Kensington Garden (Royal Apothic)

Quite the ugly box.

Royal Apothic used to focus on room sprays and scented homecare products, until six years ago, when they adapted their line to include personal fragrance. Their affinity for feminine fruity-florals, leaning either citrusy or just plain green, becomes pretty obvious when you read their catalog. This company has Millennial women in their crosshairs.

I recently had an opportunity to give Sean O'Mara's Kensington Garden a good wearing, and had to keep an open mind in the process. This brand is rather pseudo-British (they boast of gaining commercial traction in the U.S.), and their website looks suspiciously similar to Creed's, but I guess their founder's "story" is honest enough. But is there any wow factor here? Why "Royal Apothic?" Am I to gather there's something "royal" about these products?

Contemporary feminines are either paradoxically daring and conservative (animalic musks and overripe woodsy florals) or ironically pretentious and cheap (haughty greens and nondescript laundry soap), and unfortunately the latter qualities very generously apply to this fragrance. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view.

On the one hand, the need for an uncomplicated and inexpensive mid-shelf "green" scent with crisp muguet and jasmine notes will be satisfied with this, at least enough to wear it to work a few times a week. It's inoffensive, competently made, and doesn't trail off as something uncouth. It'll go well with your lemon yellow pant suit and pearlescent ivory organza blouse. Just don't expect it to add anything to your sex appeal, which I'm assuming you have in spades anyway if you're wearing that outfit.

On the other, you'll literally smell like a walking Lyral bomb. Imagine the bleached florals of Tommy Girl, with the bleach effect dialed up to eleven and surrounded by foiled reflectors, and you have a good idea of Kensington Garden. It's bright, it's sweet, it's shrieking and shrill and squeaky clean/green, an indelicate interpretation of "delicate white floral." I think, in all honesty, that it's too much of a rather questionably good thing.

As for its unisex appeal, I'm afraid it's a bit too caricatured to have any. Then again, with the ridiculous flea circus beard trend going on here in the States, maybe an overdose of drugstore soap isn't a bad idea.


  1. This sounds like another clone of Crabtree & Evelyn or Penhaligon. Yawn.
    Do women really wear pantsuits at any age in the US anymore? Oh wait, I forgot about Hilary - never mind.
    The bearded hipster thing is happening here in India too. A well trimmed goatee is about all the facial hair I can stand on a guy.
    Mugler Cologne is being discontinued. I bought the husband 2 of the 10 oz bottles, it's one of the few fragrances I love that he'll wear. Better stock up!

    1. It's beyond "bearded hipster." These growths extend to their chests. I'm talking big, bushy beards, grown mostly by pickup truck-driving republicans and guys who have never grown a beard before in their lives.

    2. Oh, you mean the Duck Dynasty/ZZTop wannabees?
      'nuf said.


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