ALCHEMY! MAGIC! WHAT STRANGE MYSTERY LIES HERE?
Lonestar Memories - fragrances like this are the reason I love fragrance, thank you, Andy Tauer.
When I first put this on, I smiled, and that is the power of perfumery, and what I heard Andy talk about on a youtube video recently, when he said he came to realise this was not about making fragrances to sell to make money, this was about touching people.
The first wild, strange, intangible burst I got from this, besides the leather, and goodness knows what else, there was just one note, just one note, that took me back to... back to... it was on the tip of my tongue, and my smile was beaming wide, what was it?
And then, bingo, it came to me - it was my dad's dental laboratory, and the smells of my childhood - my father was a dental technician, and a big fragrance fan (and I instantly knew I would have to get him a bottle of this for his upcoming 70th birthday) - it took me straight back to those happy times as a kid, helping him out in his lab at home, those intoxicating smells of the chemicals in his lab, never unpleasant in any way - in fact we always used to joke that he must have been getting high off of all those fumes! - but it took me straight back, and it made me smile, and for that I will be forever grateful, Mr Tauer.
On me, that final basenote lasts and lasts and lasts, literally an application in the morning will last into the next. I don't understand how anybody can be anything but mystified and stupefied at how this fragrance can so slowly and so subtly change and mutate from its brute opening to its beautiful soft, woodsy closing - it is nothing but the purist art from a pure artist, and all I can say is long live our sense of smell! I think of it as art for the nose. I mean, we have art for the eye, art for the ear, art for the mouth, why not art for the nose? WHY NOT ART FOR THE MEMORY, ART FOR THE FEELING! THUMBS UP!!!
The two main phases are obvious: the leathery-smoky opening, combining a deep and slightly harsh leather with a smoky, campfire-cum-barbecue impression. Which on my skin is never overly intrusive or unpleasant. Rich - yes, intensive - yes, deep - yes, but all well combined.
The leather is quite dark, and a bit like an old leather coat, with hardly any gasoline not present - this is much less bold, raw and gutsy than Knize Ten; it is deeper and darker than Cuiron and also than the Cuir of the Nombre d'Or series.
A green, slightly herbal and slightly floral transition leads to the second phase, which sees a fairly dark vanilla together with a Taueresque sweetly-spicy incense impression; a synthetic sandal wood together with the spice keep the sweetness in check; this composition is never overly sweet, sickly or cloying; the balance is quite impressive.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and a great eleven hours of longevity.
The wintery fragrance displays many of the features characteristics for many of Tauer's products. Very pleasant and blended very well, overall very nice. 3.25/5.
Another odd, artistic creation from Tauer, Lonestar Memories certainly conjures the notion of leather, but is certainly not a leather-dominant fragrance on my skin, with leather being the key note among others: myrrh gives it an incense vibe, tonka gives it a nutty sweetness, and vetiver gives it an earthiness.
I get far more leather in the opening than in the dry down, which is greener and more tonka-laden. Still, the leather/myrhh combination resonates hours into the lifespan of the fragrance, and it is perhaps this particularly sharp combination that I regard as a bit off-putting. Not even the tonka is enough to sweeten it to the point I like the blend. I imagine many enjoy this blend, though, as it strikes me not as bad, but simply slightly different from something I would enjoy, perhaps in need of a few tweaks for me, but downright perfect for someone else.
Performance is good, with a very strong opening and initial hour, and decent longevity for an EDT.
6 out of 10
For the record, I adored Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain and would have bought a bottle in a heart beat, but I drew the line at the cost. Only for Chanel and Guerlain would I spend that kind of money.
Lonestar Memories is the second Tauer I have experienced. It begins for me with a very sweet leather accord, followed by a bitter rotting carcase smell, quickly followed by burnt caramel. It rounds itself out in the first five minutes to smoky birch tar with a sweetish under scent. If you ever made your own sausages, the combo of "Liquid Smoke" and commercial barbecue sauce would approximate it.
There are vintage chypres which have evaporated to a dark, thick, black syrup residue that remind me of Lonestar Memories. While I admire the composition, I would not want to wear it.
When I first tried this, my wife said "That stinks, get away from me!". After the burnt rubber subsided a bit, she reckoned "It smells like Morocco, like a Moroccan souk. But it still stinks." (she knows nothing about Tauer). Personally I quite like Lonestar Memories despite the admittedly tough opening (which reminds me of the day my washing machine broke down in a cloud of smoke).
11th February, 2016 (last edited: 15th February, 2016)
Lonestar Memories features an almost overpowering smoky leather note at the beginning, like a leather jacket tossed onto a campfire. Its black, rubbery thrust might seem too monolithic were it not for the minty geranium leaf and an orangey myrrh shooting though it, letting down the density of the smoke to an acceptable level. The opening is thrilling and evocative, but there’s no beating around the bush here - it’s wild enough to scare the horses.
But Lonestar Memories isn’t a perfume built purely on the shock value of its topnotes. The smoke note here is rich, full, and rubbed with sage, so despite the general industrial bent to the leather note (tar, creosote, tarpaulins, motor engine oil), there is a refreshing whiff of the great outdoors too. It’s a macho, dry perfume built on a HUMONGOUS scale, as broad in scope as a prairie. A fragrance for dreamers and wanderers.
For me, Lonestar Memories only really hits its stride when it enters the dry down. The smoke note settles, and becomes just one more layer in the rich leather, a tiny prickle of birch tar there to remind us that this is no ladies’ glove type of leather. There is real beauty in the quality of the myrrh here. It is soapy, antiseptic and slightly bitter in that black, oily way that myrrh oil is, so one gets the pleasant impression of having washed one’s hands with coal tar soap. If you are someone like me who grew up with that soap, then this stage will be a real rush to the head. It also has a licorice-like facet to it.
Teamed with the smoky but now smooth leather, and a gummy floral note (jasmine?), the myrrh provides a shot of almost bitter soapiness that reads as very necessary against the white, creamy amber in the background. The opening is riveting, but the delicious, long dry down is what keeps me coming back for more.
Would I buy a bottle? Probably not. Not because I don’t think it is beautiful or striking, because I do, but because it is such a strongly “environmental” fragrance, by which I mean that it conjures up an entire slice of Americana – a prairie, a dust bowl, a tire shop with oily mechanics – and so I feel it doesn’t really fit in with the type of life I lead.
But I treasure my sample of it. Now, rather than wearing it on my skin, I prefer to soak a blotter in Lonestar Memories and place it into my jeans pocket or underneath the desk lamp in my office so that I can enjoy its rich, smoky, cowboy-chaps scent all day long without the commitment of skin time. Perfect.