Iskander fragrance notes

    • mandarin, grapefruit, tarragon, coriander, orange blossom, oakmoss, cedarwood, musk, amber

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Latest Reviews of Iskander

I’m a huge fan of classic citrus chypres, and hearing the comparison to Eau Sauvage (one of my absolute favorites) I knew I had to try this one. Unfortunately this smells to me like a modern take on the citrus chypre, with a big sharp modern barbershop-y woody amber base that gives me a headache upon close smelling. This is exactly the same problem I had with Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree and EdP, where a beautiful citrus opening gradually gets taken over by this blue-leaning scent that I despise.

For people who are used to modern masculines with woody amber bases, this could be a great segue into more classic scents if you feel that Eau Sauvage, Pour Monsieur and similar feel too old-school for you. For the citrus chypre and vintage enthusiast, you can safely skip this one.
3rd December 2021
This opens as a lovely herbal citrus, perfect for warmer weather. It's not as aggressively synthetic as many of its peers, and the mandarin does a nice job of tempering the astringency of the grapefruit without veering into candy territory. The development isn't tremendous; but then, it's essentially a chypric eau de cologne, so the proper magic is in sustaining the top rather than in a dramatic transformation to the base, with both the sustain and transition accomplished by cultivating the orange blossom as the mandarin and grapefruit dissipate.

I have tons of vintage Eau Sauvage (and its glorious kissing cousin, Le Galion Eau Noble), which in their pre-IFRA way are more "base-heavy" for better or worse, depending on what you want. Global warming arguably tips the scales in Iskander's favor, but since I'm a sucker for a deep chypre base–and I have easily a dozen vintage eaux de cologne, as well–I'll probably stick it out with what's already in my overstuffed wardrobe.

That said, if you're looking for a current but old-school citrus chypre with good longevity and without megadoses of WACs, ambroxan, or iso E super, I would deem this nod to Alexander the Great FB-worthy. If I didn't have this ground covered and re-covered, it would be a no-brainer.
21st July 2021

Beautifully judged citrus chypre where all the sweet backing is hidden well out of sight, giving a dry and bracing feel. The citruses here are more on the lemon side of the spectrum and rendered with an appealing bitterness of pith and peel that matches perfectly the fresh mossy impression created (quite distinct from the pines-and-prunes odour profile of something like oakmoss absolute). Harmonious aromatics (coriander and neroli), a touch of green tea mellowness and a background whisper of powdery woods lend it refinement. There's a brightness to Iskander, signalled first by the juiciness of the citruses and, when that fades, by the lively interplay of elements. What endears it to me further is that my beloved who is usually indifferent to my perfumed pursuits says I ‘smell nice' when I wear it - high praise!
Just the thing for warmer weather.
26th September 2020
An excellent citrus, and amazingly preserved as an eau de parfum rather than an eau de cologne.

The citron, mandarin and grapefruit opening is dry and warm at the same time, reminding me a great deal of Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet. The coriander and tarragon waltz together perfectly to round it out with the herbal/spice component, and finally it is further warmed by the cedar, vetiver, oak moss, amber and musk in the base. Drydown is most reminiscent of Cartier's Declaration.

This is for me one of the best of this house's scents, rich and strong as are almost all their creations. If you are into citrus scents, this is a must try. However, for the pocket book, you can do just as well with Declaration at less than half the price of Iskander.
7th January 2016
Genre: Chypre

I sampled two fragrances with big citrus openings today: this and Nicolai's New York. Though not necessarily all that similar, Iskander somehow reminds me of the old Tuscany Forte per Uomo. Iskander is very much about citrus for me, but its resinous cedar and spice underpinnings lend it a complexity rare among citrus-centered fragrances.

Interestingly enough, as robyogi points out, the citrus note persists far longer than most. The spices, woods, and citrus are in almost perfect balance here - this is a beautifully integrated scent. And though it's not listed I find a distinct cardamom component to the middle notes.

I haven't had much interest in citrus scents of late, but this is one I'd recommend to anyone who does! On me, it suggests it might work for women, too. Thumbs up for its sheer quality.
18th June 2014
Parfum d'Empire - Iskander
Great natural, round fruity, fresh peppery-lemon opening with a fixed warmth that grows bigger by the clever use of prickly-spicy and green-herbaceous tarragon alongside coriander, that's being dipped in a bath of lavender, orangeblossom and oakmoss, creating a very smooth and soft eau de cologne-styled perfume that altogether morphs into a deep darkish green tonality with a salty labdanum/incense touch. Very simply done in a evenly effective and efficient way, smelling transparent as well as abundant with a somewhat introvert joy upon its sleeve, showing a shy playfulness that's full of liveliness and warmth. A very comfortable perfume that doesn't draw a lot of attention but says many things with few words.
4th June 2014
Pleasant,even if rather conventionally “masculine” fragrance, opening with a nice bitter grapefruit note, but soon totally ruined to my nose by a massive amount of what I believe to be Ambroxan, that covers up the other interesting and well balanced notes with its powdery, woody sweetness. A bit boring, in the end, though I can't be too hard with one of my favourite perfumers around!
17th April 2014
Good citrus muskIskander has a very good citric opening, with orange and others I can't single out. The top notes burn off within about 30 minutes, as natural citrus top notes do. I don't get much longevity out of them as some report. What's left is a pleasant sweet musk, with a hint of non-specific fruit and vanilla. It's a nice dry down but not very interesting. It lasts for a while in this mode, but doesn't radiate much. This is a citrus-musk eau de cologne (though a good one), with a bit more meat on the bones in the dry down. Good, but I think I'd like this better if it stopped trying to be more than an EdC and just disappeared after an hour or 2. It's not interesting enough to last longer than that.Pros: Very good citrus openingCons: Simple"
12th October 2013
superb citrus I tested Iskander after some time reading about it and contemplating a blind buy. I am glad I tried it because I can honestly say that it seems to me to be the holy grail of citrus perfumes. It is a glorious bitter dry citrus that lasts and lasts. The herbal accord keeps it light and translucent. It is however a quite uninteresting composition in the sense that it is basically citrus. I miss complexity and what I call depth to ground the citrus note. I am glad I tried Iskander for another reason too; I realized that my tastes have changed and I should no longer search for predominantly citrus and green perfumes, as I have been doing for a few years now. Even some distinguished ones, like Iskander, make me think of them as somewhat generic, although I know they are far from it. I can still enjoy them but not on my skin. Maybe my citrus period is finally over!Pros: the ultimate citrusCons: lack of complexity
16th June 2013
It opens with a full chorus of juicy citrus fruits; my nose is not knowledgable enough to distinguish the difference between them. It is pleasant, and sour but not TOO sour. It reminds me of the realistic juiciness in the opening notes of Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, though that is simply a grapefruit singing a scrumptious solo tune. The opening notes are a teenage boys' choir - not quite loud and bassy like the men's choirs, but also not screechy like 8 year old boys.

A dry spice come through in the heart, with a slight sweetness in the background. It is dry, and combats the wetness and freshness of the citrus fruits. The citrus isn't like washing liquid, but real and juicy. Later on, the many different citrus notes disappear to leave just one not-too-sour one behind. I like how it quietens down, and becomes a soft cloud of faint woods, soft/dry citrus, and some earthy yummy sweetness that I cannot name (probably musk). I cannot point out the soft, delicate flower in here, but I can sense it somehow. As with all of the PdE fragrances, the blending is so well done by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato that you will find it difficult to truly point out every single note. Finishing the act, an almost-salty spice or dry wood comes through, making this a true chypre.

I like this quite a bit, and would say it is the best citrus scent I have ever tested (though I haven't tested many). The notes blend beautifully, and each note rears its head once in a while to remind you that it is still there. Iskander is very airy and light, so you will probably need to use this one with a heavier hand (unless you want it to be a skin scent). This is a very masculine scent (though a woman can pull it off, as the drydown is delightfully soft) and I know I am going to be keeping the rest of this scent for a certain special man to test. Let's hope he likes it... because *I* do.

I might buy it before he does, anyway. ;)
11th August 2012
This a great refreshing citrus, masculine and it's not in an in your face or oldschool vibe. Parfum d'Empire is becoming one of my favorite houses, and Iskander is a very important factor in that. I really can't get the negative votes.
26th April 2012
Everything has been said about the quality of Iskander. Another well made, well- balanced offer from Parfum d'Empire. The more I wear it, the more it reveals it's masculine side - the ironic thing is I offered the bottle to my wife almost two years ago!
To me, it's a sunny and sparkling chypre, that will enlighten your winter and refresh your summer! The citrus? I lasts, lasts... lasts and I love it - not beeing a sucker for citrus scents! I detect a mossy twist at the drydown while I still get whiffs of citrusy notes and the musky one backing the whole thing. I can't get the amber, but my nose is not trained enough...
I really like that one which have more to say than it seems. To me, a high quality frag to be put in the same vain of some "hesperidés" classics.
11th February 2012