Royal Vintage from M. Micallef takes us back to a more elegant time and place; It comes from an era of dressing up for dinner, regularly polished shoes, shaving creams applied with a brush and frequent visits to the barbershop. Micallef released Royal Vintage earlier this year, some say as their answer to Aventus by Creed. Personally I don't smell much of a connection other than the fact that both share some classic masculine elements; not to mention that Royal Vintage doesn't think he's Napoleon, so the marketing around it is far less annoying.
Royal Vintage opens zesty and crisp, like a good green aftershave of yore. The cypress note is very dominant and I adore that-- there's not enough cypress in today's perfumery, if you're asking me. The fragrance has a cool green feel to it that darkens as it develops on skin and lets in the polished wood. I feel that Royal Vintage is a bit rushed in this regard: it takes practically no time to move from the barbershop to the wood paneled club where gentlemen sit in leather armchairs smoking their pipes. Not that I'm complaining about the dry-down. It's lovely, delicious, and in the case of my own very personal skin, also very wearable. I actually think that this Micallef masculine fragrance smells more unique and interesting on my skin than on the husband's.
The very obvious high quality of Royal Vintage keeps it from smelling too generic. It's streamlined but never thin. As a lover of green and leather scents this is right up my alley, but I'm aware that most women will hesitate to try it because Royal Vintage is very traditionally masculine. As for men, they could do a lot worse. The elegance of this fragrance makes it perfect in just about every situation. While it's long lasting and can create some massive sillage, careful spraying will make it very office-friendly. Not just for the guy in the corner office at the top floor, but also for the ambitious young man who dresses for the promotion he craves.
See other opinions on Royal Vintage from Kafkaesque and Fragrant Moments.
Notes: pink berries, bergamot, cypress, leather, patchouli and musk.
Royal Vintage by M.Micallef ($185, 100ml) is available from Luckyscent, Osswald, and Parfum1.com. The sample for this review was provided by PR.
Photo of the Duke of Windsor in 1968 via The Guardian.