The problem with writing twenty perfume reviews every month is that I don't get to wear what I want or as often as I want to wear it. And believe me, since I got the sample of Andy Tauer's latest creation, Phi Une Rose de Kandahar, it was the main thing I wanted to wear so I can explore and understand it better. That's how I've found myself sneaking spritzer here and there when I was supposed to be wearing another perfume or three.
Phi was born out of Andy Tauer's fascination with a very specific raw material: a rare rose oil produced in Afghanistan, of all places. This precious ingredient is in limited supply, therefore Tauer doesn't guarantee regular availability and has placed Phi Une Rose de Kandahar in his Collectible category (together with the magnificent Zeta). This is not the easiest or friendliest fragrance Andy Tauer has ever created. There's quite a bit going on there and close attention is required at times. Even classifying Phi is more complicated than you'd expect when dealing with a perfume that declares itself Une Rose.While definitely rose-centric, Phi touches heavily on the gourmand by employing a spicy apricot pie mix. It also has the development and structure of a chypre, and a very oriental dry-down. On top of that there are some twist and turns that happen rapidly, keeping the wearer on his or her toes.
Something in the opening of Phi is quite bitter and raw, reminiscent of the medicinal aspect of oud. It doesn't last long as the rounder and appetizing notes of said pie take center stage, together with the velvety opulent rose that is sweet and seductive. Andy Tauer has a way with roses, this much I already know, and Phi is no different. I'm not much of a rose person, but this is quite irresistible to me. Maybe it's not so much the rose itself as the ornate background it gets here, combining bitter and sweet, juicy and dry. There's temptations in Phi, which leads you right into the dangerous embrace of an animalic base, and all the vanilla and tonka in the world cannot conceal its nature. Pie? What pie? Phi becomes almost carnal once it spends enough time between skin and clothes, and the warmth it imparts is wonderful. However, upon close inspection there's also a touch of that medicinal wood thing that's left on skin, which unfortunately is not very pleasing as far as a certain husband is concerned. I understand what the Blond means when he complains about Phi, but I still enjoy the ride.
Notes: apricot, cinnamon, almond, bergamot, Bulgarian rose absolute, rose from Kandahar, Bourbon geranium, tobacco leaf, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, musk and ambergris.
More reviews of Phi Une Rose de Kandahar by Kafkaesque and Persolaise.
Tauer Perfumes- Phi Une Rose de Kandahar is an exclusive to tauerperfumes.com for the foreseeable future. The 50ml EDP is priced at Fr. 130.00 / USD 144.30 / EUR 106.60 (subject to fluctuations in exchange rate). It can also be ordered as part of Tauer Perfumes Explorer Set and Discovery Set. The sample for this review was sent by the perfumer.
Art: Ernst Rudolf- Le Marchand De Fleurs