orris root drying in the hot Tuscan sun.
Image via

A handful of the fragrances mentioned in this post on the counter at our boutique on SE Division Street in Portland.

From time to time we are going to be exploring a different raw material and the fragrances that feature said material. This will hopefully be an ongoing series and, as we grow, we will delve ever-deeper into the void. We begin this series today with one of my personal favorite raw materials, iris. So as you know, the iris is a flower. The varieties used in fragrance are Iris germanica and Iris pallida. One of the things that makes iris such an interesting material is the fact that perfumers aren’t interested in the flower of the iris but the rhizome. The iris bulbs (known as orris root or simply orris) are harvested, cut, cleaned, dried and aged for a period of three to five years. Only after aging does the material reveal its beautiful aroma. Steam distillation of the dried rhizomes produces a thick, oily material known as orris butter.

The laborious nature of the harvest and production of orris butter helps to explain the material’s high price (orris butter from Florence goes for over $30,000 per kilogram) but its intoxicating aroma has made it a staple in fine fragrance for over a century. Due to its prohibitive cost, it was only used sparingly but recent developments have allowed fragrance chemists to artificially age orris root causing orris butter to drop in price and enabling perfumers to use the material in new and interesting ways. Moreover, the discovery and development of dozens of synthetics with iris-like qualities have dramatically expanded the perfumer’s palette leading to more iris fragrances than ever on the market.

Described variously as earthy, rooty, buttery, powdery and bread-like, the aroma of orris root is simultaneously unusual and beautiful. Below I have included a list of fragrances with dominant iris notes. Please comment below and let us know which iris fragrances you love and what you think of this material.

IRIS CÉNDRE. Naomi Goodsir.
ÉQUISTRIUS. Parfum d’Empire.
CUIR OTTOMAN. Parfum d’Empire.
ARZ EL-RAB. Berdoues: Cologne Grands Cru.
CLAIR DE MUSC. Serge Lutens.
ESCENTRIC 01. Escentric Molecules.
ESCENTRIC 02. Escentric Molecules.
L DE LUBIN. Lubin.
ANGÉLIQUE. Papillon.

Fragrance Concentrations: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

If you're a fragrance lover you see the terms all of the time: eau de toilette, eau de parfum, eau de cologne. But what exactly do they mean? When someone says a perfume is "oil-based," what does that mean for you? What is a pure perfume? Why do perfumes cost so much money for such a small amount? The answers may surprise you.