Etro Royal Pavilion is a strange perfume. This morning it was perfect. Waiting for a phone call from Rhode Island for an interview with the lovely John Biebel of Fragrantica, I had decided upon the pure vetiver essential oil bought yesterday on my first foray into the outside world. It was nice – but felt too dressed down. Too natural. Surveying the collection, my inner water diviner moved of its own accord towards Etro’s Royal Pavilion, an outlier in the floral world and probably even that of Etro, that went magnificently with the vetiver – and before you knew it I was spraying rapidly. Most pleasing. A flight of fancy: Royal Pavilion, in this vintage, is a really bone dry, vetiver/sandalwoody, luminously appointed leather : airy, fresh, with no fattiness or butteriness (my nemeses in perfumery),\; almost tar-like initially in its quinolic, darkest layer, yet also, with the careful air placed in between, akin to being placed in a keen primordial forest of the imagination – overlain with mimosa, ylang ylang, violet and jasmine, over a reduced porcelain of civet and oakmoss somewhere clandestine beneath the roots of the trees…… ………..an inherent contradiction that you would think wouldn’t work – but somehow does. I find this perfume consolidating to the spirits. Uplifting, but with restraint. Stately. We had a great conversation. I was myself. And on the topic of royal pavilions, one day I must incidentally also visit the interior of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton on the south coast of England (pictured) : I have been to that city by the sea so many times, with its beautiful white, crumbling buildings – but have never ventured inside.