Micallef Royal Vintage is the latest masculine release from M. Micallef. I received a promo sample from the house a few weeks ago and have been testing it on and off since then.
The first thing I should say is that this fragrance wears very differently sprayed and dabbed. My sample actually came as a spray vial and a little bottle, the latter without a spray.
The reason I mention this is that sprayed on, the leather note in Royal Vintage is very subdued and in the background. Dabbed was another story - it came to the fore almost immediately and was the most prominent note. Having said that, Royal Vintage is not a whip-snap of a leather fragrance. The leather is fairly soft and relaxed, smelling worn and slightly aged. Another note that is also very prominent is pink pepper. Over the last few years pink pepper has appeared in many men's releases, to the point of ubiquity. It lends many masculine fragrances a spiciness in the top notes and I actually enjoy the smell a lot, but because of its overuse, it has become a bit cliched. Having said that, the use of the pink pepper is very well done, mixed with bergamot. The third masculine ingredient is cypress, which adds a slightly herbal, pine note, which later on blends well with the leather, musk and patchouli. The use of patchouli is quite light and well blended, lending the composition an air of slightly retro sophistication, which I think is what Micallef were aiming for with this perfume.
While Royal Vintage is masculine, it is a fairly soft and relaxed perfume, and I don't see why it shouldn't be worn by a woman. It is a laid back perfume and I am looking forward to wearing it in warmer weather, when I think it would be just perfect.
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