By chance, I ended up with samples of Tauer Perfumes Noontide Petals and Hermès Jour d’Hermès the same week. Here were two fragrances embodying floral bouquets, created by two very different noses. Naturally, the fragrances don’t smell alike, but I didn’t expect that. What struck me was the distinctly divergent shape and feel each perfume takes on skin. Sometimes what's most compelling about a fragrance is how it feels.
Noontide Petals, by Andy Tauer, has top notes of aldehydes and Bourbon geranium; heart notes of rose, ylang ylang, tuberose and jasmine; and what Tauer astutely calls “body” notes of patchouli, frankincense, vanilla, sandalwood, iris, styrax and vetiver.
Noontide Petals’ aldehydes kick off the fragrance with a fizz, but aldehydic floral-phobes, don’t fear — this fragrance is no airy Chanel. Instead, the fruity aldehydes merely push the fragrance off the dock into lake. The perfume’s floral layer is juicy and June-pretty, with no one flower dominating.
For those of you who haven’t smelled Noontide Petals and have fixed in your mind a lovely traditional floral along the lines of, say, Parfums d’Empire 3 Fleurs, now infuse this vision with a weighty draught of wood, the tang of incense, sharp vetiver, and creamy vanilla. Within 20 minutes, Noontide Petals’ signature is set in this sweet and sour warmth, and the fragrance’s flowers have faded to a bare green tinge.
Despite its delicate name, as with other Tauer fragrances, Noontide Petals doesn’t pussyfoot around. It’s a velveteen coat of a perfume, cut in broad panels, and stitched together with strong thread. It wears dense and long. It has presence.
Here’s where it was so interesting to sample Noontide Petals and Jour d’Hermès at the same time. With Jour d’Hermès, Jean-Claude Ellena takes a floral bouquet that might be Noontide Petals’ sister, adds a hint of citrus, musk, and maybe a touch of black currant bud and blows it into a sturdy but whisper-light, personal geodesic dome of fragrance. Where Noontide Petals is almost palpable, Jour d’Hermès is another dimension, more sensed than definite.
How you like Noontide Petals might depend on how you prefer the “feel” of your perfume. Do you want a moody blanket, or a joyful chiffon breath? (Or, like me, maybe you relish the choice.) Despite its lighter-than-air name, for me, Noontide Petals’ medieval aura overwhelms the ideas both of midday and flower petals, but I think Andy Tauer’s many fans will agree that’s just fine.
Tauer Perfumes Noontide Petals Eau de Toilette is part of the Classics line and will be available in mid-April in 50 ml. For information on where to buy it, see Tauer Perfumes under Perfume Houses.