Signature Royale X fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Bergamot, Citrus, Lavender, Cardamom
  • Heart

    • Himalayan Juniper, Cedar leaf, pimento berry
  • Base

    • Sandalwood, Patchouli, Oud, Vetiver, Rockrose, Benzoin

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Latest Reviews of Signature Royale X

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The quick and dirty assessment from impatient fans of Zaharoff is that Signature Royale X by Zaharoff (2022) is not the dirty musky bad-boy that its advertising tries to market it as, although it is indeed a good addition to the Signature range. One part disappointment if you were expecting a Zaharoff take on something like Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent (1981) or Chanel Antaeus (1981) is paired with one part pleasant surprise for someone looking for a punchier and perhaps more-dynamic take on the DNA found in Signature pour Homme by Zaharoff (2018) or even Signature Royale by Zaharoff (2020), of which this is ostensibly a flanker. So, a flanker to a flanker may be a bit too on-the-nose in regards to Zaharoff trying to pattern itself after designers, but really it only happens here in the Royale sub-range. To date, there hasn't been any sub-flankers to the other Signature entries yet. So what do you get here in Signature Royale X that does make it worth the time? Well, that same semi-oriental 90's-vibe formula is twisted up with some sour-juicy mid-notes, and a bit of punchy pimento that rides just shy of being pepper. All this, with a pinch of labdanum to make the journey feel a bit more distinct than the spiced vanilla semi-oriental glob I get in the original Signature Royale dry down..

That's not to say the original Royale was bad, mind you. I just found it less impactful than the mainstay regular Signature pour Homme; so for me specifically, this sub-flanker is like a course correction. Right out the gate is that tart juniper berry coupled with bergamot and pimento. Despite these being listed in the heart, they come to the fore immediately and stay there. Lavender and cardamom are reduced in presence compared to these new additions, and there is a tiny bit of the synth oud note listed (but not detected by my nose) in the OG. Here, whatever that material is (mostly a slight phenolic feel, aka sweet and tarry), it joins with the labdanum, dry cedar, vanilla, and camphoraceousness presented by what feels more like patchoulol than full thick patchouli. Vetiver takes up residence in later stages, combined with the woods, sharp sourness, and bite of the pimento to make perhaps the dryest and sourest of the Signature varieties, on par with many current juniper/cedar and pimento prominent masculines like K by Dolce & Gabbana (2019) or Burberry Hero (2021), just much better blended or complex than either of them. Extrait performance is what to expect here, although projection is louder than you might expect from a high-oil formula due to those zinging pimento and juniper notes that just do not quit.

Ultimately, if that sourness reads as musky to your nose, I suppose this isn't so far away removed from something released mid-20th century; but that still pegs this more gentlemanly and formal to me than bad boy in the clubs stalking the next piece of posterior, if you catch my drift. Still, failing it's own mission objective seldom makes a fragrance itself fail as a fragrance; just ask all the guys who wear office-oriented fare like any of the Prada stuff in the clubs, and still manage to get some self-affirming attention. Now I'm not saying you need to wear Signature X to the clubs either, and frankly, I wouldn't wear this on a date night because I have so many other options I feel fit me better in that context personally; I'm just saying the stuff smells good, period. On that note, there is now a Signature Royale XXX by Zaharoff (2022) associated with controversial fragrance YouTuber Joey Cannoli, and I have no clue if they finally committed to something truly scandalous (as the guy attached is definitely more scandalous for the brand) in the accord structure or not; but I imagine crop-dusting his fans with huge doses of Hindu oud, civet, or hyraceum just aren't in the cards for George Zaharoff, so enjoy this for what it is, and not for what it isn't. Thumbs up
5th June 2023
Signature Royale X is nominally a flanker of the flanker, Signature Royale, from 2020, but smell-wise, quite distinct, at least to me, a bit spicier, with, as advertised, a sort of animalic/dirty component, not invasively but rather harmonious with a good sort of semi-fresh/floral, spicy, woody center. Key notes for me are the lavender, citruses, juniper, woods, patchouli, and oud. After a little drying down it ends up being, well, dry—still lively, but with the spices in sober harmony with one another. I don’t get the pimento berry (as I don’t know what the berry smells like) but in my mind, it bridges the gap from the spiky juniper to the spicier cardamom/patchouli/leather/oud aspects.

Overall, this is really nice, and like the original Signature and Signature Noir before it has major “men’s signature scent vibes” while being modern and versatile enough to not be purely nor stereotypically masculine. And it’s notably less sweet and powder than Signature and Signature Noir, and might appeal more so to those who want something a little less modern than the aforementioned. Signature and Signature feels more like the 2010s and pre-1990s, whereas Signature Royale X feels like the 1990s and 2000s—those are my scent memories and connections, and yours might very well differ. Regardless, I’d certainly suggest sampling Signature Royale X, as with the rest of the house, of course, with its rich and deep variety.

In extrait/parfum concentration at 27%, it’s a higher concentration than its EDP predecessors but I don’t find it markedly different on my skin from the others, which have pretty much all been high-performing.

8 out of 10
24th May 2023