Noontide Petals opens with a prominent note of synthetic olibanum, sparkling and fizzy like champagne, zesty like citrus, slightly balsamic, resinous and sugar-sweet but also fresh and invigorating, fairly similar to the opening of Maria Candida Gentile's Exultat - that same kind of radiant and luminous incense-floral balsamic note (which is also a bit similar to Coca Cola, just less sticky and sweet). A lot of aldehydic saltiness, cold and luminous like a thin polished steel surface under a winter sun. On the base, a light and dusty accord of resins, benzoin, ambroxan, perhaps woods, and spices. Frankly I don't find this particularly interesting or fascinating, it smells fairly... "elementary" and basic to me, with no particular charm. I have personally smelled these aromachemicals a lot in other perfumes and I smell them here arranged in a really simple, "in-your-face" way - a way that smells honestly a bit uninspired to me, even if undoubtedly pleasant. Too plain and basic to play the "synthetic futurism" card, too synthetic to aim at some more classic warmth or deepness. The evolution is almost close to zero except for a progressive vanishing of the initial fizzy-zesty notes, and the emerging of a dry and dusty ambroxan note with vanillin and spicy nuances (the "Tauerade"). Great persistence as for all Tauer's scents. Pleasant enough but surely not among the best Tauer's on the market.
If aldehydes add fizz, sparkle and a dusting of glamour to perfumes, they also impart a foamy aspect – like whipped cream without the fat if that were possible. They are funhouse mirrors, bending other more nature-inclined notes into surprising shapes.
These qualities are all present and correct in Noontide Petals, a sunny, quicksilver creation that plays with the nose. The opening is a gust of aldehydes through which the richer floral and woody-resinous elements are perceived singing with vocodered voices. What does it smell like? Initially a bit like those Indian agarbattis (incense sticks) which depart from the traditional themes like rose or sandalwood and go for a fantasy feel with a range of aromatics crammed into one.
The tartness evident in much of the perfume’s evolution is worth remarking on – a lemony aspect to the aldehydes that modulates everything else. It took me a while to get used to and to decide whether I like it or not (I do). Through these lemon shades Tauer’s sweet florals (roses and jasmine among them) and resins take on curious hues, not quite themselves, but intriguing nonetheless. It’s only in the late stages when the aldehydes are losing their power that sweeter, calming tones like vanilla start making things a bit rounder, a little less edgy.
It goes without saying that Noontide Petals evokes aldehydic perfumes of the past, but that may be a response triggered by aldehydes per se (a bit like the bell to Pavlov’s dog). I’m hard pressed to find a specific firm point of comparison with particular perfumes – Noontide Petals is pretty much itself.
Want to know what Noontide Petals smells like? Shake a can of ice-cold 7-Up, hold it up to your nose, and open the tab. As the aldehydes and bergamot shoot up your nose, you gasp for breath, and then you laugh. I can think of no better formula for summer joy than this. But this is no one-hour wonder. It lasts all day and keeps you on your feet as it shifts between its stages of development. The fizzy top notes give way to a heart that will be familiar to fans of Andy’s Incense Rose and L’Air de Desert Marocain, a mixture of bone-dry woods, spices, rose, and incense. The best way I can describe the “Tauerade” base to someone who hasn’t tried his scents is this: take a hot boulder in the middle of a dessert, add a few tears of Frankincense and shards of desiccated cedar, sandblast it all down to a powder, and fire it off into outer space. Why wear a boring cologne water when you can wear aldehydic space rock dust? Just the thing to suck the moisture out of a humid summer day.
If a fragrance could sparkle like a fizzy drink, this would be it! Andy Tauer strikes again. Took a whiff of this and was blown away. It is a classic aldehyde fragrance and demonstrates what can be done with a bit of imagination. Sparkle, dazzle, zesty magic!
In line with the pillars of classicism (the resemblance with Joy Patou for instance is effectively unquestionable, though in a less animalic and elevated way) Noontide Petals is an old-school aromatic/floral chypre with a classic aromatic/fougere opening (bergamot/citrus lavender/geranium), with powdery/aldehydic notable accents, a floral exotic soul and a semi-oriental vanillic/incensey chypre dry down mastered by iris and by an almost lacteous soapy vetiver. The aldehydic/freshly botanical/orangy introduction is plain and soon radiant playing a role of support towards a soon emerging floral olfactory kaleidoscope. The tuberose/ylang-ylang couple masters over a yet notable more conservative rose/jasmine pair in the core of this complex aroma while a whiter iris lifts its whiffs in the air along the soapy-powdery dry down. The base notes are in my opinion also characterized by a really heady note of cool/powdery patchouli linked with a powdery sandalwood-vanilla conjuring me Coco Mademoiselle more than vaguely though in a less heady and "minty" way. Extremely romantic and dreamy juice. In the middle between classic and neo-classic modern refinement, yes with Joy Patou/First and all at once for instance Tom Ford Arabian Wood/Iris 39's accents and nuances. I have to disagree with the optimum friend of mine Drseid as i don't "see" a particularly overwhelming aldehydes assault, since i don't find this aroma so synthetic on the skin and finally because in my opinion the note of tuberose, iris and probably also ylang-ylang are more influencing the achieved aroma than the rose itself (the soapiness is mainly provided in here by an exotic/laundry ostensibly synthetic ylang-ylang than by the yet present rose itself and the scent Une Rose Vermeille which i tested recently provides a different floral approach under my humble nose). In conclusion, riding the time of Hypnotic Poison and the Jacobs's chemical poisons i tend to appreciate and support these modern sensible attempts to retrace the old-school olfactory footsteps in a cleaner and probably less "stale" way, re-orchestrating some old-style recipes in order to reproduce learned and thoughtful aromas.
22nd December, 2013 (last edited: 06th September, 2015)