I DIDN’T KNOW : : : : DZONGKA by L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR (2006)

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I love being confounded and having my prejudices rebuffed.

Tonight we watched ‘Men, Women, Children’ by director Jason Reitman (I have no memory of choosing it at the video shop, and am an ambivalent watcher of his films), but it was the perfect film for a Monday night.

A cross-generational, intermeshed tale of people caught up in their smartphones, it played out warmly and convincingly across the screen, pertinent to things that are happening in my and my fellow teacher’s lives, and as I watched I reached out for whatever glass vial happened to be there dusting beneath the projector.

Dzongkha. A scent I have ignored (woody; Duchaufour; my usual dislikes), but as the alcohol demystifies – this is an old sample I have wrongly ignored for many years – I get the Dz, or rather the Dj: I sense an element of Djedi: a vetiver, a dry, held back scent and my senses are pleased.

All I can smell is a light, beautifully framed vetiver, dusted with what smells like paprika, but as I check, briefly online, I find out to be white tea (a gorgeous combination); papyrus; and lychee.

Like the film, which I knew nothing whatsoever beforehand, but just chose on whim (and which turned out to be far more rewarding than I could have imagined, emotionally) the perfume feels real; relevant, touching, and distinctly pleasing.

I will have to explore this one further.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “I DIDN’T KNOW : : : : DZONGKA by L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR (2006)

  1. Very interesting, actually, to watch a film and smell a perfume you know absolutely nothing about as you come without prejudice.

    Typically, though, after I see the film, I check on line and find that it is a critical and commercial absolute flop. Whereas the films by the director that were lauded and brought in the millions and the accolades (Up In The Air; Young Adult; Juno, all of which I dutifully watched but felt completely numb while doing so) are considered successful, as usual, it seems that if I like something personally, almost no one else does (and if a film is nominated for an Oscar, it is practically guaranteed that I won’t like it).

    This is often the case.

    But the good thing about this scenario is that it just proves that I am not being perverse just for the sake of it, just to be ‘contrary’. I knew absolutely nothing about this film beforehand. For all I knew, this could have been a box office baby and a metacritic orgasm, which I would have quite happy to see.

    Instead, as usual, it is widely considered to be a pile of shit. When I see worth, others don’t; the reverse very often being the case as well.

    I guess I am just a born outsider.

    But I do know that I absolutely trust my nose, my brain, and my eyes.

    Good night.

  2. jennyredhen

    There are so many good movies that never receive any public acclaim and so much crap that does. I absolutely loathed the Lord of the Rings. To be “successful” a movie must have heaps of violence and a car chase . What about that ” marigold hotel” movie so successful that now they have made another one. I tried for weeks to get into that movie it was endlessly booked out with rave reviews. What a load of old rope it turned out to be.. nice scenery though. The last movie I have seen is “Dior and I”.. I loved it ….go and see it. Its a doco about the house of Dior. I know our cinematic tastes are diametrically opposed.. but maybe that movie might be the exception to the rule… maybe

    • It would be another stubborn prejudice of mine to get over – ‘bio-pics’: I couldn’t’ see the Yves Saint Laurent one for the same reason (a real documentary on the subject would have been fascinating).

      I like being proved wrong though so I will look out for it on DVD (with our projector it’s like being at the cinema anyway these days). Who played Dior?

      • jennyredhen

        the movie is about the new artistic director of Dior Raf Simons and follows the creation of his first collection. Dior himself only appears in archived film footage. excerpts are quoted from his book. It could be Diors voice reading them. Raf Simons plays himself as does everyone else.. the movie is shot inside the fashion house as the range is being created. The finale is the actual show .. a more glamorous “Project Runway” LOL

      • In that case we are most definitely on. I love that kind of thing.

  3. Badrinath Janakiraman

    This was among the first of it’s kind by Mr. Duchaufour – the sort of nose-ticklingly dry “leather” that he seems to quote over and over again (I think seen first in Timbuktu). Despite my serious misgivings about that specific accord, the thing that got me in this one was the delectable juicy litchi-peony accord laid out over that pale iris, a peach-pink chiffon of an accord if there was one, that makes me lick my lips. The contrast with the wet-stone/mineral/leather accord was surprising. In 2006. Since then, the first time I could even abide by the wet-mineral-leather was in Sartorial. I can’t believe I am saying this – but I wish I could smell the fruity-floral litchi+peony+iris again – either singly or as a quote elsewhere.

    • What you have written here has nailed it. I was so intrigued last night by what I was smelling on my hand that I definitely need to go up to Tokyo and have a good old spray. A ‘peach-pink chiffon’ accord; YES, I do think so.

      Duncan wears Sartorial, and although I do think that this perfumer always tosses way too many different ingredients into the mix ( I always think of him as overly intellectual: someone like Francis Kurdijian is much more instinctive) it does smell rather lovely on him. Suave and very three dimensional.

      Is Dzongka popular?

      • Badrinath Janakiraman

        I didn’t get the feeling that it was – though it was much more popular of the two things they released that time around. This was back when L’artisan was having an identity crisis (from which they emerged resolutely in favour of the banal) – and the companion fragrance to this one was Fleur de Narcisse by Anne Flipo. That perfume was so eye-wateringly expensive that this one did much better at least at release. Now that Narcissus though is close to being my holy grail. I have about 10ml of it left- possibly going bad- but I just can’t bring myself to wear it for fear that it would get over! That rendition of narcissus and the version in the heart of Vol de Nuit are what made me completely nutso for that note – and incidentally – also brought me to your blog! 🙂

        Completely agree about how Mr. Duchaufour puts too many ideas (and not all original ones) into his perfumes. This is definitely the case with Sartorial too, but for some reason, I don’t mind it as much there. Perhaps it is the strength of the fougere accord that it takes over pretty much any perfume where it is present, except in the case of the Guerlain duo of Jicky & MdM. It’s funny – I don’t usually mind perfumers quoting themselves – being a Guerlain fan, it would be highly hypocritical of me to do so – but there is something about Mr. Duchaufour’s reliance on these shimmering/mercurial/metallic/woody notes that just really makes my teeth grate. Perhaps I am overly sensitive to them. On the plus side- they have such tremendous radiance!

        How did you like his work on the Neela Vermiere line? Did you check them out yet? I have plonked the money for the sample set but I have not had a quiet weekend to explore them. I have a feeling I will like Trayee from what little I can smell through the nozzle of the plastic container.

  4. I like them, kind of, the ones I have smelled, although there is always that woody thing in the base I am not so keen on. Very complex, as usual.

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