Parfums de Marly has always been about eminent wearability and niche-level performance, even if some of their more-popular works tend to swing too close to the mainstream flame for comfort with some hobbyists, but that's okay because we have all the stuff released inbetween such blockbusters to remind us of that. Take for instance the first four releases from the house, and you'll find a gorgous niche floral leather in a gold bottle named Godolphin (2010), and three very mass-appeal masculines in clear bottles flanking it. Of those three, Darley (2010) is the one that caught on the most for being sweet and in the wheelhouse of the young affluent men who would come to adore the brand, while the other two have remained in the shadows to be forgotten. Ispazon (2010) is the fresh barbershop trope seeing the luxury treatment, while Lipizzan (2010) is the mature oriental one. Here with Ispazon we see an amber-heavy twist on the barbershop fougère, made a bit sweet as per modern tastes at the time. Since everything was in transition from mostly oakmoss-based masculines to ones based around ambroxan as per the slow eventual lockdown of the former through IFRA regulations, and the fact that champions of the latter like Creed Aventus (2010) and Bleu de Chanel (2010) would be released the same year as Ispazon, it makes sense that this was glossed over.
The opening of Parfums de Marly Ispazon is one that contains a bitter citric blast of lime, lemon, and orange that puts many people off in the modern era, since not a lot of masculines in the wake of the aforementioned Aventus come across bracing quite like this one does anymore. However, once this trifecta of tart citrus calms down, we are presented with bay laurel, thyme, and some powdery elements that set up for the barbershop finish. Muguet is in the ephemeral heart of Ispazon, adding some brief dusty floral qualities alongside some woody aromachems like clearwood and what have you, although they are just a presage to the base, which is where the scent truly shines the brightest. Here, at the core of the experience past the first 15 minutes comes in a treemoss/evernyl foundation laid with amber, vanilla, musk, and a bit of cedar. This isn't the chemical soup of Layton (2016) and the amber here reminds me a lot of Uomo? Moschino (1997), especially with the way the citrus accord on top lingers to play with it, but the vanilla and musk round this out a lot and make it more smooth, rich, and satisfying than the Moschino. Wear time is literally all day and sillage is more than adequate, even if this is no screamer like some of the newer Parfum de Marly scents that go for full-frontal assault. Ispazon seems almost purpose-built for office use, and is just one lavender accord shy of being something like Penhaligon's would make.
To be honest, I get a lot of Amouage by reference with the dry down here in Parfums de Marly Ispazon, and fans of things like Reflection Man (2007) by them should pay Ispazon a visit, but I also feel this is still a bit more synthetic-smelling (albeit not unenjoyably so) than your average Amouage. Timing was this scent's biggest enemy too, and like so many things caught in the shadow of a huge success by a competitor, Parfums de Marly Ispazon could benefit greatly with a reintroduction ad campaign, especially in light of barbershop masculines making a comback both in the mainstream circuit and with hobbyists. Scents like Prada L'Homme (2016) have done tremendously well and Creed released Viking (2017) to sit right alongside Aventus in most counters carrying the brand, so all Ispazaon needs to be a late bloomer is a little nudge from the house that made it, rather than a "soft" discontinuation by removing it from their website and leaving it up to distributors for a push. Oh well, they can't all be "bangers" like the YouTube reviewers say, but at least it doesn't look like scalpers have much interest in Ispazon despite being off the official catalog of PdM either, so availability will remain in the interim. The old racehorse still may grow a unicorn horn however, if a sudden gust of hype pushes it into the covetous eyes of "perfume investors", if not re-released. In other words, don't sleep on this one unless it's too late or something has changed, although don't panic either because there are lots of quality barbershop smells in the niche world that could substitute as well. Thumbs up.
This is my first foray into the house of Parfums de Marly, and I'm quite impressed. This is a niche version of a "barbershop" fragrance. One of the best I've smelled since Invasion Barbare, HdP 1725, etc. It has the "shaving cream" accord, supported by some ambery/musky basenotes. Lovers of Azzaro PH, Rive Gauche will be pleasantly surprised by this one. I highly recommend it as a "buy" with one caveat: if you can find it for around $130 shipped as I did. I wouldn't pay any more because the longevity and sillage are only average. Otherwise, this is an outstanding example of a "niche" barbershop fragrance done right. Thumbs up from me.
A fresh and bright woody scent with some herbal notes and slight sweetness in the background which is quite pleasant and masculine but it's not as strong as people keep talking about and also it's not a unique or different scent at all!
Both projection and longevity is average on my skin.
Green spicy lime opening with a pungent laurel leaf note and a vanillin hint on a dusty, round, musky evernyl base. After a while it gets a bit more mellow and ambery, still with a persistent green herbs tone, basically entering a cheap unoffensive fougère territory the "after shaving cheapos" world. Overall: dull.