Friday, 17 October 2014

Persolaise Review: Rose Flash from Tauerville (Andy Tauer; 2014)

Roses are always an easy sell for me - the result of a youth spent in the Middle East? - but when they're touched by the hand of Andy Tauer, they're especially irresistible. For some reason, the Swiss perfumer seems to know exactly how to bottle the multi-layered magic of the flower. Maybe he's just lucky in the lab. Maybe he doesn't shy away from using high-quality natural rose oils by the gallon. Or maybe he just adores the flowers and can't help his passion from flowing into his bottles. Who knows? The fact is that he's given us some of the niche world's most impassioned rose compositions, from the haunting Une Rose Chyprée, to the masterfully meditative Incense Rosé and the facetious Une Rose Vermeille.

He's done it again with Rose Flash, a shamelessly diffusive, tenacious, extrait-strength creation, overflowing with the greens, spices, citruses, woods and creamy intimacies which enter your very soul when you stick your nose into a bone fide, scented, living rose. As though to emphasise the neon-lit, hyper-realism of his work, he's accentuated the caramelised facets: this is a rose which could just as easily have emerged from a honeycomb as from a patch of soil. But its sweetness is never cloying or over-played; it merely serves to highlight the complexity of the floral heart. As soon as the sugariness threatens to take over, a sharp blade of grass or a scattering of pepper put it back in its place.

Tauer's other 2014 release - Sotto La Luna Gardenia - has been met with a great deal of praise. And rightly so: it's an intriguing, mutable, highly intelligent piece of work. But in terms of visceral impact, it didn't hit me in quite the same way as this new delight. I was hooked from the very first sniff, swooning from one breath to the next, ready to surrender myself to the power of its iridescent hues. Yes, okay: this could just be because I happen to love roses. But you know what? I prefer to think it's because Rose Flash is absolutely wonderful.

[Review based on a sample of extrait obtained in 2014. It's worth mentioning that Rose Flash is the first Tauer scent to be housed in a roll-on bottle. What's more, it comes only in a 10ml size and it won't be available from all of the brand's usual outlets (see the Tauer site for more details). Time will tell if this particular mode of release turns out to be successful, but I should just say - for those of you who, like me, tend to dislike roll-ons - that Rose Flash didn't seem to suffer one bit from this particular method of application. It lasted for hours and its diffusiveness was excellent.]



  1. Thank you Persolaise for this lovely review - as an ardent rose fan I drooled when Andy Tauer announced Rose Flash, so after reading this my tongue is hanging out so far I probably need to wrap it round my waist to keep from tripping up. Alas, for some strange reason he's not selling it in the EU - so it's unlikely I'll get to sniff it.

    I'm with you on roll ons - many don't dispense enough of the juice - and then there's always the thought that they're picking up stuff from your skin and rolling it back into the perfume to pickle until the next use - eyugh!

    Still waiting for your top 7 roses - some of us have long memories...

    1. Gimmegreen, yes, roll ons are ever so slightly odd... and they always feel a bit cheap to me.

      Anyway, your patience is about to be rewarded. The roses I selected for my Scented Letter article are:

      Nahema (Guerlain)
      Portrait Of A Lady (Frederic Malle)
      Une Rose Chypree (Tauer Perfumes)
      Sa Majeste La Rose (Serge Lutens)
      Joy (Jean Patou)
      Eau De Protection (Etat Libre D'Orange)
      Lyric Woman (Amouage)

      What are your thoughts on those?

    2. Thank you for your list Persolaise - you're a gent!

      Mainly complex roses - right up my street.

      Nahema is a particular favourite of mine - so over the top, it's almost a drug hit.

      Joy is the only relatively unfamiliar one here for me. When I was a child, women of my mum's generation used to wear it a lot. I've since lost touch with it, so time to renew my acquaintance.

      Une Rose Chypree is the only one I would pass on - for me the rose suffers in the composition from the weight of some of the other notes. I love Tauer's cheeky Une Rose Vermeille, though.

      Worthy of a place on my rose list would be:
      Ta'if (Ormonde Jayne) - wonderfully balanced rose oriental, my security blanket.
      Sideris (Maria Candida Gentile) - supersweet rose pierced by silvery frankincense - smelling is believing.
      Ombre Rose l'Original (EDP, Brosseau) - soapy to the nth, a veritable fog of a perfume, the parent of many a debased offspring.

    3. Gimmegreen, thanks so much for listing your faves. I like the sound of Sideris; I confess I'm not that familiar with it. And I'm so pleased you're a Nahema fan. I shall never forget the first time I tried it. I was completely and utterly blown away.

      As for Joy: if you can, sample the extrait. It is so much better than the other concentrations.

    4. I shall also always remember my first try of Nahema - similar to you, I, too, experienced blast off. This is how my Basenotes review of the perfume starts:
      'The first spray of this induced something of a swoon; this was no mere fragrance, it had the sweep of a constellation. When, after a few moments, my eyes opened again, I found myself asking the charming shop owner this completely unnecessary question: ‘Why do people bother with the evergrowing ranks of the unimaginative when something like this exists?’ '
      I remember reading somewhere that JPGuerlain was disappointed that commercially Nahema had been a flop. He had every right to be, I think.
      On the rare occasions that I come across someone on the street who is wearing it, I have to restrain myself from going up to them to thank them for helping maintain standards in perfume consumption!
      Of course I bought a bottle immediately that day in the perfume shop; along with a much cooler gem - Baghari. Both perfumes have lasted the test of time for me. I tend to wear Nahema when I know I am going to be alone, though, as other people can find its presence a tad insistent...

    5. Gimmegreen, thanks for sharing. In my view, Nahema is, without any doubt, Jean-Paul Guerlain's finest achievement... and I say that as someone who absolutely adores Habit Rouge.

  2. This is definitely on my must sniff list. I too am a rose lover, have you ever tried Shiseido's White Rose? I have a Great Maiden's Blush alba rose and it must be the source of the sublime stuff in Shiseido's rose. I'd also recommend Perris Monte Carlo's splendid Rose Taiff.

    1. Kathy, no, I can't say I have ever tried the Shiseido. Sounds wonderful! And you're so lucky to own a bona fide perfumed rose bush!

  3. I too am a rose lover in general and Andy's roses in particular. I also could not get enough Rose Flash and kept reapplying because the opening is just as wonderful, but different, as the drydown. I believe this is my favorite rose perfume to date. I got the roll on and already ordered the bigger bottle because I never want to run out.

    1. Scented Salon, it's a wonderful rose, isn't it? I'm so pleased it seems to be finding lots of fans :-)

  4. Wwaww I have just tested Rose Flash and I feel I need a bottle! After trying a lot of samples lately , bored of all of them, fianly (and luckely) I discover something new I wish to have. ...and nooo , you say it is not easy to obtain??


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