Tauer Perfumes: Sotta La Luna Gardenia Review

By Laurin

Spending one’s Saturday afternoons
poking around perfume blogs and websites brings one to a small and
perhaps completely obvious conclusion. Many perfumers and perfume
lovers alike are also gardeners. This makes sense when I think of it,
that a love of fragrance might be born out of a love of nature and
the bounty of odours within. Or perhaps having a living reference to
hand is useful when attempting to evoke through scent a childhood
memory of long summer nights and fragrant breezes. OR, maybe we’re
all just natural hedonists for whom the feel of one’s hands in wet
soil or the sun on bare skin is just as irresistible as any foray
into gluttony or lust.

All of the above?

I have neither a green thumb, nor a
garden in which to put it to work. My personal smellscape is limited
to the urban, the gourmet and the grotesque. To my knowledge, I have
never smelled a gardenia. So, when I sat down to write this piece, I
found myself at the mercy of the Royal Horticultural Society via
Google. On the subject of gardenia, they have this to say:
“(Gardenias are) grown for their attractive foliage and highly
scented showy flowers. (They are) often considered to be difficult.”

Attractive, highly scented and possibly
difficult could easily apply to Andy Tauer’s latest release,
Gardenia Sotto La Luna. To be fair, you could apply the same to most
of his fragrances and you wouldn’t be lying. They are not
fragrances for the faint of heart, nor do they make small talk. They
should only be sprayed when you’re in the mood to listen.

Gardenia gets
straight to the point as it takes the stage. This is a heady, intense
floral with no aldehydes or bergamot to soften its seductive message.
The flower is laid over a creamy base of tonka and vanilla, which
peek through its spicy facets of gingerbread and clove from start to
finish. But lest you thought you were getting a freshly baked
confection, warm from the over, you should also know that this
gardenia always keeps its feet planted firmly in the more earthly
scents of overripe banana and tiny mushrooms pushing through the
forest floor.

There is a telling scene in Ernest
Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises in which Montoya, the
bullfighting aficionado and hotel proprietor, walks into a bar in
search of the young bullfighter Pedro Romero and finds him: 

“with a
big glass of cognac in his hand, sitting between (Jake) and a woman
with bare shoulders, at a table full of drunks. He did not even nod.”

Sotto La Luna Gardenia is that
bare-shouldered woman, Lady Brett Ashley. Nominally an upstanding
fragrance that you could introduce to your grandmother, but ready
(and more importantly, willing) to fulfil your most carnal urges
behind closed doors. Or, as that noted 21st century
philosopher Usher noted in his 2004 treatise entitled Yeah!, “a
lady in the street but a freak in the bed!”  

The Fine Print: Sample sourced from Les Senteurs

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