Richard James fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, mandarin, ginger, green tea leaves, petitgrain, rosemary, basil
  • Heart

    • cardamom, coriander, tuberose, lily of the valley, rose, lavender
  • Base

    • suede, patchouli, sandalwood, tobacco, amber, vetiver, musk, oakmoss

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Latest Reviews of Richard James

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Now this is stupendous. Mind you, I have in my possession the grey box with the plastic violet ombré sleeve, so I can speak to newer formulas in more colorful boxes, but this is a gem for the ages that gets so little attention. For those gents who may be a bit reluctant to dip their toes into the waters of Lake Tuberose, wanting to avoid what may seem to be gilded lily florals, this is more than worthy of a sniff.

It's an elegant, creamy tuberose with hints of concord grape, but these flowers have been imbued with the essence of cigars in a smoking room, getting intimate with some brushed suede. It opens with a ginger tea and herb melange, a bit punchy, but immediately smoothed over by the creaminess and suppleness of its heart. The ginger sustains as the tobacco leans into the tuberose and the overlap is reminiscent of Creed Tabarome Millesime's ginger/tobacco pairing, only better, more pronounced.

The dry down is classically masculine and suave, with a sophisticated translucency, clean vetiver and clean patchouli, smelling like a freshly starched white shirt and Clark's suede Desert Treks. I'd recommend Savile Row for fans of Le 3e Homme de Caron, Hermes Equipage, or Lancome Sagamore.
16th December 2022
I like this a lot but on a very limited basis. It's a masculine floral and tuberose at that.
But if you're up for it, it works well.

Screams for a white shirt more than many scents. Not really all that formal per se, but certainly calls for some sartorial support. Do not wear this with jeans. But I think even dressed up, this calls for a guy who's not skittish about wearing florals.

I wouldn't not call it feminine, but it takes a guy with his "frag legs" pretty developed to wear it proudly.

A white shirt, khakis, a blazer. You're good to go. A tad dandy, but a lot of guys can pull this off easily if I can.
16th April 2022

Richard James Savile Row (2003) is an interesting fragrance from an interesting "new establishment" tailor whose name is on the bottle. Richard James the person is best known for helping revitalize then-sagging interest in bespoke suit tailoring from the storied street of Savile Row, by utilizing high-contrast fabric colors and modern silhouettes, while the fragrance is not really known at all. Those who do know and appreciate Richard James Savile Row the fragrance see it for what it is: a then-chic "metrosexual" male interpretation of a typically female-oriented floral oriental perfume genre with an odd focus on tuberose. Yes, that's correct: Richard James Savile Row is a "floriental" fragrance with tuberose at the core, styled and sold for the men's market. At the time it made perfect sense because Queer Eye for the Straight Guy had just launched on TV, and suddenly heterosexual men all across the Western world wanted form-fitting clothes, accessories like scarves or messenger bags (the latter to stand in for purses), and other aesthetic choices like music or taste in cinema to show that they were more emotionally sensitive and in tune with their "feminine side". As a queer guy myself, I groaned and went along for the fun, using the "cover" of all these CISHET guys in skinny jeans trading in their Folgers for barista coffee and Pantera CDs for folk music as a way to live comfortably in my own skin a little more until the fad was over and homophobia became the norm again in my home town. Since fragrance so often does follow fashion because the same houses produce both, it's no surprise that sweet gourmands, sour candy ozonics, and stuff like Richard James Savile Row came to pass on the men's market, but this particular blip on the radar did not have the push of something from a designer because it came from a tailoring house. You still see bottles of it around, but this stuff was not a success at all. I do love the very Halston-like "pinched" bottle shape though.

The overall theme of Richard James Savile Row is similar to a traditional barbershop fougère, meaning it's rich and comforting, with sweetness and a bit of spice to counter the austerity of the aromatics and powder, but it's not a fougère. Instead we see the classic women's "floriental" style of something like Houbigant Chantilly (1941) subverted into a barbershop context, complete with some aromachemical magic to replicate the advertised "clean starched shirt accord" (an aldehyde), taking nods from Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993). The opening is a mix of this aforementioned aldehyde, which offers a clean metallic zing, and some sweet citruses. Bergamot and orange find themselves bringing in ginger and herbs like basil and rosemary. Ginger was not a popular note in masculine fragrances at the time either, making this opening very odd, but soon petitgrain dries things out. Note pyramids across the internet list tea here, but I don't get any of that myself, although the tuberose becomes pretty obvious after the first ten minutes, folding into rose, lavender, and muguet for a dandy floral accord spiced with coriander and cardamom. At this phase, Richard James Savile Row feels like a mix between Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme (2003), and Calvin Klein Obsession for Men (1986), but with the tuberose of a Sophia Grojsman perfume. Richard James Savile Row heads into the oriental dry down before too long, becoming a single blended opaque accord once the base comes through. Patchouli, sandalwood, amber, oakmoss, leather, musk, and a "who's who" of rich mulled notes comes through, with just a bit of vetiver and tobacco to steer the ship masculine enough to pass muster. The tuberose is always there, so haters of the note should keep this in mind, but the final experience is one of rich warmth with touches of sweetness, spice, and wood. Wear time on Richard James Savile Row is long enough for a work day, but something this formal and sophisticated feels too dressed up for a standard office environment unless you're the proprietor of the business.

Best in cooler months, Richard James Savile Row also feels more like evening wear because the coziness of the spices and woods, the sweetness of the citruses, and the fleshy musky nature of tuberose. The guy still wearing this stuff long after the metrosexual craze ended must be a guy who has it as a signature or secret weapon for date nights, the genteel fellow who fancies showing a bit of sensitivity in his stylistic choices, or just someone who collects and enjoys oddities altogether. Richard James Savile Row would be discontinued in favor of a "cologne" range of less-blended and more-conventional flavors including lavender this, vetiver that, and you know the drill here. Right alongside Murdock, Jack Black, Penhaligon's, Art of Shaving, and others of this ilk, the current Richard James lineup feels more oriented for the high-end men's grooming craze than as the luxuriant fragrant accessory for a bespoke suit that this scent definitely was. I think more than the gender-bending chic of the day, Richard James Savile Row comes across luxurious from perfumer Yves Cassar (Vice President Senior Perfumer for IFF under Grojsman), who is more known for his commercial releases from brands like Avon. Cassar also make Tom Ford for Men (2007), so I guess this isn't too much of a stretch, and the closest thing to it still available is the much-pricier 1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfum (2000) or hard-to-find Caswell-Massey Tricorn (1941), so that's something at least. An oddly flirtatious but ostensibly formal fluke from a decidedly nontraditional tailor who dresses celebrities, Richard James Savile Row is one of those "inversion of standards" type things you can only appreciate if you're weird enough to want it, just don't pay a lot to try it out. This isn't something I see myself reaching for often because tuberose and me have a complicated relationship, but when it's good, it's right-in-the-pocket good. Thumbs up.
16th August 2020
A less intense slightly more floral Invasion Babare - which is really odd as there's no vanilla listed in the notes. But the similarity is extraordinary. This is definitely stands up as a scent in its own right though - the Bourbon vanilla in IB can get a bit over-powering after a while whereas this is softer and more subtle.

11th October 2019
Remarkable fragrance at a very attractive price. And I'm totally in favour of florals for men. Tempted to buy, but haven't yet: it's just a bit too linear tuberose (or "banana jasmine" as I call it), and I'm not sure I would use it much. But very highly recommended.
1st July 2019
Really didn't give this one much of a chance when I first tried it. I think I was going through a stage of sampling far too much and it got lost among other fragrances. That was my mistake.

Bottom line is that this is one of the greatest floral's I have ever worn. Also a masculine floral which is quite a rarity.

Before we get to note breakdowns and so on It's important to understand that this is a clean and formal fragrance. There are a lot of mentions of this being a white shirt fragrance and I can see where they are coming from.

Various floral's and a tuberose note are noticeable on the initial blast. Those notes do hang around for the entirety but are dialed back after the first 30 minutes. A soft almost soapy tobacco comes into play along side a very impressive ginger note at the half way stage. The final dry down consists of tuberose/florals, tobacco, ginger and woods. The composition always remains clean and sparkling.

Projection is around average but longevity is excellent lasting a whole work day.


9th February 2019
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