A version of this article appeared on Ca Fleure Bon written by Megan In Sainte Maxime.
I was captivated by Andy Tauer’s bold and beautiful fragrances early on in my perfume discovery. Tauer is a Swiss alchemist with a distinctive gutsy style. His perfumes are full blown concoctions and I’ve fallen hard for the lusty romanticism, escapism and wanderlust that they arouse. He also writes a quirky blog that documents the minutiae of running a small business. It’s all there in a way that offers insight into the ups and downs of running a one-man show. This somewhat pragmatic approach with its up close and personal revelations depicts a refreshing honesty that has won him many fans. Lacking the big dollar-advertising budgets of the designer houses, his early adoption of social media set a path for other independent perfumers to emulate.
Le Maroc Pour Elle is the first creation in Tauer’s collection of scents. It’s not one of his most well-known or revered perfumes; L’Air Du Désert Marocain takes that pole position. Yet Le Maroc Pour Elle also shares Morocco as its muse, evoking a visual tapestry of bright colours and heated landscapes. It’s the feminine counterpart to L’Air Du Désert Marocain, an altogether more arid and dusty scent. It is also perhaps an exuberant, over eager first child that lacks the finesse of his later creations, but for me it is the first Tauer that I embraced and still love its promiscuous beauty and disheveled heart.
I would caution that Le Maroc Pour Elle is not for those who prefer lightly hued sheens of scent. This is a multicoloured Berber carpet of a perfume. It’s a swirling kaleidoscope of hazy blue skies, vibrantly hued tiles, and fragrant blooms. It’s also fiercely tenacious and may even be with you through to sunrise, or at the very least to the last song on the dance floor. Spray too much and die a little. Wear it in the height of summer and Le Maroc reveals too much. It’s over ripe and too much of everything. Let it reveal itself in autumn and winter and sense its magic.
The first thing you’ll notice about this perfume is its colour. It’s a very dark brown, verging on the redness of autumnal leaves that hints at its forceful nature. The sweetness of juicy mandarin that fizzes at first spray enthralls. It smells delicious. The scent is further heightened by an assertive rush of heady jasmine. It’s an indolic night blooming jasmine that assaults the senses, immediately ensnaring me in its clasp. The jasmine also has a slightly green tinge in that all natural, freshly cut way. There is a hint of lavender too but it doesn’t dominate, it’s wrapped in the jasmine’s silky turban folds.
Tauer is a dab hand at creating intriguing rose perfumes (PHI, Une Rose Chyprée, Incense Rosé) and here the Moroccan rose’s velvet texture blends seamlessly with the jasmine. These partners in crime are a potent mix. The traditional, sophisticated French blend of the two flowers is not in evidence here; Le Maroc Pour Elle is unseemly in its lushness. This is undoubtedly a narcotically beautiful but slightly dangerous scent.
The full sucker punch of patchouli as it settles in for the long haul lends Le Maroc Pour Elle a roughly hewn edge that peels back some of its beauty but adds a wantonly exotic touch. There’s sandalwood and cedar in here, yet it feels like an ambery balm. It’s warm and golden, like sun’s rays heating skin.
I find Le Maroc hauntingly evocative of escape and a longing for beauty. Wearing this perfume, I feel like I’m one of the travellers who discovered Morocco in the 60’s and 70’s in that Hideous Kinky style. It is the photo taken by Patrick Lichfield of Talitha Getty on a rooftop in Marrakesh that best captures that sense of wanderlust. For me the boho chic style that remains fashionable to this day with its jewel coloured flowing kaftans, bold jewellery, over sized sunglasses and a laid back vibe, perfectly captures the essence of this perfume. Wearing Le Maroc Pour Elle lovingly summons this spirit of languid days and nights spent under Morocco’s Sheltering Sky.
The Lowdown : A full blown narcotic jasmine, rose and patchouli perfume that will take you on a trip to Morocco that you won’t forget. Not for the faint hearted, this is a lusty, hideously kinky perfume.
Andy’s perfumes are available from his website.
Ratings Guide : 5 étoiles: Masterpiece and a must buy : 4 étoiles: Seriously fabulous and a must try : 3 étoiles: Solid work but lacking that something extra : 2 étoiles: Just not my cup of tea : 1 étoile: Back to the drawing board
Notes : Main photo Talitha Getty : theredlist.com : Andy Tauer : Twitter : Le Maroc Pour Elle : Mine : Marjorelle Gardens : lonelyplanet.com : Talitha Getty marrakechandbeyond.com : Woman lying down : Vogue Russia