Perfumer Andy Tauer
I read Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief years ago. Some time after, I saw the film Adaptation, about which I knew nothing except that it had something to do with the book. To make a film about the inability of the screenwriter to adapt the book was an interesting premise and I found I loved the film. It was smart and exceedingly entertaining, a rarity in Hollywood at the time.
I’d hoped to be clever enough to dream up some ingenious way of talking about l’Air du Desert Marocain. I thought if I waited long enough, it would become clear. Two years down the road, I’m throwing in the towel on wit and inspiration.
I wear perfume every day, but this is the perfume I reach for when I want to make wearing perfume a special occasion. I think of it as remarkable, but since I’ve never managed to be able to say anything cogent about it, remarkable is precisely the wrong word.
A well-considered piece of abstract art shouldn’t be judged more successful as it grows closer to the descriptive or narrative. Those criteria are irrelevant. Despite its dreamy name, l’Air is an outstanding abstract perfume in that it is rich with ideas and imbued with possibility. If anything, it is more evocative of a state than suggestive of a location. I don’t think, desert. I don’t think, smoke = incense = sacred. I smell it and my head rises, my shoulders release, my eyes open and the world becomes saturated. This is how perfume is art.