Royal Tobacco, Amouage’s fifth masterpiece to their luxury unisex fragrance line the Library Collection, arrived this past summer. Not much churns longing in my heart. But as this is another of the amazing Cecile Zarokian’s work, Royal Tobacco was on my mind ever since I was given the opportunity to try the rest of the revamped Amouage collection.
The Library Collection sets itself apart in the abundant fragrance world as a set of crafted pieces encapsulating moments within time. Each one pays homage to the complex and multi-attributed nature of knowledge and its relationship to us in the world.
In my previous encounter with the Library Collection, I followed a structure of trying on the fragrance first before looking into the actual description and notes. This allowed me to go in blind, not unlike how we all are introduced to things in the world for the first time – without assumptions or associations to pre-direct or color what the fragrance can share with us. I feel this provides an honest perspective with an interesting comparison at the end of the perceived versus the ingredients.
Without further ado, let’s see where Royal Tobacco brings us.
The Journey of Royal Tobacco
I first placed a small spritz upon my inner wrist, waiting a moment in an effort to buy myself a second of patience. It was almost instant before I gave into the excitement and took that first olfactory embrace.
Perhaps my excitement rushed me, as at first I only smelled a delicious fragrance with the notes of amber, vanilla and musk. I waited and then tried again, this time with closed eyes and more patience.
I was drawn into a warm day, the sun creating a hazy glow. The kind that waxes over everything around you. Cobblestone streets and the sound of gravel crunching underfoot perked my ears. I could smell dried paint against wood that chipped from old age.
Time stood still, forever immortalized into the minds of whoever took part in the sun that day. A row of homes made of stone with wooden doors opened revealing their dark interiors. Each holding a memory like an oil painting, brush strokes detailing sounds and scents.
The waft of fresh breads and pastries made for an inviting preamble for viewing each entryway. In the first, an old man smoked a pipe. His grayed moustache resembled that of a wiry painter’s brush. Muffled children’s laughter could be heard through the cement walls.
Outside on the street, vegetables were starting to spoil from the sun’s heat. Someone nearby played a soft longing tune on their acoustic guitar. An ode to their childhood sweetheart.
And finally a few doors down, a young couple dance slowly in a relaxed embrace, enjoying the guitar player’s song. As the scene faded out into black, I was brought back slowly to my chair with my coffee beside me and the lingering scent of Royal Tobacco on my wrist.
Top: Frankincense Oil, Elemi, Cardamom, Anise, Basil, Bergamot
Heart: Tobacco Absolute, Liquorice Root, Lavender, Prunol, Fenugreek, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Rose
Base: Frankincense Resinoid, Peru Balsam, Benzoin, Labdanum, Myrrh, Birch Tar, Tonka Bean, Vanilla Madagascar, Vetiver, Guaiac Wood, Oud Assam, Musks
Behind The Royal Tobacco Fragrance
Royal Tobacco was created with the challenge of utilizing the ingredient of Tobacco Absolute, a beautiful masculine scent that carries on the spiced, herbaceous flavors similar to that used in pipe tobacco. With the best possible version of it selected, Cécile Zarokian decided to marry it with the beautiful and alluring Royal Frankincense.
In this marriage of these two scents, Royal Tobacco becomes essentially a silk road-eque time capsule. Two worlds matched across the globe through the Tropic of Cancer line, with seductive, warming scents and a deep, rich history.
Royal Tobacco can be seen as a labor of love as well as love for the labor. In the cigar factories in Cuba, there were those known as El Lector, individuals who would read out newspapers, books and news to union workers while they worked. Because of this, many cigar companies are actually named after the literary classics favored by the employees such as Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta. Royal Tobacco honors the tradition of this role and the bond between those who rolled the cigars and those who shared stories and knowledge with them.
In the moment shared with this fragrance, you get drawn into an environment glazed by nostalgia. For the untrained nose such as myself I could not place why, only that it happened. The notes of amber and vanilla mixed pleasantly with that of the tobacco leaf. As someone who grew up with a father who loved smoking a pipe, I could immediately place myself back in a time of my life that was much more simple and sweet.
The beauty of the Library Collection is just this. You traverse time with these fragrances. You experience outside of your current reality into one that is arguably just as real as your past as your imagination still has an impact on the world as you know it. Rose Incense of the Library Collection reflects this belief as it was based on the idea that only childhood memories are real.
For me, the pipe and the books are both very real and full of a lot of love, another aspect immediately understood when wearing Royal Tobacco. Detailed and expert craftsmanship are words often used but there is a particular kind of care that only comes from love being poured into the piece.
As the fragrance ebbed into my skin, I found the quiet moment pined for in the chaos of life which is ironically is just another form of time (nostalgia, memories, imagination) just not the one currently lived in. Maybe it’s all just on how your current consciousness perceives time and how much dedication is made in that moment.
Regardless, Royal Tobacco has become my favorite fragrance of all my perceived time. It’s a beautiful olfactory experience that can appeal to any gender and it’s uniqueness makes it stand out in any collection. Amouage continues to impress me ( and I do not use that word lightly ) and I hope to see them continue to grow this experimental, experiential collection.
If you are interested in exploring Royal Tobacco for yourself, you can purchase it at their official website Amouage. Amouage has also launched in Neiman Marcus and other premium dept stores. If you desire to dip your toes into the Library Collection they also offer a new Discovery Set with all 5 fragrances.
For those curious of the rest of the revamped Library Collection here is additional reading to occupy your brain.