5/1/12

Royall Bay Rhum (Royall Lyme Bermuda)

Royall is a terrific throwback brand, founded in 1957 by an accomplished yachtsman named Anthony J. Gaade. His first fragrance was Royall Lyme, an island formula that was surprisingly complex in its day, and which saw American success after its introduction with Brooks Brothers in 1960. Since then there have been several more fragrances, most in an EDC concentration, and all successful with men and women who appreciate clean, crisp scents.

One of the things I like about Royall is that their fragrances smell very naturalistic. There aren't any overwhelming chemical smells baked into the compositions. In fact, these fragrances tend to smell like real infusions of well-composed raw ingredients, a trait commonly found in only the most expensive niche fare. Royall is in fact a niche brand, although their low price point precludes them from enjoying the usual fanfare that surrounds fancy niche stuff. Like Fragrances of Ireland, the philosophy backing Royall is one of universality and inclusiveness, with a laid back, come-as-you-are feeling to the advertising and the fragrances themselves.

Bay Rhum is a very simple scent, and draws on the classic Bay Rhum formula that was so popular back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It opens with a pleasant burst of grassiness, very dark green and fresh, and within thirty seconds moves into a spicy melange of clove, pepper, and bay leaf. The clove is prominent and darkens the scent's green flavor significantly, but also adds freshness. After an hour, the fragrance has dried down to a spare clove and bay skin scent, with a hint of the brighter greens still slouching by the exit. The whole affair is simple, crisp, warm, and masculine - but because it smells so natural, it wouldn't be out of place on a woman's skin at all. This is excellent stuff, quite inexpensive, and worth looking into as a summer splash. Two thumbs up, and this is from a guy who doesn't even like bay rum!














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