L'Artisan say:

Dzongkha is a rapturous fragrance, inspired by the remote Buddhist mountain kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas. After the critical success of Timbuktu, Bertrand Duchaufour once again turned his perfumery skills on faraway lands to focus on the combination of nature and spirituality found in Bhutan. Rich with aromatic influences: temple stones and incense, the sweet aroma of spiced chai tea, the heat of warm leather around fires, the heart of any temple or home in snowbound lands. Vetiver and green papyrus float through soft smoke with touches of peony, lychee and delicate iris. Dzongkha tells a special story on every skin: that of Dzongkha itself, the spiritual language of Bhutan.

Dzongkha fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Lychee, Cardamom, Peony
  • Heart

    • Iris, Chai tea, Incense
  • Base

    • Papyrus, Cypriol, Iris, Leather, Vetiver

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Dzongkha

I guess I like Duchafour's perfumes..

Dzongkha smells to me and on my skin like a strong, hot black tea with milk infused (not so often used combination - I think some Brits like tea served that way) and with a huge punch of aldehydes on the forefront of the scent. It seems to be softened by the iris, but that one is not powdery - it's rather buttery here.

Longevity is 6 to 8 hours, sillage is mild.

I like it but I don't use it often. I have to be in the right mood to use it.
27th August 2022
Autumn in the mountains, a relaxation and rejuvenation retreat. Deep breathing. Cool, crisp weather. Spindly fingers of chilly breeze nip and pluck at the skin, reminding one of the prudence of donning a thick, cozy sweater. Leaves and needles turn brilliant, rich colors: deep bronze, fiery crimson, khaki, spicy umber, sienna, azalea, brick, tangerine, turmeric, and fatigue green. Trees languorously stretch and shed excess baggage. The remnants snapping and crunching beneath foot warming soles.
Curls of scent teasing the nose. A turid brook weeping into the banks of dirt. Dense peaks of black, spiced tea brewing over a campfire peppered with smoky wood, burning the seasons last vestiges of greenery, and decaying plant matter.

Dzongkha is warmth and comfort with vibrancy and spicy incense. Although it's pretty synthetic smelling (leather and iris), it gives the truer scent of cardamom.

This another that I'd take as an ambient spray, and though some may like it year-round, I feel it lends itself to cooler weather.

Note: I've had it on for about three hours now, it's evolved significantly. Iris, iris, and more iris with powdery pleather and cardamom. And soap. My thumbs up has changed to a neutral, iris is not my favorite scent.
9th October 2020

This is a perfume that I had to wear more than ten times spaced out over more than a year, to finally understand its appeal. More than notes or accords, I was never sure how it smells and whether it is diffusive and tenacious enough. Dzongkha has an array of notes that hint at interesting combinations on paper, and finally it is indeed more than the sum of its parts.

Dzongkha starts off with a spiced floral accord, subtly fruit; cardamom is dialed back. The composition smoothly evolves into its mid phases which is iris with a hint of tea (note that cardamom is still there), and then the base is mostly iris and incense with hints of a leathery accord with a touch of cypriol. The star is definitely the iris and incense, conjuring up a colour of a dark greyish pink, haunting and alluring in equal parts. Dzongkha is perhaps what a spiced, darkened, slightly butch version of Iris de Nuit would smell like. I think what really works here is the fact that Dzongkha is not aggressive, in-your-face, but elegant and spaced out.

I have come to realise that Dzongkha is quite versatile, with more adequate sillage and duration. It's beguiling and elusive, and one of the better examples of a contemporary twist on the classic French perfumes. This is a rare case where investing time in a perfume is truly worth it, and the dry-down is exquisite, and absolutely worthy of the memory space.

14th September 2019
Exquisite sour green; Diorella enters the heart of darkness.

15th July 2019
Oh no, this one is a warm pile of rotting food waste. Notably of celery and sour milk. What luck that most of Dzongkha suddenly departs my skin an hour in!

I used to love CdG Leaves: Calamus, also by Bertrand Duchaufour, which I find similar to this.
Calamus had an indescribable young elegance flirting with weird. Dzongkha falls over the edge into garbagy.
1st January 2019
No! Just no! It smells like a drunk man puked all over your clothes ( pungent puke smell mixed with processed alcohol).
13th November 2018
Begins with cardamom and spice, for me. The tea, incense, and leather become oddly woody with an animalic accord. All this quickly passes in which the iris dominates on my skin. It is all iris from there on out. The middle notes could have lasted a bit more. I was enjoying the "skank". I DO enjoy my powdery irises so definitely a thumbs up, for that.
17th June 2018
Woody, paper-like, floral sweetness in the beginning. The florals come off a bit like bug spray mixed with some of the other notes. Stays woody into the drydown and becomes greener. Finally you're left with leather and incense which gives it a mature feel. The whole thing is actually pretty mature and formal from beginning to end. Not heavy at all so feels like a nice warm weather scent.

Projection is below average and it doesn't last but maybe 4 hours on me.
21st May 2018
I would not at first label this as an "Iris" fragrance. The Iris is clearly part of the orchestra, but in the beginning it is playing harmony, supporting the melody of vetiver and the fifths of incense like a viola supporting the counterpoint melodies of the violin and cello. The piece itself evokes the crunch of late autumn leaves dried by the sun, or yellowed pages crumbling as they are turned. It is a dry, crisp scent, full of age and mystery. It is the smell of a very old forest or the scent of a rectory inside a stone church.

The Iris supports, binds, and provides the nuance. At first it is the face powder Iris of the makeup kit found below the stage after years of neglect. Later, it is the doughy Iris of a loved one's embrace.

It lasts about four hours before disappearing into the skin.
26th August 2017
Dzongkha opens as a somber leather fragrance with vetiver. The heart, after a couple hours, is greener, like the smell of the bitter juice from breaking open fresh plant stems. It continues to develop and smell better: six hours in, it's a nice, dark, warm, powdery skin scent.
12th July 2017
Dzongkha opens on me with a smell of something like MSG or soup or moreso a stock cube - there's something like celery and herbs, there's also something whiskey-like in the nose as a 'higher' note, and a strong Rien-like leather. By whiskey I mean that cool peaty smell of whiskey without any warming clove or honey. It also smells like furniture in some way, reminding me of old rooms. So, not your Auntie Violet's rosewater, I guess! I always remind myself at this stage of the Dzongkha game that it develops - so I'll report back as this happens.
Two hours later and it's the Dzongkha I remember, still somewhat savoury rather than spicy-sweet, but with a softer incense with a little floral on the edges. For me, this is a very grounded fragrance - it reminds me of the smell of corners of my grandparents' house - nothing in particular but the accumulated scents of life - that doesn't sound very appealing but it is a solid comfortable feeling, woody and vaguely human. I remember testing L'Air de Rien and getting something similar but not as smooth as Dzongkha.

Now (7hours) it's a lovely incense-leather that just feels good, calming, and solid.
10th July 2017