L’Air Du Desert Marocain by Andy Tauer
I, like many before me, burned Nag Champa in my room to hide the smell of my high school ciggy indulgence from my parents. One day I was dramatically caught and ceased my naughty indoor habit while still very much sneaking Virginia Slims from the waitresses I worked with at Vitos pizzeria in 2005. I still burned Nag Champa sans cigarettes because like smoking, the smell and burning it took me somewhere other than the strip mall I was bussing tables at. Somewhere fragrant, evocative, and beautiful.
Fifteen years later I’m in my apartment in lockdown in NYC trying Andy Tauer’s masterpiece, L’Air Du Desert Marocain, for the first time and feeling the same way. This doesn’t smell like Nag Champa, but it's a similar burst of spices that develop and take me on a fragrant journey. I really have to thank him in this particular moment where no one really knows what travel will look like. It’s a great comfort to be surrounded by an art dedicated to sending your mind away in memory or to a place you haven’t yet been. Tauer, who’s originally a molecular biologist, left to become a perfumer and start bottling his own wayfaring. This is his second composition and one that has become beloved in the world of niche perfumery. For good reason—he doesn’t skimp on raw materials and because of this it really does turn into a vision of the fragrant world of the Maghreb desert.
Notes include coriander, cumin, petitgrain, rock rose, jasmine, dry cedar woods, vetiver, and ambergris. In real life you’re going to smell like a dry, sensual Grateful Dead bear. I mean that in the best way possible.