One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Six of One: Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand

The dismaying thing about Ormonde Jayne's Isfarkand (once called Isfahan, no relation to Yves Rocher's long-gone Ispahan, both named after a city in Iran) is how tiny it is.

You'd think, wouldn't you, that a with a name like Isfarkand, you'd be getting an oriental scent, or at least something with a nod towards orientalia, something sweet or incensey or spicy-warm? What you get is a delicious big blast of pepper and lime, and then a quick diminuendo into a little construction of cedar and vetiver. It's like a miniature log cabin made with matchsticks.

The scent isn't transparent or subtle or close to the skin, or even watery-weak: it's just tiny. I don't understand it. I am in the habit of applying one or two spritzes of something, because I don't want to overwhelm anyone--in fact, I don't really want anyone to quite register that I am wearing a scent. Two spritzes of Isfarkand didn't even register with me. I had to put on six before I was even convinced past the first few minutes that I was wearing a scent. It's as if I had to use a magnifying glass to perceive it. (And the website says that it has 25% perfume oils, which makes its miniature quality even more baffling.)

Isfarkand an appealing scent, to be sure: nothing ground-breaking, but pleasantly masculine. But if you want something with some presence, either find something else or be prepared to really douse yourself.

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