I am an unabashed fan of Andy Tauer. That doesn’t mean I blindly love everything he does: for some reason Reverie au Jardin disagrees with me, but I’d pretty much take a Tauer scent any day of the week.
What I love about Tauers is that Andy is a one man show. He’s not a boardroom full of shirts looking at focus groups and trends. He doesn’t have to go through a comittee and he’s not part of a global organisation (apart from having a distribution partner). He’s a lone wolf and that makes things very interesting right from the start.
The development of PHI Rose de Kandahar has been well documented via Andy’s blog and Facebook page and it’s finally available in the UK. This is a limited edition as Andy’s vat of Rose de Kandaher absolute is not bottomless (hence its inclusion in the “Collectibles” range). So now I finally have my treasured sample. Was it worth it? Oh yes.
PHI Rose de Kandahar has a Middle Eastern richness to it. Initially it’s honeyed roses and almonds and dried apricots: it reminds me of a scented Souk. At first this edible combination was very Turkish Delight, just for a moment. But what happens next is that it transforms into, unless I’m mistaken, something not unlike a good Arabian Oud. I often find Oud too strong for me, but in Rose de Kandahar it’s like a robust backdrop to something altogether more delicate. The irony is that there is no Oud in it, but the combination of tobacco, ambergris, vetiver and patchouli gives this a very rich and almost prickly base. It’s like serving an aromatic Bacchanalian feast on a rough granite table. The contrast of the rough with the smooth enhances the delicacy of the ingredients.
Here are the notes as listed on Fragrantica:
bitter almond, bergamot
Rose of Kandahar essential oil,
Bulgaria rose absolute, Bourbon geranium, dried tobacco leaves.
patchouli, vetiver, vanilla,
tonka beans, musk, ambergris.
There is an interesting Feel Good back-story to this. The Kandahar roses that produce this absolute were grown in Afghanistan by farmers that have been subsidised to produce roses instead of growing plants that provide the base materials for drug use (“Hungerhilfe”). In other words, Make Roses, Not Drugs.
The wonderful fragrance alone is reason enough to love this, but add the milk of human kindness and you have just one of the many reasons to love PHI Rose de Kandahar.