We review Layton, a royally chic and irresistibly addictive gourmand for men by Paris fragrance house Parfums de Marly.
Parfums de Marly
Parfums de Marly is a haute-parfumerie house named after the French royal residence Château de Marly, situated west of the renowned palace and garden complex of Palais de Versailles.
Louis XIV, French King from 1643 to 1715, retreated to the château whenever he wanted to free himself from the formalities he had constructed himself in Versailles and indulge in the company and entertainment of close friends.
The Sun King is quoted for once saying, “I built Versailles for my court, Trianon for my family, and Marly for my friends.” In 1743, his successor and great-grandson Louis XV commissioned the Marly Horses, a full-size Carrara-marble sculpture showing two horses with their groom, for the trough at the entrance to the grounds of Château de Marly.
Centuries later, the Château, along with the Marly Horses, would serve as the inspiration and symbol for Parfums de Marly—one of the greatest niche fragrance houses of our time.
Parfums de Marly was founded in 2009 by nose and connoisseur Julien Sprecher who, as reported by our colleagues at L’Officiel report, fell into perfumes at a very young age. His father, who passed on to him a taste for the finer things in life, represented the house of Guerlain in the Middle East.
|House||Parfums de Marly|
|Concentration||Eau de Parfum (EDP)|
|Description||A distinguished and addictive oriental floral fragrance with a gourmand side.|
|Sizes||2.53 fl oz (75 ml), 4.22 fl oz (125 ml)|
Denatured Alcohol, Fragrance, Water, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Coumarin, Citronellol, Citral, Geraniol
Source: Parfums de Marly, last retrieved December 25, 2021
Layton is a fragrance fit for kings.
If France’s Sun King Louis XIV and his great-grandson, Louis XV, were alive today, they would wear it 24/7, and in every room of their favorite palace, the royal Château de Marly—which this fragrance is named after—you’d see pomander ball after pomander ball refreshing the stale air with it.
Parfums de Marly has created a fragrance so masculine and noble, it livens up the atmosphere and lifts the spirit. You walk through the room wearing a coat of freshness so distinctive, others can’t help but follow, admire, and crave you.
It’s proud, yet graceful. Powerful, yet composed. Alluring, yet comforting. A scent for the gentleman who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle; a present-day bon vivant.
The top notes are apple, bergamot, and lavender. The heart notes are jasmine, violet, and geranium. The base notes are amber, caramel, vanilla, pink pepper, guaiac wood, and patchouli.
The opening is strong; one of iced apple and peppermint tea with a generous splash of bergamot juice. The flowers are also perceptible, albeit subtly, early on.
After about ten minutes, the heart notes of opulent jasmine, sweet violet and powdery geranium (the latter is not called “the other rose” without reason) unfold as the top notes slowly but surely fade.
Thirty to sixty minutes in, and the base notes of musky amber, earthy vanilla, rosy pink pepper, tobaccoish guaiac wood, dark caramel, and minty patchouli reveal themselves. The heart notes gracefully dry down.
This fragrance is royally invigorating, elegantly sweet, almost like Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato, yet at the same time thirst-quenchingly minty. If you’re into gourmands, it is a true keeper. So much so, that there’s a good chance it will become your signature scent.
What impressed me about Layton is that, despite its floral woodiness, it remains lively and stimulating from start to finish. It’s like a delicious and luxurious peppermint candy whose aroma and flavor last forever; it lures you in—and gathers everyone around you—with its freshness and coolness.
Parfums de Marly says that Layon, an Eau de Parfum (EDP), is meant to be worn throughout the day, all day long, especially in the colder months. Having tested it in chilly December, I wholeheartedly agree.
You could probably pull off wearing Layton on a cool summer night, but it shines in fall and winter; perhaps also in spring. It is a seductive scent for a bar, for a restaurant, for sipping on a glass of Moët & Chandon in the VIP lounge of a dimly-lit nightclub.
As long as you do not overspray it, you can wear Layton to the office. When wearing it to an important meeting, you must confirm that you are the most senior person in the room. Otherwise, you will easily outshine your superior, which does not come without consequences.
Layton is a royal enough fragrance for any groom or best man to consider for the engagement party or the wedding day itself. (Assuming, of course, that neither will take place in the heat of summer, as Layton is quick to overwhelm in the hot sun.)
Layton is a long-lasting Eau de Parfum (EDP). Apply it to your pulse points—your neck, behind your years, as well as on the inner elbows or wrists—and it will last upwards of 10-12 hours on you.
Ordinarily, 4-5 to 6-7 sprays of Layton by Parfums de Marly are enough to give you a full-bodied scent throughout the day. Overspraying is not necessarily, nor is it recommended, and fewer sprays are sufficient for confined spaces or intimate settings.
You asked, we answered: Why some perfumes last longer than others
At first, Parfums de Marly’s Layton has a strong sillage; it announces your presence and turns heads. Depending on your skin type and body chemistry, it will project for anywhere from 2-3 to 3-4 hours.
Improve sillage and projection by applying 2-3 sprays of this fragrance to your outerwear from a foot’s distance, be it your scarf, jacket, or shirt. Or re-spray every few hours as needed to occasionally freshen up for an all-day event.
Layton by Parfums de Marly can be bought in three sizes: a metallic-silver travel atomizer with a 3x 0.33 fl oz (3x 10 ml) refill set for the wearer with a nomadic lifestyle, as well as standard 2.53 fl oz (75 ml) and 4.2 fl oz (125 ml) bottles.
The standard-sized bottles are chivalrous and aristocratic, with a hefty, tight-fitting cap that’s hard to open accidentally. They will decorate your drawer, but they are too bulky and heavy to carry around, especially when traveling by plane.
So frequent flyers should opt for the refillable travel set. I know it comes at a higher price per fluid ounce, but, when traveling, you can never put a price on convenience.
Read our guide: Which size perfume to buy?
Parfums de Marly is a haute-parfumerie house, and this is reflected in Layton’s price tag. On the day of publishing this review, the 2.53 fl oz (75 ml) bottle sold for $215 in the brand’s U.S. store, and the 4.2 fl oz (125 ml) bottle sold for $310.
Layton from haute-parfum house Parfums de Marly is an Eau de Parfum (EDP) for men. That said, a certain group of female wearers find its warmth and sweetness attractive, and they nevertheless choose to wear it.
Layton is an Eau de Parfum (DEP) that can be worn all day, from morning to night. Its apple/vanilla sweetness with a pink-peppery kick and a warm woody undertone make it particularly suitable for cold weather.
Consider the black-lavender, woody-vanilla Ultra Male by Jean Paul Gaultier; the amber-woody Pi by Givenchy; and the sappy and gingery vanilla-bean Pure XS by Paco Rabanne.
Layton by Parisian haute-parfumerie Parfums de Marly is a regal niche fragrance for the man who feels like a king, and who can afford to smell like one.