ROYAL PAVILION by E T R O ( 1989 )


Ackermann, Rudolph; Agar, John Samuel; Le Keux, John; Nash, John; Pugin, Augustus Charles; Stephanoff, James; John Nash, <I>The Royal Pavilion at Brighton,</I> London 1826; The Banquetting Room, Royal Pavilion, Brightona7a64aef8243c329b3a701299f528acdwhzzycdyxai41


















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…… ……… 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.










Filed under Flowers, Leather, WOODY FLORAL

26 responses to “ROYAL PAVILION by E T R O ( 1989 )

  1. It should have been obvious, but it wasn’t until after writing this that I saw that the imagine on the label of this perfume is actually the Brighton Royal Pavilion.

  2. Those pagoda ceramic and bronze sculptures were moved a while ago to Buckingham Palace and then returned to the Brighton Pavilion. Look up The Royal Trust Collection – A Prince’s Treasure if you’re interested. There’s even a time elapse film on their Insta of how they install one of them. Now I, too, want to visit the Brighton Pavilion _and_ get a whiff of that perfume. Not sure if I’d like it, but it sounds fascinating.

    • It’s a kind of throwback to another time, this scent – I can’t describe it exactly, but it’s certainly not like any other white floral I have ever smelled. Bone dry, and aeratedly arid with wood. Florid but reserved. I am going to wear it again today when we go out- it feels protective to me somehow.

      Thanks for the information about the sculptures. The Royal Pavilion has always looked quite lavishly ridiculous, but I have a feeling I would love it inside. I have only driven past it many times as I have friends down there and it was the only place we were ever truly considering if we ever came back to the UK to live. I love the sea front and the Lanes.

  3. Tara C

    I have a bottle of it at my house in San Diego. It’s really good stuff, but I forget to reach for it.

    • Me too. Which is why I was surprised I was suddenly drawn to it like that… if it KNEW it was right for the day and was directing me.

      • Tara C

        I love it when that happens. A scent calls out to you and it turns out to be absolutely perfect for that day. This usually happens to me with oddball stuff I rarely wear too.

      • I quite often get it wrong though as well, and then you get that feeling where you are slightly miffed and on edge all day because your perfume isn’t quite right. As you say, the opposite sensation is truly delightful, and why we all have this obsession in the first place.

  4. Robin

    You know, even with that masterful description I still can’t imagine what bit smells like. Therefore I would probably admire it, even if I didn’t exactly love it.

    • Robin

      Sorry, it not bit.

    • So funny you should say that because I was thinking yesterday – literally – if Robin can’t imagine what is smells like, as I also don’t think I have quite described it quite right, the nearest I can think of is if you took a vintage really woody Jardins De Bagatelle and dejuiced and desaturated it, taking out a lot of the florals and the colour and then reset the distribution of ingredients so that it was more demurely demurred and fine boned – you would be half way there.

      I agree it is a perfume that is difficult to love or be obsessed by, but the other day it was so right I can’t tell you. It felt like being in a forest of sequoias, on a burning hot day, hiding in the shade.

      • Robin

        Now I get it. And vividly. Wow! Brilliant, dear Neil. And I can understand why, in those moments, it would have spoken to you.

        I know that Caron Montaigne just entered my mind as something similar in effect, if not in composition.

      • As you know, I love that perfume, although that one is more ….voluptuous (yet holds it back). All of these must be in the same family.

  5. Robin

    Oh, and interviewed by fragrantica?!?!

    • Yes – some of the writers there really like my book (which is still very slowly infiltrating the perfume world a year after the fact!) and so there will be a piece on that (and me) in the interview. Quite exciting!

  6. How absolutely lovely, an interview with John, I will look forward to reading it. I have never smelt Royal Pavilion by Etro, actually I am only slightly familiar with their scents, namely Messe de Minuit. You do make it sound rather enticing, as you do with all scents you speak of. I really think I should remedy this and get to know Etro better. Please feel free to give me some advice on which of their scents I might want to sample.

    • I don’t know Messe De Minuit well enough, but I remember it being a very pleasing frankincense. Their perfumes, particularly in vintage, are very high quality, a kind of bridge between classic and niche. Vetiver, Patchouli, all lovely. This is a curious floral that definitely begs further scrutiny!

    • Robin

      Brielle, if you don’t mind me jumping in, and if you like a good soliflore with personality, Etro Heliotrope and Dianthus are worth a sample, I think. They’re well-made and interesting, more interpretive than realistic but still clearly reflective of the main floral note, with surprisingly good longevity on the skin.

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