Lonestar Memories

Tauer Perfumes’ Lonestar Memories (created by Andy Tauer) is described officially as:

“… inspired by the American West … The scent of a lonesome rider, wearing old jeans and leather jacket, after a long day on the horse in the dry woods, preparing his coffee on the open, smoky fire.”

While that isn’t the precise story that unfolds in my head when I smell Lonestar Memories, the spirit of the perfume as I smell it is perfectly captured in that vignette and in the name.

I grew up in the western and southwestern United States, and some of my most vivid childhood memories are of long family car trips, either in the daytime under a sun so hot that the landscape shimmered in the heat rebounding off the pavement, or at night when the car’s headlights illuminated a flat, cool landscape that seemed like it would roll out in front of us forever.


My dad, instigator of road trips, with my big brother.

Lonestar Memories evokes all of those memories. It smells like hot asphalt, diesel fumes, motor oil stains on salty skin, and smoke. From a distance, it’s alluring. But beware to the person who gets close. Up close, it’s raw and forceful in a way that I can only compare to a few other fragrances. Scents that redefine what perfume is. Scents that disorient.

The common wisdom is that fragrances like this are disorienting because we think we shouldn’t enjoy the smells they contain. Motor oil? No thanks. Hot asphalt? I’ll pass. But I’m not entirely convinced this is true of Lonestar Memories. I think it’s disorienting because it’s a masterful orchestration of a group of smells that tell a fairly commonplace story. When Hemingway writes a seemingly straightforward story about bullfighting, he invites us to think about fear. When I smell Lonestar Memories, I smell the American West, but I think about independence, and courage, and loneliness. Some perfumes smell like a thing. Other perfumes smell like a place, or a memory. Very few perfumes smell like an idea. That it smells like an idea of America is what makes Lonestar Memories feel so exceptional to me.

Image is my own. Perfume was my own acquisition. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.

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22 responses

  1. Nice review! For me, growing up in the Southeast, Lonestar Memories is more of an exotic scent… but it’s a lovely one.

  2. Outstanding!!! I just love your thoughts and your writing here, Natalie. I used to own a bottle of Lonestar Memories, then sent it on to Dionne for her son, as I found I wasn’t wearing it much, but I do concur with your thoughts about it – and also about what constitutes the “best” perfumes (or at least, the “best” in terms of my own tastes).

    And that picture of your dad is great! My dad sported a similar look in the 70s (the hair, sideburns, moustache .. and yes, the cigarette, too.) :)

    • Thanks so much, Suzanne. When I get a comment on my writing from you, I know I’ve hit the mark. How great that your bottle is continuing to give in the blogosphere. As I mentioned to Susan, I don’t wear this one, so I just reorder a sample whenever I run out (I spray it on cards and such – I just like to smell it from time to time).

      I have a feeling lots of our dads had this look! :)

  3. Great review. I totally agree that you don’t have to love a perfume in order to realise that it is great. Lonestar Memories didn’t suit my skin, but I still loved it. It is indeed a game changer.

  4. I like how Lonestar Memories smells on my skin but I don’t think I’d wear it much even if I had more than just a tiny sample. But I like it – unlike (;) ) many others from Tauer’s line.

    It’s a nice picture of your dad and your brother (though I wince every time I see a cigarette on older pictures).

  5. Love!! your review I mean..I need to think about whether that’s what makes a perfume great to me..I know I have thought about art in general and what makes certain art great (with perfume included in those thoughts) but I need to revisit those thoughts before articulating any of them..

    I don’t remember this perfume, though I have a feeling I tested this at the Scent bar a few years ago.

    • Thank you! I had to revisit this review many times, in part because of that whole question of art and great perfume. I wanted to do my best to do LM justice, which wasn’t easy.

  6. Nice review, Natalie. You said it beautifully and it is fair to expect of perfumes to create abstractions. Lonestar Memories recreates a scene very masterfully. It’s not my favourite fragrance but nonetheless it is a very good one.

    • Thanks so much. I think it says a lot that even people who don’t necessarily like Lonestar Memories, or like it but don’t wear it (like me), respect its quality and uniqueness.

  7. I can’t relate to Lonestar Memories on any level :-(, but I enjoyed your evocative review all the same. Great picture of your dad – those ‘not terribly colourful’ colour prints really take you back to the pre-digital era when (relatively speaking) there were so few images of us as kids.

    • I do think it might be the antithesis of anything you could find in England, or indeed maybe anywhere else. :) Thanks for reading, and you’re so right how much less “documented” we were back then.

  8. Looks like my comment didn’t post. Just wanted to say what a very special post this is. Thanks so much for sharing your personal associations and that great pic. This is a real stand-out for me, I do love to hear about how perfume links in with people’s lives. Please do modre if you feel like it.

    It really doesn’t matter what the perfume is, the writing is so good but rather like you, I do see LM as a manly, biker scent. It’s pretty – dare I say it – sexy. I’m now cringing because my Mum absolutely hates that word!

    • Thanks so much, Tara. I warmly appreciate this comment. And I’m glad I am not the only one who still pays careful attention to the words my mom likes and dislikes. :)

  9. Pingback: Tauer Lonestar Memories EDT Perfume Review | EauMG

  10. Pingback: Dark Passage « another perfume blog

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