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L’Air du désert marocain – In the realm of art - February 26, 2016

Image - Desert palm in Moroccan desert - Wikipedia

I don’t know why, maybe it’s the time of year, the February blahs, that feeling of being adrift, seeking comfort and peace, but it’s had me reaching for some of my old favourites on my perfume shelves.

I first sniffed L’Air du désert marocain in 2007 from a decant I’d ordered online from by Tauer Perfumes in Switzerland. I was smitten, fascinated by the exotic scent, so this amber and incense fragrance was one of the niche bottles I purchased when Gwen and I made our first perfumista journey to New York the following year. I think I bought it at Aedes des Venustus. It was also one of the first fragrances I wrote about soon after we started in 2010 – read my post here.

I can't think of another perfume from any perfume maker which smells like this one - dry, warm, earthy and subtly complex.  It opens with top notes of dry spice and citrus notes - coriander, cumin, petitgrain, bergamot - on a bed of rock rose (labdanum) and white jasmine. Then the warm resins emerge, cedar, geranium, vetiver, grounded by the wonderfully lush base notes of vanilla, patchouli, and ambergris.

L’Air du désert marocain is Shalimar re-incarnated, but with a spiritual core. The scent starts on the skin like unlit incense, the heat of the body slowly igniting and releasing the smoky balsamic resins which rise in soft dry waves of warmth and seep into consciousness, releasing memories and powerful emotions. It takes time to develop, but the waiting is worth it and I find its soft beauty almost beyond description, and truly meditative.

I’m only one of many who think that L’air du désert marocain is one of the best fragrances of modern perfumery. It is perfection on both male and female skin, sweeter on some, smokier or more woody on others, loved by all who experience its transcendental dry-down. Andy Tauer has re-interpreted amber, paired it with incense rather than vanilla, and made a fragrance that goes way beyond notes, or words. It belongs in the realm of art.

If you are fascinated by niche perfumes you should definitely try L’air du désert marocain.

L’air du désert marocain is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.