06 Incense Rose by Tauer

2 Aug, 2012 | Fragrance, The Lifestyle Library

I am chuckling as I write this, because I was one of the biggest Tauer haters before I wrote this review.  I actually was considering putting “All of the Tauers I have tried” under the Scrubber section in an old online article (for non-fumies:  a scrubber is a scent that smells so awful that you need to scrub it off immediately).  I only didn’t because I respect Tauer as an indie house, and would feel embarrassed to write something so mean about a small company.  I also sensed that my tastes would change, and was willing to give it another try now that my nose has matured.

A month or 2 ago, my review would have been as follows:

Blegh! What is that spice? Cumin? Cardamom?  Who puts that in perfume?  Why would I want to smell of that? Gross!  I’m sorry, I cannot think of anything else to say.

Here are some excerpts of my test notes:

“Way too much spice […] burns my nose [….] Waiting for less spice [….] spoils the entire experience for me [….] sit through this [….]”


Thanks to repeated mentions of Tauer perfumes, a mention of someone wearing it for their wedding, and talking to Undina, I have matured enough to try this again.  Last night I wore Le Maroc pour Elle.  It wasn’t bad – just not me.  Today I decided to try Incense Rose, as I know I would love these notes – especially the incense, patchouli (love it if it’s used to darken a scent), myrrh, and rose to sweeten things.  I sprayed my wrists and inner elbows (once each) with the generous sample I got from Tauer.

Opening:  Cardamom comes out pretty strongly – not my thing. it gets blended prettily with some sort of herb and a very strong rose.  Im a Rosine girl, so this is a new type of rose – Rosine roses are juicy – this one is a drier yet more mature and subtle rose.  I can smell an incense that is not dry – the kind I like.  It is definitely dark, and blended beautifully.  There is a mustiness that is either orris or patchouli, which makes this the “noir” I would have liked to see in Chanel Coco Noir.  The wood playes along nicely in the background, and to be honest, this is not a perfume that I am skilled enough to continue naming notes of.

Heart:  There is a cumin-like thin note in the far background, which could be a herb or note I am not familiar with.  It balances out (very well, might I add) the entire musty and damp earthiness, which is slightly dried by the cedar, and sweetened by the rose (now a background player).  The incense reminds me a lot of that nice sweet incense in real life – not the dry and smokey incense one finds in a lot of “incense-based” perfumes.  I get more incense in my inner elbow than on my wrist, where the herbs and rose remain.  My wrist is also making the orris go a little carrot-like – but not enough for me to be put off.

There is a lemony sourness that is putting me off, it could simply be a herb, or the bergamot.  If this were to  stay like it is doing on my inner elbow, this would be a love.  On my inner elbow, the rose has stood in the perfect place, and is mingling gorgeously with the very dark wood and incense.  THAT is what I call a blend!  But on my wrists it is staying as a herby carrot with lemons 🙁  I shall try this one again while going somewhere, and see how it wafts (a telling factor for a full bottle).

Drydown:  The woods take over with the incense.  The darkness is still there, but there is a powderiness that makes this part the most “perfumey” of all stages.  There is something in here that reminds me of a Serge Lutens scent, but I just cannot put my finger on which one.  This is not because it is gourmandy or odd, but because of a combination of woods and flowers, I think.  It is not at all similar to any SL scent, but the feeling I feel is similar.  Perhaps I am in love and do not realise it. 😉

For now, I shall enjoy being transported away to an abandoned temple somewhere, where roses from a previous wedding are still scattered on the cobbled stones around the temple.  The sun is setting, and there is a mustiness inside the temple, mixed with the ever-burning frankincense and the herbs that spilled from recent ceremonies.  The wooden furniture (very little of it) that I see is so old that I can almost smell it.  I am in the East, but where, I cannot say.  All I do know, is that I will keep inhaling this scent to feel close to something that feels familiar, yet foreign.

Bottom Line:  I would say that this could definitely be put in the “classic” sector; there is something in here that just screams timelessness, even though it has some modern and unusual notes.  I think Tauer is a test for the true perfumista – are you patient enough to wait for the golden heart and drydown, or are you a fruity floral user who judges a scent (wrongly) by its opening note?

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