Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories fragrance, with an aside on Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe

Light Coming On The Plains III by Georgia O'Keeffe

Last autumn, I sampled Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe fragrance. I enjoyed its vaporous waltz of faint incense, black tea, vodka "fumes", leather, muted spices (coriander and cinnamon), and sweet vanilla. But Ambre Russe was, in the end, a tad too refined; its richness was an indoor richness — bringing to mind a world of soft, smooth leathers, sparkling crystal, polished marble, waxed paneling and gleaming silver. Ambre Russe's opulence felt excessive and tame at the same time.

Lonestar Memories (created by perfumer Andy Tauer of Tauer Perfumes in Zurich, Switzerland) reminds me of Ambre Russe, and I’m happy that what I admired about Ambre Russe, the hints of smoke, leather and spice, has been tousled in Lonestar Memories, and made to encompass a world of outdoor opulence — a world of hills and mountains, majestic trees, dusty winds and tumbleweeds. Ambre Russe's controlled crackling fire beneath an ornate mantle in St. Petersburg had become Lonestar Memories' rustic campfire in the Texas hill country.

I have always loved the watercolors Georgia O'Keeffe painted while she was a teacher in northern Texas early in her life. Using bold colors and simple forms, O'Keeffe was able to convey vast landscapes, haunting images of the sun and sky, on small sheets of paper. In Lonestar Memories, working with a modest palette of fragrance notes (geranium, carrot seed, clary sage, birch tar, cistus, jasmine, cedar wood, myrrh, tonka, vetiver and sandalwood), Andy Tauer conjures the open range, charred kindling, raw leather, and the aromas of crushed resinous brush underfoot.

Weaving in and out of this dry, sunny composition is the moist, tropical scent of jasmine flowers — they are a welcome and captivating addition. Jasmine spurs Lonestar Memories out of an attempt to literally render a place using perfume and into a world of imagination and strangeness. (We've all encountered an incongruous aroma, appearing out of nowhere, that adds an eerie element to an experience. I always remember being at a glacier in winter and smelling heliotrope in the air.) Jasmine nudges and hugs Lonestar Memories' drier, smokier fragrance notes — like the white, unpainted areas of O’Keeffe’s Texas watercolors accent her vigorous shapes and colors.

For buying information, see the listings for Tauer Perfumes or Parfum d'Empire under Perfume Houses.

Image: Georgia O’Keeffe, Light Coming on the Plains III, (1917), via California State University, Long Beach.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the indoor- outdoor comparison, so very true.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really like how the Tauer fragrances seem to share something that make them distinctly “Tauer”, and Lonestar Memories is no exception. Thanks for the review!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Since I'm snow/ice-bound and stranded at home today I'm wearing Lonestar … and it is perfect in this weather. K

  4. Anonymous says:

    You're welcome and there IS a “fragrant thread” that runs thru all the Tauer perfumes…can't wait to see what he creates next, K

  5. Anonymous says:

    I heard how bad Seattle got it the past couple days – my sympathies, Kevin. (It was a lot easier on us down south in Portland, thank god.) Hope your staying warm and safe!

    It's funny – I tried Lonestar first in the summer, and now I can't really wear it in winter. There's coolness lurking under its smoke that just works fantastically on me during the warmer months. Love this line: “Jasmine nudges and hugs Lonestar Memories' drier, smokier fragrance notes — like the white, unpainted areas of O’Keeffe’s Texas watercolors accent her vigorous shapes and colors.” That's just perfectly worded, lovely comparison.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. I know many people associate this scent with cold weather, but I would (and did) wear it in warm weather and loved it. I'm glad Portland escaped a bad storm…I'm going CRAZY (trapped at home on my icy hilltop for two days and counting….) K

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for a really great evocative review. Lonestar Memories, such a fantastic name for a perfume, a book, anything. There's also a wonderful pic of a lean crinkle-eyed cowboy to go with this I think? I've heard Andy's been working for some time on a theme of orange blossom? Now THAT I'd really like to try.

    Hope things are thawing for you – in Bath in UK we've been almost blown away, but everything unseasonally warm with blossom out. Now if anyone could bottle Wintersweet, that would be irresistible – beautiful waxy flowers on bare branches and this magically intense, peppery sweetness scenting the whole garden, so unexpectedly lovely in winter. It's probably the contrasts again that make it so.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I definitely agree about the Tauer signature. I adore all four of them, with L'Air fast becoming a staple for me. Lonestar is next on my list of things my husband must own. There few fragrances that never fail to take me on a journey. This is definitely one of them.

    Wonderful review.

  9. Anonymous says:

    No thaw yet! But I have an 7 ft potted daphne in full bloom in the living room…it just can't take 15 degrees F at night outside…the house smells GREAT! K

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you…and I agree: LM takes me on a “trip”…it really reminds me of one of my favorite places — northern New Mexico (Taos), K

  11. Blimunda says:

    I just ordered 6 samples from Andy, and am so excited to try his scents. They sound incredible, and this one in particular is right up my street. The reviews that you and Robin have written of his fragrances inspired me to try them, finally. I’ve been reading a lot about Andy himself, and he is becoming a hero of mine, along with Germaine Celleir!

    • Kevin says:

      Blimunda: out of six, I’m sure you’ll enjoy SEVERAL! I really like his incense fragrances too.

  12. Blimunda says:

    One down, 6 to go (they slipped me a complimentary rosee chypree too.) I am really enjoying the aptly named Lonestar. I am impressed at how long it lasts, considering it is an EdT. The dry down reminds of Tabac Blond and Cuir Mauresque dry downs – which is very, very good!!!

  13. kate says:

    I sent off for some samples and tried Lonestar last of all and didn’t really like it but kept sniffing my arm – and then I tried it again and I “got it” and love it! Its not an easy one to get your head around but maybe thats the point – just let your body chemistry do its thing and see what happens. If it suits your skin you’re onto a winner. I didn’t get the diesel and rubber fumes that some moaned about on other sites but what I did get was a fantastic first “hit” of Benzoin like an old fashioned apothecary of my childhood and this was quickly followed by a sweetness redolent of the perfumes shops of long ago – its beautiful and stunning and stays for a long long time on my skin and when you think its done you get another tendril of sweetness wafting into your senses. Gorgeous….very different….very clever….and definately FB worthy for me.

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