Right Under Our Noses: Proudly Reintroducing Vintage Cologne Brand Royall Lyme Bermuda

If you've been searching for a new cologne that won't make you smell like a teenager OR an old man you'll be more than happy with one of the scents from the 53 year old, American-made heritage brand Royall Lyme Bermuda.

I’ve always had two problems with cologne. First, I have a hard time justifying spending $65 on a 3 oz bottle of scented water. The second, these days every option for men either smells like my uncle or a French teenage girl. So we’re stuck having to choose: the $15 bottle of Stetson from CVS or the $65 bottle of “Heeey everyone, I smell like candy and flowers!”.

Sometimes you’ll find a scent you like — and you end up using it for the next ten to fifteen years. (I’m talking to YOU, 25 year old men who discovered Curve in their sophomore year and haven’t given it up yet.)

So imagine my surprise when I’m casually strolling through a Brooks Brothers one day and stumble upon a stand that says “$30 for 4 oz.” full of paper wrapped boxes and vintage looking glass bottles. I was immediately drawn in by the idea of colognes with simple descriptor names like, “Lyme,” “Bay Rhum,” “Muske,” and “Spyce”.

Royall has been keeping men smelling manly since 1957 when a renowned Bermuda yachtsman created a line of fragrances based on the scents of the island. Now made in America, it’s been sold in Brooks Brothers since 1960.

I have a soft spot for cool packaging and sweet looking bottles. (Pay attention whiskey makers: give me a sweet pre-prohibition looking bottle, I’ll buy it no matter how rough your sauce is.) The bottles are based off of their original packaging and each is wrapped with paper and sealed with a wax stamp.

close up of royall lyme ltd logo

One of the positives of being vintage is that you’re not subjugated to use one of these teenage aerosol sprays with names like Hypnotic Vice or some similar adolescent gimmick. All of the scents in the lineup are unabashedly masculine, even the citrus, without feeling like I’m smelling like my girlfriend’s grandfather.

The next time you’re around a Brooks Brothers swing in to give all the flavors a sniff to find which you like best.  One of the best things about each bottle being so cheap is I have several of them. I let my mood or where I’m going determine which I use. Going somewhere in the early evening? Vetiver has a nice relaxed masculine presence. If I’m going to the beach I’ll pick the classic Lyme or Bay Rhum.  My favorite is probably Muske.

Royal Lyme cologne bottles

I’ll try to sum up each scent:

Lyme: A solid masculine scent. Imagine if a pine tree grew limes and you poured cinnamon all over it.
Muske: Royall’s take on the quintessential man scent. I personally love this one.
Vetiver: A crisp combination of citrus and spices, less sweet than the Lyme. This scent is great for going out in the evening. Imagine a dark bar from 30’s Hollywood filled with wood and leather booths.
Mandarin: A clean, inviting orange scent. My girlfriend’s favorite of the bunch.
Spyce: I’ve been using this one as a daily wear. Imagine spices like anise and cinnamon.
Bay Rhum: The paradigm summer scent. A combination of Bayleaf and menthol, it’s a sweet smell perfect for a sunny day outside.

I’ve only been using Royall for a few months, but so far have nothing but good things to say about them. If you’re looking for a new cologne, definitely check them out.

Available all over the internetroyallime, or at Brooks Brothers stores.

Box set royall lyme

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.