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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I’m Melissa de Blok, and I'm here to help you live your best life through personal truth and practical self-love (it's a verb, not a noun).

I write in a brutally honest manner, think vulnerability (silliness included) is a super-power, and provide specialised photography services that encourage authenticity. I strive to help my readers (as well as my clients) get out of their own way, face the darker and scarier parts of their thoughts and feelings, and go inward so that they can move upward in their careers.



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