Skip to main content

Zeta – Andy Tauer’s ode to summer - June 3, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

I’ve always loved fragrance, but when I first began to get seriously interested in niche perfumes a few years ago, I turned to blogs to learn about new perfumes and new perfumers. Blogs like Now Smell This and Fragrantica were, and are, excellent resources especially when they announced or listed a new fragrance and sites like Grain de Musc and Perfumeshrine gave me insightful, educated fragrance critiques, that I valued.

The whole niche perfume world opened up like a ripe, juicy halved peach and I wanted to eat it all. I read about Jean Laporte, Frédéric Malle and Serge Lutens and learned the names of ‘nose’s who created the perfumes I came to love: Jean-Claude Ellena, Olivia Giacobetti, Bertrand Duchaufour. But for all the frags I’ve tried and all the new perfumes I’ve learned about, I vividly remember the moment I first smelled L'Air du desert marocain by Andy Tauer. I had simply not smelled anything like that floral-woody core on my skin before. And while I was a niche novice, I knew that what I was smelling was a true work of art.

A Swiss chemist and self-taught perfumer, Mr. Tauer’s fragrances were like nothing else that came before them and he quickly became the darling of perfume bloggers everywhere. And like many others, I became a fan and devotee of Tauer Perfumes. Over the years he has surprised, delighted, thrilled and yes, sometimes disappointed me. And if I were to be honest I would have to say that those disappointments were often due to my not being ready for what he offered rather than his not offering up something that wasn’t up to standard – which is often the way it is with art.

All of which brings me to Zeta. ‘Zeta’ may be the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, but it’s the first perfume I want to wear at this time of year.

The Tauer Perfumes website describes Zeta as “…a charming ode to summer.” And so it is.

It opens with lemon and bergamot sweetened with orange. The citrus notes here are soft and seductive, not sharp or bracing and they ease to a floral heart of subtle, jasmine-nuanced ylang ylang, supported by sweet floral orange blossom absolute, which echoes the scent of jasmine, tempered with a fresh green note from neroli. Zeta is citrus laden for sure, but what holds it back from being citrus dominated is the addition of honey-like, green, powdery linden.

Linden trees are in bloom right now and their early summer fragrance wafts through my neighbourhood. The linden note in Zeta is delicate and true, without the harshness that a synthetic linden note has. And that whiff of honey I get every now and again draws my nose back to my wrist, like a bee to a flower. Mr. Tauer does love a rose note and there’s a lush, gorgeous one here that rounds out the floral heart perfectly. At the base, fragrant, slightly bitter orris root grounds the florals, giving them a more natural dimension. Vanilla extends the sweetness to the base where sandalwood gives it a soft woodiness that keeps the sweetness in check.

The drydown is delicate, tender like a day in early summer, while having the feel of luxury. Mr. Tauer nailed it – Zeta is an ode to summer.

Full summer will be here soon enough – hot, muggy, sweaty but its own gifts. For now I’m going to slow down those clocks, drag my feet, drag time and hold on to these halcyon days of June and I’m going to do it by wearing Zeta.

Today, we’re adding Zeta to our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00