I think I have the old formulation, rather than the new one which Cytherian mentions. The clove character is not too pronounced here, it is a pleasant old fashioned bay leaf type. Of course there is considerable overlap in composition between bay and clove oils, so it's difficult to entirely avoid the clove aspect with its associations to condiments, sauces and dentists. Even if clove oil oil is not present, its constituents will be.
This is among my favorite bay rums, along with St. John's and DR Harris's versions. Floris used to do a great one back in the day, but sadly no more. Royall Bay Rhum is slightly more medicinal than others, with a spicy clove note and a real bite to it, especially as the clove takes over in the dry down. This is an absolute classic from a time when men were men and women appreciated that fact. I am a sucker for packaging done right and with its antique bottles, pewter tops and vintage paper wrapping, this could have gone seriously wrong, but in the end I think that it is a charming nod to the past and strangely timeless. I always smile when I see the bottles in fine traditional stores like Brooks Brothers and Orvis. Whether it is worn with a tweed jacket and Shetland sweater or with cool linens, this is a bracing, masculine, classic scent.
I have the vintage version of Bay Rhum, by Royall Lyme Bermuda (not the atrocious reformulation at the hands of the Clarecastle Group that acquired it). It's really quite pleasant, a soft and welcomed light bay leaf fragrance. It is not a cologne, because it simply doesn't last. But while it's there, it's very soothing. I won't even touch the new formulation, as I've heard horrid testimonies about it.
Very simple scent, mainly cloves and bay rhum and very little of anything else.
It does its job, and that is the main thing, but its price makes it uncompetitive with so many other bayrhums in the market.If you ask me, I would rather have Ogallala, maybe not as good, but costs a fraction of Royall's. Even Pinaud is a better value for the money than Royall.
Don't get me wrong, it is one of the best Bayrhums, but its price in unjustified.
Your basic bay rum. Nothing fancy, no frills all purpose shave lotion. It's a little sweet and a little spicy for my tastes and burns like the dickens. I would go for Dominica Bay Rum if I were interested in this "manly" Hemingway type genre--it is a pure bay leaf and rum without vanilla or cinnamon.