There are certain fragrances which I know I will have to brace myself for mentally right from the start. That was the case with Sotto La Luna Tuberose, the latest release from Andy Tauer and the second entry in his Sotto La Luna (Under the Moon) Collection. I love tuberose and it’s my favorite flower, both in nature and in perfumery, but after my experiences with Mr. Tauer’s Sotta La Luna Gardenia, I prepared myself for something that was a mere abstraction and nothing remotely like the real thing. More to the point, after that same Gardenia turned gruesome on my skin, all I hoped for this time around was for a wearable fragrance. Of any kind. Well, after trying Tuberose a few times (and scrubbing it a few times as well), all I can say is that it’s better than the Gardenia on my skin. I’m not sure that’s saying much.
Close your eyes and imagine a ghost town in the Old West. It lies at the base of rocky mountains dotted with pine trees and as dusty as the Hindu Kush. The desert looms just beyond. From it, a dry wind blows large, desiccated tumbleweeds that roll past the old, abandoned wood buildings and the crumbling adobe huts. The sky is dark with smoke from a wild-fire that licks the mountain trees, making them shed pine needles and a sweet, aromatic sap. A sweet, musky, ambered warmth hovers in the air, vying against the dust and desert dryness. In the center of town, a man dressed in cracked black leather leans against the ruins of the old church whose wood still bears strong traces of the incense that once filled the air, traces which continue to weave their way around the town, the desert, the baked red earth beneath his feet, the smoke from the camp fire he just lit, and the leather on his back. This is the town and world of Andy Tauer’s Incense Flash.
Vanilla Flash is Andy Tauer‘s perfect vanilla, a vanilla seen through the lenses of boozy Bourbon, heavy roses, tobacco, spices and patchouli. It’s the latest release from Tauerville, Mr. Tauer’s secondary brand, and quite an oriental vision of vanilla. While I do not consider Vanilla Flash to be a true vanilla soliflore, it is a fragrance that I think will appeal greatly to those who adore Tauerade, boozy vanillas and spicy roses — ideally, all three at once.
On his blog, Andy Tauer explains that his Tauerville brand was created in order to let him play more creatively:
To make a long story short. One of the best qualities for me, about tauerville, is: I can pick and place my scents. Place them there where I think they fit best. Following my instinct, and playing my cards on a growing table. And: I can play in tauerville, a bit more than I can here, on tauer perfumes. Playing means: Trying out new esthetics, complementary to Tauer Perfumes.
All the Tauerville creations are meant to be approachable and affordable scents, which is why they are released in practical, small sizes: a 30 ml bottle and a 10 ml roller-ball. Rose Flash was the first Tauerville scent and debuted in 2014. Last week was the turn of Vanilla Flash which Mr. Tauer describes on Tauerville as his sort of vanilla. “My vanilla. It is all in there that I love. Spices, roses, patchouli… and vanilla.” Sites like Luckyscent provide a slightly fuller list:
Spices, Vanilla Bourbon, Rose, Patchouli, Tobacco.
Not all gardenia scents are soliflores; some can be general floral bouquets. The latest release from Tauer Perfumes is neither one of those things on my skin. It is, however, one of the most disappointing fragrances that I’ve tried this year. The reason has nothing to do with expectations of a soliflore, either. I would have been perfectly happy with a rich floral scent, or even a nice perfume of a completely different nature. Unfortunately, on me, Sotto La Luna Gardenia is simply a terrible fragrance, period.