Royal Bain de Caron is a bright, citrus-laden oriental scent built over a sweet and intensely powdery vanilla and amber base. The creamy texture of its citrus accord reminds me for some reason of Shalimar, and I suppose that if you peeled away the civet, the smoke, and the spices from Shalimar, you’d wind up with something like Royal Bain de Caron. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that Royal Bain de Caron is a stripped down version of the classical oriental fragrance structure.
In its apparent simplicity and the “tutti frutti” nature of its citrus accord, Royal Bain de Caron seems surprisingly modern for a 1920s composition. I recall reading somewhere that Royal Bain de Caron was reformulated in the 1990s, and I have to say it smells like it. I can’t deny that it’s buoyant and cheerful, rare qualities among oriental fragrances, but Royal Bain de Caron also smells thin and bare to me, like an orchestral theme played on an electric keyboard. Whether you enjoy this scent depends on what you want out of an oriental fragrance. If it’s sweet powder and good cheer you’re after, Royal Bain de Caron has plenty, but for the exotic spices, sultry atmosphere, and mysterious depths an oriental fragrance can conjure, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
So I tried this after having it recommended to me several times by my local shop girl. I will allow as other reviewers talk of the many different reformulations that my experience may have been bottle/batch specific. RBdC is...interesting. I'm doubtful of the "shared" designation as it is very sweetly floral, definitely lilac and a pure lilac at that. The cedar note is there and im not sure it harmonizes very well with the lilac. Together they tend to smell like Grandmother's hope chest when opened on a hot, humid day. This MIGHT be pleasant for a certain niche of women, but really doesn't spark a masculine vibe...or a youthful one. RBdC does last remarkably long - over 8 hours on skin.
Caron is a fragrance house that can't leave you indifferent (Guerlain is, to my mind, much more consensual).
RBdC opens in a very strong and very disturbing opening note, like the shock you have opening a bottle of champagne.
And then, after few seconds, it softens in plain Vanilla and a floral, powdery scent, like those old violet candies...
I wouldn't wear it outside. But for a sunday of early december, when you want to take care of yourself and have a touch of nostalgia, it is just perfect.
I first wore this in the mid-1970s and continued to use it for about twenty years, when its strength began turning me off for some reason.
None of the descriptions here match my experience of the scent, which I can best
describe as that of melons and vanilla.
It was totally unique for its time (it may have been re-formulated) and always caused a stir in public. I loved it, but it's part of my scent history at this point.
Would highly recommend the original formulation.
Two things to know about Royal Bain de Champagne by Caron:
(1) It is not a bath oil, or bubble bath, or bath product
(2) It does not smell like Champagne
What it is. A lilac and vanilla Eau de Toilette. This soft oriental in the family of En Passant, Jarling, and Stila Creme Bouquet, with a touch of soap. Once I figured out what it is, I started to love it. A must-sample for lilac fans.