Tea with Mr. Tauer at Les Senteurs and a Dance with Sotto la Luna Gardenia


On Tuesday 9th September The Perfume Society had afternoon tea with Andy Tauer at Les Senteurs on Seymour Place in London where Andy introduced us to the first perfume in his Sotta la Luna Collection, Gardenia.


Andy spoke with us a bit about his background, from his first two perfumes, Le Maroc Pour Elle and L’air du Désert Marocain, which he sold in a friend’s bookshop to becoming the Artist, Creative Director, and Business Manager of his own brand, Tauer Perfumes.  Andy was fantastically charming and self-effacing as he talked us through some of the creative processes behind his work.  Exploring the boundaries of intellectual overdoses and the challenges of why some things just do not work together, while also balancing the scales of having an emotional journey with fragrance and being a chemist.  He spoke about the difficulties in talking about perfumes and your own brand in that it is obviously most difficult to talk about it without bias, and in the end each and every one of us has our own unique experience with our sense of smell.  Smell is subjective, it is not objective in the least as say our sense of sight is, and we all have different interactions and sometimes memories link to a perfume.

But when done well, Andy explained, a perfume can transport you to a different world and mindset.  Enjoying a scented composition is akin to a symphony playing out on the skin, telling a story, bringing back memories of periods in our lives and links to feelings.  Perfume brings joy and blooms around you when you wear it.

Andy said there is no real definition of a beautiful perfume, and in Edmond Roudnitska’s book Le Parfum, the legendary perfumier writes that a beautiful perfume is a perfume that gives you a shock to the senses and can be made with power and longevity or to be gentle and discreet.

Photo courtesy of Les Senteurs

Photo courtesy of Les Senteurs

Sotto la Luna is collection of perfumes new to Tauer Perfumes inspired by Giuseppe Barberis’ poem Danze di Conigli Sotta la Luna (Dancing Rabbits Under the Moon).  The poem struck him as being so full of joy and sentiment.  The rabbits dancing under the moonlight, so innocent and unaware of what the future might hold for them, and that we as humans also are having our own dance beneath the moon, enjoying life in the moment while our tomorrows always remain uncertain.


I found this very poignant and a reminder of just how important it is to allow ourselves to have opportunities to dance so to speak.  To be happy and content with what we have around us instead of always focusing on what we do not yet have and will most likely only offer a temporary happiness until the next thing we covet is the center piece of our consciousness.  I want to savor all of my times dancing in the twilight realms lit only by the pale soft light of the moon.  Those moments of unfettered abandon and weightless reverie wrapped in a beautiful, spellbinding perfume like Sotta la Luna Gardenia.

Photo courtesy of Tauer Perfumes

Photo courtesy of Tauer Perfumes

Sotta la Luna Gardenia opens on my skin in a gorgeous cloud of creamy gardenia blooming in a haze of spice.  A velvety, mushroomy earthiness soon emerges.  I find Sotta la Luna Gardenia develops slowly with a rich, viscous syrupiness; the gardenia undulating throughout the fragrance, spinning amongst the earthy accords, unfurling to reveal a new depth, a new facet to gardenia I have not discovered in any other gardenia’s to date.  A heady intoxication rises as Sotta la Luna Gardenia reaches its full bloom that feels opulent and indulgent with a gorgeous, creamy quality.

In the three hours since I first applied Sotta la Luna Gardenia, I have brought my nose to my wrist many, many times, and each time I feel my eye lids grow a bit heavier and smile because of this dreamy beauty.

Notes as listed on Tauer Perfumes:

Head Notes: The spicy freshness of gardenia budding under a bright moon

Heart Notes: The green floral delicacy of gardenia in full bloom with a gentle rose

Body Notes: The powdery mossiness of ripe gardenia with a hint of jasmine, in a bed of sandalwood, tonka and vanilla

Sotta la Luna Gardenia is available in 50ml size at Les Senteurs in London on Elizabeth Street or Seymour Place or via the Les Senteurs web site for £97.00.

Andy told us that he will be making additions to the Sotta la Luna collection with a hyacinth fragrance next autumn and a tuberose in 2016.  I am already counting the days.

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