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If I had to pick a personal favorite perfume company, Id probably pick LArtisan Parfumeur. Theyve been around forever (Their iconic Mure et Musc already made this list in my picks of the 70s) and have consistently valued creativity and pushing the envelope of artistic perfumery, using top noses for decades now.

I definitely see some recurring themes within their line. First, theyre known for their sense of humor, releasing surprisingly wearable and well-thought-out scents of bell pepper or flour. They also have many simple, almost ambient florals while other perfumes promise a walk though a garden, LArtisan actually delivers that with their true-to-life, wind-swept realism of Mimosa Pour Moi, La Haie Fleurie, and others. LArtisan is also not afraid of difficult scents that are full-on art pieces, as well as surprisingly wearable scents that are completely unlike anything else out there.

LArtisan Parfumeur


72. Fou dAbsinthe by LArtisan Parfumeur



No other perfume smells like Fou dAbsinthe, including any other absinthe scents Ive been able to get my hands on. Its boozy and bright with wintergreen (in a trick that owes a debt to Aqua Velva Ice Blue, which everyone has gone out and sniffed by now, right?), but with a thick green fennel and absinthe mix thats unlike anything else out there, hovering between drinkable and sweaty, pristine and filthy, and bright and earthy. It ends up as a fennel scent with pine and woods, but that alcoholic wintergreen brightness never really goes away, along with the sweaty undertones.

Fou d'Absinthe is also unabashedly masculine (a rarity in the niche world) but without resorting to any clichés. Its also required sniffing for anyone looking to figure out what the big deal is with perfumer Olivia Giocobetti, as its one of her best.


73. Timbuktu by LArtisan Parfumeur



Timbuktu is one of those perfumes thats incredibly difficult to describe to someone who hasnt smelled it, which, of course, is one of the reasons its so brilliant. Its a sweaty woody floral, but in a way thats nothing like anything else. The flower is karo karounde, which smells more like antique wood than anything floral. Nose Bertrand Duchoufour pairs it with extremely dry, dusty oakwood and something between aging leather and someones sweaty old grandpa.

As such, its not easy to wear Timbuktu Its not a scent that invites compliments. Instead, it urges contemplation, quiet sniffing, and study. It rewards obsessive sniffing with hidden notes, from a cinnamon undertone to something sweet that balances the astringency of the chalky woods. Watch out, weve reached the deep end of the pool


74. Tea For Two by LArtisan Parfumeur



Tea For Two is probably a bit more of a crowd pleaser than Timbuktu, but its still not too friendly. It uses warm pie spices and ginger and slightly bready suede, which eventually fade to reveal spiced brown tea. But heres the odd part the whole thing is overlaid with that smoky rubber note from Fahrenheit or Bulgari Black.

When I first smelled Tea For Two, I just couldnt get my head around the burnt rubber, but as time has gone by, I love it now. Its definitely been worth the wait, and runs circles around weak tea-and-cake gourmands like Burberry London.


75. Aedes de Venustas by LArtisan Parfumeur



Aedes de Venustas is the exclusive scent LArtisan makes especially for the shop of the same name in New York. As such, its a bit of a rarity, but samples are easily available online.

Its on this list as the final, penultimate achievement of Betrand Duchoufours incense scents. The lineage Im referring to starts with Avignon, a perfect veil of smoke, woods, and creamy incense. With Eau dItalies Bois DOmbrie, he darkened and masculinized the mix with leathery tar and an upfront vinegar note, which he then balanced out by adding sweet dried fruits to this mix in Amouages Jubilation XXV. Finally, he completed the journey with Aedes de Venustas by adding Lutens-esque pie spices and booze to this by-now-very-intricate mix, creating a perfect inedible gourmand, using these elements to play up the sweet creaminess of the incense and the tea-ish qualities of the woods. Its dense and complicated, like a Christmas pudding served on a smoldering cedar plank and its the final destination of one of the most aesthetically pleasing and important journeys in perfumery and, as such, is required sniffing.