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.

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.

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 internet, or at Brooks Brothers stores.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


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  • Reply July 6, 2010


    This is right on. I have been looking for some manly scents – I am getting mine today!

  • Reply July 6, 2010


    Marshall, I’m glad you liked it! I think you’ll enjoy them.

  • Reply July 6, 2010


    Have been wearing Lyme for 23 years. Nobody else I know even knows the Royall brand.

  • Reply July 6, 2010


    I absolutly LOVE Royall!! One of the most under rated Colognes around. I would highly reccomend becoming a fan!

  • Reply July 6, 2010


    George and John, I wish I had found out about them a lot sooner. I’ll be a fan for awhile.

  • Reply July 10, 2010


    I’ve been wearing colognes from this company for years after stumbling across them while in Bermuda. I highly recommend you try them if you’re looking for something new that isn’t the standard and overused mass-marketed colognes and aftershaves. I regularly get complements from others who want to know what I’m wearing and were they can get it. Enjoy!

  • Reply November 26, 2010

    Reverend Michael Alan

    Just stumbled upon the Royall colognes today for the first time- they are all incredible. I bought the Muske, total fan for life.

  • […] Illustration Cet article a été écrit par admin, le 8 juin 2011 […]

  • Reply July 7, 2011

    amy williams

    We have a very old bottle from my mother in law’s house. I’ll bet it is from the 50s. It still smells good:)

  • Reply January 6, 2012


    My dad used Royal Lyme, and my Grandpa used Bay Rhum for ages. I couldn’t find any of this brand’s varieties it outside of expensive online stores for age. The Bottles are amazing, and the pewter crown shaped cap brings back memories.
    I have been trying to find this brand for ages (and Gaswell Massey) and am happy to find it here.
    Best part….they all smell amazing.

  • […] Royall Lyme Bermuda’s Bay Rhum. This spicy sweet cologne is the ultimate scent to wear in the sun. Made of bay leaves, rum, […]

  • Reply August 10, 2012

    Ryan Gulati

    Lyme: Although a refreshing scent it smells too much like pine sol

    Muske: This is ok, nothing spectacular nothing bad either

    Vetiver: Smells like old man aftershave, something your grandfather would wear

    Spyce: Smells exactly like bubble gum

    Bay Rhum: Terrible

    Mandarin: Smell too feminine

  • Reply January 17, 2013


    royall lime nothing like it on earth….best of the best… try it one time you will stay with it forever………. 8 oz. splash 

  • Reply October 13, 2013

    Gary near NYC

    Nice overview of the Royall fragrance brand. However… I wonder if you’re aware that the original manufacturing in Bermuda was discontinued and then resumed by a licensed business partner in the USA sometime in 2010. The fragrances are NOT the same as the original. I’d been a fan of Royall Lyme for some years and recently learned about this from fellow enthusiasts of this brand. They remarked that Royall Lyme smells cheaper and thinner than it used to. Really a shame.

    • Reply January 12, 2014

      Edwin G.

      I too have noticed a substantial difference in the intensity of scent and the viscosity of Royall Lyme and Royal Bay Rhum as offered by various discount interernet providers (Including Brooks Bros.in their stores) as compared to the original product we purchased a few years ago. Is the one offered by Royall in Bermuda at double the price better, or should one use the online discounters? Which do you recommend ? Many thanks.
      Edwin G

    • Reply July 29, 2015


      The new Royall Lyme smells of rubbing alcohol . I too miss the original clean lime scent and green glass bottle with the lead screw cap that I’ve used since the 1960s. It’s shame the new manufacturer tampered with a winning formula.

  • Reply September 20, 2016

    Chris Koffend

    The problem with these once great Royall products (I have loved Lyme and Spice for decades) is that they are no longer made in Bermuda . . .

    And that great scent, that lingered for a whole day plus, is no longer.

    Now made (under license) by some big company in America . . . the scent is watered down with lots of alcohol, the scent does not last very long at all, even the bottle caps have been cheapened.

    If you can find the “real” (NOS) made in Bermuda bottles, get them . . . but pass on the watered down, mediocre made in the USA versions. It’s too bad a great product has been taken over by a US fragrance company that seems more concerned with profits than quality.

    Just today, I received the USA version of the Lyme and compared it to what is left of my Made In Bermuda bottle . . . of 3 people taking the smell test, 100% identified the weak, watered down version . . . instantly upon smelling for just a second.

    • Reply April 2, 2017


      Where can you buy the original? Thanks

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