A limited edition perfume by Andy Tauer is a very rare occurrence (last time was the mythical Orris). This time he created Dark Passage as an offshoot of the Tableau de Parfums line to help support Brian Pera's next film project, Only Child. The deal is simple: Pera is looking for funding through Kickstarter, where one can pledge a donation at several levels and receive a gift in return. Several of the pledges will grant you a 7.5 ml purse spray of Tauer's Tableau de Parfums Dark Passage. I'll tell you this: I pledged mine after a few hours of wearing my sample, with the husband urging me to do it quickly and secure our little bottle.
The listed notes of Dark Passage are "cacao, patchouli, birch tar, and iris". This alone sounds toe-curling good, especially considering Andy Tauer's magical hand with birch tar. In this case, the birch tar on its leathery aspects is subtle and mainly works to keep the cocoa-iris-patchouli accord from going the Guerlain pastry way. I agree with Robin on NST that Dark Passage is mostly an iris-patchouli fragrance. It is powdery and has that dark and dusty chocolate facet (think Borneo 1873), but with an extra dose of, well, darkness. The almost sinister and austere feel that I get at first quickly warms and expands as the perfume develops on my skin. It never becomes sweet-- the bitterness is retained, but it feels softer and more luxurious and the iris note itself is exquisite.
The husband was pretty enchanted from first sniff. He conducted a few experiments, testing on his own skin several perfumes side by side: Borneo, Cuir Mauresque, Etro Gomma and I don't remember what else. The final conclusion was that he greatly prefers Dark Passage. I can't blame him.
Who should pledge the $60 donation and why?
Supporters of indie art and film projects.
Fans of Andy Tauer (and Brian Pera's) work.
Fans of iris, patchouli and cocoa perfumes.
Collectors of rare and limited edition perfumes.
All of the above.
Read more about the creative process behind Dark Passage (including some very telling statements by Andy Tauer) here.
Tableau de Parfums- Dark Passage by Andy Tauer will only be bottled and shipped in June, but only available for "purchase"/donation until the END OF MARCH. The only place and way to secure your bottle is through Kickstarter (take note that there's another $60 option that gets you a different Tableau de Parfums item, the tubereuse-centered Loretta, but I have yet to smell that one).
The sample for this post was sent to me by the perfumer.
Image: metal sculpture of a brown iris by Joe Brown (brownviewforge.com).