Sundowner is interesting because, despite the much advertized chocolate and orange notes, it gets the salivary glands working without being foody. The first blast is a foghorn of amber, spices, booze, and veiny pipe tobacco, but there is an undertow of medicinal sourness that smells like wood chips left to ferment in a rusty barrel. The Tauer signature is strong, namely the rubbery smoke reminiscent of freshly creosote-ed fences, the brash salty amber, the piercing cinnamon, all set against a watery floral note that might be rose. There are, at least initially, some parallels to PHI Une Rose de Kandahar, minus the fruity apricot conserve, and to the muscular expansiveness of L’Air du Desert Marocain.
But the more I wear it, the more I think Sundowner does something special. In draping the front end with all this almost fermented, grungy funk, Tauer sets the stage for the tobacco note to emerge through a new curtain rather than the usual one of dried fruit, gingerbread, and vanilla. And, as it turns out, sour is better than sweet when it comes to carving out the true scent of tobacco leaf because Sundowner features one of the best, most true to life renditions of tobacco that I have ever smelled. It is briny, rich, tart, and sweet all at once. How this was accomplished, I neither know nor care. When you find the spirit of tobacco bottled, you just buy it and let it take you on a magic carpet ride every time.
Source of Sample: I first sampled this in Bertozzini in Rome when I was back for a month in March this year. I bought a full bottle in November from ParfuMarija in Dublin.