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Friday, January 06, 2006

Perfume Review: Andy Tauer L’Air du Désert Marocain

L’Air du Désert Marocain by the Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer is “a perfume that sends one dreaming of far oases”. When I start quoting Baudelaire it is a sure sign that I am in love with a scent. There is nothing I like more than a perfume that is evocative of far-away lands, a perfume that is “rich, glorious and forbidden, having the expansive power of infinities, amber, musk, benjamin and incense, that sing of the ecstasies of spirit and sense.” Inspired by the Maghreb desert, L’Air du Désert Marocain is everything I admire in a fragrance; it is superbly blended, exotic, deep, forceful and yet, because of its very smooth blend, it is eminently wearable and strangely comforting. It envelopes me like a luxurious, ornamented blanket from an opulent tent of a sheikh. L’Air du Désert Marocain smells just like I imagine that tent would, and I understand completely why Andy Tauer’s site describes it as the scent of desire.

L’Air du Désert Marocain is a predominantly amber scent on my skin, a complex, multifaceted and multi-staged fragrance. At the first stage, the amber note is herbal-spicy, accompanied by coriander and cumin. As the scent develops on my skin, it darkens, the amber acquires a leather-like undertone, rich and smoky; soon, it is made even darker and more mysterious by a note that I can only describe as incense-like. According to the perfume description, L’Air du Désert Marocain’s heart is composed of rock rose and jasmine, but I must say that the floral notes are lost on my skin. The drydown of L’Air du Désert Marocain is glorious amber, just the way I like it, opaque, intense and warm, what I call a “churchy amber”, because again, to my nose, it has a subtle hint of incense. I admire the way the notes don’t completely disappear with each stage of the scent development, for example, I can still smell coriander and cumin in the drydown, and the wonderful smoky leather note is also apparent to my nose till the very end.

I must say that I am not at all sure there is leather among the notes of L’Air du Désert Marocain; perhaps the notes combine to create an illusion of leather on my skin. But the note is there, to my nose, and I love its dark smokiness and richness. I understand that Andy Tauer is at the moment working on his third scent, which will feature leather as the main accord; I am very much looking forward to trying it.

L’Air du Désert Marocain can be found on blueroll.com or lemaroc.ch, SFr. 85.00 for 3,4oz.

I will leave you with Baudelaire’s poem The Scent Bottle; come back next week for the review of Andy Tauer’s second scent, Le Maroc Pour Elle. I must warn you though, there will be more Baudelaire quoting.

The Scent-bottle

There are heady scents
that seem to find all substances
porous. One might say
that they could permeate glass.
- Opening a casket from

the Orient - one
whose antiquated lock grates,
sulkily squealing;
or in an abandoned house
some cabinet redolent

with Time's acrid breath,
black with decay, dust-laden,
sometimes you may find
one old vial, whose lost soul,
released, springs to life again.



*The photo of L’Air du Désert Marocain and the beautiful graphic are here by Andy Tauer’s kind permission.

16 Comments:

Blogger Parisjasmal said...

Hello Colombina,

What a lovely post and a beautiful poem.

Have a wonderful day!

11:19 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you!! Have a wonderful day too and a great weekend.

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, it sounds beautiful but not necessarily like something that would suit me...what do you think? Would I like it?

11:54 AM EST  
Blogger Anya said...

I'm still waiting for my samples, it seems the slow boat from Switzerland is chugging its way here very slowly, lol. Andy's graphics are truly beautiful, and he is to be commended that for a small, niche company he has created a professional, artistic visual. Bravo!

12:09 PM EST  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Oh, this sounds beautiful. I love ambers!

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

I'm so jealous! I have this and his other one coming to try. I'm not usually big on strong ambers, hate Ambre Narguile, so hopefully this will be good for me anyway!

12:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
I am not sure. Let me try this way. (and I am not saying it smells LIKE these scent, just sort of "in spirit" of them) Did you like SL Ambre Sultan? Or Timbuktu? If yes, you *might* like this. In any case it is a beautiful scent worth sampling.

12:38 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Anya,
Everything about Andy's scents is highly professional and artistic. The packaging, the perfumes themselves...

12:39 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
If you like ambers, especially darker ambers, you will love this one!

12:40 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
This is nothing like Ambre Narguile, both are robust ambers, but while AN is sweet-strong, L'Air is dark-spicy-leathery-incensy-strong if that makes any sense. My crystal ball here says you will like it, if not love it. :-D

12:41 PM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Dear M.,
Based on your glowing review (and, I must admit, Luca Turin's) I have just purchased this scent unsniffed. Baudelaire will get me anytime -- my desert island book would be his complete works -- and from your description, I can't not love it.
By the way, what happened to your literary + fragrance reviews? I loved those first posts!

1:31 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Dear Carmencanada,
I am so glad you purchased L'Air...but wait, what about Le Maroc Pour Elle? That one is beautiful too! :-)

I guess I just ran out of favorite books to compare to perfumes. Hopefully, there will be more, for now, I am sticking to quoting Baudelaire :-)

2:10 PM EST  
Blogger Christina H. said...

I thought this sounded good but I like some sweetness to my fragrances.

8:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
It is not very sweet, that is true. You might find Le Maroc Pour Elle more to your taste. I will review on Monday.

8:30 PM EST  
Blogger risa said...

this sounds so incredible! what an amazingly evocative post :) thanks M!

2:21 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Thank you, Risa!
This is an amazing scent!

2:39 PM EST  

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