Andy Tauer is a legend and hero in the perfume community who needs no introduction from me. If you’re somehow not familiar with Andy and his work, have a gander at “The Happy Lonesome Rider,” the interview I did with him for Fragrantica back in 2015. I consider it my best interview and one of the best articles I did over there. Andy is such a talent, and yet still so warm, humble and accessible as a human being. He and his fragrances embody all that is delightful about artisan and niche perfumery: the creativity; the selective availability; the use of precious ingredients that would not be possible in perfumes produced on a mass scale; and above all, the personal touch.
Tauer Perfumes were an entry point into niche for many of us. They’re definitely a stop along the way for any niche aficionado, and for many of us, they’re a place we like to revisit. L’air du Désert Marocain (often abbreviated “LDDM” on fragrance forums) was Andy’s second fragrance creation and the one that really hit the ball out of the park. Introduced in 2005, the fragrance has since become a legend in its own right, described by Luca Turin as a classic on par with Guerlain’s most celebrated perfume, Shalimar. I don’t disagree. Tastes and trends evolve in niche fragrance, as with any other segment of the fragrance industry, but L’air has been in constant production and constant demand for the better part of the twenty-first century, with no signs of stopping.
When Tauer introduced a solid version of its most celebrated fragrance this March–well before I was even considering starting this blog–I knew I would buy it. It took a little longer to accomplish this, given the current state of world affairs, but my solid finally arrived in October. I could smell it before I even opened the box, and both my husband and I knew we had a winner on our hands.
L’air du Désert Marocain Solid Perfume Review
Size: 0.5 oz/15 grams
Packaging: Slide-top tin embossed with the Tauer logo, with a sticker paper label and tied up in a taupe ribbon also bearing the Tauer logo. (I believe it’s the same tin used for the Tauer minis.) The outer packaging is minimal–a waxed paper bag sealed with another sticker paper label. Tin and ribbon are reusable/zero waste. I also received a card with a personal message and thank you signed by Andy, and a card saturated with Tauer’s Attar (which still smells, more than a week after opening the package).
Base: organic cold pressed jojoba oil, pure almond oil, vitamin E and white beewax.
Vegan-friendly: No, due to the beeswax, but this fragrance is also available in its vegan-friendly original liquid format.
Color and Texture: Light golden color, firm but perfect spreadable texture (jojoba and beeswax are the ideal base, in my experience). The website notes, “Do not leave in sunlight or in car.” The tin is wide and shallow and easily accommodates swipes from larger (man-sized) fingers.
Natural perfume or mixed media: Mixed media, including the catch-all “parfum,” Evernia prunastri extract (a.k.a. REAL oakmoss!) and numerous natural isolates in the ingredients listing.
Fragrance description and notes: from the Tauer website: “Powerful, sensual and pure. Lying on the bed, watching the moon rising over the sandy hills of the Saharan desert, he dreamt the fragrance of a Moroccan night. A perfume that has become a classic.” The official notes listed are coriander, cumin, petitgrain, rock rose, jasmine, dry cedar woods, vetiver, ambergris.
Tauer also notes the fragrance components are more concentrated in the LDDM solid perfume than in the eau de toilette (15% versus 10%), which I was glad to see. Creating a solid is not as simple as dumping the same fragrances into wax and oil as you would into alcohol. The ratios will usually need a little tweaking for optimal performance in a given format. It was all dosed perfectly here.
Longevity: Excellent at six-seven hours or more. This one also works well for application in a man’s beard, which extends its life even further. (No beard? Try some on the ends of your hair.)
Sillage: this is a “beast mode” solid for the first hour or two, but keep in mind that solid “beast mode” is nowhere near what you may have experienced with liquid scents. When my husband first applied it, I could smell it when he was at a distance of slightly greater than arm’s length, but it didn’t fill up the room. That’s huge for a solid. The sillage softens after that to intimate (just a few inches above skin) and then a skin scent at the very end of its run. Three swipes were all that were needed.
The experience: LDDM is so excellent in this format. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how beautifully this one turned out. I hope we’ll see more solid perfumes from Tauer in the future, even as limited editions.
So much has already been written and said about the liquid LDDM on forums, blogs and vlogs that I don’t have too much to add to that side of the conversation. Men seem to gravitate to this fragrance, and certainly my husband did, but I find it completely unisex in its appeal and I wear it, too. There was a time not so long ago (20-30 years) when fragrances marketed to women were not all fruit salads and cake frosting. Chypres, spicy orientals and powerhouse florals were the fragrances of my childhood and youth, and I have an appreciation for a wide variety of fragrance categories as a result. But I digress.
L’air du Désert Marocain is a great fragrance for fall and winter, with a heavy dose of spices, a sweet cream undertone and a sprinkling of salty leather. New to me in the solid format is a pleasant bubblegum aspect that I can’t account for in the notes, but hey, a little mystery is always welcome in fragrance!
I think the solid format may extend the fragrance’s wearability into spring and maybe even summer, too. The oil and wax help tame the beast, so to speak. Many reviewers have commented that they love LDDM but have difficulty finding appropriate occasions for wearing it. That will not be a concern with the solid, which becomes “office-safe” about an hour after application but will still last you through the workday. (And if not, re-upping with the solid is easy and discreet.) I do see this as more of an evening fragrance, however, where its warmth and exoticism will add a sexy touch to a date-night or night-clubbing outfit.
If you were happy with the sillage and longevity of the liquid, the solid still offers new possibilities for application (hair, beard), for fragrance layering (with the liquid version, or it will play better with other scents than the liquid version) and best of all, greater portability for travel. The full-size Tauer bottles are big, heavy and breakable, so it will be nice to have an airplane-friendly option for suitcase or pocket when we’re able to resume travel again.
Where to buy: L’air du Désert Marocain solid is available exclusively from the Tauer Perfumes website, with shipping to the following countries: Switzerland, US, Canada, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Finland. (Keep checking the Tauer website and social media if your country is not listed. This list has expanded multiple times since the fragrance was introduced in March.)
Additional notes: The price point on the solid is very appealing (it was just over USD 47 with shipping) and this is one of multiple Tauer/Tauerville perfumes I currently own, but if you haven’t tried this fragrance before (or at least tried its cousins, Lonestar Memories and Au Coeur du Désert), I recommend sampling this one (and any Tauer fragrances, really) before purchase.
All photographs by me.