January 3, 2017
"Perfume is storytelling. Perfume comes with a beginning and an end. And in between is the story that unfolds differently for everybody. It is a story that cannot be explained by notes or ingredients. It lives on skin and in the moment. Perfume must be experienced." -Andy Tauer
Andy Tauer creates scents that tell stories and are somewhat polarizing, and I mean that in a very positive way. Tauer perfumes love them or hate them rarely leave people feeling ambivalent. His perfumes re-invent, challenge, and get people talking. I like to think of them as the "performance art" pieces of the perfume world; non-traditional scents you simply must try, but might make you think twice before wearing them to work, a social outing, or out in the world in general. These are scents that I personally enjoy wearing alone at home, so I can douse myself and wander through whatever universe, journey, or fantasy they provide at that moment. Meditative. Some I love and some I don't and isn't that true of every Perfumers work?
One of his latest releases, inspired by a project from about 10 years ago, is "Hyacinth And A Mechanic" EDT (for the sake of brevity, HAAM), however before you dash off to order a bottle, just know that it is probably unavailable, but that may change sometime in the future. Or not. This current run of HAAM was available in the USA only at the launch parties for Tauer's new "A Coeur Du Desert", and only by buying this fragrance during the event.
Digitalized Hyacinths and Fred with Tyre Karin Wilzig
So why write about HAAM when it's unavailable; simply because it's gorgeous! And strange. And compelling. The notes of "Hyacinth And A Mechanic" are listed as: "Hyacinth; spicy green floral beauty. Some roses, maybe. In the air: the toolbox, the woods of workbenches, the sweet oily perfume of a garage and men at work. Leather, oily skin and flowers." This is a gorgeous melange of heady purple floral strewn out on a concrete garage floor, the narcotic spring-like scent mixing with the smells of oil, metal, petrachor… the totally recognizable smell of a garage. With pots and pots of hyacinth. Flowers and hot rubber tires and sweat, A scent that straddles the vague delineation between masculine and feminine, Hetero and homo-erotic.
Peter Paul Rubens, The Death of Hyacinth, c. 1636
The original Greek myth of Hyacinth finds Apollo the god of music, healing, light, and truth, falling head-over-heels in love with the young man Hyacinthus, but accidentally kills him by hitting him in the head with a discus during a competition. Where Hyacinthus' blood soaked the ground, purple and white phallic-shaped flowers sprung up. Apollo was so bereft at the death of his paramour, that he emblazoned the leaves of the flower with the Greek symbol for the word "Alas! or Woe!".
Fred With Tires By Herb Ritts 1984
This is a story made for Grand Guignol theatre or a La Scala Opera production. Actually I keep picturing a contemporary opera set in a garage or Autobahn service center, where Apollo is the owner and handsome mechanic and Hyacinth is a flat-tire customer who get killed by a carelessly thrown hubcap….. And the mechanic of course, is that tire-toting model from the famous Herb Ritts photo from the 80's. There we go again; Tauer perfumes always tell a story to me…
–Robert Herrmann, Contributor
Disclosure: I purchased my bottle at Scentbar in LA (luckyscent.com) and opinions are my own
Signed Bottle of the limited edition Stories of Hyacinth and the Mechanic
To begin the New Year in the spirit of giving, Robert is offering his personal (signed by Andy Tauer) 100 ml bottle of Hyacinth and a Mechanic for a registered reader click here in the CON US. To be eligible, please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about Robert’s review, if you have a favorite Andy Tauer fragrance and if you are familiar with this fragrance. Draw closes 1/7/2016