L'Air du Desert Marocain (Tauer)

Once again I want to extend a big Thank You to Jeffrey Dame for sending me a sample of L'Air du Desert Marocain, and to Jim Gehr for turning me on to Tauer's work in the first place. It was by a happy coincidence that Jeffrey read my review of Tauer's Orris and immediately sent me more from the line, and Jim had included a vial of Orris in the sample care package that I received beforehand. I can't stress enough how lovely Orris is. I've read so much about LdDM, much, much more than Orris (which is relatively obscure), and it did not disappoint.

Its introduction on skin is a rich array of spices that coalesce into something awfully close to straight-up leather, but I experience a very tight arrangement of aromatic materials as the scent unfolds. In the mix are cumin, coriander, sage, and an astringent terpene note that alludes to pine, of all things. In its first hour LdDM reminds me of Caron's Yatagan, but before long an oddly soapy floral accord overtakes the leathery dust devil. This is an interesting trick, and it makes me wonder what Andy was going for. Starting the scent off with a snarling desert scene that rapidly brightens into a sophisticated bar soap (I'm thinking of that triple-milled stuff you find in upscale boutiques) is, for lack of a better word, unexpected. Yet it smells really, really good.

The design of the fragrance is such that it allows relatively linear components to merge in an austere narrative that reads like Hemingway: "You come in out of the desert, smelling of the desert. You go into the bathroom and wash the desert off yourself." Two hours into the drydown, labdanum and jasmine peer through an oily vetiver and amber accord, and I'm convinced there's a third part to the narrative - "Some desert lingers after you've washed, and it won't come off." Fragrances like this send subtle messages to people - "I'm proud to be different," "My sense of style is unique, and so am I," "Real men smell like dirt and motor oil with a whiff of soap" - you can pick the line. This stuff sticks with you for seven solid hours, and it's compelling enough to make me reapply at the end of the day and start the whole story over again.

Whenever anyone asks me what the difference between niche and designer is, I usually say something off the cuff, like, "Niche fragrances are usually just pricier and simpler variants of designer scents." Tauer has me thinking I'll revise my response to, "Designer fragrances are designed to please everyone around the wearer. Niche scents, when done well, are designed to please the wearer." L'Air du Desert Marocain is a prime example, and it's a hit with those around me as well, which is nice.


  1. Just got a sample of this from Lucky Scent (along with Lonestar Memories) and all I can exclaim is "WOW!" This is simply amazing. I'll be ordering a full bottle today. May be my new signature scent.

    1. It is, isn't it? Glad you like it. Andy is a very talented perfumer, I'll be buying his work in the future as well.


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