Perfume Review: Tauerville Stories "when we cuddle and I can smell your perfume on my clothes" and "hyacinth and a mechanic"
Have you heard of Andy Tauer's Stories, a collection of EDTs from Tauerville that you can only purchase directly from the man himself when he makes personal appearances in boutiques? The first release was "hyacinth and a mechanic", a floral-leather that popped up in Portland and Los Angeles a few months ago. Just my luck that he paid a visit to Tigerlily Perfumery in my hometown of San Francisco to present not one, but two, new additions: "he left his cologne in my bedroom", a citrus-aromatic built around rosemary, and "when we cuddle and I can smell your perfume on my clothes", an oriental-vanilla.
I love the notes of all three perfumes, and they are all different from one another, which is nice. I decided to buy "when we cuddle and I can smell your perfume on my clothes". The Tauerville website makes no mention of the collection, and it is not sold anywhere else online, so an accurate pyramid isn't easy to find, The best I can do is quote a description from a Fragrantica article by Jodi Battershell: "The fragrance: Warm, soft, oriental with notes of vanilla, benzoin, gentle musks, hints of patchouli, and cozy amber."
I found this to be an accurate description to a certain degree. Benzoin is the most recognizable and dominant note on me, by a mile. And I love it! While I have shied away from vanilla-dominant perfumes for some time now, I have been seeking a benzoin-dominant perfume for equally long. I pretty much missed the Prada No.9 Benjoin boat. I blind-bought Guerlain's (imho) lackluster Bois d'Armenie then sold it. This new Stories cologne was the closest thing to pure benzoin I could find. It didn't hurt that it only grew more enchanting on my skin over time, prompting Andy as well as a couple of friends to declare it The One; and it's so exclusive that it's almost a myth. Kind of a romantic thought, eh?
When Andy Tauer, himself, kindly sprayed it onto my arm, I noticed benzoin straight away. He told me the notes ahead of time, which were the same as Jodi mentioned in her article. I noticed vanilla, but I didn't notice musk or patchouli. Instead I picked up traces of citrus, and after a bit of pressing, Andy confirmed that I am not crazy and that there is indeed citrus in the perfume, albeit negligible amounts. I have a decent nose! Hours later I noticed a subtle "perfuminess" sticking out from the intense benzoin. That was the point at which I could "smell your perfume on my clothes", while the huge, comforting blend of benzoin and vanilla acted as a "cuddle". Andy also mentioned that there is a touch of rose in the fragrance, so that is probably what I was smelling.
I'm dissecting this stuff to death, but the reason is because the benzoin and vanilla are so dominant in the fragrance that unless you're a major perfume worshipper with a really developed nose, you may not even notice any of the other notes. Heck, you might not even be able to tell the difference between benzoin and vanilla.
"When we cuddle and I can smell your perfume on my clothes" is certainly a cuddly perfume. The nozzle smelled like vanilla cake batter, or like my great-aunt's kitchen, which always felt really cozy because it was warm and stuffy and perpetually smelled like bread pudding. This just shows how important it is to sample perfume on the skin, versus only sniffing nozzles. Once applied to my skin, it never smelled anything like cake batter. It was never gourmand at any point. But it was indeed soft, sweet and warm--everything a cuddle should be.
On my other arm, Andy sprayed "hyacinth and a mechanic", aptly named, because it smells exactly like hyacinth mixed with a bit of motor oil. Fragrantica lists the notes as: hyacinth, animalic notes, leather and woody notes. I think there should only be two notes--hyacinth and motor oil. Simple.
The hyacinth was quite nice, a perfectly pleasant interpretation of the flower, with that familiar, crisp spiciness. The combination with motor oil is nothing short of odd. I don't see the two notes as complimentary but contrasting instead. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I just don't know what to make of it, the combination is so unorthodox. Well if you know what hyacinth and motor oil smell like, you should be able to imagine them together and be able to decide if it's a scent you might enjoy. It's interesting to smell such a "masculine" note on me as motor oil, and I wonder what it would be like to smell hyacinth on a man's skin. I read somewhere that all of the Tauerville perfumes are experimental, and I would say that "hyacinth and a mechanic" falls into that description. It's interesting and worth contemplating; one that I need to try again if I ever get the chance.
It will be amusing to see what "story" comes next out of Tauerville.