The newest addition to the Parfums de Marly collection of niche fragrances, Althaïr, is brimming with contrasting notes that are rooted in French haute parfumerie.
In a striking caramel-coloured bottle, Althaïr is an unexpected and modern ode to the universal ingredient of perfumery – vanilla – which is used here in the most natural, traditional and noble quality available: Bourbon vanilla. As with all things related to Parfums de Marly, Bourbon Vanilla is a direct descendant of the vanilla introduced in France under the reign of Louis XV.
But this is no syrupy vanilla fragrance: Althaïr is a unique blend of gourmand and smooth amber that honours the woody-vanilla-amber fragrance family.
The parfum’s top notes are Orange Blossom Absolute, Bergamot from Italy, Cinnamon from Ceylon and Cardamom from Guatemala. The heart notes are Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar and Elemi from the Philippines. The base notes are Ambrox, Guaiac wood, Praline and Musk.
Julien Sprecher, the founder and creative director of Parfums de Marly, says that for the first time, Althaïr explores a majestic, subtle and surprisingly fresh vanilla that is elegant, generous and charismatic. It is an unusual fragrance that is both warm and fresh, gourmand and light, with an unexpected rush of vanilla, citrus, spices and noble wood.
Sprecher created Althaïr in close collaboration with the perfumers Hamid Merati-Kashani and Ilias Ermenidis. The brief was to create a pronounced contrast between warm ingredients and a sensation of freshness; an interplay of affinities and dissimilarities; and a blend of high perfumery’s traditional notes and disruptive molecules.
Merati-Kashani says vanilla is a transformative ingredient in a fragrance trail. “It is immediately synonymous with generosity and pleasure as well as self-confidence. Vanilla is uplifting. It can transform one’s state of mind.”
About Bourbon Vanilla
Some cultures consider it an aphrodisiac, while others prize it for soothing, comforting properties that alleviate tension and stress. Vanilla’s round, warm and gentle notes make it an extremely precious raw material, to the point that perfumers refer to it as “black gold.” Extracted from the pod of a plant resembling the orchid, it was brought back from Mexico at the end of the 18th century and introduced in the greenhouses at Versailles at the same time as cocoa. By some accounts, Madame de Pompadour would slip some into her chocolate before rendezvousing with the King. Now produced on the island of Madagascar and cultivated in an ethical, sustainable and traceable way, the Bourbon vanilla used for Althaïr is the direct descendant of the variety introduced during the reign of Louis XV.
About Parfums De Marly
Parfums de Marly, the Haute Parfumerie Maison created by Julien Sprecher, revives the splendour of the lifestyle of Château de Marly, a palace dedicated to pleasure and celebration during the 18th century. A refined perfumery, respecting French savoir-faire, with audacious compositions that dare to go against the grain. Each fragrance has its own olfactory signature, developed from a palette of noble ingredients. Parfums de Marly creates a unique experience that reflects the fascinating association between the classic and the contemporary; the splendour of the 18th century through a prism of modern vision. Parfums de Marly is available exclusively at Skins Cosmetics in South Africa.