I'm one of the latecomers to Andy Tauer's Orange Star. I'm not quite sure why. I think I was expecting to feel a bit let down, which is slightly strange, because I actually like a lot of Andy's perfumes. Two of his, Vetiver Dance and Reverie au Jardin, are rank in my opinion, at least on my skin. I've seldom had such a negative reaction to a perfume. But the others, on the other hand, in particular Incense Extreme and L'air Desert Marocain, have been fantastic. So I don't know, maybe it was the two scrubbers that made me feel a little apprehensive. In the end, I needn't have worried, Orange Star is lovely indeed. If you try Orange Star thinking it is going to be a summer citrus scent, then I think you might be surprised. I know skin chemistry plays a part of course, and on my skin the orange is secondary, yet still essential, to the star player, being to my nose an incense accord created by what I think is the combination of cistus labdanum and ambergris.
The notes from Luckyscent include clementine, mandarin, lemongrass, orange flower, violet flower, ambergris, patchouli, vanilla and ambreine. From what I can gather, ambreine is a derivative from ambergris. Despite not being listed here, I definitely get a cistus note, an ingredient that is often used in Tauer's perfumes. The opening of Orange Star is sweet and fragrant. Although there are lots of citrus orange notes listed, I don't find the opening that orangey, at least not in the conventional sense. To me it is more a pulpy, fruity orange, suffused with what I perceive initially as a muted incense note. After a few minutes the orange notes become a bit dryer and smoky, as the ambergris makes its presence felt. Some people have commented on a powdery note in Orange Star and I'm wondering if this might be the violet flower. I don't personally detect it, but the orange blossom does lend the fragrance more of a blowsy feel in the heart. Orange Star sweetens again, this time in a more woody fashion, and I initially thought there is sandalwood in here, but perhaps its the combination of patchouli and vanilla. Whatever it is, this slightly creamy note combines beautifully with the ambergris and orange to produce what I think is Tauer's most suave and sophisticated fragrance yet. As much as I've enjoyed his work, I've always found his fragrances to bludgeon me with their sheer presence and strong notes; almost heavy-handed in a way. Yet Orange Star, despite still being recognisably a Tauer work, tones down the heavy notes without eschewing them altogether, reigning them in to produce a work that is complex, subtle, yet still very precise in execution. To my mind this is Tauer's tour de force to date.
The base continues very much on the same theme. What I like about Orange Star is that the orange accord avoids any cliches, yet still manages to improvise on a theme throughout the development, yet never overwhelms. The smoky cistus and ambergris notes prevent the orange from becoming sweet, and lend the fragrance a resinous, incense feel, reminiscent of some of his prior work, but sufficiently different to stand out as a unique change in direction and feel. I always hesitate to praise a fragrance too highly, but I honestly think this is a great piece of work by Tauer and it comes highly recommended.
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