Helpful Review 07/03/2013
A Barber Shop SecretWhich fragrance would you recommend if you were asked for a very special gentleman's cologne for summer – classy, citric, old-fashioned and a bit off-the-beaten-track?
This would be one of my choices – it is one of those simple but good things from the past that one should not miss.
Royall Lyme puts aside any orange or neroli notes that are used so often in classic Eau de Colognes. In accordance to its naming, the focus is very much on the bitter aspects of lime or lime peel. These tart aspects go a relatively long way, and they are sustained beyond the fading of the sour part of the citric note. Only a very slight hint of clove supports the masculine character of this fragrance. The denounced geranium may spend some volume but is hardly detectable as such.
So far, nothing to write home about, but there must be a little secret that they did not publish in the fragrance notes. The classy, wonderfully old-fashioned barber-shop appeal of Royall Lime must come from something that is not so popular nowadays. I believe there are aldehydes in it. I sense the volume and the iridescence that these synthetic notes can provide. In case of Royall Lyme, the presumed aldehydes are not buttery (like in Chanel No.5), but rather fresh and relatively lean.
And that's the point: we know aldehydes from some very opulent and complex gent's colognes of the past. They are fascinating but demanding. IMHO, they can limit the wearability of a fragrance. A more recent example – maybe the only one - of such a reckless use of aldehydes is the very recommendable relaunched Russisch Leder by Farina Gegenüber. If my presumption about aldehydes is correct, then we get the best of them in Royall Lyme – but without any unwelcome opulence or “butter” note.
As an Eau de Cologne, Royall Lyme has a short longevity. It starts fading right after the first splash, and after two hours, you will presumably find only traces of it on your skin. It is meant as a short refreshment, and it does the trick. All of the Royall fragrances come in a beautifully glass flacon. It is a splash bottle, and splashing it over one's chest is a good use one can make of it. However, with respect to today's customs, you can replace the stopper with the included pump sprayer.
At Royall, they try to achieve a very "masculine" image for their company, with alleged sponsorship of rugby clubs. Supporting such a rough sport might tell something about the general character of the fragrances. Indeed, their Spyce and Bay Rhum hurt quite a bit but no worries about Lyme – it is a nice guy!
The Royall fragrances are all reasonably priced so if you cannot find samples a blind buy may be justifiable.