Finally, due to popular demand, Creed has released a new version of Windsor that will be included in their permanent collection. Unfortunately for many, distribution is extremely limited at the moment due to exclusivity arrangements. It’s still difficult to obtain samples, but yours truly has managed to obtain a few samples in order to offer impressions for FragranceDaily. I have now thoroughly tested the fragrance and bring this review to you, dear readers. Enjoy!
“Top note: British Gin, Jamaican Lime and a touch of Scottish Highland Pine
Middle note: Fragrant Duke of Windsor Roses
Base note: Bahamian Orange, Canadian Cedar and Australian Eucalyptus”
As you can see, similar to how the notes in Aventus represent a tribute to the life of Napoleon, the notes in Royal Mayfair are a tribute to the United Kingdom.
Royal Mayfair opens with a slightly medicinal eucalyptus mixed with a natural-smelling pine. At the very top, Royal Mayfair smells like a forest, pine and eucalyptus mixing in the air. No other elements are yet present. Soon, the gin note emerges to join the pine and eucalyptus. This isn’t the alcohol-tinged sort of gin note that is present in Frapin’s L’Humaniste, rather it is a more true note of woodsy juniper, perhaps more comparable to the juniper aspects in Acqua di Parma’s Ginepro di Sardegna or Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling. Haters of eucalyptus, medicinal scents, or wood-heavy fragrances will likely despise the opening of Royal Mayfair. Fortunately for those people, this stage only lasts around 20 minutes. And this is when it really gets interesting!
Like a play that is moving into its second act, the scene changes and the woodsy elements recede to the background. The eucalyptus and cedar remain throughout, undergirding the elegance of Royal Mayfair. A wonderful note of lime now comes onstage. The lime is not particularly defined, but is nevertheless there blending with the other elements, providing an eminently British and ethereal aroma of citric acidity. Not long after, the rose – the undisputed star of the show – blooms radiantly yet with a velvety delicacy that is the hallmark of the Duke of Windsor breed. It is fashionable to compare this stage of Royal Mayfair to Le Labo’s Rose 31. They are similar insofar as they both contain rose. Otherwise, Royal Mayfair is a totally different kind of fragrance. The eucalyptus alone separates Royal Mayfair from the Le Labo, and the orange in the base of Royal Mayfair brilliantly manages to keep the citric aspects of the lime present through its entire duration. I detect no synthetic harshness from either the lime or the rose. For Creed, it seems that only the best ingredients would do for this particular scent.
Many masculine rose fragrances have a romantic component: For instance, Amouage’s Lyric Man is mysterious and sensual, softly conveying romantic intent with rose, vanilla, and incense; Lumiere Noire is spicy and aromatic, conveying love through a transition from a herbaceous rose to cozy cinnamon. On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing romantic about Royal Mayfair. The fragrance remains distant and aloof throughout – even cold. Royal Mayfair is elegant, well-bred, and hints at a sense of unspoken superiority. It is not egalitarian. Not everyone will like this conservative scent. Not everyone will even be able to wear it comfortably. But for those that can, it will fit like a glove. A velvet glove perhaps, but a beautiful one nonetheless.
Would I buy it?: Certainly! Few fragrances are interesting enough to warrant such a bloated price tag. Royal Mayfair is one of them. Quite simply, I adore it. When my array of samples are finished, I will be buying a large bottle. This is not a blind buy – sample if you dare!
“Noble blood is an accident of fortune; noble actions characterize the great.
– Carlo Goldoni