Royal Pavillon has a dated, powdery floral opening with that acidic almost aldehydic intensity that old-fashioned fragrances often do.
Straight away the animalic power pushes forward, a blast of fecal civet underneath, paired with some hugely indolic jasmine and creamy white florals turns this opening into something I’d describe as “soiled suntan lotion”.
Pollen heavy, the tropical white florals bring to mind a much less lush, exotic version of Les Nez’ beautiful Manoumalia. I really didn’t expect a tropical floral fragrance from sampling this, but unfortunately the animalics underneath almost flatten the good parts of the flowers and leave behind this slightly sour residue of indole and fragrant powder.
As it begins to settle, I get a hint of rose and violet – the classic powdery, feminine combo, and I begin to enjoy Royal Pavillon a little bit more. The civet thankfully begins to calm down, although there is some nutty castoreum underneath, but much more subtle, and blended with some bitter oakmoss - much smoother but still “dated”. The jasmine becomes quieter until all the florals become harmonious, but still with that sprinkle of powder.
Once the florals are a mere memory, the sandalwood, vetiver and oakmoss base are still slightly soured and made musky by the animalic duo, but the base feels like a classic chypre, relatively rich, but not luxurious. I think the problem is, there is much better options out there for white florals and chypres, and when you’ve smelt something like Rubj by Vero Profumo which targets this genre and smashes it, it’s a little harder to appreciate something like this. Still, it’s an interesting enough, slightly soiled white floral fragrance with a nice, subtle drydown - in the style of a prim and proper Penhaligons, but with a little more “oomph”.