Caron’s Royal Bain de Caron (1941)

Royal Bain de Caron © Victor Wong
Royal Bain de Caron © Victor Wong

Why did they name it “Royal Bane”? What’s a “Royal Bane”? Like the character Tyrion Lannister in the book Game of Thrones? Then I realized it’s “Royal Bain”, which is French and it means Royal Bath. I read it from another fragrance group that if you pour it in your bathwater and you will come out smelling like a king.

I discovered Royal Bain in a local, kind of dowdy, perfume shop in a hot summer day. I loosened the splash bottle faux-gold cap and took a sniff – it smelled delicious (not like fruit juice, but more like rosewater) and I wanted to drink it. I was very thirsty and I admit there was a small struggle in my head, and the champagne-shaped bottle overflown with golden juice was looking at me like a terrified anthropomorphic M&M candy.

Royal Bain de Caron smells very mellow and light floral (I think it’s mostly lilac), and quite sweet (lots of resins and vanilla) but at the same time a little metallic. I think it also has some aldehyde in the formula that makes it invigorating. Unlike Caron’s more famous and much richer and darker “Fleurs de Rocaille” and “Narcisse Noir”, I imagine Royal Bain from 1941 was probably a daytime scent for the middle-class French white collar workers (a small splash on the face and off to work) or an occasional little luxury bath time/bedtime scent. To me, it’s rather unsophisticated, but not simple and single-noted, and it definitely has that vintage French perfume smell, and it is surprisingly unisex. The label with the “royal” design is very interesting, but the monotone printing on a simple white label inevitably makes me think it’s an effort to make it look expensive in the 50s, but in fact, it’s for designed for the general public like Old Spice.

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Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit www.zoologistperfumes.com or www.facebook.com/zoologistperfumes for more info!

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