a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
ROYAL MAYFAIR – 2015 – ♂
Classification: Floral Green
Top: British Gin, Jamaican Lime, Scottish Highland Pine
Heart: Duke of Windsor Roses
Base: Bahamian Orange, Canadian Cedar, Australian Eucalyptus
Perfumer: Olivier Creed
Price: $475 for 120ml bottle
Don’t get too excited by the prospect of something new from the house of Creed. They are hoping to capture your interest with a bit of deception. Their “new” offering, Royal Mayfair, is simply one of Creed’s old fragrances gussied up with a new name. This fragrance is based on a previous 2009 release called Windsor. The guile is initiated by Creed with a clever new storyline about London’s posh, fashionable neighborhood of Mayfair. Later in the fragrance’s story, Creed discloses the true origins of Royal Mayfair as their limited edition fragrance Windsor. Windsor was a slightly groundbreaking and very popular, limited-edition release from Creed. There was definitely a fan club for Windsor among fragrance enthusiasts. There were actually three releases of Windsor; 2009, 2010 and 2011. Regardless of which Windsor camp you are in, Royal Mayfair will certainly spark an abundance of arguments and comparisons. I know, this all sounds a bit confusing to a novice, but it is worth pointing out that Royal Mayfair is certainly nothing new in the Creed lineup.
The basis for this intriguing, masculine, floral structure has a history. Creed supposedly introduced the fragrance in 1936 and it was created for King Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor. Creed’s modern recipe was launched in 2009 as a limited edition, with two subsequent releases, the lattermost concluding with much less exciting results. So, how did Royal Mayfair fare with me? Allow me to explain.
With Royal Mayfair in hand, poised to spray, I certainly had no preconceived expectations for this fragrance. In the back of my mind, I was hoping to relive something more akin to the sublime 2009 release of Windsor. That version had a bright limey opening, gobs of pine and eucalyptus, spicy rose and aromatic cedar. I kept my expectations low in hopes of a pleasant surprise. After spending a few minutes, reliving the fragrance’s notes and structure, I found Royal Mayfair to be just a copycat of the last two issues of Windsor, and my least favorites at that. Royal Mayfair leans to the more feminine side of rose. It lacks the more specific notes that appeal to the male sensibilities. Royal Mayfair is summed up quickly for me as a less than interesting version of Windsor’s original release. This version has subtle hints of citrus, pine, orange and rose but nowhere near the impact I was hoping for. When you are making perfume and dealing with natural materials, it can be a lot like cooking. It’s easy to understand that even though you are utilizing the same recipe, the end results can differ based on the properties of those natural materials. This is probably why Creed has had no luck recreating the 2009 release of Windsor. Its success was dependent solely on the quality of the natural materials used, and perhaps was more a happy accident for Creed than a planned result. You know the saying, “Nothing good lasts forever.”
If you have no previous experience with Windsor, you may actually enjoy Royal Mayfair. And if you have Windsor already, the only reason to consider Royal Mayfair is that you’re coming close to running out. All kidding aside, Royal Mayfair is a perfectly acceptable, unisex rose fragrance that can be sported by men and women alike. While not as interesting, Royal Mayfair harbors all the subtle nuances that made Windsor captivating. Will Royal Mayfair take a seat in my collection? I don’t think so. Simply put, Royal Mayfair cannot fill Windsor’s shoes.