This time round, we’re hitting you with a Bertrand Duchaufour double whammy, care of l’Artisan Parfumeur: two arguably masculine numbers – the hazelnut, liquorice, cedar and honey blend of Mechant Loup; the papyrus, pink pepper and vetiver blend of Timbuktu.
What do we all think?
First up, Mechant Loup:
Patty: Mechant Loup is a scent I should hate, what with all the honey running around in it, but after that initial opening blast, it settles down into a really wonderful, gourmandy scent. I can pick out the honey in it, but it doesn’t have that foul odor I associate with honey in perfumes, it is more like the wonderful smell of honey I remember from my childhood when we would get a big comb of honey, beeswax, everything. Nothing tastes better than comb honey… Or smells better, and Mechant Loup captures that part of the honey, but also something slightly more sinister, like the big, bad wolf hanging around Little Red Riding Hood’s basket of honey, hazelnut treats and innocence….
Bryan: Although I do not believe in gendered perfumes, I must admit I more often than not, reach for the florals. I just hate the mass market smell of insipid “masculines” that clutter the windexed counters at department stores near all of us. I would agree that both Mechant Loup and Timbuktu fit the conventionally masculine stereotype. I do however adore them both. Big Bad Wolf (love the name) I will admit, has a special place in my heart. I wore it back when I was 26 and I had my first kiss (with a guy). I wasn’t going to share that, but more has been offered on this blog and I feel we know each other well enough, right? I mention it because I am a bit biased here. I stand by my initial reaction though, to this warm, nay hot juice. The hazelnut just envelops me and I am never unaware of the wolf’s presence….something I love in a fragrance. This is gourmand without the nauseating prettyness of angel. There I said it. Making up words is fun.
Lee: This is an oddball scent to me, and probably my least favourite Duchaufour creation. No, scratch that: I put it above the burnt plastic I get from Eau d’Italie. I used to own this but am writing my account purely from smell memory – let me know if I go wrong somewhere. Initially, it blasts me with a sour, entirely unique combination of liquorice, hazelnut and sweat. Then the honey creeps in and it becomes mild, not uriney like in the understandably underappreciated Miel de Bois, but definitely, and quintessentially, bucolic. This is a perfume composed of golden browns and forest greens, but there’s something in it that for me is somehow not quite right. I put it down to the hazelnut – something I love in chocolate, cookies, brownies or by themselves, but not a scent I like with this combination of other notes.
And now, Timbuktu:
Bryan: I have much affection for this one because it is so unlike everything else. Given that it is increasingly more difficult to find a unique scent, Timbuktu is a welcome blast of resiny earth. I gave this to a friend (twice, as he ran out) and he says he is complimented every time he sprays. He says the ladies love it (in so many not-so-silly words). I appreciate it, but I wear Dzongkha when I am in this kind of mood. I would love to smell it on Lee, though. I do have one gripe. This scent just isn’t as tenacious as I would like….but then again, what is?
Lee: No other perfume on me gets as many compliments as this one, but it’s one ‘fume where the perfume community is split right down the middle – sour, earthy, acidic, foul on the one hand; subtle, serene, heavenly on the other. To me, this is a gloriously full powered incense scent with a wonderful kick of something I’ve never smelled before. It’s difficult to pin down – it has ingredients I love but here, for me, the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. It starts sour and earthy (but in such a good way!) and the smoke is there from the start, teasing around at the edge of the notes and sometimes taking centre stage. Someone said that it’s papyrus that has this effect, seeming both smoky and peppery at the same time, or just becoming one immediately after it is both, however that works… It’s wonderfully dry, but soapy and refreshing too. Perhaps to some people there’s too much going on, but for me it’s magical. And though I don’t own a bottle, it’s been on my ‘must have’ list for way too long. And I hope, not for too much longer. In fact, it’s something I’d love to wear lightly in the summer.
Patty: Timbuktu hates me. The flavor of vetiver in it just goes foul and then nondescript and vanishes. Odd, that! It’s a pretty powerful blend, but it’s like my skin just sucks it all up. I wish it had just a leetle magic, but, sadly, all the magic leaked out of the end of the wand. 🙁