Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Journey in a Bottle: Hyacinth and a Mechanic by Tauer Perfumes

The bottle that arrived at my door a few weeks ago had no label or logo. But the inscription on the plain white box was written and signed by a familiar hand. This bottle is one of a kind, for now. Andy Tauer has created a perfume, bottled it and sent it on a journey. You can read more about it here. This fragrance, unofficially named Hyacinth and a Mechanic, isn't in production, but I hope that one day it will be.

It's not just the handwriting on the box that was recognizable. From the first sniff, just from smelling the cap, it was unmistakeably a Tauer perfume. No need to wait for the dry-down and the "Tauerade", there's something in the blend, a signature ingredient perhaps, that instantly makes it feel personal.

Because that's the thing: Andy's scents carry you away. Some of these journeys are to remote destinations. Others are to places you've been to, places within yourself.

The green opening is strong and almost overwhelming. Especially if you give it a big spray. I've played with it a little, and discovered that it's easier to wear if you start by dabbing just a little, and get acquainted with this very unusual scent. As I said, it's green. And lush. And floral, but not in a girly, ornate way. If hyacinth and lily of the valley make you think Laura Ashley, you'll have to reconsider. These flowers are wild, untamed, hiding in shady corners of a secret, half forgotten garden.

When I was about six years old we lived in a house with such a yard. The grass grew high, hiding small creatures like turtles. My parents' bedroom was on ground level, and on spring days I'd climb out and land in the soft, green, fragrant grass, eager to play, pick flowers and follow the kittens. The house was just above a ravine that went all the way down the mountain to the beach, full of fragrant plants and shrubs, including white and dark pink cistus (labdanum is made of cistus resin).

The green and floral notes in this perfume take me back there. But there's a lot more to the Mechanic than these notes. It also feels raw, almost jagged and unfinished. The oily part comes and goes, not always emerging from behind the stems that keep growing and growing.

The scent lasts forever and at times feels like it's getting stronger instead of calming down. It's very potent and full of personality. Spray too much and you'll get looks from people around you, wondering if you've just rolled down a grassy hill straight into a flower bed, crushing everything along your way. But if applied just so you get the prize: A dry-down that is reminiscent of the magnificent L'air du D├ęsert Marocain, but where L'Air is dry and ambery, this one is infused with dew and plant nectar.

(images found randomly online and mercilessly mangled by me)


  1. ooohh- this sound so delish!

  2. Oh dear, I think I feel faint with longing... :-)

    Seriously, your description is ravishing!

  3. I loved your description (and the memory trip). I wish I can sniff this one at some point.

  4. Tom- I'm curious to see what you'll think about it.

    Flora- Thank you :)
    The mechanic is such a unique perfume. I love it, but I can also see why it'd overwhelm others.

    Helg- I have a feeling you'll get a chance very soon ;)

  5. Hi Gaia
    It would be fun, seeing the bottle on a journey one day approaching good old Europe again.... Helg would for sure love it ( I am trying to send sublime hints from Zurich ;-)

    Have a wonderful weeek end!

  6. Gaia, when it comes to me and hyacinth, there is NO such thing as too much! :-)


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