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Bombay Duck London

Le Maroc Pour Elle

Tauer Perfumes are a revelation to me.  To stumble upon an entirely new perfume marque I didn’t know about – and fall in love with several in this small portfolio of fragrances, created by a self-taught perfumer – has been a highlight in a week of multiple less-than-stellar fragrance mega-launches, which have been (by contrast) universally blatantly commercial, ‘safe’, dull and (I can’t think of another word for it) tinny.  (Naming No Names, but The Scent Critic won’t be reviewing them here.  So don’t watch this space.)  Over the next few months, I anticipate exploring quite a few of the 10 fragrances created so far by Andy Tauer – a former IT guy with a private passion for perfumery (kindled by Mandy Aftel’s book Essence & Alchemy).  As a hobby, he took up playing with essences and ingredients, literally ‘following his nose’.  Then a friend in Zurich suggested to Andy that he create a real perfume, for a small boutique the friend owned, selling Morocan artefacts.  Le Maroc Pour Elle is the result – and oh, my word, I am in love with this.  I was literally catapulted through time, when I first smelled it:  to a little Moroccan restaurant/store in Paris where I used to hang out when I was a bad-girl 15-year-old.  (I can taste the couscous, see the flickering rusty lanterns and taste the Gauloises kisses of my Velo-riding boyfriend, smell the tiny vial of sandalwood essential oil which I used to dab straight on my skin.)  Beautiful, sweet and powdery rose is entwined with exotic jasmine from the word go:  another breath and I’m on an ebony daybed, too lazy to move in the humid afternoon, with little pin-pricks of sunshine creeping through the slits in dark wooden shutters in a riad, around a courtyard set back from a spice market.  I could be in Marrakech, or even Mumbai.  This fragrance tells a story – actually, 1001 Arabian Nights-worth of stories.

It’s absolutely narcotic, and very, very sexy, with amazingly enduring musky animalic undertones – and plenty of patchouli, my perfume drug-of-choice, which drifts through the dry-down with a drier cedar note, and lots of amber.  I get a dark, sweet chocolatiness, too.  (Green & Black’s 70%.  Naturally.)  But at the same time Le Maroc Pour Elle is subtle and understated:  a tantalising glimpse of bare henna-ed skin, rather than low-cut, in-your-face cleavage.  I do know that Tauer perfumes inspire love-or-hate reactions in some scentophiles – but what I also know is that I haven’t been able to stop spraying myself with this, from the first addictive hit onwards.  And ironically, at one of those aforementioned high-profile launches earlier this week, three people asked admiringly what perfume I was wearing.  It was Le Maroc Pour Elle, which I’d put on a few hours beforehand.  As we sampled the disappointingly bland creation being launched (expensively) to us in an upmarket venue, one of my beauty journalist friends leaned across and said:  ‘What you’re wearing is what I wanted this launch to smell like.’

Me, too.  Just lucky for us, then, that the Andy Tauers of this world are offering a rich, fascinating, sense-tingling world apart from ‘mass-market’ perfumery, for connoisseurs who like to sniff out something a little different, a lot more personal and evocative.  And this one’s going straight on my dressing table.  Centre-stage.



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