When Matt Fox, proprietor of New York's Fine and Dandy shop and a man of refined taste, recommends something, I tend to listen. He recently turned me onto Royall Rugby cologne and he was right; I've been wearing it nonstop ever since. It's the latest scent from Royall Lyme Bermuda, the brand started by a Bermudian yachtsman, which has been crafting high quality colognes here in the US for more than half a century. Brooks Brothers first started carrying the line in 1960 and continues to stock it today. Each pewter-capped bottle is still lovingly wrapped in parchment and affixed with a wax seal—just opening up the packaging is like going back in time. Inside, however, Royall Rugby offers whispers of yesterday with a sturdy shot of the clean, contemporary fragrances of today. It starts off with crisp, citrusy vetiver, grassy herbs and maybe a touch of licorice, and develops later into a sturdy but nuanced scent of earthy wood and suede. In short: it's subtly old school but modernly masculine. And isn't that what you want in a cologne?
$40, at Brooks Brothers