Back to the beginning.
Yesterday I reviewed Noontide Petals, a brand new fragrance from Tauer Perfumes that will be released next month (you can still enter the giveaway for a preview sample). It made me think that this is a good opportunity to go back to where it all began and talk about the perfumes that made me a fan of Andy Tauer's work back in 2006. Tauer Perfume No.1, Le Maroc Pour Elle, together with the one that followed, L'Air Desert Marocain, were among a handful of fragrances that changed the way I thought about scents. Back then I couldn't bring myself to even write a full and coherent review, so I lumped three of my loves together and rambled on. It's time to fix that and dedicate a full post to Le Maroc. It deserves it.
The official notes for Le Maroc Pour Elle are petitgrain, French lavender, red mandarin, rose absolute, jasmin absolute, cedarwood, sandalwood and patchouli. It sounds very floral and probably very... French. The classic composition of rose and jasmine over a base of precious woods can lead to very Parisian creations such as Joy or Chanel No.5-- elegant shoes, silk scarves, tasteful jewelry and red lipstick. It can also lead here. If Le Maroc has any French blood it's that of a sensual country girl whose steps are wide, cheeks are red and her laugh is hearty. A shepherdess, maybe. Amusingly, the first time I met Andy Tauer he told a story about a person who said that Le Maroc smelled like a wet sheep. He considered it a compliment.
Le Maroc Pour Elle is bursting with sensuality. The jasmine walks the line between filthy and heartbreakingly beautiful. The rose is so red it's almost over-saturated with color and emotion. Everything is heightened, abundant and gleaming with riches, like the most elaborate orientalist fantasy. But Andy Tauer is a brilliant perfumer and has been so from the very beginning. It would have been too easy to make the fragrance very sweet and fruity so it's a bit more innocent and even palatable for some. But Le Maroc never goes there. After all is said and done, it does have a classic backbone which keeps the fragrance on the very grownup side.
Le Maroc dries down to an even more luxurious setting of plush fabrics and exquisitely carved woods. The fragrance remains complex and elaborate as it maintains and amplifies the sensual and animalic aspects. My bottle is older (2005/2006) and the color of the juice has deepened and darkened, speaking of the high quality and concentration of the raw materials within. The perfume has matured into an intoxicating elixir. It's a nighttime fragrance if there ever was one, fit for a queen or for someone who wants to feel like one.
Tauer Perfumes- Le Maroc Pour Elle ($130, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent and MiN NY.
Siesta by John Frederick Lewis, 1876
Young Shepherdess Standing by William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1887