With a name like "Isfarkand," I expect a rich, evocative oriental scent, but that’s not what Ormonde Jayne delivers here. Isfarkand starts out with a peppery kick, immediately followed by brisk, tart citrus. These top notes are bolstered by a bone-dry cedar and spice accord that evokes parched dunes and scorching sun. The citrus notes fade after several minutes, as citrus notes are wont to do, leaving the spare spiced cedar accord in stark isolation. Isfarkand continues in this manner for most of its duration, and as I wear it, it’s simple structure begins to strike me as familiar. As I perceive it, Isfarkand parallels other dry cedar-dominated scents like Diptyque’s Tam Dao and Satellite’s Padparadscha. (Both of which, as far as I’m aware, are cheaper.)
Is it good? Absolutely. But it doesn’t strike me as original. Try it if you like this sort of thing, but I can’t work up too much enthusiasm for it.
Imagine an eau de cologne with top notes of lime and mandarin skating on a base of faux wood (courtesy of iso e super), and there you have Isfarkand.
The scent remains linear throughout. If you love the first burst of fresh lime mingled with slightly exotic and spicy pepper, vetiver and moss, then rejoice because it's here to stay. Clean-cut and reserved, but with a sensual side.
This is an extremely versatile fragrance, year around, particularly good in spring and summer, and any occasion from business to a night out to relaxing at home.
This contains iso e super just below the headache inducing level in many fragrances, so it gets a pass from me. Perfumer Linda Pilkington is extremely charming and a friend of Geza Schoen, but please, Linda, can your next men's fragrance not begin with a vat of iso e super?
20th November, 2012 (last edited: 13th April, 2013)
Citrus, cardamom and peppery vetiver. This is often compared to Terre d'Hermes and I can see the similarity; it has lime in place of orange however, and it isn't as potent. I find it closer to another lime/cardamom scent, namely Kenzo Jungle pour Homme, although the latter is more lactonic. Anyway Isfarkand is rather good but too close to two scents I already own, so I shan't be picking it up. Longevity is average.
Isfarkand? It’s-far-too-bland. The lime, pepper, vetiver, and cedar arrangement smells too polite for its own good, as if it were designed to win ‘Best of…’ magazine awards (Wallpaper duly obliged in 2006). While pleasant and persistent (its incensey drydown certainly lingers), the signature OJ Man and Woman fragrances are better, as is Frederic Malle’s not dissimilar French Lover.
i have to say, i don't get it! but then again, i find most ormonde jayne perfumes a bit strange. i am quite lucky in the sense that i work just around the corner from her boutique on old bond street and the shop assistants know me well after buying 'orris noir' for my wife following a 2hrs assault on the shop assistant's knowledge. i do go in from time to time and they are kind enough to offer me samples but i can never get my head around their perfumes. firstly, i find even the so called 'male' perfumes that ormonde jayne has to offer more on the 'unisex' side. maybe i'm a bit more traditional like that but i think they smell much better on women. isfarkand on me smells a bit like rubber and plastic, just behind the bergamot and vetiver notes. i'm wearing it right now, it's a warm, 21C, sunny london afternoon (i know, shocking) and even though it's wearable and it has a good longevity (sprayed about 4hrs ago), i cannot make my mind about it. i'm inside the house in my pyjamas, maybe that's why, maybe i should wear a suit or some 'elegant' clothes and be 'out and about' or maybe it's the weather. i'll give it another try tomorrow when surely it will be raining.