May 11, 2017
Quentin Bisch of Givaudan (Photo from Quentin)
Parfums de Marly is a House that features two of the great passions of the court of Louis XV: fragrance and purebred horses. Since 2009, Julien Sprecher, creative director for Parfums de Marly, has guided the creation of a “pedigreed stable of scents”, each one dedicated to the elegant fragrance styles of Versailles and named for a breed or an individual horse (you can read about the horse Delina, a mare who is 9 years old here). I am not a horse expert, so what immediately got my attention is that the perfumer for Delina is the young and talented Quentin Bisch.
Parfums de Marly Delina (photo:Parfums de Marly)
Even before the first spritz, Parfums de Marly Delina scented my imagination. My initial clue to the composition was the pale pink box with the horses of Parfums de Marly emblazoned in gold on the front. The bottle, also pink but a bit warmer in tone – a cameo pink perhaps – is made of gorgeous opaque, pressed glass, adorned with pink tassels, a pink crystal jewel sparkling on the top of the cap. It was obvious – Delina had to be a pink perfume. But what about the shade, intensity and hue? And what exactly does the color of pink symbolize in perfumery; what message does it convey?
Christina Rossetti as a model for The Divine Comedy by Dante Gabriel Rosetti
The 19th century poet Christina Rossetti, sister of (and often model for) the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, posed a similar question. In her children’s poem “Color” she had an answer:
“What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain’s brink…” – Christina Rossetti
This sweet, simple and childlike interpretation of pink is one of countless poetic explorations of the various shades of the color.
Illustrator Marcel Vertes Shocking Elsa Schiaparelli 1937
The 20th century fashion and perfume designer, Elsa Schiaparelli (rival and contemporary of Gabriel Chanel) known for her daring and artistic designs, was in love with the color pink. She considered her signature “shocking pink” or “hot pink” to be “life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world put together…” My take on pink borrows a little from each of these observations, but I look at the color from a very different perspective. I have learned, over the years, that when innocence discovers passion, pink is born. When the lifeblood of red encounters the purity of white, pink will bloom.
Painting by Dante Gabriel Rosetti Lilith
Delina unfolds with taste of tart, sweet lychee and tangy rhubarb made transparent with the fresh shimmer and zest of bergamot. I savor the opening as I would a ripe lychee, the bright skin of the fruit flushing cerise against the white flesh, suspended in a glass of sparking pink champagne. I enjoy this refreshment – with a dash of nutmeg – for an hour or two before the composition is suffused with a rosy glow.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Monna Rosa 1867
The intensity and extravagance of peonies and the lush dewy quality of early blooming roses is transformed into ethereal elegance by the waxen, at once translucent, freshness of Lily of the Valley. The floral heart stays in place for at least five hours before Delina begins a slow evolution toward vanilla, white musk Cashmeran and dry, sweet woods, floating over a resinous suggestion of frankincense and the ever present sprinkling of nutmeg. Delina remains on my skin for more than twelve hours, noticeably pink but never invasive, sensual and seductive but always elegant and polite.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Fair Rosamund, 1861.
Yes, Parfums de Marly Delina is definitely a pink perfume, an exquisitely feminine bouquet of fruits, flowers and spice. I experience Delina as the innocent blush of a young woman’s cheek, animated and colored by the ardor of a grand passion.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Roman de la Rose 1864
To achieve this effect the perfumer, Quentin Bisch, combined the red, pink and white fragrance notes of flowers, fruits and plants that bloom and ripen in springtime. He then touched them all, ever so gently, with a kiss of nutmeg, delicate vanilla and woods, creating a lively and sensual tribute to the passion and the power of pink.
Notes: Bergamot, lychee accord, rhubarb accord, nutmeg, Turkish rose, vanilla, musk, Haitian Orpur vetiver, cedar, frankincense, Cashmeran.
–Gail Gross, Editor
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief
Thanks to the generosity of The Fragrance Group and Parfums de Marly we have one 75ml bottle ($290) of Delina Eau de Parfum for one registered reader in the US. (be sure to register or your comment will not count). To be eligible, tell us what appeals to you about Delina based on Gail’s review, your favorite perfume from Parfums de Marly and your favorite shade of pink or favorite quoe with the word pink in it. Draw closes 5/14/2017.