The most viewed articles, perfumes and threads of 2015 + review of the year

04th January, 2016

Before we get started on 2016, let's take a look back and look at what were the most popular things on the site last year.


Most popular thread

ClaireV’s review of L’Air du Desert Marocain

There’s nothing in this world that smells quite like Andy Tauer’s L’Air du Desert Marocain, except for, well, the actual air above the desert that inspired it, I suppose. Trying to describe how it smells is almost as challenging as wearing it.

The best way I can put it is this: it smells like someone went out to the desert, collected a pile of rough, ancient amber resin, boulders, fallen meteorites, and minerals, sandblasted them all down to a fine dust, loaded it up into a canon and shot it into space. Now imagine you are floating above the earth’s ozone layer, just where the daylight of earth fades into the deep navy of outer space, and you breathe in this space dust. L’Air du Desert Marocain smells like this. Not directly of the sandblasted materials themselves but of the thin, dry, almost electric air surrounding the particles.

Then, later on, it smells of hot, arid paper, with its cedar and vanilla-resin notes.

You are standing in a paper factory. The air conditioning machines are short-circuiting and are blowing the stacks of A4 printer paper off the tables and into the air. The employees look up in dismay – their work for the day, thousands and thousands of sheets of paper floating around their heads! But they breathe in deeply, unable to resist the peculiar pleasure there is to be had in huffing the smell of newly-minted paper and the slightly sweet, dry smell of drying chemicals and lignin it leaves on the air around them.

L’Air du Desert Marocain is a masterpiece of modern perfumery, and perhaps the first perfume I’d recommend to anybody wishing to experience what perfume beyond the shelves of their local Sephora can be. It is an evocative, beautiful travelogue perfume that’s scaled to Laurence of Arabia proportions.

As a personal perfume, though, I find it to be kind of difficult to wear on a regular basis. Its dry spices and resins are so monolithic and all-encompassing - so full of its own personality - that it doesn’t allow me to impose any of my own.

There’s also a sweaty moment in the perfume that always sneaks up on me unawares – the cumin and coriander, I guess. It smells specifically of a male sweat. It’s not unpleasant, just startling. Timbuktu has a similar, ghostly apparition in its development, a lurch so sudden towards the smell of a male (or a male aftershave) that I keep looking around the room to make sure that I am, in fact, still alone.

But I own this beauty, oh yes I do. Sometimes, I just take the bottle cap and huff it throughout the day, like a junkie in withdrawal doling out teaspoons from a bottle of cough syrup. Other days, I commit myself 100% to its mood-shifting, transporting character and put six to eight sprays of it on, all the time knowing that this is all I will smell of for the next 48 hours. Either way, there’s no middle way with a perfume as uncompromising as L’Air du Desert Marocain.


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About the author: Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.



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      • hednic | 4th January 2016 15:28

        That was a very interesting glimpse back at 2015. Thanks for compiling that info.

      • PerfumedLady | 4th January 2016 16:32

        Yes, very interesting to see the stats!

        I would like to see a separate category though for most viewed threads in the female forum. As we have less traffic, a lot of our very informative threads are eclipsed in views by what I think of as "fluff" threads in the male forum. Not to demean the mens' side; there are interesting threads there, too. It's just that as it is, the ladies' side has no chance of ever cracking into this list. Would be nice to see stats for both.

      • furrypine | 4th January 2016 16:47

        I had not see Claire's review before; what a marvellous piece of writing! Andy Tauer should use that text in his promo material, I would buy it unsniffed!

      • Ken_Russell | 4th January 2016 18:41

        Thanks for the statistics. So glad that 2015 was yet another exciting, diverse and instructive year here on BN, spent, as always, in excellent company here on the forums.

      • teardrop | 5th January 2016 06:41

        Agree with PerfumedLady; as interesting as the Male forum can be, these stats are always going to be skewed towards that part of the forum, & l'd love to see what was most popular on the Female side. Thanks, anyway!

      • kbe | 9th January 2016 15:34

        Yes, very interesting look at the stats. I agree that a ladies threads stat list is in order. Not at all to separate us but to inform where the female (mostly) interest lies..