October 20, 2018
Photo: Glenn Davis aka @mrcologne76, Instagram Influencer with a bottle of Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain
On a farm in the countryside of Trinidad and Tobago, a little boy is picking oranges with his dad. He knows which ones are ready to be harvested, only by the faint smell that escapes when gently squeezed. Later that night his mother lotions his back and he inhales deeply, this nightly ritual between mother and son is punctuated by a wonderful smell. As sleep encroaches on his consciousness so too does the mosquito repellent burning in his room, another ritual colored by smells. He is awoken by his mother's gentle shaking, and the smell of breakfast wafting into his bedroom. School days were special, his neatly pressed uniform always complemented with one spray of his dad's cologne. Back then his dad mostly wore "Trouble" by Mennen. One day on the way to school he asked his dad, "Why do you always wear perfumes?" With a big grin he turned around looked the little boy in the eyes and said, "You may not always look good, but you should always smell good."
Photo: @mrcologne76 on the farm as a little boy at 5 years old in Trinidad
Life became a kaleidoscope of smells. One of my fondest memories is summers spent with my cousins in Tobago. The grownups drank and played cards in one room while the kids fought over board games in the next. I wasn't too interested in the games. Instead I snuck into the next room so I could steal a sniff of my uncle’s cigarette packs or sniff the rum they were drinking. I was fascinated by odors, even those of their playing cards. The smell of the almond trees filled the car as we drove through the country side on our way to the beach. During mango season sweet fruity smell permeated the air. Sometimes the beaches were covered in seaweed, which annoyed my cousins. I relished in the rotten egg smell of the decaying seaweed. My family and I later migrated to New York City, after my seventeenth birthday, and smells took on a new meaning.
Photo: Summertime on the beach in Tobago©
The year following the move my parents gifted me Passion for Men by Elizabeth Taylor for my birthday. That year I proclaimed from hence forth I only wanted perfumes as gifts. I started nursing school shortly after and took on a part time job as a cashier in a supermarket. I befriended the girl who worked in the cosmetics section and soon I was getting samples of perfumes. My world exploded! A portion of every paycheck was set aside for perfumes. By graduation from nursing school I had about eight fragrances in my collection. Some of my favorites were Versace Blue Jeans, Ralph Lauren Safari, and Beverly Hills Red.
Photo: Bootcamp photo of @mrcologne76 1998
In 1998 I joined the United States Navy. Boot camp was extremely challenging, mostly because I was stripped of the portion of my identity that mattered more than the hair they shaved off on the first day. Three months of no fragrances seemed an eternity. While most cringed in the presence of our drill instructors, I relished their presence. One of them wore Gucci Envy and I lived vicariously through his fragrances, it was my inner victory, an olfactive hit that carried me through boot camp.
Photo: @mrcologne76 time in the US Navy in the 2000s
I spent ten wonderful years in the military living in places like Hawaii, Japan, and Spain. At every duty station I befriended the managers of the fragrance department on base. I always sported the latest release and became the go-to person amongst my peers for fragrance related advice. Frequently before a night of partying they would gather in my room to apply the final touch to their outfit, a fragrance. They trusted my deliberate and sometimes fussy approach of perfume selection. By the time I separated from naval service my perfume collection hovered at around 50 bottles.
Photo: @mrcologne76 Perfume Samples 2011
Life after the Navy meant no on base shopping or fringe benefits. I missed getting samples of the latest "smell good," many of which lead to full bottle purchases. In 2009 I turned to YouTube for perfume inspiration. In video after video were fragrances I had not heard of. "How could this be?" I thought. I considered myself a "fragrance expert". Why had I not heard of Serge Lutens Chergui, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, CREED Aventus, or any of the others that circulated on top 10 lists? I soon learned that I could order samples from LuckyScent. This task proved to be challenging as I quickly realized that just because a fragrance was on two or three reviewers’ top 10 list it didn't mean I would like it. I landed quite a few duds and felt defeated. One day during the many hours I spent pouring over notes online I came across a fragrance called L’Air du Desert Marocain. Every bit of feedback on Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain was a resounding, "Yes, you need to get this. It is full bottle worthy".
The sample arrived one Saturday while I was on call and had to go into work. I placed a few drops on my arm, thinking nothing of it, as I grabbed my keys and headed out to the door to take care of a patient with a ruptured appendix. By the time I got to work something visceral happened; I could not stop sniffing my arm. I remember thinking it was the best perfume I had ever smelled and all previous fragrances paled in comparison.
A day at the hospital 2013
After taking care of my patient I rushed home to put on more. I wanted to shower in it so I could share with the world what I had found. Alas I only had a tiny sample and it would have to do until I could get a bottle. Reluctantly I showered and used what was left of my one ml sample. This was my first realization that there were levels to perfumery. For the first time I was drawn in to the fragrant story being narrated by smell.
Photo: @mrcologne76 meeting Andy Tauer at Tiger Lily in San Francisco
Since that day my modus operandi has been to find another fragrance that grabbed me the way Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain did. 300 fragrances later, it remains my favorite niche perfume. I was fortunate enough to meet Andy Tauer while visiting San Francisco in 2015 at Tiger Lily and purchased a signed bottle. It is a complex, well blended fragrance, the subtle nuances transition seamlessly from one phase to the next. The opening is somewhat harsh, and medicinal but within 20 minutes a totally different animal reveals itself. A sweet, smoky, and resinous blend of jasmine and rock rose form the heart. Its sensual, earthy, and highly addictive at this point. The dry down is one of the most exquisite I have smelled and is the best part of the composition in my opinion. It’s woody, dry, and well-rounded. The floral and amber quality of the heart persists well into the dry down. The opposing sweetness of the ambergris on the vetiver backdrop gives this a very exotic feel. If you appreciate well-constructed artistic fragrance with complexity and excellent performance this may suit you. I feel its best as worn in cooler temperatures and is very unisex, and what I learned from my awakening is that there is no gender in perfume.
–Glenn Davis (aka @mrcologne76, Guest Contributor
Please welcome @mrcologne76 to our family. He plans on writing monthly
Editor’s Note: Our Fragrant Awakening Series began May 16, 2014 and was the idea of Managing Editor Tama Blough,who would have been 63 on October 18, 2018, and passed away January 9, 2015. Glenn had no idea of this when he wrote his article featuring L’Air du Desert Marocain, that it was also Tama's entree into artistic perfumery. I believe Tama is smiling happily from heaven… Down the rabbit hole we go once more.-Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
L'Air Du Desert Marocain original bottle circa 2005 before packaging change for Tauer Perfumes in 2010 (OrangeStar)
To honor @mrcologne76 and our dear Tama Blough, we are offering 5 ml from Michelyn's original bottle sent to her by Andy Tauer in 2007, to a reader in the EU, USA and Canada. To be eligible, you must be a registered reader. Please register here.
Please follow @cafleurebon and @mrcologne76 and state that in your comment for it to count twice or like our series on FACEBOOK. Please tell us what you enjoyed about @mrcologne76 aka Glenn Davis' Fragrant Awakening and if you have experienced Tauer Perfumes L’Air du Desert Marocain in its current or original bottle. Draw closes 10/23/2018.
We announce the winners only on our website so like Cafleurebon and use our blog feed … or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.