02 August 2012

Perfume Review: 06 Incense Rose by Tauer Perfumes

I am chuckling as I write this, because I was one of the biggest Tauter haters before I wrote this review.  I actually was considering putting "All of the Tauers I have tried" under the Scrubber section in my Perfume Portrait.  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?

Picture stolen from:


  1. Never say never, huh? I made that experience as well. Tauer takes time to appreciate.
    Lovely review, Melissa!

    1. Thank you Birgit! :)

      Yes, I am starting to see this. I don't "love" this one, but I definitely put it in the "like-very-much" category.

  2. Influenced by our dialog yesterday I'm wearing Une Rose Vermeille today. I do not love it but I like it a lot (I better! I bought a bottle of it - split it with a couple of friends since then but still have more than enough to wear).

    Incense Rose is on my "to test" list for August.

    And I agree with Birgit: never say never. Our tastes change a lot - with age and/or experience. The more perfumes you try the more tolerant you get towards at least some notes you thought you couldn't stand.

    1. Don't know how I missed this - my inbox is way too messy!

      Yes, Une Rose Vermeille seems to be a "like a lot" scent somehow. A dark edge would have made it pop, for me.

      I kept the Tauers because I am very much behind the whole "Never say Never" thing. The word "Never" has come back to bite me way more than once - and not just with perfume.

      You have a set list per month? How does that work?

    2. Don't know yet: it's my first month when I decided to create a list :) We'll see by the time of my next Stats post.


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