Perfume Directory

Iquitos (1987)
by Alain Delon

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Iquitos information

Year of Launch1987
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 127 votes)

People and companies

HouseAlain Delon
Parent CompanyDenz > Art & Fragrance
Parent Company at launchDenz > Parfums de Paris

About Iquitos

Iquitos is a masculine fragrance by Alain Delon. The scent was launched in 1987

Iquitos fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Iquitos

Let me say right from the start that I understand why this stuff is a unicorn, and carries aftermarket prices comparable to Creed and Roja Dove at MSRP, furthing it's mythic status that "true vintage fans" must have in their collection to prove they're serious in their worship to the Oakmoss God. The reasons for this are sort of at odds with each other, but that's part of the fun exploring these old hyped discontinued masculines that stand like big game trophies in the collections of guys who swear SkyNet is in control of the perfume industry, and probably have dart boards with Jean-Claude Ellena or Alberto Morillas' face on them. Firstly, this is an animalic civet and rose chypre very much in vogue with what women wore in the 80's, meaning Alain Delon Iquitos (1987) could stand very much in the place of Ungaro Diva (1983) or Montana Parfum de Peau (1987), and guys who wanted that kind of sultry big hair genderbend could have it without embarrassment of shopping the women's counter. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Iquitos has a huge alpha male leather cod piece strapped over the whole structure of the scent in the form of patchouli and castoreum, bringing to bear earlier 80's monsters for men like Bogart One Man Show (1980) and Chanel Antaeus (1981). Stir these diametrically opposed elements together and watch them reenact Jean-Claude Van Dam in Bloodsort right on skin. That right there is the fascination behind Alain Delon Iquitos. I won't say this is worth the money unless you're already a super fan needing to reinforce his precious supply, but curiosity can at least kill enough of your cat to sample if given the chance.

Right from the opening salvo you know you're in for genderbender pandemonium equivalent to the late Klaus Nomi making a cameo appearance as singer at a Twisted Sister concert, since rose and ginger come screaming out of the bottle backed by potent urinous civet. Mandarin sweetness and round cardamom further the Victorian brother feel with red gas lamps and bloomer skirts, but some dandy sensibilities do creep into the 1880's burlesque show illuminated by 1980's neon. Vetiver and sandalwood are mostly to blame for this slight gentlemanly tamping of the screaming harlot opening, but soon patchouli and jack boot grade leather from castoreum fill what little olfactive space is left by the rose and civet to make this scent feel like Tom of Finland meets Tom Selleck. A bit of late-stage amber and oakmoss thankfully smooth out and soften the glow of Iquitos on skin, or else it might be too much, but even at its final dry down, Iquitos has about as much chill as Steven Seagal's sense of humor in a direct-to-video action film. Iquitos at times rides close to Oscar de la Renta pour Lui (1982) in the gentlemanly plush chypre department, but the nuclear-powered animalics snap you back to the reality of your existence when wearing the stuff, so be careful. Performance is unquestionably over the top, and longevity is until you remove it. I'm not bothering with recommended usage as per usual because if you wore Iquitos then or still wear it now, you're not the least bit concerned over decorum. In fact, I'd say someone wearing more than a single spray of Iquitos is probably looking for attention in all the wrong ways, but that's another reason these kind of perfumes are so much fun.

Looking at other rose chypre, rose leather, or even floral fougère exercises for men in the mid to late 80's, and it becomes clear there was a game of one-upmanship at play, with no real winner. Boss/Boss Number One by Hugo Boss (1985), Caron The Third Man (1985), and Zino Davidoff (1986) really started this whole mess, then Lapidus pour Homme by Ted Lapidus (1987), Salvador Dali pour Homme (1987), Balenciaga Ho Hang Club (1987) and this fragrance ratcheted up the tension alongside Paco Rabanne Ténéré (1988) until scents like Gengis Khan by Marc de la Morandiere (1990), Rochas Globe (1990), and Balenciaga pour Homme (1990) capped the decade and sealed their own doom as every sensible guy was running scared into the arms of Calvin Klein or Tommy Hilfiger to escape the sillage madness. Of course, pragmatic fragheads would just wear Diva Ungaro, Montana Parfum de Peau, or maybe even Estée Lauder Knowing (1988) regardless of gender if they wanted a funky musk rose chypre, but for guys that can never ever cross the streams, Alain Delon Iquitos was unique in that it gave them access to a forbidden style, which is probably why it became worth its weight in gold post-discontinuation. You could also call this "niche" if in style alone, like many things from this period, and you won't overdose this bad on castoreum leather without smashing a bottle of Caron Yatagan (1976) over your head. Alain Delon himself must have been in a "Oscar de la Renta in drag" kind of mood when he gave the go ahead for this fragrance, or saw David Bowie in Labyrinth as the Goblin King and said "I want to smell like this looks". Just incredible. Thumbs up.
06th October, 2020
aero58 Show all reviews
United States
Well, this is certainly an interesting fragrance. Normally, I try to be a "Bottom Line Up Front" (BLUF) kind of guy with my overall impression of a fragrance, but I'm going to make an exception with this one. I have to admit that I don't recall having ever tried something quite like this one.

I gave this a test run last night, a few hours before hitting the rack, and am giving it a full wear today (it's almost 2 hours since I applied it, as of now).

Last night, upon initial application, my first thought was: "this was marketed as a men's fragrance?" I mean, based on first impression, I thought this one was crossing the line for me. But I never form an initial opinion on a fragrance until at least the 1 hour mark. Fortunately, it was at about the 20 or 30 minute mark when this started to become something that might interest me.

First off, the star of the show is the rose. We've all heard Gertrude Stein's, "Rose is a rose is a rose"; but regarding Iquitos, is it? This rose sent is not the "jammy" kind, nor a singular rose bud, rather it is thick, and "syrup-ie". I've read some reviews that regard it as honey, and I can agree with that, but I still think of it more like syrup (in a good way). There's a green note(s) that cuts through nicely (not sure what that is, but I like it), and a mix of fruits that, to me, gives off a cherry impression (sort of reminded me briefly of a Luden's cherry cough drop mixed in with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles cereal). But it so happened that my 11 year old daughter just walked by, and I asked her what she thought, and she said, "grape" (and she liked it - LOL). Yeh, I can see that too, as I think of Dunhill Icon as "grape soda", but back to Iquitos. There are many other notes blended in this fragrance that makes it intriguing. It settles with what I thought was a mossy dry down, but I don't see moss listed in the note pyramid.

How's the longevity/projection and occasion for wear? This is one to be extremely careful not to overspray - and I mean be really attentive. Longevity is hard to say specifically, because I think one can become anosmic with this to a certain extent - I believe I did last night, and have begun to now after a couple of hours, but I still can detect it for sure. Projection is huge the first 30 minutes! Flashback to my daughter walking by - she said she could smell it all the way down from a few rooms away in the house! But it does start to mellow out after about an hour - at least that's what it seems to me. And in terms of occasion? This is definitely not for the office. And not for daytime wear in general if one is going to be physically active - but if it's a day off, and at home relaxing, then yes indeed. As a matter of fact, that's my situation today, and it's rainy/cloudy/humid in the low 70's where I am and I'm finding that Iquitos is perfect for this kind of weather. And I was going to say that this is best for evening and formal occasions, but I can't really say that - this one doesn't seem to really be appropriate for anything other than personal enjoyment on a lazy day at home (for me, that is).

Now, back to the bottom line (albeit not up front today). Do I like this enough to pursue a full bottle at the high price that it commands? No, not really. This one is not really in my "wheelhouse", but I do like it for sure as I find it intriguing, and would enjoy adding it to my collection, but it's lack of versatility, with the high price of admission, makes this something that I can live without - for now. Perhaps if I win the lottery one day, I'll seek it out as a guilty pleasure.

UPDATE: At about the 4 hour mark, a nice subtle leather note emerged to mingle in the mix. I'm starting to like this fragrance more as time is marching on. I'm glad that I have several more wearings left in my sample. I might find that I may need to save up for this after all. This fragrance is "Fascinating!" to quote Mr. Spock.
25th September, 2020
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Iquitos goes on with a honeyed rose and a hint of supporting mandarin orange before quickly moving to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the rose takes over as the focus with the honeyed aspect receding though still quite present, revealing its slightly powdery facet as a moderately animalic musk and civet duo join fine white floral jasmine and mossy green oakmoss from the base providing significant support. During the late dry-down the animalics and rose all but vacate, leaving remnants of the now dry honey to join with a slightly sweet amber and sandalwood tandem with leather support through the finish. Projection is very good, as is longevity at around 11-12 hours on skin.

As most masculines from the 80s were winners, I guess it shouldn't be a great surprise that Iquitos is another fine example of the period's amazing output. The composition is a animalic honeyed rose at its core, but the oakmoss within adds an element to the composition that just couldn't be replicated easily in today's IFRA regulated world, making one appreciate just how good things were back then. While it has been quite a while since I have worn it, for some reason I feel like there is a similarity to Oscar de la Renta pour Lui here, and if so, that is far from a bad thing. Similar or not, Iquitos smells superb regardless. The bottom line is the discontinued $340 per 100 ml bottle on the aftermarket Iquitos may not prove the best smelling masculine of the great 80s, but that title is not necessary to still claim an "excellent" 4 stars out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation to vintage perfume collectors.
14th September, 2020 (last edited: 13th September, 2020)
I get Doll's head and rose scented carpet powder cleaner...but in a really really good way!
The two bad reviews on here "cheap and vulgar" "a demon's elixir" and I can see that. It also smells awesome and really bad for you, like nothing else I own, I can feel it f***ing with my hormonal system and dna.
It's giving me serious 80's flashbacks as a masculine counterpart to the big roses (Diva, Coco etc..) my five fabulous aunties would baths in at the time.
I love it and wear it a lot, backed it up.
23rd October, 2018 (last edited: 30th May, 2020)
Stardate 20180123:

This stuff is potent. BE careful. Seems benign but 4 sprays today and the whole office is noticing. Strange cause reviews said this has poor performance. My guess is this is one of those which gets anosmic on people very soon.

The fragrance is dark and floral. Like indian rose incense. The smell of incense stick before you burn them. The smell of box that is left behind.
Has a leathery aspect to it and some aldehydes. Unlike most roses, it is not sweet.
A very unique fragrance and deserves the hype. Just not my cup of tea.
24th January, 2018
Many times while utilizing the advanced search option on this site I have been offered Iquitos as a suggestion. In finally trying it I immediately realize why.

As I am sure most regulars of this site are dead tired of hearing, I am a diehard lover of vintage Minotaure, with its untouchable bright orange and aldehyde opening, mingled with beautiful rose and indolic jasmine, backed by quiet but sturdy leather and sandalwood. So what does Iquitos have to do with Minotaure, then?

Everything.

The orange, jasmine, leather, rose, and most importantly to me, the beautiful, sparkling aldehydes (which were most shamefully ripped from the reissued Minotaure after its acquisition) are all here, just in very different proportions. And there is wormwood a la Tenere, the only other thing I would have added to Picasso's release (other than added strength). The rose smells dark and tacky, as experienced in Azzaro's Acteur, and the woods are deeper, darker and more prominent in the late stages. While Minotaure balances the airy and Mediterranean with the slightly dirty, Iquitos is a more hairy-chested, 'indoor tannery' version.

This fragrance didn't stick around long because, as some have mentioned before, it was wildly at odds with the taste of the time, but this is precisely the type of scent I keep searching for - the Hyper-masculine-effiminate-dandyboy floral. Yes, that's an utter paradox, and very much the reason I can't remain in love with most things I own. But once in a long while, as I am crawling over the cusp of indifference, I find something like this, and my flame is renewed for another period of fervor.

Your silly five star rating limit can eat a bug.

Seven stars out of five.
30th August, 2016

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