This review is of the Carroll & Company’s version of the original Atkinson’s Royal Briar. I have never tried the original, but I am assuming that this is an adequate representation of it.
Royal Briar is unusual to me: there are similarities to other men’s colognes of the past, but there is something in it that separates it from anything else I’ve experienced. I can’t say it reminds me of any particular men’s cologne, but it is without a doubt, recognizably masculine. It starts out alcoholy, but that is just temporary. It quickly becomes quite woody, and I can’t tell if there are any of the usual opening citrus notes because the woodnotes dominate so strongly. There are some notes that smooth out the woods but never seem to show their own smell – probably flora, orl possibly a smooth low-key spice like mace – the woodnotes are at the fore, and there is a half resinous / half aromatic wood-like note in the background. The fragrance ends on a soft, pleasant, masculine, somewhat powdery opoponax and amber base.
I enjoy this scent very much. It is well balanced, masculine and discreet. It seems to have a bit of a problem lasting on my skin, but it is an excellent fragrance and its $25. 00 price can’t be beat.
This is a very smooth, warm, and slightly floral oriental that exudes old-fashioned charm, so much so in fact, that right away I felt it was very “Guerlain-ish”…and then I understood why: it smells pretty close to the vintage Shalimar EDC I have. It has the same slightly medicinal oppoponax/vanilla combo that Shalimar has (albeit a little less complex than true Guerlainade), but the added florals give Royal Briar a sort of classic “shave lotion” vibe on top. I think this is why some others have described it as “bracing”, and I get the same feeling. The dry down definitely has that “yummy” characteristic of Shalimar or even Mitsouko.
Overall, this is a very comfortable scent that wears like a cashmere polo shirt, casual yet classy and high-quality at the same time. I will wear this one a lot!
My parents went to New York for a convention in the fifties and brought me a bottle of Royal Briar. I used it in college and carried it halfway around the world while in the navy. I used it sparingly since it was so good and I didn't want to waste. The one thing I remember is taking a shower the next day and smelling it again. It's strong and lasting. I've spent the last 35 years looking for it and so glad I discovered that Carroll and Co. now carries. I just ordered a bottle last week. As someone wrote, it is class in a bottle. If you like Lauder for Men, you'll love this.
This is a beautiful warm and bracing woody fragrance that is both somewhat familiar and yet hard to pin down. What is that smell? Does it remind me of Dad- - is it something from long ago that I used to wear? Or is it rather something really new and hip? And what are those incredible notes? I smell wood, spice, some subtle floral and something like cough medicine all perfectly blended together. The cough medicine thing gives it that bracing edge that keeps it from getting too tame or cloying. It is not a loud fragrance, but it's not washed out or too reticent either. This is rich but subtle with very decent sillage. It's probably not going to appeal to a lot of kids (i.e., anyone under 30) but if you like to smell good and manly, this is right up there. I think of Clark Gable as well as Ronnie Reagan. While Royal Briar is by no means dated, it has something of a late 1950s-early 60s vibe, which would make it just right for anyone who likes that era, particularly those who like the look of Thom Browne clothes. Men who wouldn't normally wear fragrances may very well like this, and wear it proudly. Carful on pouring out, this comes only in a splash, and it comes out fast! You bring the substance, this helps with the style.
PS: At $25 for 4oz, this is an all out steal guys, go get it!
11th January, 2008 (last edited: 19th April, 2008)
I picked up a bottle today from Carroll & Co. in Pasadena. This stuff is incredible. Definitely worth the effort Carroll made to take over the production of it. The scent is smooth and clean and indeed, quite masculine. It really is "class in a bottle." Best cologne purchase I've made in quite awhile. At $25 a bottle it's an incredible value. I'll be buying more!
21st November, 2007 (last edited: 24th June, 2009)