She comes from far away. From a galaxy far, far away. She rides straight at me from the velvety firmament embroidered with silver stars. The little bells on the bridle of her black horse tinkle softly and silvery. She is still very small. But her presence is already clearly felt. Omnipresent. Strong, fascinating, but also dangerous. For the proud goddess is capricious. And powerful. A mixture that rarely ends well. After all, Ataliah ("foreign woman"), daughter of the equally infamous Jezebel, Queen of Judah in the 9th century BC, is autocrat and wants to stay that way. She doesn't achieve much with empathy. It seems more expedient to her to have all rivals - even her own grandchildren - who could lay claim to her throne murdered. After 6 years of dictatorship the people take revenge on the hated Baals-worshipper. She is betrayed in a coup and now meets a bloody end herself.
La Belle Dame sans Merci. Seductive beauty and deadly cruelty have always been ingredients that inspired artists. Racine and Handel are just two of them who were inspired to create works of art by the tragedy of the cold-blooded Atalya.
Atalya's execution is associated with horses, which brings us back to Parfums de Marly. For they not only have two rearing steeds as their logo, but also tend to name their fragrances after historical horse personalities.
Athalia is the third Perfums de Marly fragrance I've tested. None of them appealed to me enough to make me pull out my credit card and spend - as in the case of Athalia - about € 218,- for 75 ml.
When it comes to Perfums de Marly, I often wonder what came first: the passion to create a series of new noble fragrances or a well-calculated marketing concept. Again and again I read that the Parfums de Marly smell "expensive". Probably exactly this effect is intended. Rich people will hardly ever get the idea that something smells "expensive". And if they do, they certainly won't buy it, because they prefer sophisticated understatement. Unless they're nouveau riche people who weren't born with style and taste. I'm not rich, but the fact that a perfume smells "expensive" would never cause me to purchase a fragrance. It's not a desirable criteria for me. With that in mind, I've been wondering what makes a fragrance seem "expensive." First, the price has to be a certain amount. Not too high, but high enough so that the target audience feels that the purchase has hurt a bit financially. This is indispensable when coveting a status symbol that is supposed to convey luxury and elegance to the owner / owner. The image of the brand must, of course, correspond to this. In the case of Parfums de Marly, it is the courtly, royal, but coming from a historical era. King Louis XV is invoked, embodying refined, expensive lifestyles, wealth, pomp and a lavish, playful, decadent lifestyle. The Rococo is not my era. And I can't admire Louis XV, with his fascination with horses and fragrances, which escalated to scented fountains and scented rooms, without moral qualms rising in my mind, as they always do when rulers spend their wealth to satisfy their narcissism while their subjects starve. But well, those days are largely over. Parfums de Marly aims to bring royal extravagance to life, at least olfactorically. Therefore, one should not expect anything really innovative from fragrances that seek to transfer this feeling to those who like to adorn themselves with them. Of course, there have been eccentric monarchs like Empress Elisabeth of Austria, her cousin Ludwig II of Bavaria and others. Louis XV, as far as I know, is not one of them. After all, eccentricity requires an appropriate disposition and a great deal of creative, aesthetic imagination. A technophile, Ludwig II constructed a peacock-shaped flying chariot in which to soar through the skies. And he used to have his beloved "Leibreitpferde" lifted high up to the roof of his Munich residence to ride them in the garden there.
Anyone who has ever visited Neuschwanstein Castle can get an idea of the extravagance, but also the fairy-tale world of the regent, who mostly lived at night. His unrealistic desire to build eventually became the undoing of the "Moon King". He was deprived of power because he was accused of a mental illness - without a specialist examination - and committed suicide in the Würmsee, in which, as is known, his companion, the psychiatrist von Gudden, also lost his life.
After all, the allegedly mentally impaired monarch still attracts countless profitable streams of tourists to Bavaria through his charismatic personality and his rampant castle-building mania.
Louis XV doesn't seem to have as many fans anymore.
But back to Athalia. Once sprayed on, the fragrance quickly develops its potency. It unfolds an opulence that is too strong for me from the start - not least because it is so beguiling. It is a dark, nocturnal fragrance, carried by dignity and pride, elegant, majestic and aloof, at the same time warm and cool, distant, powerful and majestic. You get a hint of the Orient - sweet, smoky, soft and very feminine. However, I tend to see this fragrance on older women. Because he is not youthful, but very adult and serious.
A great mutability Athalia does not have in my opinion. I can actually only perceive incense and orange blossom, after the bitter orange in the top note has dissipated. This combination blends together to create a very uniform looking scent. This isn't a big deal if you like incense and orange blossom. I have more of a problem with it. I can only tolerate both in small doses and with other scents. But here, it's full blast. It's too much for me. And so the fragrance soon gets for me something provocative, intrusive.
I would not say now that this is a perfume for queens or goddesses, but it probably fits especially to so-called "racy" women who are dark-haired and sensual. Or well-groomed, older ladies in their golden years at bridge.
There is a lot of speculation about the fragrance pyramid. I read about rose, iris, suede, cashmeran, amber and vetiver. I trust more the website of Parfums de Marly, which lists only bitter orange and incense in the top note, orange blossom exclusively in the heart note and musk and vanilla in the base. This also corresponds to my sensation.
I have applied Athalia a few times in recent days and find it now no longer as "dangerous" as the first time. However, it's not exceptional or exclusive either. It is a primarily beguiling, sweet, oriental fragrance. Opulent, but wearable because the durability is within limits. All in all, quite conventional. I wouldn't call it a niche or sophisticated fragrance. You won't knock anyone over the head with it, unless you use too much of it. For me, it is still a perfume that is more suitable for the evening than for the office or a visit to the dentist. It would be too intense, too beguiling and too sweet for that