I’ve ended up staying in Mayfair each time I’ve visited London. Part stuffy business people in suits, part trendy (and expensive) shopping, and part hookah bar hang-out, Mayfair is an interesting area. It also happens to be close to Harrod’s, which is convenient if you’re on the hunt for Boadicea the Victorious scents or other niche/high-end fragrances. I didn’t test out Mayfair the fragrance just because I’m familiar with that area of London though. The rich mix of notes here also appeals to me, especially at this time of year when we turn back the clocks and dark winter nights start to close in.
Mayfair opens on me with leather, cedar, and a good dose of clove. The birch is here carrying the leather note and also adds a subtle smokiness that goes well with the cedar and leather. Already, Mayfair is such a nicely blended composition. This opening could be extremely heavy, since it’s devoid of any floral, citrus, or aldehydic flourishes. While it’s not a light or effervescent opening, it’s not overbearing either. The leather note is realistic and a bit animalic (that will amplify later) but there’s also an elegant touch to it. This elegance remains throughout wear time, keeping all the various elements at play balanced and under control.
This leather opening actually lasts for quite awhile, with the spiced clove notes flitting in and out, sometimes stronger, sometimes not. It takes a couple of hours before the rose note appears on me, signaling the heart of the composition. The rose comes off as velvety, which plays particularly nicely against the leather. But this is not a fresh from the garden floral. Rose can often be the star note in a composition but it’s more of a supporting player in Mayfair. For me, the rose’s job here is to help transition between the spiced leather opening and the more animalic dry down.
Mayfair contains civet as a base note and, there’s no getting around it, there’s definitely a dose of animalic skank here. While the leather in the opening is spiced and slightly smokey, in the dry down it takes on a more sweaty and dirty aspect. That being said, Mayfair isn’t a fragrance that radiates pure sex to me. Nor does it make you smell like a stable-hand. There’s enough variety with the notes here that the civet adds a nice amount of richness without completely taking over. There is also a honeyed beeswax and a warm amber that gel together, along with a rich patchouli that verges on being too dirty mixed with the civet. But, again, each note is kept in perfect check by the immaculate blend that’s at work here. (And it has to said, this one needs to be immaculate considering the price point!)
I’ve been wearing Mayfair quite a bit lately now that the weather is turning colder. I’ve also been reading a historical fiction series set in the time of the Wars of the Roses, and it has felt very fitting. I don’t mean to imply that Mayfair is medieval or old fashioned, just that it’s imaginative. It gives the impression of leather riding boots, candles burning too low, and dim, dank castle corridors. I said that I don’t find Mayfair to be a wildly sexy fragrance. But it is a fragrance for secrets, for the keeping and telling of them. It’s a fragrance to wear while plotting and making alliances. Or perhaps one to wear while curled up under a blanket, simply reading about such secretive alliances.
Boadicea the Victorious scents are available in 100 ml bottles. Mayfair is part of the Gold Collection which unfortunately has a higher price point. In the US, Boadicea the Victorious is available from Neiman Marcus and from Luckyscent, which is where I got my sample.
The picture and the info on notes are both from Luckyscent.