The Perfumed Court revived by Parfums de Marly

A drizzly morning in London is much improved by breakfasting at The Ritz, we discovered, for the splendid Marie Antoinette room within was the location of the worldwide exclusive launch of two new fragrances by the historically influenced house of Parfums de Marly.

Here to reveal two exclusive fragrances for Harrods, Creative director Julien Sprecher and Brand Director Yvan Jacqueline beamed as they introduced us to the aristocratically inclined house.

Julien: ‘We are so proud to be here, to be stocked in Harrods. We have received such great support from the British, especially after the dreadful attacks in Paris. We weren’t even sure if we should cancel coming over today, but everyone has been incredible.’

Yvan: ‘Perfume is a tool to seduce people, to create happiness and peace – so maybe we should offer these people some perfume, no?’

Parfums de Marly say: ‘In the XVIIIth Century was the indisputed reign of King Louis the XVth. France was the flagship of fragrances, with Grasse and Paris as its leading Places. Every day, the king requested a different scent for his apartments and streams of aromatic scents sprang from the royal fountains. Renowned for its scent extravagances, the court was named “la cour parfumée” (the perfumed court). The best fragrances of all time were invented during this era by the king’s dedicated perfumer Jean Fargeon.’

‘Parfums de Marly revives the spirit of lavish receptions and festivities held in the Château de Marly, for the delight of members of the Royal Court and foreign dignitaries. Through its original concept, Parfums de Marly rekindles the spirit of fragrances from the splendour of the XVIIIth Century, when the finest perfumes were created for King Louis XV as a tribute of the prestigious horse races he so fervently admired.’

photo 3Talking about their passion for history combined with refined techniques that led them to recreate this perfumed court, they explained that the original perfumer for Louis XV had been quite revolutionary.

Julien: ‘Jean Fargene refined the perfumes of the day, which were mainly used to cover bodily smells, and remember they were often just mixing oils. Fargene used a lighter touch, he was creating perfumes mixed with alcohol and especially for Louis’ house of “well being” which is how he saw Marly Castle. For himself and his beloved horses, bred from pure Arabian racing stock and treasured by him throughout his life. In fact the castle also served as a kind of spa for the horses. No, really!’

Yvan: ‘The King asked Jean to create a new perfume to celebrate each of the races he organised. These were spectacular showcases, with royalty from around the world invited, and it was a chance to show off the best French fragrances, too.The two horses, you will maybe notice on the Champs-Elysées the same horses, which are known as the Marly horses – these are what make up our logo.’

Asked if there was a particular style their fragrances followed, the creators were keen to assert these were no museum pieces. They may be inspired by history, but they certainly didn’t want them to be copies of the vintage style.

Julien: ‘There’s always a lot of vanilla in our fragrances, because we love it, and because it’s such a cocooning smell. We always try to make fragrances with a strong signature, but that in the end are wearable. I think some very niche companies can forget this sometimes, if it is all about the art and up in the trees somewhere!’

Carlisle – Yvan explained that ‘there’s a voyage here, it travels, it takes you on a journey on your skin. We often create fragrances that don’t change drastically as they dry down, let us say they keep the same personality all they way through.’

Akaster – Talking about his personal connection to the main note at the heart of this composition, Yvan commented, ‘It’s the story of my life really, the story of rose is entwined throughout perfumery history. It’s still much loved today, but you find it everywhere – in bath gels and shampoos, everywhere. But of course the quality varies wildly, and we wanted to use the very best.’

parfumsdemarlyParfums de Marly Carlisle & Akaster, £215 for 125ml eau de parfum
Exclusively at Harrods

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Recommended Posts