L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu

24 Feb

I have repeatedly attempted to review this fragrance, but have found that it is more challenging to describe than I expected. However, I have finally found enough time to spend with it to write about my experience. Sometimes really beautiful understated and complex fragrances take more time. Do NOT write this one off! Spend some time sampling it so you can see how wonderful it truly is. L Artisan is very understanding about the need to sample.

Timbuktu smells like an early Morning walk while camping, with smoky earthy incense notes which smell like a campfire that has gone out. There is leather, pepper, and wood, but despite the depth of the individual notes, Timbuktu is a dry, light and airy fragrance. Projection and longevity are pretty poor, but I enjoy that it wears close to the skin.

It is an intimate fragrance without being warm, seductive without being too spicy. It makes my skin smell as if I have just returned from somewhere very far away, where there is nothing familiar to cling to.

In its animalic earthiness, I get the feeling of clean dry mud, of drawings made from homemade charcoal on stone, tea made from bark and twigs, and the perfume of fine, parched earth. It is cool dry, exotic smoothness, and becomes subtly intoxicating.

Timbuktu reminds me slightly of Emir by M. Micallef, but Timbuktu is more subdued, muted and airy, the blue/grey and raw umber color of smoke and earth. I feel like I could douse myself with it, and it still wouldn’t project any more than it does with three sprays. As it opens on the skin, the fresh earthiness of vetiver becomes more apparent.

Timbuktu smells magical because of what it contains, but especially because of what it DOESN’T. Each of its elements fit together perfectly, with nothing to distract or over-complicate.

I get the distinct feeling that it is intended as an ingredient in a solution made for self-protection. It is a whispered reminder of one’s own inner strength.

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