Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sample Give-Away + Review: Zeta - A Linden Blossom Theme from Tauer Perfumes (2011)


Although I haven't got the world's greenest thumbs, I've somehow managed not to kill all the trees in our garden, two of which produce an annual crop of rich, dark plums. A few of weeks ago, I opened our back door and was instantly surrounded by an ethereal, beguiling perfume carried on the wind. As I looked around, trying to locate the source of the scent, my eye was caught by one of the plum trees, its branches covered in thousands of ivory blossoms. I walked up to it, buried my nose in its petals and there was the smell again. Smooth and serene, its sweetness was of the sort found only in nature: gentle without being weak, substantial without losing its sheerness.

You can see where this is going, can't you?


Andy Tauer has bottled the scent of limpid spring blooms and called it Zeta. The first in his Collectibles range, it is the most naturalistic evocation of a fragrant April breeze I've smelt since I had the good fortune to discover Olivia Giacobetti's En Passant for Frederic Malle. Although it opens on a yellow, citrus-tinged ylang note and dries down to a milky-smooth sandalwood, its focus remains firmly on its heart, with its promises of honey-soaked hope for the vernal rush of life. Whether it resembles real linden blossoms - as its name suggests - is a question I can't answer, as I don't think I've had the pleasure of smelling the genuine article. But I am fairly familiar with linden blossom absolute and I can vouch for the fact that its unguent heaviness isn't in evidence in Zeta. The fragrant materials extracted from flowers quite often exhibit very different odour characteristics from those displayed by the actual living plants, so it is perfectly possible that rather than using the absolute as his starting point, Andy decided to take inspiration from the blossoms themselves. Linden or not, the result of his labours possesses an air of verisimilitude, persuading the wearer that this is a scent born on the branches of a tree rather than the shelves of a lab.

Be warned though: Zeta is quiet in the extreme, especially when compared to the room-filling imperiousness of Eau d'Épices and Carillon Pour Un Ange. Consequently, its tenacity becomes an issue. On paper and fabric, it keeps whispering its tune for hours on end (in itself, a laudable technical feat). On my skin, it lasted for a length of time with which I was more than happy. But when I tested it on other people, results were varied. So, as ever: try before you buy... particularly if you like quite a hefty bang for your buck, 'cause this release will cost you more than any other Tauer to date. Still, individual body chemistry aside, one thing's certain. Zeta is impressive not because it glues a bouquet right under your nose, but because it consistently makes you turn your head over your shoulder, convinced you've just walked past a cluster of trees exuding an elegant, subtle, effortlessly uplifting perfume that spells out a very clear message: winter is over!

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Tauer Perfumes in 2011; fragrance tested on skin. For another review of Zeta - A Linden Blossom Theme, please visit Perfume Shrine.]

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Thanks to Andy Tauer's generosity, I'm able to offer a sample of his new perfume to a Persolaise reader. If you'd like to enter the draw, please leave a comment about which perfumery material (be it natural or synthetic) you would most like to smell.

Terms & Conditions:
i) the competition/draw will be open until 10 pm (UK time) on Monday 18th April; ii) the winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog; iii) if the winner has not made contact with me before Sunday 24th April in order to claim his/her prize, an alternative winner will be selected; iv) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; v) by entering the draw, you indicate that you are willing to pay customs charges (if applicable) and that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume / perfumery product posted from the UK; vi) if the prize is lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be sent; vii) the address of the winner will not be kept on record, nor will it be passed on to any third parties; viii) I take no responsibility for the composition of the perfume, as regards potential allergens and/or restricted materials.

Good luck!

Persolaise.

53 comments:

  1. I was going to say this one is easy only to instantly come up with 2 things. :)
    I would love to smell real ambergris and oud.

    Also, I grew up with a linden tree outside my window so I have high hopes for Zeta. :) I love that smell.

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  2. Can I just sign my name under the Ines' post? The only clarification will be that it was my grandmother's window.

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  3. I would most like to smell Green Ivy Givco 168. A synthetic that is supposed to resemble, green ivy! "Fresh, green and slightly dry." Sounds right up my street for summer days ahead.

    Still eager to try a Tauer perfume one of these days. I might just bite the bullet next pay day and get a sample tin :)

    Nice review Persolaise, but I'm jealous about your blossoming blossoms in your garden!

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  4. I, too, would like to smell real Ambergis. I'm not sure how I would react to the real thing 'naked'...it may be one of those materials best used in combination.

    The Zeta sounds lovely. Thanks for the draw!

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  5. Ines, if/when you get a chance to smell Zeta, please make sure you let me know if it reminds you of your linden tree.

    You're in the draw.

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  6. Undina, if you're doing a 'ditto' on Ines' post, I'll ditto my reply to her :-)

    You're in the draw too.

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  7. Liam, that synthetic sounds intriguing... but I'm shocked to learn you've never tried a Tauer. You've got SUCH treats waiting in store for you!!

    You're in the draw.

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  8. Alice, one day I'll have to order some real ambergris... although many perfumers I've spoken to reckon that the synthetic versions are pretty good.

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  9. Oh, me, too for the ambergris. So much.

    There's a tree here in central Texas called the chinaberry that has the most beautiful fragrant blossoms - I spend a lot of time in spring just standing around inhaling. I wish someone could find a way to incorporate this smell in a fragrance.

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  10. I've heard that ambergris smells awful, but I'd still like to sniff it, just the once! The same goes for civet.

    And there's an Indian attar called Mitti, which Tigerflag describes thus:
    "Baked earth from the River Ganges. Mitti captures the magical aroma of the first blessed drops of rain, falling on the earth after a long drought. Soft and mellow, nurturing and soothing. Mitti is beautiful worn alone, and blends well with all the other attars."

    I would love to smell that one.

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  11. There are too many to name! I'd like to smell myrrhe and of course the really hard to get stuff like ambergris and civet... sigh

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  12. Aside from the rare ambergris, what I'd really love to smell is osmanthus absolute!

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  13. Oh, Zeta! I love linden blossoms, and a quiet perfume from Tauer sounds really different and interesting!

    I'd love to smell and compare different incenses plus different sandalwoods (side by side with their synthetic versions).

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  14. An ingredient that I would like to smell... well, I think I would like to smell everything that's been mentioned so far!

    I think it would be great to have a perfumers palette of raw materials, for nose-training purposes, but there isn't one individual aroma that I'm really hankering after; in their raw state, I'm not sure I would be terribly appreciative!

    But I'd love to smell Zeta, and am going to wear Reverie au Jardin as my SOTD today! :)

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  15. Another vote for ambergris. It's one of the most intriguing natural essences, isn't it?

    And I would love to try mimose essence too. The scent of the flowers is wonderful, but I don't know about the oil or essence.

    Zeta must be a wonderful perfume. Please, enter me in the draw :)

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  16. I'm a Tuberose nut so I would LOVE to smell proper Tuberose Absolute. I imagine it to be absolutely filthy!!

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  17. Besides your plumtrees!, lilac!!The last time anything scentwise was around in this heady beauty was Persian Lilac for Crabtree & Evelyn in the 80`s! Hang in there w/ your schedule!! :-)

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  18. I wish I could find the fragrance of Indian Sandalwood from the days of yore.

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  19. I would love to try proper Aoud - I'm slightly addicted to aoud based fragrances at the moment and would love to see what the 'real deal' is like. I've read that depending where the aoud comes from garners what it smells like.

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  20. I'd like smell civet. I know descriptions of it but the real olfactory experience souds so inviting to me.

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  21. I love the smell of Linden Flowers! I would like someone to create a perfume that smelled like Russian Olive tree blooms.
    I love the smell of frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood and patchouli.

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  22. Persolaise I'm not very familiar with Linden blossom. Is this the blossom from the common lime tree we find everywhere? I have drunk linden blossom tea before, which a French friend of mine tells me is very popular in France.

    The perfume material I would most like to smell (and I realise it is not very PC and I wouldn't advocate it, but hey ho, in an ideal world) is real musk.

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  23. StyleSpy, I'd like to smell ANYTHING called chinaberry!

    You're in the draw.

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  24. Tania, I've smelt real civet, and it is INTENSELY powerful and INTENSELY interesting. If you get a chance, you must smell it.

    Your name's on the list.

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  25. Womo531, I believe there's an Italian online shop that sells civet, but it isn't cheap.

    You're in the draw.

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  26. Cutecandyhearts, yes, osmanthus is on my list too.

    You're in the draw as well.

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  27. Warum, smelling various synthetic sandalwoods is definitely a fascinating experience. See if you can get your hands on Javanol one day...

    Your name's on the list.

    ReplyDelete
  28. deeHowe, I'm thinking of you surrounded by an aura of Andy's unusual lavender.

    You're in the draw.

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  29. Isa, as far as I'm aware mimosa is a very expensive material, which is probably why I've never smelt it.

    Your name's on the list.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Voyagetocythera, start saving up those pennies!

    You're in the draw.

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  31. Linda, thanks very much indeed.

    You're in the draw too.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Stephan, you can still buy it, but it isn't cheap... and the quality may be dodgy.

    Your name's on the list.

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  33. Philip, I can recommend Amouage's oud attar!

    You're in the draw.

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  34. Marcopietro, the smell of civet is very intriguing indeed.

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  35. Anonymous, Russian olive tree blooms sound wonderful.

    You're in the draw.

    And Marcopietro, I forgot to say that you're in the draw too.

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  36. Michael, I don't honestly know if linden blossoms come from the tree you mention. I thought they came from linden trees...

    And as for musk, I can't deny I'd like to smell the real thing too.

    You're in the draw.

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  37. I've never smelled actual ambergris - that would be an experience! Also, recently I tried a perfume the listed Wisteria in the notes. I've never smelled Wisteria, but it smells a lot like lilac to me. I'd love to smell live wisteria and see if it stills smells like lilac.

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  38. "Quiet in the extreme" sounds just up my street. I would like to smell the civet that used to be in Magie Noire when I first wore it... ; - )

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  39. Kjanicki, I think we should all pool our resources and get some real ambergris from somewhere.

    You're in the draw.

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  40. Vanessa, keep looking on the Net: you may be able to track down a vintage bottle one day.

    You're in the draw too.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I dream of smelling orris butter and absolute. I imagine the butter as a combination of silkiness and creaminess. Have you ever smelled some?
    Does my imagination come close to the real thing?
    Thanks for your wonderful posts and generous draws.

    ReplyDelete
  42. So many aroma materials I'd love to smell! Top of the list: real ambergris, Persicol (on its own), carnation absolute, and various synthetic sandalwoods.

    I do have samples of several floral absolutes/essential oils, as well as a few drops of aromachems like vetiver acetate and "heart note" patchouli, and they are fascinating. Narcissus absolute is gorgeous.

    Thanks so much for the draw!

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  43. Isayah, you're more than welcome, and no, I'm afraid I've only smelt synthetic iris substitutes.

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  44. Museinwoodenshoes, that's a good list you've got there.

    You're in the draw.

    And Isayah, I'm sorry, I forgot to say that you're in the draw too.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Just getting into the perfumery thing, need a course I guess. Any scent that didn't come from the local mall would be new to me. I just best go with lilac.

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  46. I would like to sniff just about everything listed in the other's comments. However, the one I am most curious about at the moment is violet. No chance of me smelling the real stuff though.

    I was jealous of everyone's linden trees until tonight, I got home and the front yard smelled like honeysuckle and the back of citrus blossoms, simply wonderful.

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  47. Renee, lilac sounds like a great place to start.

    You're in the draw.

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  48. Tourbillion, that does sound like a fantastic scent with which to be greeted.

    Your name's on the list.

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  49. I would like to smell real ambergris

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  50. Petruccijc, I hope the whales are listening ;-)

    You're in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Jen, that sounds like a heavenly substance.

    You're in the draw too.

    ReplyDelete
  52. *** THE DRAW IS NOW CLOSED ***

    Thanks for all your entries.

    The winner will be announced on Persolaise.com within the next few days.

    ReplyDelete

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