Lonesome Rider, the latest from Tauer Perfumes, reportedly "builds on" Orris, a limited edition Tauer fragrance from way back in 2006. That's great news for those of you who have mourned the loss of Orris, but sadly, I am not among your number. I did not love Orris, and it's too long ago now for me to tell you just why. I just didn't love it. The description for Lonesome Rider, though, also references Lonestar Memories, a fiercely evocative fragrance that Kevin aptly said "conjures the open range, charred kindling, raw leather, and the aromas of crushed resinous brush underfoot." I'll repeat part of Andy Tauer's explanation of what he wanted to do with Lonesome Rider:
...orris followed my Lonestar Memories scent that captures elements of untrimmed leather, campfire and the scent of wild pastures. A smoky leather note is what I wanted to see in Lonesome Rider, too. To me, this feels like going back to the source. I want the Lonesome Rider to stand out of the crowd. Thus, there’s an element of rough texture that I love so much. The smoke note is civilized, the leather warm and feels like a worn leather jacket.
So, how does that all work out? Very nicely, for me, at least. Lonesome Rider opens on peppery-spicy citrus (orange and grapefruit?), crisp and dry, over a mild leather backdrop, with just enough clove that for a few seconds, as vague floral notes join in, you half expect a carnation to come along. Instead the leather gets deeper and more buttery, and the woody notes more obvious, and iris takes on just enough weight to smooth everything over. There are hints of smoke, but they're mild, and there are likewise mild animalic notes (castoreum, says Andy Tauer) and at times, a brief hint of charred rubber.
Lonesome Rider is mostly dry, but it's not as dry or outdoorsy as Lonestar Memories, and while it does have the rough texture and smoke Tauer said he wanted, everything is comparatively civilized here, not just the smoke note — it smells like sandalwood more than charred kindling. Of the two, Lonesome Rider is probably easier to wear. Lonestar Memories reminds me of being outdoors in the semi-arid north of New Mexico, in late summer or early fall when the evenings are cooling off and the smell of distant woodsmoke cuts the chill. Lonesome Rider, despite the name, takes me indoors — picture, maybe, the rustic interior of an old wood cabin, with well-worn leather furniture and an ancient iron woodstove. Like Lonestar Memories, Lonesome Rider is a scent memory as much as anything, and it doesn't easily fit into any of my usual fragrance categories.
Verdict: Fantastic. If it were sold in small sizes, it would be on my buy list already. I will have to hope that it will eventually be a selection for the Explorer sets. A trio of Lonesome Rider, Lonestar Memories and Incense extrême (or Incense Flash) would be the perfect set-up for a long winter spent dreaming about summer evenings in New Mexico. Via a Swiss perfumer — it's a weird but wonderful world.
Tauer Perfumes Lonesome Rider is $135 for 50 ml, with a special pre-sale price (through 2/15/2016, so if you're interested, hurry!) of $75. It is being sold on a dedicated website, where you can also set your own price for samples ($4 US for shipping).