Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Timbuktu by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Total Reviews: 18
It's possible that my bottle is a recent reformulation (or that it has gone off), because I don't recognize many of the woody, spicy, incense and berry notes for which this fragrance is known. I mainly get citrus that lasts throughout the dry-down, and its overall development seems linear and - while pretty - not particularly interesting. I don't detect the sweetness that many reviewers mention, though I do appreciate Timbuktu's transparency and shimmering quality. It's just not a go-to fragrance for me.
03rd April, 2016
A really solid vetiver based fragrance that isn't something new or very different at all, but it's a good one.
The opening is a little alchoholic! it's because of using a boozy note or just because of bad quality .... I don't know!!!
I can smell a dirty/earthy vetiver note mixed with some incense that give the scent a little smoky aroma and just a hint of sweetness and fruity notes in the background.
The whole idea of the scent remind me of "Terre D'Hermes" but something is crystal clear here. this one released two years earlier so this is the father!
As time goes by I can smell a little more sweetness and more fruity note beside that earthy vetiver and incense combo.
The scent is not that strong and potent. this can be someones signature scent and he can use it all year round. I said he because it's more masculine than feminine!
Projection isn't that great. mostly close to the skin and longevity is around 6-8 hours on my skin.
As I said a solid and classic vetiver based fragrance that personally I prefer "Terre D'Hermes EDT version" over this.
01st February, 2014
The opening of Timbuktu is mostly centered on a sharp, almost austere vetiver-incense-cedar accord, dusty and dry, basically halfway the smell of slightly aged paper (something like In The Library by CB I Hate Perfumes) and the smell of “pure” wood – and by pure I mean the pale (and quite boring) smell of a woodchips warehouse. No trees and forests, just the smell of Ikea furniture out of the box. That, with a subtle salty-earthy vetiver note, something velvety and sweet (resins, I guess) and a light fruity-floral breeze with a gentle red pepper note. After a while the incense note gains a prominent position, a rarefied and thin balsamic-synthetic incense like in many CdG fragrances (Kyoto above all: quite the same synthetic woody-balsamic feel). That’s it. Really linear and quite plain, you may think it “hides” some complexity or something interesting is ‘round the corner, but... well, it doesn’t, it’s really just that. A synthetic incense-woody scent like dozens of others - not as “avantgarde” as the CdG’s, not as classy as stuff like Gucci pour Homme... Shortly: meh.

5,5-6/10
16th January, 2014 (last edited: 06th December, 2014)
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Timbuktu by L'Artisan

A dichotomy of clean and dirty. The soapy bleachy detergent-like citrus front a woody musky base. Half sterile, and half feral.

Excellent development, scenic, bold and daring, but still very wearable for a cedar-vetiver fragrance.

When all is said and done, it's a decent fragrance and very interesting to sample, but when it comes down to buying a bottle

and wearing it regularly, I just don't think this one stands out in a meaningful way from the crowd.

29th May, 2013
Dry, woody, smoky vetiver - very green and peppery - I'm reminded of the pepper and vetiver base note of PERLES DE LALIQUE minus the rose.

This is a perfectly decent woody vetiver, but I do not understand all the praise it has accumulated, especially being termed a masterpiece by Luca Turin.

Vetiver, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and cypriol.

After a while my skin smells like an old barn full of antique wooden furniture in the heat of a summer's day. Not bad, but nothing I would pay for.
10th May, 2013
It's like an encounter with a loud personality at a party that wants everyone's attention. Initially irritating but over time you become aware that without it the party would be dull.

Flamboyant but entertaining, no surprise it stirs up strong feelings. Like in the party metaphor, having it around for too long makes me feel tired as it dominates everything. Good for a few occasions but not to hung around with regularly.
23rd January, 2012
The first part of development is almost disturbing and is basically  tart and lemony vetiver, earthy greens, black pepper and hints of frankincense-olibanum under my nose. The development is dull and the smell doesn't take off because of its crudity and olfactory wilderness at once. A note of rape mango is listed and it's responsible, on the side of bitter citrus, berries and vetiver, of that sour, viney and fruity crudity whirling around. A touch of smoke in the meanwhile starts enveloping and shadowing the elements slightly understating the level of green-fruity bitterness. This is a first stage of improvement but is not enough. It has to pass more than a couple of hours before the smoothing and resinous elements flag just a bit the crudity wraping the incenses and the spices in a cloud of mild resins and myrrh. In this phase the fragrance is more appealing although holds on to be a very wild beast to tame. A touch of patchouli sets boldness and autority enhancing the general sense of darkness. Frankly i don't detect exotic flowers in the mix except for that spark of almost womanly and rosey sophistication characterizing the wake many hours later. Probably the rosey (or better vinegar kind) smell is enhanced by the union of citrus and vetiver as many other times is determined by the link of tea and citrus or floral notes (as happens for instance with the link of hybiscus and tea note in Costume National Scent Intense). Anyway an exotic flower is listes and plays its part for sure. In the same vein of L'air du Desert Marocain but drier and less sweet and coloured,  Timbuktu is surly fragrance that is not able to side step in a more modern and acceptable way its high level of tart, dissonant animalism and acerbity. The quality of the elements, the carnal sensuality exuded and the appalling level of darkness place anyway it among the worthy pieces of work, as usual for the Duchafour's fragrances even if Timbuktu's kind of interrupted development, while preserving the darkness, hinders  distinction and mystery, fields where Dzongkha, Jubilation XXV and Avignon didn't fail. The  sillage is in the average.
14th October, 2011 (last edited: 19th November, 2011)
Timbuktu Opens very dark with incense and spices, but nothing exaggerated, where over time, acquires a certain soapy character but nothing overdone. This particular fragrance seems to me a much less intense version of L'air du desert marocain, making this a much more versatile and unisex fragrance, but without the mysterious and powerful personality of Andy Tauer's creation.
17th September, 2011
I must confess: I don't get it! While I love most of the Bertrand Duchafour's creations I still don't understand Timbuktu. I find it to be nondescript, way too abstract. I think about it as a smell instead of a finished perfume. It's way too complex (maybe?), and although I've been trying it several times and posticipate my final review for several months I still don't like it.

Timbuktu opens smoky and bitter with incense and berries and I've to admit it's very interesting in this phase. Then it starts to evolve into a complex spicy / fruity / vetiver / resins phase where things get real messy and way bizarre (in a bad way). It's like if Mr Duchafour wanted to gather together all the aspects that made his previously releases great with a cacophonic result.

Timbuktu definitely has the Duchafour's hallmark, it's immediately noticeable, but IMO it's way too far from his better compositions such as Avignon, Kyoto, Jubilation XXV, Sartorial, Calamus, Sequoia...
30th May, 2011
Timbuktu is a very bitter woody fragrance. I get no mango or berries - just straight up incense, woods, pepper, and patchouli. A dark smoldering fire sort of like Chanel Sycomore, only with less vetiver. Luca Turin gives it five stars, I think it's just okay. Nothing special. Timbuktu might be better when layered with something. The sillage and longevity are very good, though.
25th March, 2011
Opening? Whatever everyone else is getting I am not..no hard fast curve ball here. There is pepper. Or, ahem, PEPPER. Then some pleasant incense and woods and a nice vetiver. A smudge of floralcy peeks in at that base. Seems incredibly upright and masculine to me.
02nd February, 2011
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
This reminded me a bit of Gucci's Rush for men, which I didn't like either. It almost has a vinegar-like quality. It's dry and just sits there, becoming boring within 10 or 20 minutes. I wore it three times, spaced out several weeks apart, and just can't find anything special about it. I actually prefer Cuba Red, which can be had for perhaps 1/10 of the price of this (if not less), because it's more wearable and seems to become more, rather than less interesting over time (though Timbuktu is undeniably stronger). If you like excellent designer fragrances but haven't been that impressed by niche (like me), then you should definitely sample this first. I will confess that I generally like sweet fragrances, and this has no sweetness to it. When I'm in the mood for incense in a fragrance, I usually reach for Jacomo Rouge, so that should give you and idea of what I prefer. If I took price into account in my reviews, I'd give this a negative rating, especially considering the Cuba Red alternative.
28th October, 2008 (last edited: 29th December, 2008)
Certainly not nearly as bad as most new fragrances, but not the greatest either. I get a lot of soap in the mid notes and green wood in the drydown. It's pleasant enough for day wear, but there isn't anything the opposite sex would be drawn to. The subtle reminders of Irish spring soap throughout the day makes me feel clean and lets everyone around me know it too. Kind of a why bother frag for me, but I'll keep it in a drawer and visit it occasionally.
15th January, 2007
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Paul G Show all reviews
United States
A vetiver based scent that I can't get a beat on. It's extraordinarily dry. I can't get a strong feeling for it either way, though there are some days where it works. It's a scent that's unique enough to warrant trying, but I really can't get a full bearing on what I think of it. I have to be in the exact perfect mood to wear it....regretfully that isn't very often. It has enough going on in it to warrant a test drive, but I can't figure out what it's trying to do.
14th April, 2006
Roasted red peppers marinating in Indian spices at the bottom of a leather satchel abandoned in a church. Ugly-sexy.
04th April, 2006
Looking at the notes, I would expect this to have some sweetness in it. However, that is not the case. It smells really dry and woody to me, like an old tree. I suspect it's the vetiver note that makes it earthy and musty. This isn't a scent that I see myself wearing. I don't usually think scents pertain to certain age groups, but this one doesn't smell like it could be pulled off by a teenager or early 20's person.
29th December, 2005
CoL Show all reviews
United Kingdom
VERY dry scent. Like Passage D'enfer without the flowers. Not really made my mind up about this one yet.
04th September, 2005
Though Timbuktu is not a scent I would wear, I love it for its gloriously evocative quality. When I applied Timbuktu to my wrists, I was hurled back in time approximately 30 years, landing with a thump in the hayloft of Grandpa's big old barn. Yes: that aroma of aging wood, the greenish spice of dried alfalfa hay, the faint tang of a rusting iron plow. In the dusky atmosphere broken shafts of sunlight sneak in through the cracks, illuminating the quiet dancing of dust. Timbuktu, thanks for the memories!
04th August, 2005