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Timeless men's classic with a certain something
Making a connection between the name of a perfume and its fragrance is usually a good way to start a commentary. But Timbuktu should not come to most people's minds much more than that the city is somewhere in the middle of nowhere - more precisely, in Mali, on the edge of the Sahara. The source of inspiration for Bertrand Duchaufour's creation was the mixture of woods, roots, spices and resins, "Wusulan", which is widely used in West Africa as a perfume substitute in burnt form. This association may seem plausible to me, but when I smell Timbuktu, I think above all of the fact that Orient and Occident, nostalgia and modernity meet here.
Although the long-lasting foundation is formed by woody and balsamic notes, Timbuktu starts off fresh and ethereal - almost reminiscent of mint. I think that this impression is achieved by the cardamom and the initially cool incense. Furthermore, a slightly exotic side is created by the mango, which is fortunately used subtly and rather as an unripe fruit. How exactly Karo-Karounde should smell now, I don't know and there are different descriptions of them (warm, soft, fruity, sweet, indollic, animalistic), but Timbuktu has indeed a facet, which I can't classify exactly and could come from the African plant. For me, less frankincense than myrrh is also influential for the further course. In addition to the balsamic, this has a slightly sweet quality, which Duchaufour has added as well as the mango in discreet form. At warmer temperatures, however, I perceive both more strongly. These more modern notes are thwarted by a base of vetiver, patchouli and papyrus, which is thoroughly woody, slightly green, smoky and dry. From my point of view, all components form a perfect balance and are relatively closely interwoven. A really similar scent hasn't come under my nose yet.
That's why Timbuktu also falls into the timeless men's classic category for me. There are enough 80s retro hipster trash or unbalanced experiments in the niche market, but this creation doesn't seem too demanding despite the exotic notes and already a bit familiar in the drydown. Actually I would rather classify Timbuktu as an Ü35 fragrance, since he already has some maturity, but I have owned him myself for almost four years (I was 25 then) and he has fascinated me more and more while wearing. Despite a certain heaviness, Timbuktu is not only worn in the cold seasons. Even in summer it doesn't get too much for me and just, as already mentioned, changes more into the slightly fruity, balsamic direction. For me, there are very few perfumes that do not suffer from such changes due to very different temperatures. And while the oasis city, threatened by desertification, longs for it, Timbuktu ironically fits perfectly into rainy weather.