I felt a bit guilty when two years ago I included Tauer's Cologne du Maghreb in my list of Citrus Top Picks for summer. Not because it wasn't a perfect choice but due to the fact that this unique all-natural creation was harder to find than the rest of the line. When Andy Tauer first created Cologne du Maghreb in 2011 it was a limited edition of 200 bottles. Even when it went into commercial distribution only Indiescents and First In Fragrance stocked this gem. Until now. Which is excellent news, summer heat or not.
Citrus colognes are typically bright and light like the early morning sunlight, before the air becomes oppressively hot. But Cologne du Maghreb, as beautiful and classic as it is with the sparkling lemons, bergamot and a touch of neroli is more of a twilight and the relief that comes in the end of the day when the shadows are longer and senses are reawakened.
It's the stuff that lurks under the clean and fresh lemon and lavender of Cologne du Maghreb that makes all the difference: dry and dusty Mediterranean shrubbery, cedar, clary sage, and cistus (the latter, even in this light cologne concentration, is unmistakably Tauer). There are threads of dark green, burgundy silk, and rich brown weaved into the light yellow fabric of this perfume, lending it depth and weight that translate on skin as a woody/ambery dry-down, a fascinating effect in a "simple" all-natural cologne (there's nothing simple here, really. The only other natural citrus perfume in this category is Ayala Moriel's beautiful Etrog, though that one is decidedly sweeter).
I have no issues with Cologne du Maghreb's longevity. Yes, it is "light", but as Andy Tauer suggests here, spraying yourself with reckless abandon before getting dressed (a cotton dress or shirt) traps the scent around you for much longer. I get about six hours (I spray myself silly) with minimal sillage- it's more of a very very personal pleasure, which sometimes is just what one needs.
Notes: citrus accord, cistus, ambreine, cedarwood, vetiver oil, bergamot, lemon, neroli, orange blossom, lavender, rosemary, rose absolute, rose essential oil, clary sage.
Tauer Perfumes- Cologne du Maghreb ($85, 50ml eau de cologne) is available from Twisted Lily, Indigo Perfumery in Lakewood, Ohio (indigoperfumery.com) , Luckyscent, and MiN NY. My bottle was a gift from the perfumer.
Art: Citrus by Bartolomeo Bimbi, 1715.