Lonesome Rider strikes me as quite different to the impressions of my blog colleagues here and here. To me, it reads mainly as a bright, arid floral with a dusty, soapy trail, eventually winding up in a grey, mineralic cloud of resins and Ambroxan. If that doesn’t sound like I enjoy the scent, then you’d be wrong: I love it. It’s just that I don’t get much of the leather or any of the smoke that other people are talking about. To me, this is a beautiful white-grey cloud of soapy orris, spicy carnation, and other, mixed florals (rose, violet, jasmine) floating on top of that Tauerade of powdery sandalwood, vetiver, and Ambroxan. If Lonestar Memories is an oil painting done in thick reds, browns, and tar black, then Lonesome Rider is an acid pastel – strong but delicate.
The fragrance opens with a very sharp citrus peel – either bergamot or grapefruit – tempered with an oily black pepper. I love the way the citrus and the pepper notes have been merged so completely into one other that they no longer smell like citrus or pepper – I’m left with an impression of sharp brightness, like the metallic taste of grapefruit juice in your mouth long after you’ve swallowed. The top notes are soon folded into the balmy, rosy floral notes, so they barely matter in and of themselves, but the lingering acid sharpness runs through the fragrance from top to tail, providing a welcome “crisp white shirt” tone to the composition.
Soon, a creamy white orris note spreads itself out – soapy, clean, and to my nose, reminiscent of the treatment of orris in Prada Infusion d’Iris pour Homme. Slightly metallic and citric, it eventually settles into a “white” cloud of soap flakes so finely milled that your nose can’t tell if it’s a liquid or a cream. The iris is joined by a mixed chorus of florals – I perceive rose, crisp green jasmine (Hedione?), perhaps even violet, all bound together in a tight, high-toned powder.
There is a spicy carnation tone to this as well, as perhaps that’s just the combination of clove and rose. Either way, the carnation and the pinched floral dust give the scent the feel of a Caron before it reaches its creamy, ambery “licorice” base – a Tabac Blond or Nuit de Noel, perhaps, in their opening blast, when they come across most like spicy green-toned face powder and cigarettes.
The spicy, almost bitter floral powder in Lonesome Rider also makes me think of Histoires de Parfums’ 1876, which focuses on a rose dipped in benzoin powder, cinnamon, cloves, and violet dust. The essential styles of the fragrances differ, though – Luca Turin called 1876 the best dandy fragrance in existence, whereas Lonesome Rider seems completely modern to me; spare, direct, and divested of unnecessary frou frou.
I have to be honest – I don’t get much of a leather note in Lonesome Rider. Sometimes, here and there, I catch something of a fine, supple glove leather, but it’s certainly not the phenolic, rubbery black leather of Lonestar Memories. To my nose, there’s no gasoline or farm instruments aspect, so it leans away from those tough floral leathers such as Knize Ten and Lonestar Memories and towards a more civilized, buttery treatment (think more in terms of Cuir Cannage).
I don’t get too much smoke, either, but it’s possible that the arid, dusty floral cloud is so tinder dry that it reads as a puff of white smoke, the type that shoots up thinly when you rub two sticks together over kindling. If anything, it has a similar level of soapy dryness to Incense Rose and Incense Extreme, but I wouldn’t say either of those is smoky either.
It’s hard to explain, but I experience an unsettling feeling of nostalgia and emotion while smelling this. I think there is something to it that reminds me of a perfume an ex-boyfriend used to wear, but I can only remember bottles of Kenzo Pour Homme and Dolce e Gabbana Pour Homme (the original, from Italy), and neither of those have notes in common with Lonesome Rider. But there is definitely a memory connection here and not an unpleasant one, either. Perhaps the soapy, clean, bright feel connects me to a product he once used, like Nivea in the blue pot, or Neutro Roberts deodorant stick, which back then you could only buy in Italy.
Either way, Lonesome Rider is a beautiful fragrance – a clean, soapy floral powder with a balmy leather undertone. There is a delicate white cloud-like feel to the perfume, which I attribute to the orris note, and a bright tartness from the ever-present citrus-pepper combination. It feels clean, bright, and yet stirring.
The dry down is mainly a dusty, grey ambroxan (or ambergris-like) note that smells like mineralized rocks – dry, salty, cool-toned, like the smell you get when rain hits hot rocks on a summer’s day. It is arid, as in most Tauer perfumes, but it is also strangely delicate. Andy Tauer mentions that there is a touch of castoreum in the mix, which would explain how the leathery note is built, but like I’ve mentioned, I don’t smell anything animalic or overtly leathery other than what my mind is furiously suggesting to itself when I read the notes list. I get a faintly ureic acid tang in the dry down, which I think comes from the ambroxan, and it adds an almost ammoniac-like aspect to the fragrance that I find most interesting.
Lonesome Rider is definitely among Andy Tauer’s most subtle fragrances, and the most wearable on a day to day basis. You don’t have to “suit up” for it. It is not rough-hewn, smoky, and outdoorsy like Lonestar Memories, but rather introverted, subtle, and floral in outlook. And despite the name and the marketing, Lonesome Rider does not transport me to a starlit prairie or desert plain, like L’Air du Desert Marocain and Lonestar Memories do – it’s far a more introspective affair. That suits me just fine. You have to pay me to go outside anyway.