Treat this as a follow up to my Rose Flash review.
Andy Tauer is a sceptic. Perhaps not in reality, but in careful method. This method, which begins at a juncture where everything is taken and then hastily rejected (or rather, built up from and then upon) allows for the most succinct attempt at removing and obliterating any extraneous perfuming or advertisement fluff. In saying that however, as many have pointed out before me, there are plenty of brands that already do this. I’ve said previously (whether it be on a blog, on this blog, a forum, or in real life) that the edge of brands such as Aesop, Le Labo, and Frederic Malle is mainly its aesthetic; purely artisanal, for the most discerning of tastes. Straight and/or parallel lines, scientific bottles boasting fragrances made with the upmost scientific method, qualitative values listed, and latinate phrases for scientific names of ingredients make an appearance in some manner or another, which is great, but Andy Tauer takes it a step further.
In this instance flashy advertisements are no longer a requirement – instead, the press for Vanilla Flash is humble and perfectly simplistic. Andy speaks into a microphone, his voice is recorded, and then this audio is overlaid with still images. In the end the ad worked, and without hesitance I arranged a 10ml bottle to come into my possession. Tauerville is the perfect vehicle for Andy Tauer to be a perfumer and to simply create things, and he stresses that he wanted “… a vanilla that I will wear”. Like Rose Flash, I see this as a guarantee, a bit like a George Foreman Grill. His name and his integrity is pinned onto these works – and golly, his integrity is in safe hands with Vanilla Flash.
I will admit that I am a staunch enthusiast of vanilla – a ‘vanillophile’ – so wearing this at times is like a daydream, a meditation of subjective vanillic perfection that is based on both my terms and Tauer’s.
To conclude from earlier however, I raised three largely different brands as they all drive a superficial minimalist (a sort of down-to-earth pretentiousness) vibe, which is perfectly fine (this is not a judgment call), but they all seem to lack a true simplistic quality. They promise too much at the worst of times, and at the best of times they can miss a certain nostalgic quality to a perfume. This is why Guerlain, Chanel, and Jean Patou are great successes – they have a sense of heritage which is maintained, but they have never promised the world. Instead, they promised a story, a feature, a vibe, a feeling and Andy Tauer is channelling this. There are no false promises or declarations and if you don’t like it, that’s perfectly fine, you just move on and appreciate it. Andy Tauer and Tauerville, if likened to different types of residences, is a humble brick cottage. Wonderfully cosy.
© 2015 Liam Sardea
All in all however, finally as I now start to discuss the notes of Vanilla Flash (this time an EdP – 12%) I get a simple fragrance with an opening comparable to Tauer’s PHI Une Rose de Kandahar – a powdery dream of an impossibly light rose spiced and whisked in mildly mentholated tobacco smoke. Move on with hesitance and uncover the vanilla. Good things take time, and this moves at a slow concert tempo balanced with itself. There is nothing disturbing or shocking about Vanilla Flash, other than perhaps it also has its focal note highlighted and outlined in neon (like in Rose Flash). Also, the vanilla remains unsweetened throughout. It appears naturally sweet, like a caramelised fruit blended splendidly.
The tobacco I find is just as important as the vanilla in Vanilla Flash, and calling this Tobacco Flash instead would cause no drama. And no, I do not find that this fragrance resembles Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille at all, which presents a compacted and unfurling tobacco drama. This fragrance instead is a reality already unfolded. There’s a strong minty geraniol note that freshens the nasal palette, which I suspect gives the menthol cigarette impression. The tobacco too is lightly floral, then spiced with clove, coumarin, and cinnamon – a largely balsamic blend that is reinforced with patchouli, which is a strong aromatic force giving counterpoint and cutting against a spicy and mildly syrupy richness.
There is too a lushness compacted around a peculiar dry quality to the scent, as the florals teeter around a culinary herbal quality at times. Also, there’s an illusionary powdery accord which reminds me of incense, iris and orris which create a layering feature with a supple earthiness I get when I focus in on the scent. These are gentle – very, very gentle contradictions that keep the scent interesting. Together, Vanilla Flash is not a creature that trails away. It has a linear direction with a delicate series of rises and falls. What I like the most with this Flash is that is retains a coolness seldom seen in a vanilla. It is rich, but of course not rich. It is loaded, but at times simple and encompassing.
Alternatives: PHI Une Rose de Kandahar by Tauer.
Subjective rating: 4/5
Objective rating: 4/5