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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Perfume Review: Andy Tauer Orris

Orris is a scent created by Andy Tauer and distributed by him in July to a limited number of the readers of his blog. I understand that Andy is not sure yet what he is going to do with the fragrance, whether he will actually ever release it …If you have tried and liked Orris too, please join me in my appeal to Andy to start selling it as soon as possible.

Orris is more or less what I wanted Ormonde Jayne’s Orris Noir to be, a rich, balsamic and spicy scent that is indeed dark enough to be called Noir. It is exotic, it is dramatic, it has va va voom. The beginning of Orris evokes a vision of a fiery flower, of a dark-red rose set ablaze by cinnamon and pepper. Soon a woody accord becomes apparent, and on my skin this accord has duality of velvety-sweet sandalwood and sharp, spicy, slightly medicinal woody note that makes me think of very strongly brewed black tea, and which I assume is agarwood. The sweetness of the former is emphasized by that honeyed, peppery rose; the forceful, piquant darkness of the “second woody note” is highlighted by a smoky leather accord. In fact, from the middle stage forward Orris becomes very leathery, in a meaty, birch-tarry, barbaric sort of way that pleases me immensely. The sweet, buttery, violet-like orris, which I smell especially strongly in the drydown, compliments this smoky note wonderfully and keeps it from going completely wild a la Kolnisch Juchten.

Orris is so unmistakably a Tauer scent that I believe if I smelled it in a “blind test”, and then was asked who I thought the author was, I would have not hesitated to identify it as Andy’s creation. It has what L’Air du Desert Marocain and Lonestart Memories have (and to a lesser degree, Le Maroc Pour Elle too), a certain common streak running throughout the compositions, sweetly-ambery, spicy-herbal, slightly leathery, woody SOMETHING that I am going to call Tauerade. That leitmotif to me is what makes Tauer Perfumes so intriguing, so exotic, so full-bottle-worthy.

As I said in the beginning, Orris is not available for sale, but perhaps if we beg and nag, it will be, at some point in the future…

The image, Flower of Flame, is from treklens.com.
*
On Saturday Perfume-Smellin' Things will feature another review of Orris, from "a male point of view", by my guest poster, Kelley. Tomorrow I will finally post about Lorenzo Villoresi's Alamut.

36 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

Where do I sign up to beg, plead and cajole Tauer to release this? Can we start what they call an "Interest List" in the real estate biz?

as an aside, today was perfume day for me- my friend let me know that she got me a post-birthday bottle of MKK while in Paris, and the bottle of Kolnisch Juchten I ordered from San Francisco as a present to myself (celebrating a promotion) AND three testers from CB I Hate Perfumes arrived! Wheeeeee! National Sofa-Care Month is a good thing!

11:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

Yes please, I'll sign up as well! As a rule, iris doesn't do well on my skin - I find most iris scents incredibly trite and was beginning to suspect that I have iris anosmia (well, a scent would smell trite if the main player were absent, wouldn't it?). Then along came Orris, and I think it's gorgeous, especially that "silvery" note in the drydown. Can't think of a better way to describe it, sorry. Either it's just better iris than I've had the misfortune to smell so far (don't strangle me! I haven't smelled the Lutens yet!), or the supporting cast is gorgeous on its own. In either case: Andy, please bottle Orris!

Tom, enjoy your scents and your sofa! I'm going a fetching shade of green with envy, especially at the thought of a whole bottle of Kolnisch Juchten! ;-)

3:15 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Yep, add mine to the beg, plead, beseech list. The leather in this scent makes it irresistible to the extreme for me.
Tom, that's one fabulous haul for National Sofa-Care Month! Let us know what you think of the CBs. I adore his smoke and leather accords and his Violet Empire is making me swoon.

7:55 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

This one .... I keep trying to do this post, an Open Letter to Andy Tauer, but it just gets away from me and goes all begging and stupid, and I don't think that's going to fly with him. I just want to get on my knees and beg him to make some more, I hardly have any left. Yes to everything you wrote -- it is stunning, tenacious, reminds me of his others, and I NEED MORE. I think part of the issue was the ingredients were so expensive, at one point he mused about maybe doing it in smaller bottles to lower the price point -- which sounds just great to me. Should we all email him? No, really. It would be a huge, huge shame not to have this released.

8:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Nina said...

I've been begging Andy to go into production with this one...it is simply stunning. It starts with a mighty blast that's a little alarming to me, then dries down to the most satisfying violet/rose/leather that I've ever had the pleasure to sniff from my own skin. (Lasts for ages too - a Tauer characteristic.) I am guarding the last tiny drop in my sample vial, but praying that Andy will decide to release this one at whatever price he needs to! Better even than ISM or Bois d'Iris, and that's saying something.

8:41 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
Where do I beging with my congratulations! MKK! KJ! CB! Promotion! Big congrats!
(will you review the CB scents, pretty please? :-))

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

D,
We can't let you keep thinking of iris as trite! Orris has started to change your opinion, now we must go on. Have you tried Iris Taizo by Parfumerie Generale? Orchidee Blanche by L'Artisan? Bois d'Iris by The Different Company? Well, and of course ISM must be tested too :-)

8:53 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
The leather here is wonderful. Orris is as much about leather to me as it is about...well, orris :-)

8:54 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
I remember reading some talk about maybe him doing 30ml bottles for this scent. That is a great size. Everything should come in that size. And if Orris costs more than others, so what? :-)

8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Nina,
The lasting power of this one is amazing. It lasted all day on me and would continued to last all night if not for the shower.
Well, perhaps Andy will take pity on us...

8:57 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

I agree with everyone that this is a WONDERFUL scent. I can't seem to find the rest of my sample; quite possibly, I used it up! I think Andy said that it was very expensive to produce. Nevertheless, he could do what others do--charge outrageous prices! It sounds like many here (myself included) might pay them. Pleeeeeeease, Andy!

Great haul, Tom! I wonder what piece of furniture I could assume the care of. . . . ?

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

Sounds so good.I hope Andy isn't thinking that price would prevent his offering of this.It sounds so good that even if it were offered at twice the price of his regular scents, I'd still want it. :) Thanks for comparing this to the Ormonde Jayne.I just hope Andy reconsiders.:)

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
I'd pay twice his usual price for this if needed :-) Whatever it costs and takes to get my hands on a bottle :-)

10:19 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
I hope so too. I hope Andy decides to go ahead and start selling Orris. It is quite stunning, I want it! :-)

10:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous dinazad said...

I'm working on iris, dear Colombina - I've got a sample of Iris Taizo from Patty to test next weekend, and I'll be on the lookout for the L'Artisan. But the Different Company? Hrmphhh... so far, what I've smelled from them, most notably the Osmanthus and the Rose Poivrée made my face fall asleep. It's probably just me - these scents are too refined for me, I need something more barbaric, I suppose. Maybe that's at the base of my iris problem as well? Simple lack of refinement?

10:50 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

D,
Bois d'Iris isn't as barbaric as Orris, but it is quite raw and rustic nevertheles. Might be worth it giving it a chance.

10:53 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

Yes, please, sell this, Andy. We'll buy it. We promise.

11:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In total agreement with you, Marina - thank you for reviewing Orris! This is absolutely an exquisite, exquisite scent -perfect from every angle, and it does very much have Andy's signature on/in it. The most intriguing thing to me though, is that as dramatic as it is, Orris is also quite soothing and comforting to me. I would pay crazy money for it for sure, and would adore it in the 30ml bottles (which as someone else mentioned would be perfect for all fragrances). I'm in unison on all the begging! Do we need to start a petition? :)
BBliss

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

Dear God!
You've all got me trembling with olfactory desire...

I should be grateful I haven't sniffed this yet, judging by your inebriated collective response-

Add my voice to the chorus- I adore all the other irises mentioned above, and have little doubt that I'd be mightily smitten with this one!

12:01 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

*whines with Ina*
Pleeeeease...pleeeeease...

12:16 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

If it is what you wanted Orris Noir to be, then I won't like it, LOL...but it does sound wonderful except for the "sweetly ambery" part.

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Robin,
I have a feeling that you won't like, but what do I know! You liked Aomassai...not saying they are similiar, but just as an example. :-) Have you liked any other Tauer scents?

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

Co-sign on this one, it is stunning, and I am hoping for a general release too.

Love the new look!

2:42 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, the only other AT I've tried was Lonestar, which was very nice although not entirely my sort of thing...as you could already guess, LOL!

3:00 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you, Patty. Fingers crossed, Andy will take a pity on us :-)

6:32 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Then I am more or less sure you won't find Orris to be your cup of tea either.

6:32 PM EDT  
Anonymous Dennis said...

Great review of a great fragrance. He seems like such a nice guy, and he signed the Orris samples he sent me by hand. He deserves success and I hope he does produce Orris as well. Add my name to the petition.

Great blog, one of my favourites!

5:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Heather said...

Well on this one only, I don't actually agree with you.

I felt that this was a departure for Andy - whilst it was blended to perfection - it didn't have his signature on it and I wouldn't have thought of Andy as the creator.

I couldn't wear it either - whilst I liked the compostion overall it didn't sit right with me. I'd have to pass on this one - but then again I think I might pass most orris fragrances over so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Heather

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dennis,
I hope so too and thank you so much for your kind words!

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Heather,
Very interesting! Which one of Tauer perfumes is your favorite?

8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

God, I'm late on this one. I thought this was great. The initial blast reminded my husband of Easter candies (?!?!) and it reminds me of something too, I just can't put my finger on it. Andy's scents just develop and never get boring. There's this middle phase in Lonestar Memories that's so weird and almost disgusting, a urinous, tack kind of thing that just suddenly turns beautiful - like four hours into the thing when many other fragrances have been gone for an hour or two! I'd miss the urine if it was gone... the man's a genius! His scents are so strong, long lasting and reasonably priced I don't think anybody would mind if he charged more for this one.

10:45 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Easter candies? Hmm, interesting :-)

10:47 PM EDT  
Blogger nealo said...

Pure orris concrete is one of the most expensive aroma substances in use at present, costing around $600.00 per pound. Its fragrance is softly violet and balsamic, earthy/rooty. I have one very small packet of the concrete which I use for reference only. Oddly though, I buy pure orris powder (the dried, processed roots) for use in making incense, for just a few dollars per ounce.
Very luckily, there are a variety of synthetic ionones which can be used instead. Most are quiet strong. That violet/iris scent has the odd effect of nearly disappearing when it's used in conjunction with animalic and woody aromas to produce a "leather" effect. To me, this is nearly magical. Without the "iris" note, a leather mixture usually smells rather flat and sometimes frankly nasty. It is one of the few things that can calm down the harsh green/rooty elements of isobutyl quinoline, which is nearly indispensible in modern perfumery for "leather" effects.

I won't even mention how much my 20-gram chunk of ambergris cost me.

4:20 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Neal,
How much was the ambergris? :-) Sorry, but it's very interezting!

1:16 PM EDT  
Blogger nealo said...

Colombina, it was over US$200.00. Ouch! Luckily there are plenty of synthetic substitues for real ambergris, including Ambroxan, which has a strong, dry woody aspect as well.
I was doing some reading about orris and the ionone group of chemicals. Apparently the human nose quickly becomes fatigued with the ionones, and they practically disappear from our perception. I suppose the rooty/leathery aspects of pure orris remain within our perception and contribute to the "leather" effect in fragrances.
Btw, in my previous post, I meant to say "quite strong" instead of "quiet strong", of course.

5:05 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ouch indeed!

And, very fascinating about pure orris!!

6:07 PM EDT  

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