“ Brand: Yves Rocher / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette / Gender: for women „
I've used Yves Rocher products for years, I would probably say off and on since about 1992. I remember my mum got the Catalogue through and used to get things now and again, and the prices were often good as well. So it's mostly Shower Gels and Perfumes that i've been buying - but that's the same no matter what the brand. I love my Perfumes and although often they don't smell as nice and I would perhaps not buy the Perfume again.
I can't think how much this 50ml bottle costs as standard. I got it on a special offer of £6, so i'm not sure if that was a half price offer, but i've seen some perfumes in the Catalogue that can be over £20 which seems a bit expensive, but this is sort of a brand name, but perhaps not noticible in the same designer brand way.
I don't like the look of the Bottle. It is an alright shape, but it is pure black and you won't think this is a Perfume. The lettering is in gold on this and that looks alright against the black. It is kind of a dome shaped bottle, and plain but alright in the same way.
So how does this smell? Well I thought after looking at the bottle it would be a really heavy scent. It is quite heavy, but I had an image this would be a Alchohol-y Aftershave scent, which I was a bit wrong about. IT does seem to have heavy notes through it but it isn't overly bad or too bad. After looking on the website I see the description of it which states "The perfume was inspired by dark nights of the Orient and it offers fragrant harmony of ylang ylang, spices and vanilla, which seduces mysteriously. The perfume opens with mandarin and bergamot, while base notes include benzoin, tonka, nutmeg and rich vanilla aromas. Not sure what a couple of the notes in here are, but there is a few lighter scents mixed through with the heavier notes which is the Ylang Ylang, Spices and Bergamot. The Vanilla and Mandarin smell nice mixed through this and at least it lightens and freshens the Perfume up.
This lasts a good lenght of time as well and is probably 1 of the longer lasting Perfumes i've used. Not quite to my preferred scent but it is alright, and if youlike Perfumes that are that bit stronger with an Oriental mix through them then I recommend you to try this.
Group: Oriental spicy
I have a collection of miniature fragrances and Ispahan - the original eighties edition bottle containing the original perfume - is one of them and this review is about the vintage edition as shown in the product picture.
The original fragrance Yves Rocher launched back in 1977 is housed in dark blue, urn-shaped bottle with a matching domed cap. It certainly looks its age, not in the sense it's dated but that it's remi-niscent of the many opaque bottles such as LouLou or Opium of the same era. The deep, dark color of the bottle and the golden Ispahan lettering engraved on it are evocative of heavy, insense-laid perfume flacons and have a definitely oriental feel. The fragrance has been named after Isfahan, the ancient capital of Persia, after all.
Top notes: bergamot, mandarin
The opening notes of Ispahan are a fairly old school raspy, detergent-like and screechy citrus note prevalent in the seventies - eighties and isn't at all the fizzy and sweet modern variant. The accord is quite dusty too and somewhat tired, like something that has lost its initial spark. I've smelled this dusty citrus accord in many a vintage fragrance's top notes and this might simply be that the perfume has considerably aged.
Vintage fragrances can lose some of their original brightness due to oxidation especially their most volatile top notes so you'll likely to experience the same if you have a vintage bottle of Ispahan. As the original fragrance has been discontinued sometime in the nineties, the juice will not be as fresh as a new buy.
Middle notes: ylang-ylang, jasmine, mimosa, rose, lily-of-the-valley
The probably oxidated top notes swiftly move towards a classic, white flower accord with leading jasmine and lily-of-the-valley. The accord is almost non-sweet, somewhat sharp and at the same time rather soapy and musky typical of Ispahan's era. It actually reminded me of the skeleton structure of the extremely layered and complex Opium. Take away the warm spices and the woody notes, you'd be left with Ispahan's fairly linear heart.
What surprised me about Ispahan was how discreet and even distant it was as the non-sweet flowers and musky undertones gave it a formal appearance instead of the overtly 'come-hitherishness' of the fairly in-your-face Opium. Indeed, Ispahan didn't immediately strike me as sexy or seductive. It rather worked its charms slowly on me, mostly twirling the transparent and clear but gently persistent and deep musk all around the floral notes for hours and hours until I succumbed into it.
Base notes: benzoin, tonka bean, nutmeg, vanilla
Gradually, after about 3 - 5 hours, Ispahan lost its soapy floral heart and moved onto its final phase, the drydown. The overall composition got gradually softer and even sweeter. It may actually been sweet before had it not been for the soapy note that stopped me from detecting it. Like many classic oriental fragrances, Ispahan really shines in the the base notes, that provides the real backbone for the fragrance and shows its true oriental side.
Again, the non-sweet, cool and slightly woody musk was very present and had a characteristically vintage seventies feel as opposed to the sweet, fresh laundry musks that are around today. Although not listed, Ispahan was all about dry and powdery insense to my nose here, a combination of the base notes with a bit of dusty, woody nutmeg and a whiff of non-sweet faint vanilla. Altogether this accord gave the fragrance a dark, but hushed oriental feel which lasted well into another 3 - 4 hours.
Ispahan is a classic oriental fragrance and could be considered as the colder, darker but soapier and more linear budget version of Opium. Although it may not suit modern tastes, it was such a hit with fans that Yves Rocher relaunched it under a limited edition. It is a remake though as even using the same formula the quality and characteristics of raw materials change and the original and re-make version will always be different.
I only wore Ispahan for testing purposes as it's a bit unrounded and isn't sweet enough for my tastes, I like my orientals to be a bit more flamboyant and sweeter than Ispahan, like big, bold, spicy and complex Opium or Krazy Krizia. However I appreciated its cool, reserved nature, non-pushy and quiet attitude that still manages to be powerful and have an impact. In fact, it is this 'shyness' that makes Ispahan one of a kind amongst its loud contemporaries and is possibly what gained it so many fans. It's dark and mysteriously oriental, present and musky but can still be worn to the office or formal do without causing offence.
To public demand, in 2007 and 2008 Yves Rocher relaunched four fragrances of some of their fragrance collection issued in the 70s and 80s hugely popular at the time including Ispahan. The other three fragrances are En Avril le Soir, Venise and Vie Privée. The original miniature bottle is a collector's item now and is considered rare (except France where we still have tons of it for less than a quid each.)
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Being discontinued, Ispahan can be found on ebay for a few pounds at £0.99 - £4.99 / 75ml Eau de Toilette auction price at the time of writing but prices can greatly fluctuate depending on availabil-ity.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on dooyoo.co.uk
This is one of my all time favourite classic perfumes from the Yves Rocher range. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a big fan of their products and especially their fragrances which are,I think,on a par with the latest designer names if not better. Getting back to the review though, this one took pride and place on my dressing table for a number of years and wore it on my first date with my now lovely husband nearly fifteen years ago. Like all the best products though they went and discontinued it and I really don't know why. It has a quite strong essence so only a small amount is needed and has a very oriental smell about it- it's quite a powerful and sexy smell and is best suited as an evening perfume. The bottle is an elegant urn type of shape and is nearly all black with gold lettering near the top with a gold rim on the lid. This is sorely missed in my house and I have yet to find a perfume quite like it...bring it back!!