Parfums de Marly Perseus is a HUGE Disappointment (Explained)

Perseus was released by Parfums de Marly in 2024. It’s a niche fragrance for men that smells like citruses, woods, and ambery facets. I love Parfums de Marly fragrances and was eagerly awaiting the launch of this one. With all the positive reviews, my hype levels couldn’t have been higher. However on first sniff, my smile turned into a depressing frown. Perseus does smell pleasant, but that’s not the only aspect to consider here. Read on to find out what I mean.

Perseus smells nice…but it’s boring and uninspired

Before I dive into my criticism, let’s describe the scent first. Parfums de Marly Perseus contains accords of grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, vetiver, dry woods, cashmere wood, and amber.

Upon first spritz, I smell a lively combination of grapefruit and bergamot. They smell refreshing, reminding me of rows of zesty citrus trees in sunlit, waterside groves.

Prominent grapefruit early on

However, this duo isn’t as uplifting and energetic as other grapefruit-dominant scents such as D&G Light Blue Forever. It lacks vigour and doesn’t pop off the skin much. Instead, the citrus sits closer and is more subdued.

As the scent unfolds, it reveals another citrus accord – green mandarin. The mandarin smells verdant and orangey, coalescing effortlessly with the zest of the opening notes.

Vetiver also comes into play, gradually adding depth. It introduces the first woody and earthen hues that soften those existing citruses.

As the fragrance dries and settles down, it unveils a base of dry woods and amber. This provides a warm, mature, and refined contrast to the zingy top notes. Additionally, cashmere woods work with the amber to evoke a soft, velvety texture.

Contrasting warm, sweet amber tones in the dry down

All sounds great, right?

That’s because Perseus is a solid fragrance. It’s an enjoyable smell with plenty of mass appeal.

However. And there is a however.

I expected way more from this release. If I’m paying niche prices, I’m expecting more than just a rehash of an existing, popular designer DNA. In fact, I recently reviewed Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree which smells suspiciously alike.

This woody grapefruit scent profile is getting tired and uninspired – fast. Perhaps a new, unique note that adds oomph and an unexpected twist? Or am I just screaming into the abyss here?

Here’s some comments from other reviewers:

I have to agree, this is a hodgepodge of Terre d’Hermes Eau Givree/Tre Fraiche/Elysium/LB Forever. The problem is it dosen’t work and it actually smells low quality to me. Disappointing , especially after seeing the notes I figured this would be decent at least. Which Objectively it’s ok, it’s wearable but no way would I pay Niche price for this.

However, others enjoy it nonetheless:

One of the few zesty citrus fragrances I like. Very bright but more importantly not too bitter and the vetiver helps to round it out. Really liking this so far and definitely a great spring/summer scent. Would recommend!

Performance is bang on average

Parfums de Marly freshies normally perform robustly off skin. Certainly better than all their designer counterparts. Percival is the first example that comes to mind.

However, the same can’t be said here. Perseus is extraordinarily average in the projection and longevity department.

I’ve found that it projects modestly off my skin for the first 2 hours. Then, it settles closer to a skin scent for 4 hours more afterwards. Therefore, you’re looking at around 6 hours of total lasting power.

Acceptable if you’re paying designer prices. But you’re not. 

Its biggest bright spot…

The boring and sameness factor does come with an upside. One thing Perseus doesn’t lack is a high degree of versatility.

Perseus shines in year-round weather, but I like it most for moderate to warmer temperatures. It’s a supreme choice for daytime wear, whether you’re out running errands, meeting up with friends, or even kicking back at home.

man who wears parfums de marly perseus
Perseus can be worn casually OR professionally

The mixture of citruses and woods also come across as professional and inoffensive. Therefore, it’s suitable to spray for the office and business meetings.

I consider Roja Elysium the undisputed versatile king and Perseus comes admirably close to that. Not an easy task.

In summary? Perseus is a huge let down

parfums de marly perseus

I’m a staunch supporter of Parfums de Marly. My previous reviews are all the evidence you need of that. Their fragrances are exceptional, with one even being my all-time favourite.

Yet they missed the mark with Perseus. Sure it smells satisfying, highlighted by its familiar verdant citrusy-woody DNA with amber undertones.

That’s just the thing though. This type of scent has been done to death by every brand under the sun. At this premium price point, I need more passion and charisma oozing from every spritz. Not a mundane, dull remix.

Let’s hope their next masculine release gets my juices flowing.

This review of Perseus will be controversial. If you disagree (or agree), feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Similar Posts

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments