Luckyscent/Scent Bar, the wonderful Los Angeles-based store (and website) is celebrating its ten year anniversary. To celebrate, Luckyscent has commissioned a series of four perfumes, Decennial. Three of them were created by Jérome Epinette who composed a few of Atelier Cologne's fragrances. One Decennial perfume, Lys du Desert, is by Andy Tauer. This isn't the first time Andy finds his inspiration in the desert, but Lys is about the Californian desert and Joshua Tree National Forest, where the white desert lily blooms once a year.
The comparison of Lys to Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain is inevitable. Let's start by looking at the lists of notes:
L'Air-Coriander, Petitgrain (Bitter orange), Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmin, Cistus, Bourbon, Geranium, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Vanille, Patchouli and Ambergris
Lys- Bergamot, rose, green lily, dry cistrose, iris root, ambergris, dry cedar.
When you smell Lys du Desert the connection between the two is evident from the very first moment. Tauer's signature cistus and ambergris base, his Tauerade, is in the air. It's amazing how something so dry and almost brittle can smell so luxurious, yet it does. The incredible blend is not just a base-- it runs throughout the fragrance, providing it with warmth and structure, flirting with the floral notes.
The main difference between L'Air and Lys is the atmosphere, the idea they convey. L'air du Desert Marocain is very thick and spicy. I once described it as opening the window in your hotel room, letting in the dry desert air as well as the exotic scents of the locale. Lys du Desert is somehow more outdoorsy, airier, and, of course, floral. The powdery and dusty iris against a delicate just-blossomed lily offers a bitter/sweet contrast. It's a cold desert night that crumbles in front of the first rays of a hot day.
Some people who like L'Air find it too thick or too masculine. While I disagree, I will tell you that Lys du Desert can be easier for them to wear. The hint of lively green and delicate petals provides some levity and a modern angle on a classic oriental theme. I would have enjoyed more orris, but I understand why that's not the focus here. Orris is dark and sometimes austere, while light flowers give us the freshness and optimism of a new day. Lys du Desert has an incredible staying power and a very good sillage, even when dabbing from a sample. It's a beautiful perfume, worthy of the man who created it and of the boutique that commissioned it.
Decennial- Lys Du Desert by Andy Tauer For Luckyscent ($150, 75ml) is exclusive to Scentbar/Luckyscent in store and online.