Royal Copenhagen fragrance notes

    • bergamot, cardamom, cedarwood, vanilla, moss, amber

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Latest Reviews of Royal Copenhagen

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For my money, this is the paragon of powdery barbershop fragrance. I enjoy it quite a lot when I'm in the mood for that kind of scent. I find it heavy and best suited for cooler weather because the powder dominates, and there's no getting around that. People are going to tell you you smell like an old man, and there's probably no getting around that, either. To me there's something quite soothing and right about a close shave and a few splashes of Royal Copenhagen, especially during the fall and winter.
14th June 2022
This is horrid! All I smell is Aqua Velva Ice Blue. I rubbed some on my wrist and washed it off immediately! Good thing I got it on clearance.
12th June 2021

Sandalwood joss stick meets budget fougère. Not bad, but still a waste of good Mysore.


Vintage carded sample
2nd September 2019
i was on a sailing trip with a ton of men and my father. i had no fragrance with me, Dad had this. i smelled it, thought it smelled like soap and powder, so i sprayed a ton on my hair. the wind whipped my hair around and everyone thought i smelled lovely. (bowing before you) Thank you very much!
13th November 2018
Royal Copenhagen was, is, and always will be a very divisive scent, but most really bold, loud, and often unique masculines are; just ask anybody who wears Kouros (1981), Joop Homme (1989), Le Mâle (1995), or 1 Million (2008) how many folks have both loved and hated their signature fragrance. This was the second major masculine fragrance from Swank, following up on their hit Jade East (1964), and like that Asian-inflected oriental fougère, this also comes in like a wrecking ball, but does it without the "Green Hell" this time around. The Royal Copenhagen name and it's 3 wave logo were licensed by Swank for the scent from the Royal Porcelain Factory in Copenhagen Denmark, which used the "Royal Copenhagen" name to sell it's plates globally. It wasn't an obvious choice for the creation of a fragrance line, especially not a masculine one, as buying fine china didn't necessarily scream masculinity in 1970, but since the Scandinavian-originating Kanøn (1966) cologne was selling so well, it might have seen like an appropriate move to compete against it with another Scandinavian brand. Royal Copenhagen eventually became sort of it's own fragrance brand after it's success, and obviously broke away from it's originating parent company Swank, being made under license by Five Star Fragrances after decades of being an independent. A musk variant would almost manifest some years later, so I guess a chauvinistic man juice themed after expensive dinner plates wasn't such a bad idea after all huh? Something like this would never get past the marketing board in today's industry, which is kind of a shame.

The scent of original Royal Copenhagen cologne is unmistakably complex, rich, powdery, and floral for a masculine, which attributes to both it's divisive shock value and it's longevity in day wear. A melange of over 20 notes comprise the scent, but the laundry list of notes essentially outlines a composition that puts bergamot, juniper, aldehydes, and spices like cardamom at the top, florals not common to masculine fragrance since the 19th century in the middle (lots of rose and jasmine here), and pretty much every commonly found base note at the time to anchor it all down. Heliotrope, the aforementioned aldehydes, cedar, musk, oakmoss, tonka, all these hard-hitting notes play at commandeering the scent but when blended down they form something that's shimmery and sweet, clean and sort of asexual. Royal Copenhagen forms a lighter version of the vibe that the venerable Fragonard Zizanie (1932) first pioneered, minus that scent's sharp fussiness. A lot of younger people who came into their own long after this scent was past it's prime often decry it as smelling of nursing homes or baby cribs due to it's heavy resemblance to institutional talcum powder (blame the heliotrope), which is both cruel and unfair to the scent itself as it's tantamount to saying anything with patchouli in it is for hippies. Granted, this is definitely for mature guys and for formal or work conditions only, but you don't have to be on kidney dialysis or still learning your first words to appreciate the smell. Performance is radioactive and longevity is eternal, so mind the sprays when in polite company, pretty please! You'll thank me later. Best time to use is whenever really, as this is pretty general purpose if you like florals.

Ultimately, Royal Copenhagen is for the guy who wants to be noticed when he enters the room, to create a little confusion, and probably asked what he's wearing, much like the aforementioned wearers of Joop or 1 Million. Due to the scent's age, less people now may remember it than others in it's similarly strong league, so the wearer of Royal Copenhagen may just get his wish. I imagine this stank up clubs alongside Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme (1971) or Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur (1972), as it has that level of headiness after body heat works in, but in the 21st century, would get you laughed out of a club, so don't. Louder isn't always better, and if you're already not a fan of the oriental/fougère crossovers of the 60's and early 70's, this is simply more of what you already don't want turned up way higher in intensity than other similarly notorious examples. I find the scent very agreeable in winter, where it's rich and powdery sweetness ring out against the cold air, making for a very pleasant and ever-present work companion during the holidays if one spends a lot of time outside. Granted, coming back indoors can prove alarming as the scent "wakes up" more in warm air, so taking it easy is still recommended. It has it's place even for the modern man in the wardrobe if worn in the right context, just that context is much narrower now than maybe it was at launch 40+ years ago. Perhaps it was made to survive the Danish winters on the waterfront, where frosty oceanic air would abolish pretty much all sense of smell to begin with, but whatever the method behind this one's madness, it's definitely a love-it-or-shove-it that might even be an acquired taste. Wear with caution, or with caution to the wind, your choice!
15th December 2017
Can't dislike this scent, budget as it is. Sometimes it can seem loud, but overall this classic scent does the powdery-sweet-woodsy-musky formula nicely. Maybe some may find this fragrance to be old fashioned and laughable; but give it a chance.
9th December 2016
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