Perfume Reviews

Negative Reviews of Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Total Reviews: 19
I had high hopes for this one. Reading others' reviews and the note breakdown, it sounded like an inventive, challenging unisex that I would bathe in. I was disappointed even after three wears.
More than one spritz of this would act like human repellant- and, due to the high sweetness, fly attractant.
Aside from some pink pepper and a sort of generic fruity accord, all I get is an overbearing, old fashioned, sweet incense that somehow reminds me of old lady bingo parlor perfume.
I suppose my nose isn't yet refined enough to pick apart the notes in something so heavy. I'm going to keep the sample around and check in with it occasionally in the hopes that I am one day able to enjoy it.
05th March, 2017
There is some citrus in the beginning but after that, it's all incense, creating a dated, mature smell that I'm not ready for yet. Very good projection. Seems more formal than casual.
27th January, 2017
Timbuktu is not a scent for me. I sampled it a day after sampling Dzonkha, and although the fragrances share some similarities, Dzonkha is much more masculine and exotic with it's spice, incense and vetiver. Timbuktu strays to hard to the feminine side with it's mango, berries and floral for my liking. I ended up scrubbing it off at the two hour mark, as I found it decidedly feminine. The mango note and prominent floral notes are just too sickly sweet for my taste, but I can understand where some younger men might like the scent. Not for me and a decided Thumbs Down.
04th December, 2015
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I may just be a paranoid old fart, but I would swear an oath in any court this was a different scent years ago, when I had a sample and loved it. What I just bought myself for X-mas (the new box) reeks of cheap soap laced with white pepper and is clearly chock-full of the laundry detergent aromachems I have everlong detested and always will. I couldn't possibly have liked THIS at any point of my fragrant career.
24th December, 2014
Genre: Leather

What do you do when you detest one of the most revered and critically acclaimed fragrances in recent memory? If you’re me, you keep trying it, in the hope of someday figuring out what all the love is about. In this spirit I’ve once again sampled Timbuktu, a scent where I’ve conspicuously parted company with most who write about fragrance. The result? I still dislike it vehemently, but I’ve at least come to understand more fully why.

Original review:
I’ve been trying Timbuktu on and off for years, and while I’ve come to understand what Bertrand Duchaufour is trying to get at here, I still don’t like it. There’s a piercing note at Timbuktu’s center that drills its way in right between my eyes and rasps away at my sinuses. For a variation on this theme that’s not merely pain-free, but outright pleasant, I’ll take Duchaufour’s later Dzongkha.
05th July, 2014
Just like Diptyque Oyedo and Guerlain PH Boisee, I just don't like that gloomy mood it sets me on. A sad fragrance for a funeral or sad reminiscence of the past times gladly remembered, but long lost. Timbuktu is a refined fragrance and does have it's merits, I'll grant it that much of credit. In first instance I thought I might actually like it, but as dry-down came it just went downhills for me. Not because it smells bad but because it influences me negatively in emotional way. Although I find it conceptually intriguing, something like entering an old attic, drenched by the sun and cooled by cold nights, my mindset doesn't allow me to actually like and enjoy this type of fragrance.
12th May, 2014
Unimpressive. A bland concoction of Duchaufour typical spices and woods, where I can't find any originality or suggestion related to the inspiration behind it! On my skin it is very tame and quiet, definitely non-exotic!
21st November, 2011
eov8b Show all reviews
United States
the cardamom was nauseating - imagine the misfortune of biting into a cardamom pod. i will say that the longevity is 5 stars - it took 6 tissues with alcohol and furious scrubbing to remove the stink. this is the first and only fragrance that made me want to hurl
08th August, 2011
O/k, thumbs down is a crass verdict. It reflects the expectations. These were high due to former reviews, at least Luca Turins.

My feeling is that the composition isn't well balanced. The fresh, close to icey woody part is quite unique. But the fragrances heart appears to be too sweet. The parallel of fresh/woody and honey sweet doesn't appeal to me. I think this one lives up to contemporary fashion, and that it does more than just well.

How does it compare to Etat Libre d'Orange Nombril Immense, which is said to be a blatant copy of Timbuktu (again, Turin)? I like NI better, and that by some margin. NI is more relaxing, smooth, and on my level of olfactory intelligence better balanced and refined. NI blows the same vibe with less of overt suspense, lacking that icey thing.
26th March, 2011 (last edited: 04th April, 2011)
It started off intriguing, albeit a bit greener and sharper than I would have expected. Within about 30 minutes of applying this, it went sour on me. It reminds me of the very worst of rank body odor that I find most unpleasant.
17th January, 2010
Gblue Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Malt vinegar with dusty benzoin and that soft papyrus wood note (the wood that isn't cedar from Gucci pour Homme).
No thanks.
19th July, 2009
Erm. Not convinced at all. On me it reminds me of soapy Imperial Leather. It's nicely complex though, depending on whether you catch it sideways or head on!
30th March, 2009
A total disappointment. The first few minutes are very sharp, with a sour note in the background, and then it dries down to an unpolished, unrefined scent. An untypical L'Artisan fragrance.
29th October, 2008
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I wish I could love this, I really do. I love the notes on paper, the idea behind it, the fact that it's based on the Wusulan perfume ritual of Mali--well, who knows if that's really true, but hey, they get points for weaving an intriguing narrative, and people pay good money just for stories, you know!

The problem is a single offending agent that ruins the whole composition for me, and which I assume must be the karo karounde because it smells like nothing else I've ever smelled before. Unfortunately, it's also the very heart of the composition. It's a shame, because I can faintly imagine what the fragrance might be like without it, and I think I would love that fragrance.
15th June, 2008
Too dry and much too like Terre d'Hermes to me (which I don't like but is "wetter"). Earthy and clingy like a boring girlfriend who won't let go. I have to say, it's a good scent, but I'd just can't wear it the patchouli turns me off.
15th May, 2008
That taste in the back of your throat right before the general anesthetic kicks in.
29th April, 2007
Overall, I get a very dry wood, and that about sums it up. I actually like the scent, but don't really wanna wear it.
14th January, 2006
Like wearing a bar of deodorant soap. Sharp soapy and rather harsh note bothered my nose. Not a "good clean" feeling. May be that L'Artisan and I were just not meant for one another with all the raves they are getting. I wanted to like this. Just didn't work on me.
11th December, 2005
Only L'Artisan scent I really dislike. I think Timbuktu is too woody and sharp. Also I'm getting extremely fed up with the use of incense in modern scents, it often takes over, dominating the blend, This is certainly evident here. In the same genre I'd pick YSL's excellent Body Kouros instead.
22nd September, 2005