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.]
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.