L'Air du Desert Marocain is a bit of a disappointment, while being really quite lovely. On the one hand: it is indisputably an elegant, subtle composition, a deft work of olfactory art. On the other: for me at least, the individual notes never quite merge into a cohesive whole; it's almost too protean over the long haul to be wearable or truly interesting. On application, the notes are a clanging masculine shout full of spices, nothing special or distinct, but somehow promising. This initial blast settles quickly, and it becomes a (thankfully) mellower blend of spices and woods against a sweet resinous amber, with just a dash of a subtle and pleasant floral note. True to its name, the scent is somehow very dry. It smells to me like something a djinn would wear -- so also true to its name. But the scent continues to change, with different notes coming to the forefront and receding, rather than blending into something harmonious. At one point, I swear it smells like carpentry, all raw wood, metal, and oil. Yes: on me, it takes a turn as l'Air du Woodshop. Not only does it not seem to blend into a coherent composition, it doesn't blend at all with me. I'm not wearing it; it's hovering over and around me. Wearing l'Air du Desert Marocain is like going on a date with a wonderfully attractive, charming, witty person who really isn't interested in me. It is too polite to not be charming and witty, but is not really engaged in the conversation. L'Air du Desert Marocain is brilliant, beautifully composed, and interesting, but I have no chemistry with it. As a quibble, I have a lot of scent memories attached to North Africa, and the notes of this honestly don't connect with me and make me think "North Africa." Of course, that may be a highly personal evocation, but that failure to connect emotionally with my memories and expectations might be part of why it leaves me a bit less than enthusiastic. On someone else, I might truly appreciate this.
22nd April, 2016 (last edited: 23rd April, 2016)
The spicy/fresh/sweet mix might be the best way to describe Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain, a crowd favorite otherwise classified as a woody aromatic. Certainly the woody base is there, topped off by some coriander and cumin to give it some vegetable-ish sharpness/spiciness. The sweetness allegedly comes from the amber per the notes breakdown but it almost strikes me as something different.
To its credit, I can't really compare LADDM to anything else off the top of my head. The fresh spicy aspect of it likens it to Calvin Klein Euphoria Intense, or perhaps another Euphoria flanker, and the sweetness almost makes it lean gourmandly toward Dior Feve Delicieuse, though fans of the latter would surely point of the differences. Still, it at least comes to mind.
It's a good performer, strong in terms of both projection (especially the first hour) and longevity. Redolessence wisely advises that while this can be dressed up, it's not terribly versatile, nor for warmer weather.
Agreeable but not an all-time great to me as it is to many, I probably wouldn't buy a bottle but it's an interesting try.
6 out of 10
The opening is promising but within 20 minutes it transitioned into a steady accord that is not quite right for me.
A perfume story: Review of Andy Tauer’s L’air Du Desert Marocain © 2016 Frankie Chocolate
(For my friend Pure Caramel)
At the heart of every brilliant idea, at the center of every masterpiece, of every great work of art, musical composition, perfect soufflé, or exquisitely crafted scent is the spark of creativity not unlike the sparklers your folks got you when you were little on the forth of July, Guy Fawkes Night or Phool Jhadi.
It was dusk, night was coming on and they would carefully light the rod. Once it got going they would hand it to you and encourage you to make circles or undulating dragons of light. Pablo Picasso did this once and it’s worth looking up. It sparkled and sizzled and threw off little sparks of golden light as the fire sizzled down the stiff metal wire and consumed the magnesium. The contrast of night all around you and the fiery image before you created a vivid afterimage you could see when you closed your eyes.
That elusive image that would turn every which way you did but faded even as you tried to focus on it behind closed eyes was ephemeral, short lived and fleeting. But you still have it. It’s burned into your brain forever and though you forget your anniversary or a thousand other things you will never forget that image. That tiny sparkling image of creativity comes from God and this time it danced before Andy on a warm summer night.
* * *
The heat was stifling and he stayed indoors in his air conditioning hotel in Casablanca most of the day. As the sun went down it cooled rapidly as the sand gave up its heat. The quarter moon rose over the sand dunes and a sparklet of light, an afterimage caught his attention, flitted at the periphery of his eye, danced to the window then out into the desert.
Andy loosened the hasp, raised the window to allow the night in. Stars glittered and danced above him in the jet-black sky. A breeze carried the scent of the desert, the resinous wood used in cooking fires as the women prepared the evening meal. The smell of Naan brushed with ghee, lamb kebabs, seared okra, pistachio-filled pastries flavored with rose water, strong black coffee and of course a bit of chocolate flowed into his room.
Quietly he knelt by the window and breathed in the all that was laid before him. He came back home to Zurich and created L’air Du Desert Marocain, his masterpiece.
It has been called, “Powerful.” “Flawless.” “Lasting.” “Sublime.”
I love ClaireV’s review. “Huffing it like a junkie doling out tea spoons of cough syrup.” Grant old bean are you there? Do us all a favor and keep that girl away from the Nightquil would you.
Never was a perfume more exquisitely composed. I’d twist off the cap and the desert is there. Dry and powdery, warm and brown. Tan walls of sand rise up before me. It is the logos, the exact fragrental essence of the color beige. It is, to me, a beautiful Arab girl, the same girl Change1 posted on his thread starter regarding Amouge Homage Feb 12, 2011. With arched eyebrows like flitting gulls, eyes of darkest oud, deep shining pools. Her lips perfectly sculpted and pillowed that left me smitten, weak and devastated. The perfection of beauty and grace. I’d be hard pressed to imagine a more beautiful creation. Love had finally found me in L’air.
Each night I’d spray the tiniest bit of this fragrance on my left hand and drift off to sleep with the beauty by my side. One night as I was preparing for sleep I lifted the cap to begin my nightly ritual. As the desert flowed around me something silver caught my eye. It flitted behind a hillock. I stepped from my room onto warm Bedouin sand and searched the landscape before me.
Nothing. I sniffed the air? Nothing. I was tired and probably imagined it. I turned to go and saw it flit across a small dune and disappear underneath a scrub Acacia bush. Something silvery, metallic and curved. I lifted the bottle to me. The princess held her slim curved hand before my lips to receive my evening kiss. I pressed the plunger down. As I did an aluminum serpent rose up and bit me on the nose.
I flung it from my face and crushed it under foot. I sniffed my hand again. Impossible! The serpent I’d just killed was alive again and coiled on the back of my hand. A chrome tang of metal assaulted me. Something hidden that had been there all along and each night had come a little closer had finally come to the fore. I shuttered with the willies and knew in a moment that nothing had changed but my perception.
It had been there in the opening notes. Petitgrain, bitter orange and something else that clacked in harmonious discord like Quasimodo striking a cracked bell at Cathédrale Notre Dame.
Harsh, sharp, metallic. A hungry man discovering a bar of the richest milk chocolate and biting hugely into the foil as it lay across his metal filling. An electrical shock of metal, creosote, and tar raced through me. My true love carried a dagger.
After this shock I put it away for several months. I brought it out for this review and sniffed it again. It is lovely beyond compare. This Arabian beautiful has once again cast her eyes and her smile at me and I am fool enough to smile back. The serpent is out there somewhere but for now… I sprayed just a touch on my left hand and am swept away. The end.
The opening is of substantial heaviness and density, with a bright but slightly resinous cumin pairing with a very nicely done coriander. A certain softly spicy sultriness lies over these initial moments, and this all is very finely counterbalanced by a carefully intertwined petitgrain that is just adding a whiff of freshness that is an exquisitely employed counterbalance to the other, richer top note components. Beautifully done.
The drydown predictably turns floral, jasmine predominantly with a touch of rose, and is less complex than the too notes are. The base is woodsy mainly, but a synthetic ambergris tries to add variety. To stay in the marketing image conjured up - rightly or wrongly - this could be construed as a slightly fresh-salty breeze from a salt-crusted chott lake across the hot lands.
The perfomance is superb with fairly strong sillage, excellent projection and a marvelous ten hours of longevity on my skin.
Overall the too notes are a masterfully crafted composition, whilst the rest is not on the same heights as he beginning. Quite overtly synthetic at times, the sublime first part and the great performance secure it a top score with ease. 3.5/5.