Thursday, July 8, 2010

my uncle and lonestar memories—ending Tauerama!

AspenRidge_1 (1) Well, here we are at the last Tauer review (at least for now, until Andy releases his new fragrances) and I feel a little melancholy to have completed this project! It has been a blast exploring this exotic and fragrant world with you.

But since we are at our last review, I chose to try something a little different. I am going to review Lonestar Memories through the lens of my own memories of my artist/cowboy uncle, whose face immediately came to mind the first moment I smelled this sagey, western fragrance.

My uncle Bruce started out as a talented artist making his living painting watercolors and creating pots, table tops and other useful and decorative items oAspenRidge_2ut of fiberglass. Then in the late 1980’s he designed and directed the building of Transisco tours’ "The 49er Express", a dining/tourist train which ran in northern California and Nevada. He and my aunt Roxanne were the owners of Dr. Hoys, a line of body products  that he developed, manufactured and sold for many years.

The two lived in Arizona for a long time, but recently moved back up to my home state, Montana, where they began to work on the Aspen Ridge project, an entirely green horse center and development. He is currently doing pottery in his new ceramics studio in his personally designed and completely green house pictured right. 

You have to see this project to believe it. It really encapsulates somebruce of the best aspects of the American west, as does Andy’s Lonestar Memories. My uncle and aunt love to go on horseback camping trips, and to me, this is the scent of those—saddles, the open sky, grass, a bit of sage, a campfire, some dirt on a hiking boot…it’s all there. 

To me, Lonestar Memories is a lovely unisex leather/smoky fragrance. It is not confusingly raw, although it is wild, because it is so well-Roxanne Haugheyblended. I see it as a very beautiful study of leather in its essence, with an almost tobacco note lurking beneath.

My uncle is a classic artist type—inspired, creative, and often quite abrasive, as this fragrance would be if the jasmine and galbanum didn’t smooth its hard edges, like my uncle Bruce’s gentle wife Roxanne does for him. She has worked side by side with  Bruce, for 34 years, handling the operational and financial management aspects of their many businesses. During Bruce's painting days, Roxanne ran a framing studio, designing custom mats and frames to bring his artwork to completion. In addition to serving as the business manager for Aspen Ridge Ranch, she owns and operates a company that makes towel scents for golf resorts and spas. An avid horsewoman, Roxanne loves to spend time with her horse, Noche, whether IMG_3746 riding through the picturesque trails of Aspen Ridge Ranch or on an annual all-woman ride throughout Arizona. Her love of animals does not stop at horses - she also relishes time with Sage, a rescued dog, and Blue Boy, an Amazon parrot who has been in the family for 33 years. Roxanne is investigating a plan to start a shelter for abused/neglected, and very old horses similar in nature to what is available for dogs and cats.

Although Lonestar Memories is pretty much a delight from beginning to end, as I’m sure their marriage has been, it does suffer the slightest midlife crisis (how’d you like that segue? LOL!), when a slightly sharp citronella candle note creeps in and bothers me a bit—it is certainly in keeping with the true-to-life Western nature of this fragrance, but it does not strike me as particularly beautiful. And it’s hard to be more beautiful than the first 1/2 hour of this fragrance is. Luckily, this period in the development doesn’t last long!

After this short crisis, the scent smoothes out again. The leather note remains, but it is buried under a waxy herbal, almost medical ointment-smelling accord, which is very unique and interesting indeed. 

The drydown lasts and lasts—a very pleasant smoky tarry, herbal leather. I really like it.

Bottom line: for me this is a very personal scent, which truly captures my upbringing in IMG_0108the Mountains of Montana, with my wild cowboy artist uncle and my fabulously nutty father. But I recommend it to anyone who has a love for the American West, for I feel Lonestar Memories encapsulates the energy of this romantic cowboy world.

here at left, an image of my father playing his accordion for me and my uncle Bruce at our family’s cabin in Red Lodge.



Stay tuned tomorrow for the announcement of the Tauer giveaway winner!


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