m.micallef royal vintage - cover

Royal Vintage by M. Micallef is a woody aromatic fragrance for men. It was released in 2020 and created by Geoffrey Nejman and Jean-Claude Astier.

This is a re-release of the original 2013 version of the same fragrance, bottled in a new flacon, now under the Micallef’s Jewel Collection.

Disregarding all the marketing poetry brands love to feed us, I’m proud to present the first entirely written review on the web about this perfume.

The article title is not here for clickbait reasons but because it is the best value-for-money alternative for the most popular niche fragrance ever.

M.Micallef Royal Vintage in three words: CRISP- WOODY – INTRIGUING

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As someone more than tired of all the Aventus clones and alternatives, this is the first time I have ever thought that this kind of product justifies its blend quality and price.

As the article progresses, you will discover why nothing else in this genre, except the original, comes close to it and why it could be your next spring and summer favourite. Let’s begin.


m.micallef royal vintage - box

Royal Vintage was initially launched in 2013 in a different-looking flacon, a creation envisioned by renowned perfumers Jean-Claude Astier and Geoffrey Nejman.

While the exact inspiration behind the fragrance remains elusive except for being a great clone of “The King”, its name evokes a sense of heritage and timeless elegance, potentially referencing classic perfumery traditions.

This guess is based on its prominent woody notes, particularly cypress, which could be a nod to historical fragrance ingredients used in classic masculine scents.

This perfume is still in production and available in various sizes, from 30ml for $117.00 to 100ml for $249.00.


A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Elegant and timeless, Royal Vintage reveals a remarkably refined score. A guaranteed favorite for seductive lovers of men’s haute parfumerie.”


  • Perfumer: Jean-Claude Astier and Geoffrey Nejman
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Woody Aromatic
  • Release Date: 2020 (2013)
  • Target Audience: Men
  • Masculine/Feminine: 90% – 10%
  • Most dominant notes: Bergamot, Cypress, and Oakmoss
  • Age Group: 20+
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Occasions: Any Occasion
  • Longevity and Projection: 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection
  • The recommended number of sprays: 4 – 6
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 1/5
  • Presentation: 4/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Price: $$$
  • Accords: Citrus, Woody, Aromatic
  • Reviewed batch code: 222468 – June 2022
  • Reformulated: Yes
  • Holy Grail Scent Rating: B
  • Sample/Buy/Pass: Buy
  • Testing Period: 3 months
  • Production: Available

Top notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Apple
Heart notes: Cypress, Thyme, Jasmine
Base notes: Oakmoss, Patchouli, Musk, Amber


m.micallef royal vintage - bottle

Micallef’s scents, including Royal Vintage, are presented similarly to DesirToxic, with only a slight difference in the bottle’s colour.

The sturdy cardboard bottle packaging follows a traditional pedestal-style design. Brand details are on both the bottle and the packaging.

Opening the box to reveal the bottle is an exciting experience, as it contains a true artistic masterpiece.

The bottle is a complete surprise, as it differs from the typical stock bottles often seen in new quasi-niche houses.

The bottle is exceptionally well-crafted, featuring a harmonious blend of sophistication and modernity, and appears to have been hand-painted with great care and precision.

The “smashed” rock or glass details spanning from one side of the bottle to the other, coloured in silver, combined with the rough-textured cap and the pressurized atomizer, make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing perfume bottles I have ever seen.

It is an absolute delight for collectors who appreciate an aesthetically pleasing display of perfume bottles on their shelves.


Royal Vintage - citrus

  • Bergamot
  • Pink Pepper
  • Apple

Before I start to describe this scent profile, you should know a couple of things before buying this fragrance.

Ultimately, this is not an original release, but its smoky undertones strongly resemble those of Creed’s most popular fragrance.

It is also the best bang-for-buck alternative since it can be purchased for little more than one-fourth of its retail price on fragrance discounters.

Considering all of this, you are way better off with this re-release than any of the numerous Aventus clones, whether they are cheaper or more expensive.

Now then. Let’s get into its note breakdown.

There is a strange thing going on the fragrance forums where people have been claiming that this smells like a cigarette smoker leather jacket, with which I’m afraid I have to disagree.

I do not detect any tobacco here.

To my nose, it opens with a beautiful, photorealistic note of pineapple-like juicy bergamot, comparable to the most expensive niche fragrances on the market.

There is an undertone of pink pepper in the opening, just enough to add a touch of piquancy to the citrus.

The comparison to the Creed is most apparent here, and I believe most fragrance enthusiasts will see the closest similarities.

Apple is apparently in the top notes, but I do not detect this. This is a semi-sweet opening that most people will enjoy.


Royal Vintage - cypress

  • Cypress
  • Thyme
  • Jasmine

The best part is the fragrance heart, where we are introduced to the smell of Mediterranean cypress. I love how they took a different route here, adding something new to this genre.

It adds depth and character and starts shifting in an aromatic and woody direction, a wise move from Micallef.

Jasmine plays a subtle role and adds a touch of delicate indolic sweetness without ever becoming overpowered.

If the thyme weren’t supposed to be in the heart, I probably wouldn’t even notice it because it is used in a low concentration.

At this point, the bergamot from the beginning is still present until the far dry down.


Royal Vintage - oakmoss

  • Oakmoss
  • Patchouli
  • Musk
  • Amber

Combining smoky patchouli and oakmoss provides a nice woody contrast to the citrusy opening and aromatic heart.

I love how the brand achieved these denser notes while feeling light enough and never entering old-school masculine territory.

On some other websites, leather has been mentioned as an included note, but it’s not here, and it’s better not to expect it rather than be disappointed by its lack.

Musk plays a supporting role in the base, providing a smooth and sensual finish.

This new rendition is fruitier, drier, greener, and smokier without the prominent leather of birch tar.

Could it have been something more or different? Perhaps. This is a terrific signature-worthy scent that can be acquired for less money than Chanel or Dior offerings, which is its most vital point.


On my skin, Royal Vintage delivers a solid 6-8 hours of wear time during the milder weather.

The projection is moderate, and beyond the first two hours, don’t expect it to be anything else than a more intense performing skin scent.

The same can be said for sillage, which leaves a subtle yet noticeable bubble, especially in the initial hours.

Ultimately, it’s more or less how today’s version of Creed performs but for less money.

LONGEVITY: 6 – 8 hours
SILLAGE: Light – Moderate


Royal Vintage is a man’s perfume. It still boggles me each time I smell any Aventus-like fragrances on ladies.

Can a woman wear Royal Vintage? If you believe a man can pull off Hypnotic Poison or Kirke, then yes. Otherwise, this is a modern masculine fragrance that would best suit men.

As with any fragrance of this type, it will garner positive comments while still projecting well during the initial few hours.

After that, this refined and understated elegance will require more intimate scenarios to be detected.



The beauty of this composition lies in its versatility.

Unlike some fragrances with strong seasonal or time-of-day leanings, this one goes above these limitations, making it a suitable companion for various occasions.

It works best during the milder spring days and chilly summer nights.

While some fragrance lovers suggest it might be better suited for cooler weather due to its woody and musky notes, it lacks the performance suitable for colder days.

Regarding the occasions, without trying to find a single-specific scenario where it would fit the best, you can wear it anywhere, anytime, and it will work the same way.

SEASONS: Spring, Summer, and Fall
OCCASIONS: Any Occasion
ATTIRE: Casual, Formal, Chino Chic, Night Out Attire


A perfume like this occupies an exciting space in the fragrance world.

On the one hand, it shows that Micallef’s best-sellers are blatant copies at laughably high retail prices, but on the other hand, they at least try to source the most expensive ingredients and do a slight twist on the familiar formulas.

Unfortunately, creativity in the perfume world is almost dead and is no longer the case for cheap clone brands that do the same.

For this reason, it gets the lowest possible score in the uniqueness department.

It is essential to give it to all these niche brands until they try to create something new for this price without pretending that a clone is their original creation.

Value for money is a double-edged sword. I would never suggest buying this product at its full price.

$249.00 for a clone? No thanks. I paid around $82.00 for my 100ml bottle, and for that price, this is unbeatable.

Please do your research and wait patiently to purchase it around the price I did.



Each composition brings charm, complexities, and shortcomings to the diverse perfume landscape.

Exploring the pros and cons provides a comprehensive view, aiding fragrance enthusiasts in their quest for the perfect olfactory experience.

Understanding these nuances allows you to make a more well-informed choice, ensuring a tailored match for individual tastes.


  • The best alternative to Creed Aventus
  • Fantastic price at fragrance discounters
  • Top-tier ingredients
  • Signature-worthy perfume
  • Versatile


  • Insulting retail price
  • Another “inspired-by” perfume
  • Mediocre performance


Royal Vintage is part of the M.Micallef “Jewel Collection”, which currently includes sixteen perfumes.

The original, now discontinued version, was released in 2013, and it can still be purchased from various sources.

The whole collection has been received well by perfume enthusiasts, critics, and consumers, but it has also been criticized for its lack of innovation.


  • M.Micallef DesirToxic – a spicy oriental fragrance released in 2019. The main notes include cardamom, tonka bean, and cinnamon. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection.
  • M.Micallef EdenFalls – a spicy oriental fragrance released in 2021. The main notes include pink pepper, milk mousse, and vanilla. The lasting power is between 5 – 7 hours with moderate projection.
  • M.Micallef Osaito – a citrus aquatic fragrance released in 2016. The main notes include sea notes, citruses, and myrtle. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection.


  • Nishane Hacivat – a citrus chypre fragrance released in 2017. The main notes include pineapple, oakmoss, and grapefruit. The lasting power is between 10 – 12 hours with moderate projection.
  • Creed Aventus – a citrus musk fragrance released in 2010. The main notes include pineapple, birch tar, and musk. The lasting power is between 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection.
  • Armaf Club De Nuit Intense Man – a citrus woody fragrance released in 2015. The main notes include lemon, birch, and musk. The lasting power is between 8 – 10 hours with good projection.


  • M. Micallef Royal Vintage 2013 – a woody aromatic fragrance released in 2013. The main notes include cypress, leather, and bergamot. The lasting power is between 6 – 8 hours with moderate projection.


m.micallef royal vintage - bottle and box

It is a fragrance that exceeded my expectations, which I set according to what this product is.

It’s a great alternative to Creed’s masterpiece and something always good to have in the collection when you want to smell better than your average designer scent.

This M.Micallef creation is more like a sharp suit – classic, sophisticated, and guaranteed to turn heads.

It’s a mix of citrusy freshness, woodsy aromatic depth, and a hint of something sweet that’s hard to put your finger on (in a good way!).

Even with all these positive sides, it is a shame to see a heritage niche brand enter this clone sphere and charge you this amount for others’ hard work.

For this price(discounted price), you cannot find a better fragrance of this sort, and it is the first one which I believe is better than Armaf’s offering.

If you can, sample it, but if it’s available for under $100.00, feel free to buy it blind. You won’t regret your choice.

What do you think about this article covering M.Micallef Royal Vintage? Let’s start a conversation, and let me know in the comment section below.

If you are unsure whether to buy a fragrance, looking at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide is always a good decision.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume-buying guide on the web. This way, you can determine whether a particular fragrance is worth checking out and potentially find your signature perfume.


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Until next time, stay humble, and keep smelling great!

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