Parfums de Marly: Oajan, Lippizan, Kuhuyan reviews!

Parfums de Marly is another one of those fun contemporary fragrance houses that liken to old traditions; as far back as Louis XV’s prestigious horse races, and as front-facing as the MySpace-esque format and music on their web page. But that’s not a knock; the page has a clean, intuitive look, and I appreciate it over the many companies who believe it should be as difficult and stylistic as possible to learn any information on their pages. I do wish the waltz they’re playing didn’t stop so abruptly before starting over.

Anyway, I have heard good things about this brand, and hope to one day also try Herod and Habdan, as well as see their take on women’s fragrances!


  • Wet: wine, dates, cinnamon, honey
  • Dry: benzoin, labdunum, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, musk, apple

Oajan reminds me of an excellent honey mead without the harsh alcohol smell or taste. It’s warm and comforting, and not syrupy or suffocating, though it lounges on the skin, heavy as molasses. The resins make it just a touch powdery, as if before you reached for a mug of this, you had grabbed some wheaty bread and took a giant bite, leaving traces of cooked flower on the glass. The more I smell it, the tastier it gets. If this were a real drink though, I would only order it iced because it would be much too sweet warm, and the best situation to wear Oajan is just as cold. Wear it in the winter and let it radiate from your skin under (faux) fur or wool.


  • Wet: bergamot, thyme, lavender, coriander
  • Dry: leather, sage, thyme, tarragon, rose, cedar, vetiver, cumin, patchouli

For a while the rose and cardamom stay to play and makes this a really lovely spicy rose leather, but the flowers fade away and the spices fall to the background, and the finish is dry, dusty, spicy old leather and sweaty skin. Underneath all the glamor, the powerful and intelligent breed is still a horse. In turn, Lippizan reminds me of the smell of the animal it was inspired by. This isn’t bad however, I rather like the effect and it’s not too strong by the time it starts smelling like Central Park horses. It’s very rich and earthy and very fragrant, and this is my favorite of the three. It takes a bite out of you, which is what I like to signal with things on my body, since my tiny stature isn’t going to do it.


  • Wet: baby powder, violets, wildflowers, grass
  • Dry: grass, oud, cracked leather, musk, violet, heliotrope

Scented leather, like the old traditions of perfume mixed with modern upholstery. Kuhuyan smells like my grandparents’ furniture. The slightly ozonic quality lends way to nostalgia. Sun-warmed, slightly dusty, cracked black leather (closer to soft suede) mixed with the smell of violet soap letting me sleep away afternoons waiting for my older cousins to take me out because I wasn’t allowed to wander the city by myself when Williamsburg was a much different place not 20 years ago. Well, that and I wasn’t even five yet so I guess my grandparents had reason to keep me inside. This is the most calm of the three, not warmth-wrapped Oajan or firecracker Lippizan, but a lazy afternoon on a comfortable couch staring out the window into the sun.

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