I always thought sangria was a stupid invention. I mean, why would you add citrus to wine? It seemed all wrong. Ditto orange in chocolate, coffee, etc. Why take two intense flavor profiles which have little in common—and what they have in common isn't something you want to enhance, like acidity—and then push them together into some Dr.. Frankenstein creation. Such was my line of thought as I sat out on my back patio, sipping my husband’s homemade sangria, which is nice as far as such things go, when I spritzed on Andy Tauer’s newest creation Orange Star, to review.
In a moment of serendipity, it all came together. When I smelled that intense, superfesh, almost Tang-like orange topnote in conjunction with the fabulous Tauer resinous incense, which here smells fabulously bitter, but in a nice way, like a good juicy orange peel, I understood so much more than the fragrance itself. I understood what it means to go out on a limb, to try something intense, problematic, difficult. Something that doesn’t readily make sense to others, but when it does, it’s sheer fabulosity. Just like a good sangria, which not only brings together very problematic elements (tannins, acids, oxidization, citrus flavors, alcohol) in a harmonious composition that is greater than its parts, or a really well made orange chocolate, which says something other than ‘chocolate flavored with synthetic orange’, Tauer brings together truly disparate, though somehow harmonious elements, and creates something really special here.
Orange usually means freshness, cleanness, lightness—just think of all the fresh, light, cologne-oriented traditional edts, and then think of modern iterations of citrus scents, which also emphasize lightness. If it doesn’t mean fresh, it means pomander—a Christmassy or autumnal blend of citrus and spice. Orange star is neither ‘fresh’ nor ‘holiday-oriented,’ and therein lies its genius. It is a dense, heavy orange/incense combination, one that floats heavily around the wearer but doesn’t seem seasonal, and one that says anything but ‘I am fresh and just-washed.’ In fact, it has a salty, almost oceanic tang at the base which is very interesting, but definitely not clean—it smells more ancient than anything. I TOTALLY dig it. One more thumbs-up for Tauer’s latest creation. But I’m sure I’m just preaching to the choir… or am I? Any further opinions on Orange Star, now that the fervor of the launch has died down and we all have had some time for reflection?
Other Bloggers’ reviews of Orange Star (let me know if I’ve forgotten anyone):
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: orange image and encaustic portrait of man with red wine and rose-petal wreath; from Er-Rubayat, fourth century CE Santa Monica, Getty Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 1989