A cross-blog discussion that has been going lately concluded that some perfumes are beautiful, but very few are really evocative. I'd add that some perfume reviews can be more evocative than the fragrance itself. An olfactory experience that actually takes you on a journey is a very rare experience in recent days. Which might be for the best. Do we really want to be taken anywhere by Britney Spears or Victoria Beckham?
Mentioning Posh Spice in a post discussing Andy Tauer's work is sacrilegious. So, let's put another line break between her and these perfumes.
L'Air du Desert Marocain
If I were into the whole signature scent thing, this would most likely be my choice. It's not about the notes, really (which are all lovely: Coriander, Petitgrain (Bitter orange), Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmin, Cistus, Bourbon, Geranium, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Vanille, Patchouli and Ambergris, according to Luckyscent. Tauer Perfume website also mentions cumin and rock rose). It's about that special thing that happens when I put it on.
I've never been to Morocco, but the journey I'm taken on is a trip into myself. It feels like Andy Tauer knows me. He knows my secrets, the hidden corners of my conscience, my earliest memories, little quirks, hopes and wishes. He created a fragrance that fits into the aforementioned little corners, that envelopes me in half forgotten bits and pieces of myself. It's dry and spicy, and has warmth like no other scent that I know. But I don't think that I'd have a problem wearing it even in the middle of summer, unless it's one of those humid NYC days, when nothing but Eau d' Hadrien would do, if I am to stay alive. Any other time, I suspect that L'Air's dry heat would complement the weather as perfectly as it does now, when it's bitter cold outside and a bit over-heated anywhere else.
This scent is so masterfully blended that while you can engage in a fun Find the Note game and ponder the complex layers and whatever spice and wood that emerge at any given moment, it's not about that. It's the picture painted, the overall experience that you get during the very long lasting wear of this wonderful fragrance. It's an EdT Intense, but it stays on more than many EdPs I know. It's categorized as a unisex scent. On my skin it's feminine and sexy, but considering the notes, most men can wear it happily. The Blond has yet to try it. He's far too happy right now with Lonestar Memories.
Le Maroc Pour Elle
(see my updated review here)
I have no idea if the real Morocco smells like deep, dark roses and rich woods. I suspect that as a Middle Eastern country that is mostly desert, reality might vary a little from this Arabian Nights extravaganza. But, I don't care. In the real world, I'm a big city girl, with a preference for a metropolis that sits on the coast. But this isn't about the actual geographic place. It's more about that legendary Morocco of your heart and imagination.
Unlike L'Air, the notes here are far more obvious, and it's a predominately a rose scent. The rose is touched with lavender, as is felt in the clean, almost sharp opening. As it soften and expands on the skin (you can almost feel the way it opens up to reveal more and more of its beauty), the woods come forward, while maintaining the beautiful sweetness of the rose.
A word regarding the rose: It's not your grandmother's rose, and not an innocent, virginal one either. There's depth, darkness and mystery here. There's sweetness, but very far from a Turkish Delight comfort smell. I'd put it in a similar group with Regina Harris' perfume oil, though it's quite different in the way the notes manifest themselves.
Lasting power: excellent. It's there from early evening till the morning after.
I'm the happy owner of one of the 200 limited edition (now sold out) bottles. It's exciting to know that I have something so rare and special. Not to mention beautiful. It might not be my favorite of the three right this moment, as this place is now taken by L'Air, but I have a feeling that come summer, Orris will be used far more often.
My nose and my skin see it as lighter and greener than the other scents. The opening to me is almost herbal, like the plants in my garden early in the season. The rose here is lighter and airy, less femme. It turns leathery soon after and the incense rounds it up nicely. More than the others, Orris seems to be changing with the time of day and outside temperature. It's good now, and I'm hoping for great fabulousness later.
It wears just as nicely on my husband, though he wasn't too sure how masculine it is. I guess it depends how much of the rose emerges on a given day. This is temperamental scent, for sure.
Art: John Frederick Lewis (1847–1928) Dolce Far Niente, 1876