--What does the promo say?--
"The perfume for men with timeless sophisticated elegance. Part of the EXCLUSIF collection which gathers exceptional fragrances for men and women, ROYAL VINTAGE offers a very subtle fragrance: opening on tonic scents of pink berries and bergamot, the assertive notes of cypress and patchouly are lightened by the softness of leather and musk notes. ROYAL VINTAGE is a perfume for men with timeless sophisticated elegance."
Sample sizes of this were kindly sent all the way from Grasse, the perfume-lovers' capital. These took the form of a tiny glass bottle with a black lid, and an equally tiny black plastic vial, with white writing. Black plays a prominent role in the real bottle, along with silver, in a circular design resembling a retro record or vintage car wheel - both perfectly appropriate to the Royal Vintage theme.
Your fella can spritz this behind his ears, and under arms if desired. To be used sparingly (see more under 'scent').
The scent has a lemon-yellow colour in the bottle, but of course dries invisibly on the skin.
This is a strong scent that really carries and lasts all day, so you don't need much. It keeps things simple with six key elements: musk, cypress, bergamot, patchouli, leather, and red berries. Amazingly, all of these elements are extremely well-balanced and definitely detectable in the fragrance, which is unusual, as quite often commercial fragrances claim to contain several elements, only for just one or two to be really prominent, overriding all of the others. The bergamot helps to give a citric dimension, while the leather gives an impression of vintage cars. Patchouli, musk and cypress combine to create that traditional fern-like 'masculine' scent, which is often provided by the equally fresh and forest-like vetiver in other scents. The red berries are less detectable, but are definitely there once the fragrance has had more time to develop, without making Royal Vintage seem too fruity or feminine. However, him indoors says he still wouldn't go out of his way to buy it, preferring Fahrenheit by Dior or Terre d'Hermes by Hermes for their respective blends.
As above; easily lasts all day without reapplication, making it a rare pearl in the fragrance world.
--Value for money--
This scent retails at a price that is on a par with other high-end brands, such as Penhaligon's. I think its longevity and balanced blend makes it worth the price, and thus a brilliant gift for any of the men in your life (Father's Day, anyone?).