Tauer Perfumes Pentachord Series

October 1, 2011

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Fragrance Portraits 

By Josie Plumey
Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles
Familiarizing myself with Andy Tauer and his fragrances has been a real joy. Andy is a man who values creativity, independence, and beautiful things. I never understood why the Swiss perfumer was so admired until I first smelled his perfumes - and now,
I understand completely.

What I have grown to love about Tauer Perfumes can be summed up perfectly by Andy himself, whose blog I read religiously and from where this quote was obtained: “Let me be modest: At least I launch fragrances that are interesting.”

“Interesting” is the perfect word to describe the Pentachord series, which launched on September 12th. The Pentachords are three scents composed of only five notes each. Each of the five notes in the three scents are entirely synthetic, which admittedly made me a bit skeptical about how good they would smell.

The Pentachords are a complete departure from the earlier Tauer scents. There is just no way that one can mistake, for example, Pentachord White with L’Air du Desert Marocain. Still, the Pentachords are no less unique or desirable. In fact, I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the fragrances. The concept behind them is unusual, and I think that they were executed quite well. I view the three fragrances as fun experiments in perfumery. While I hope that Andy continues to create the complex fragrances that launched his career, I do encourage the exercises in creativity and composition that lead to the Pentachords.

Pentachord Verdant - (dewy leaves, suave leather, brown tobacco, sweet earth, vibrant amber) Verdant somehow manages to smell entirely natural despite its wholly synthetic composition. It is very, very green: this is a garden after heavy rains. I smell a phantom note: a very herbaceous carrot seed, and the heart of the fragrance is reminiscent of a salad. The drydown is a musty leather and tobacco. Very masculine, I found it somewhat hard to wear due to the longevity and sillage of the green tones.

Pentachord Auburn - (citrus blossom, warm cinnamon, fruity tobacco, dry amber, creamy sandalwood) Auburn is happy and a tad naughty, like a rambunctious child. It is borderline too citrusy, but the cinnamon and tobacco notes keep it from being a step away from orange juice. The drydown is much needed: it adds a custardy, creamy feel to the citrus that never quite dissipates. This is a gourmand I’ve never experienced before: an orange creamsicle! The sillage is quite low and the fragrance wears off somewhat quickly, but I do not mind respraying myself.

Pentachord White - (violet blossom, orris root, bourbon vanilla, ambergris, warm wood)  I saved the best for last, as White was my favorite of the Pentachords - and the one I want in a full-sized bottle. The initial spray is all green violet and powdery-warm orris: very hypnotic, but tempered by a slight antiseptic feel. The fragrance warms up into a seductive animalic, made even more desirable by the near-edible, spicy bourbon vanilla. The sillage is of medium intensity, and the lasting power is fantastic. People will want to get closer to you when this is on your skin; I have enjoyed many compliments on White when I wear it outside.

The Pentachords are available on the Tauer Perfume website

The current conversion from the Swiss franc to the US dollar has a full-sized bottle priced at $138.80.

Samples are priced at $6.70 for a single scent or $34.40 for the Discovery Set, which contains five samples of your choice of any of the Tauer fragrances, housed in a lovely metal tin with gorgeous little note cards which note the breakdown for each fragrance. Samples and full-sized bottles are also available from Luckyscent

Josie Plumey