Guerlain Santal Royal

Vinrambo09

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2010
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Guerlain presents the exclusive edition Guerlain Santal Royal, launched on the occasion of opening the store Harrods Salon de Parfums. Shiny black flacon decorated with details in golden color and black and gold ribbon hides an oriental composition with notes of sandalwood, leather, oud, neroli, cinnamon, rose, amber and musk. The fragrance will be available staring from October, as 125ml Eau de Parfum. Santal Royal was launched in 2014. The nose behind this fragrance is Thierry Wasser.

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My friend in London who did a quick test of it, said it smelt like Indian flora incense and said it was infinitely better than Ideal.
 

Tollers

Well-known member
May 19, 2014
It's a Harrods exclusive for the time being. I've got a little sample of it. Very nice, but too floral for my tastes.
 

mrcologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 2, 2009
Sounds nice, but I'm thinking that vintage Samsara is Guerlain's ultimate statement on sandalwood. This one sounds like it could be very good stuff, but it's not exactly a sandalwood powerhouse.
 

Darjeeling

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2012
Apparently it doesn't judging by the thread in the general forum.

Sigh. What a shame. I saw that thread after posting in here. If you are going to call it a sandalwood scent they'd better up their game. Even if Samsara (vintage) is a definitive sandalwood essay doesn't mean they can give up. Surely it means they should be setting their sights higher.
 

hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
This is now at Nieman Marcus online and in the store in my area. Have a bottle reserved for me! Will be ending out the year picking this up tomorrow - 125ml for $200 (not bad)
 

JourneymanDave

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
I'll share my thoughts on it... One of my neighbors works at the Guerlain counter at the Houston Neiman's and called me the day it arrived. Since I picked it up right away I've had a chance to get a few wearings in.

Firstly: no sandalwood to be found, zilch. Disappointing at first, as this was the basis of my blind buy.

Once I reset my mind on just smelling what the fragrance was offering I appreciated it much more. This one evolves quite a lot from beginning to end, and its an interesting ride. It initially goes on just a touch femme, as a rosey oud combination. It is a pretty good one though, reminding me of the smoothness of Ex-Idolo 33, not medicinal. Cinnamon is apparent throughout, spicing it up a tad and making it more masculine. It then evolves through a floral stage and then to leather, in that order, with each of those accords taking a bit of a turn in the spotlight.

Without getting into a full review in the forums, it's quite a nice wearing fragrance, I rate it a solid 8/10. Performance is very good, and the black & gold bee bottle is just awesome as a showpiece, one of the better bottles in my collection. At a price of $200 USD for 125ml, there's not much to complain about, except perhaps its relative scarceness. If you can get your nose on it, I can recommend this one.
 

cologne connoisseur

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2010
I'll share my thoughts on it... One of my neighbors works at the Guerlain counter at the Houston Neiman's and called me the day it arrived. Since I picked it up right away I've had a chance to get a few wearings in.

Firstly: no sandalwood to be found, zilch. Disappointing at first, as this was the basis of my blind buy.

Once I reset my mind on just smelling what the fragrance was offering I appreciated it much more. This one evolves quite a lot from beginning to end, and its an interesting ride. It initially goes on just a touch femme, as a rosey oud combination. It is a pretty good one though, reminding me of the smoothness of Ex-Idolo 33, not medicinal. Cinnamon is apparent throughout, spicing it up a tad and making it more masculine. It then evolves through a floral stage and then to leather, in that order, with each of those accords taking a bit of a turn in the spotlight.

Without getting into a full review in the forums, it's quite a nice wearing fragrance, I rate it a solid 8/10. Performance is very good, and the black & gold bee bottle is just awesome as a showpiece, one of the better bottles in my collection. At a price of $200 USD for 125ml, there's not much to complain about, except perhaps its relative scarceness. If you can get your nose on it, I can recommend this one.

Thanks for your input Dave. This sounds like one I would like.
 

Mr. Bon Vivant

Well-known member
Feb 14, 2010
Well, this just hit the local chains, and I have the smelling strip in front of me. There is no discernible sandalwood, and the general feel of the fragrance is marked by a light, smokey, highly abrasive synthetic that seems to be standing in for leather these days. Santal Royal smells a good deal like Armani Prive Cuir Noir, and both smell fairly bad. They are copies of what is already found in spades in the local Arabian Gulf market, a transparent rose coupled with synthetic "oud" and "leather". I'm sick of smelling this combo everywhere, and the only good thing about SR is that it plays the sillage lightly.

Please don't spend money on this stuff. If you blind buy a spray from Arabian Oud or similar retailer, you will get something that will smell 95% the same and at a fraction of the cost. I had much higher hopes from Guerlain, either in better than average materials or in a novel twist. But no such luck this time around.
 

noggs

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2007
...They are copies of what is already found in spades in the local Arabian Gulf market, a transparent rose coupled with synthetic "oud" and "leather". I'm sick of smelling this combo everywhere...If you blind buy a spray from Arabian Oud or similar retailer, you will get something that will smell 95% the same and at a fraction of the cost.

I also tried Santal Royal today. The first (and strongest) thing that struck me was how much it smelled like some of the sprays from the Arabian houses. Arabian Oud and Junaid came immediately to mind as houses that offer very similar products.

I liked Santal Royal better than Mr. Bon Vivant, but probably not enough to buy it. It is interesting that we both noticed that same thing.

Santal Royal is not on the same level as Guerlain's Les Deserts d'Orient series. While those are also based on well worn Arabian ideas, they use quality ingredients and offer balance and complexity actually lacking in many Arabian frags along the same lines. Santal Royal smells, well...generic, and presents itself in a rather prosaically balanced manner oddly similar to how I perceive many of the cheaper Arabian sprays.
 

bigbloke

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2013
Aside from bearing some resemblance to Arabian Oud and Junaid perfumes, is it similar to any other house's offerings?

I've been considering a blind buy but would like to be able to place it with its next of kin first if possible, before making up my mind!
 

Vinrambo09

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2010
I tested this properly. I do not get Sandalwood or Oud wood at all, what I do get is , fruity cinnamon and tobacco. Its an ok scent but no where as good as theGuerlain Desert series. The drydown on Santal Royal is pathetic IMO. The bottle is nice but I think at this price point your better off getting Dior Leather Oud or Oud Ispahan.

I did not see any resemblance between this and Oud Ispahan, which is a faaaaar superior scent.
 

mikesc

Well-known member
Dec 24, 2011
Did you find it was a problem of longevity on your skin or that it just smelled worse on your skin?

No problems with performance. I had a strip I had sprayed and it lasted for days and smelled great. When I later sampled it on my skin it wasn't as good. That could be because I prefer the fragrance way into its dry down. Freshly sprayed it had a plastic note on my skin. It could also be that it's one of those scents that smell better with a little distance and not when your nose is right on it.
 

nfn1983

Well-known member
Nov 8, 2008
Well, this just hit the local chains, and I have the smelling strip in front of me. There is no discernible sandalwood, and the general feel of the fragrance is marked by a light, smokey, highly abrasive synthetic that seems to be standing in for leather these days. Santal Royal smells a good deal like Armani Prive Cuir Noir, and both smell fairly bad. They are copies of what is already found in spades in the local Arabian Gulf market, a transparent rose coupled with synthetic "oud" and "leather". I'm sick of smelling this combo everywhere, and the only good thing about SR is that it plays the sillage lightly.

Please don't spend money on this stuff. If you blind buy a spray from Arabian Oud or similar retailer, you will get something that will smell 95% the same and at a fraction of the cost. I had much higher hopes from Guerlain, either in better than average materials or in a novel twist. But no such luck this time around.

I also tried Santal Royal today. The first (and strongest) thing that struck me was how much it smelled like some of the sprays from the Arabian houses. Arabian Oud and Junaid came immediately to mind as houses that offer very similar products.

I liked Santal Royal better than Mr. Bon Vivant, but probably not enough to buy it. It is interesting that we both noticed that same thing.

Santal Royal is not on the same level as Guerlain's Les Deserts d'Orient series. While those are also based on well worn Arabian ideas, they use quality ingredients and offer balance and complexity actually lacking in many Arabian frags along the same lines. Santal Royal smells, well...generic, and presents itself in a rather prosaically balanced manner oddly similar to how I perceive many of the cheaper Arabian sprays.

I tried it yesterday for the second time, after my first test 10 months ago in Paris Gallery Dubai.
As Noggs and Mr. Bon Vivant stated earlier, it's kind of generic Rose and Aoud smell and does not justify paying this price! It's not a bad scent at all, but for the price you're paying for you can get much better fragrances. But if it costed half the price now they're asking for it was fair to pay!
 

Duke Hunt

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2010
I tried it yesterday for the second time, after my first test 10 months ago in Paris Gallery Dubai.
As Noggs and Mr. Bon Vivant stated earlier, it's kind of generic Rose and Aoud smell and does not justify paying this price! It's not a bad scent at all, but for the price you're paying for you can get much better fragrances. But if it costed half the price now they're asking for it was fair to pay!

Just picked up a bottle of this in Dubai duty free, as they had a special offer on $170 + 20% off, which is good deal.
As others have said, once you look at it on its own merits and not at its lack of sandalwood and originality, it's very nice indeed.
 

Peckerhead

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2014
I hated it the first few times i had it on but with a lighter application i was able to appreciate it more as it was less cloying and synthetic and look forward to owning it one day soon.
 

hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
Just picked up a bottle of this in Dubai duty free, as they had a special offer on $170 + 20% off, which is good deal.
As others have said, once you look at it on its own merits and not at its lack of sandalwood and originality, it's very nice indeed.
Saw the pic of the gold bottle you got in the other thread - very nice! Congrats! :thumbsup:
 

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