Dzongkha by L’Artisan Parfumeur




Hello friends, Narth here with a quote from my most recently read book.

“Scent, for me, is a medium. I rarely use if for ornamental purpose.”
This I How You Lose the Time War, Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This is so true for many of us who have spent a long time with fragrance. We wear our scents as talismans for who we are that day.

It’s a poetic, literary, trippy romance that I happily recommend. I was wearing Dzongkha when I read this passage and I gasped out loud. The book takes the form of love letters hidden through time in confounding, fascinating places. Perfume and myself, we also write letters. Secret messages between my life, the perfumer’s vision, and the perfume notes themselves. Iris is a different fellow when talking to Incense than he is when chatting to Musk.

Dzongkha by L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

Top: Lychee, Cardamom, Peony
Middle: Iris, Chai Tea, Incense
Base: Papyros, Cypriol, Iris, Leather, Vetiver

L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzongkha is my my most meditative scent. I love to wear it sitting and reading, my nose pressed into my arm with every turned page. Dzongkha speaks to me of peace, centering, and of being far from whatever madding crowd my life might currently be enjoying. It’s a quiet breeze full of smells from deep memories. I’ve written smells, not scents, because people often describe Dzongkha as having food notes of celery, soup, steam from a cooking pot. For me it’s a heavy mist over clay soil, one of the most beautiful smells in the world. The perfumer Betrand Duchaufour is a painter as much as he is an alchemist.

L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Dzongkha was inspired by the Himalayan nation of Bhutan and named after the Bhutanese language. I feel as if Betrand Duchaufour always intended Dzongkha to be about communication. This picture is taken from a book on Bhutan I’ve had for over 30 years. I’ve never been there but I’m going to assume Duchaufour hiked to Tiger’s Nest { } and inhaled the pure air of this hermit kingdom before creating Dzongkha. If you have Dzongkha I do recommend looking at photos of Bhutan while wearing it, a transportive experience! As the quote says L’Artisan’s Dzongkha is not ornamental, you don’t wear this one to decorate yourself. It is both rarefied and odd. It’s a medium that may take you to a far off land or a secluded place within yourself.

What scents do you wear for secret reasons rather than just their ornamental nature?

Bye for now, Narth xx

Narth will be moving across to Undina’s Looking Glass along with the Saturday Question in March. Do go have a look over there please.

22 thoughts on “Dzongkha by L’Artisan Parfumeur

  1. What an interesting question! I would say that I wear Penhaligon’s Ostara (also by Duchaufour) for reasons other than ornamental. It transports me to one of my favorite places, a garden open to the public that includes hillsides planted with tens of millions of daffodils.

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  2. Beautiful and thought-provoking post Narth! I enjoy the thought of wearing fragrance for secret reasons rather than just their ornamental nature. I often wear certain perfumes for my mood and memories they invoke. Selecting a special perfume while relaxing and reading is the best. My vintages and Chanels in particular are worn to transport me.
    I sampled Dzongkha a long time ago, now I need to hunt if I still have some left in my sample, I am intrigued to experience it now.


  3. Glad to know you will still be with us at Undina’s blog! I love both Dzongkha and Memo’s Tiger’s Nest, which I didn’t know was a place in Bhutan. Usually my scent is selected to correspond to my mood or where I want to be mentally that day.

    There is a wonderful book by Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard which has beautiful photos of the Himalayas, called Émerveillement:


    • Tara I am dying to try Memo Tiger’s Nest, unfortunately they only carry them in Sydney not Melbourne. I am actually contemplating a blind buy for the beauty of the bottle. Tigers are kind of my thing so I this also goes into it.


  4. L’Artisan was the first niche brand I dived into and I went, as my first acquisitions, for the usual suspects such as Timbuktu, Dzonkha, and Dzing etc. Alas, I still have not given proper wearing to any of these as they are in the storage somewhere and I don’t know where exactly. Back then I would not really test my new acquisitions immed except taking a sniff from the spray and putting them in a box.


    • Fazal I love ALLof those. Timbuktu I just acquired last year and it went straight to the top of my loves. The early L’Artisans were wonders and like you, they were my first niche. I still have more L’Artisans than any other house and I wear them all regularly.


  5. What a beautiful post!

    I tried Dzongkha many years ago and, I think, I liked it.., I wonder if my sample is still good – I’ll find and re-test it.

    For a while I wore SL’s Boxeuses for tough meetings at work.


    • I’ve not tried that one Undina, but yes isn’t it good to be able to gird yourself with fragrance when you know it will be a tough day? I often wear Tom of Finland when I need some extra protection.

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  6. Great stuff Narth. I love the house of L’Artisan falling in love with Mure et Musc for starters when travelling in Florence many moons ago. Now I have about five different L’Art scents in my collection. I find they have great staying power. A few of my ‘talismans’ would be ELDO Rien, L’Art Al Oudh and Montale Black Oud. When I feel like I need protection, or a little support, or even comfort these work for me.


    • It’s good, isn’t it having a secret protective juice to anoint oneself with before battle. I have quite a few special relationships with the L’Arts, particularly the earlier ones. Dzongkha would be my favourte, but I love Dzing, Timbuktu, Tea for Two.. and so many others. They are all stand outs to me.


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