Isadora is a truly lost perfume. It was launched in 1979 as a tribute to dancer Isadora Duncan more than 50 years after her death. The brand Isadora Parfums was owned by a man named Robert Benson who apparently had enough money to have a beautiful oriental created for him and to employ designer Pierre Dinand to create a unique bottle for the parfum extrait. The bottle was inspired by (and often mistaken for) an art deco Lalique creation (you can read more about it here). The perfume itself was clearly inspired by another 1920s classic: Shalimar.
Isadora is not a copy or a clone of Shalimar, but it can be considered a spawn. I have some 1960-70s Shalimar that has a lot of character from the almost explosive opening to the smoky vanilla and an animalic edge. Isadora, despite the scandalous character of its namesake is softer in some aspects while still making a statement. The opening is floral and even a little green. The very first time I smelled it when I found a mini bottle of teh extrait de parfum with the nude figure on top at an antique store I actually thought Isadora might be a chypre. It takes about five minutes to realize that despite a herbal leaning and maybe even some moss this is all wood, vanilla and a smidgen of leather.
The most familiar part in Isadora is the vanilla-opoponax base. It's more innocent than Shalimar, fuzzier and even bordering on a comfort scent. It doesn't have any of the civet you still smell in older formulations of Shalimar and none of the mysterious smoky incense. Still, Isadora is quite rich and opulent. It smells expensive and well thought-out, and above all: it gives pleasure.
From what I could find out, Isadora remained in production until the 1990s. I doubt that it had a wide distribution as it seems many people outside the most devoted vintage fiends among the fragonerd community have even heard of it, and bottles are pretty scarce. As far as I can tell Isadora came in both extrait and EDP concentrations and never had a sibling or a flanker. If you've come across evidence to the contrary please comment. Also please tell me if you've ever worn Isadora.
Photo of Isadora Duncan circa 1915-1918 from the NY Public Library digital collection.