Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand (Review): Sophistication needn’t be complex.

Ormonde Jayne’s Isfarkand is a study in simplicity of elements and creativity in composition leading to a refined and sophisticated outcome.

Ormonde Jayne's Isfarkand is a study in simplicity of elements and creativity in composition leading to a refined and sophisticated outcome.

Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand (Review): Sophistication needn’t be complex.

When I was introduced to the Ormonde Jayne London Perfumery line some time back, others had suggested frequently that Isfarkand — the second of Linda Pilkington’s three (3) men’s fragrances — should be at the very top of my testing list. My contrarian nature responded that, “if this was so brilliant, I should save the best for last,” and so I chose to review Ormonde Man and Zizan earlier on in this series. In retrospect, I’m glad I did since it forced me to truly explore the line with eyes-wide-open.

It also presented the opportunity to explore a diverse selection of scents before focusing on any potential signature, as well as take a closer look at why Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand has gained its accolades or whether it’s truly deserving.

perfume eau de parfum lrg 2 Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand (Review): Sophistication neednt be complex.Ormonde Jayne London Perfumery Isfarkand (2005)The first comment one will likely have on application of Isfarkand is that it’s a very elegant fragrance, albeit one that doesn’t scream that sentiment to the rooftops. The opening notes begin with a very crisp combination of citruses — bergamot, lime and Mandarin orange are in full view as the fragrance initially opens.  These easily give way to the true attributes found in the heart of iris and pink pepper, and those blend harmoniously into a base of vetiver, cedar and oak moss. I’ll break with the flow here to provide the longevity and sillage characteristics – longevity is very good (about 10 hours), and sillage is not strong but pronounced enough that someone following a mild application will easily enjoy the scent trail left behind (my wife certainly did, and happily commented as such). With the data points out of the way, let’s move directly into the experience.

This is very deserving of the excellent reviews it has received from others, and perhaps that word of mouth promotion has provided much of the positive buzz surrounding Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand. The scent is an outstanding balance of crisp citrus notes, fragrant woods and a clever combination of iris and pepper to promote aromatic interest. Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand is not a complex melange of notes searching for rhythm, but carefully selected elements that harmonize beautifully and form a very sophisticated scent that I would describe as equally at home in an office as it is on a weekend outing. This is among the few fragrances I’ve lately experienced that respects the wearer in not going too far in challenging his olfactory yet still defining an enjoyable experience. Other perfumers would take the stance that ‘too much of a good thing is a better thing’, and rarely does that work n practice. Isfarkand demonstrates with ease that the right, simple components can yield a very clever and enjoyable outcome. Rather than the case of having too many elements, Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand is a study in using the correct ones to form an outstanding result.

As with much of the Ormonde Jayne line, I would wish for slightly better durability. However, that this lasted for well beyond the 10 hour mark without reapplication (and my tests involved a light initial application), I’ll disqualify my own criticism as purely picky. Again, longevity here is about right.

Rating: 4.5/5. Recommended. Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand is available in limited outlets outside the United States, though for anyone in the US looking to make a purchase, the online store is your best (and nearly only) bet. For those not sure, you can order the discovery set for $75; however, given the price of $126 for 100ml, that point represents a compelling case for a blind-buy, and I’ll qualify this as “blind-buy-recommended” if you cannot otherwise get a sample. This is well worth trying, and has a minimal risk of not being enjoyable.

Editor’s Note: Reviews for this and other Ormonde Jayne London Perfumery fragrances were provided courtesy of samples from Ormonde Jayne. Images are courtesy Ormonde Jayne London Perfumery, all rights reserved by their original owners. 

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