Let’s dig into current Polo fragrance offerings from Ralph Lauren and help you pick one (or more) out!
At this point, Ralph Lauren is virtually synonymous with ‘classic menswear’ and ‘Americana.’ From home goods to haute couture, his career spans six decades and a global fashion empire.
As the man himself says, “Style is Personal.” While that’s very much the case with shirts, shoes, suits, and other menswear elements, having a ‘signature’ scent can also be part of your wardrobe and personal brand.
The brand divides its fragrance portfolio into a few buckets — the classic, color-based World of Polo, Ralph’s Club, and Polo Sport. Then, there are some sophisticated fragrances and a wildcard at the end of the article.
I’ll cover the inspiration behind the scent, key top, mid, and base notes, and the scenarios where it might fit you and your lifestyle.
Here are our top recommendations from the list :
At the beginning, the fragrance unveils a fusion of cantaloupe, cucumber, watermelon, and a hint of bergamot. Moving into the middle stage, you'll experience sage, geranium, and a touch of basil. As the scent settles, the base notes offer a lighter touch with washed suede, patchouli, and musk.
A surprising wildcard, initially for women in 1989, now a men's line since 1992. Zesty lemon and bergamot top notes, herbal hints of tarragon and eucalyptus. Mid-notes boast rosemary and lavender. Base features oakmoss, patchouli, and leather.
Read on for more info and the complete list…
Best Polo Cologne
Without further ado, here are the best polo cologne for guys.
Polo Blue Eau De Toilette
Starting off with something light and fresh, Polo Blue takes its primary inspiration from the sea and open air. The original Polo Blue launched in 2003, taking primary inspiration from the sea, open air, blue skies, and the laid-back lifestyle of someone seemingly on a permanent beachside holiday.
The top notes are accords (perfumer-speak for a blend) of cantaloupe, cucumber, and watermelon, with a touch of bergamot. Mid-notes are sage, geranium, and some basil. The comparatively light basenotes are washed suede, patchouli, and musk.
As an Eau de Toilette, this is going to be a light fragrance. If you’d like a little more intensity, the Eau de Parfum (launched in 2016) will have more of a marine, aquatic top note and subtle spice instead of the melon. Mid notes are still basil and sage, and the basenotes are a touch deeper.
If you happen to work or enjoy vacationing by the sea, the toilette is a great fragrance option for you. It will be bright and won’t overpower everyone next to you.
Polo Red Parfum
A new-for-2023 launch from Ralph, Polo Red is a fragrance centered around confidence, sensuality, and the ‘thrill of the open road.’ The branding around this scent leans (really hard) into ruggedness and embracing the unexpected.
It also leans more youthful, going for the late-teen to early 20-something, getting out and exploring the world.
You might not feel like hopping on a motorbike and flying down an open road in a desert canyon the first time you try this, but you should pick out top notes of bergamot and blood orange.
Mid notes are orris root and lavender, and base notes are musk, cedarwood, and opoponax-a- a slightly smoky ingredient similar to myrrh.
This fragrance can be a daily driver for summer, even at the intensity of the parfum. It’s sweeter but not syrupy or sticky. Be mindful, though — one spritz is plenty.
Polo Green Eau de Toilette
This is the first, and still quintessential, fragrance from Ralph. Launched in 1978, the inspiration comes from qualities in the polo players themselves — masculine, rugged, and confident. It was the (literal) essence of what Polo as a brand was starting to stand for.
Ralph Lauren — then Ralph Livshits — cut his teeth selling ties to some of New York’s most powerful figures. Something about this fragrance attracts executives — attorneys, business magnates, or seasoned Wall Street types with greying temples.
It’s easy to see that’s not a bad thing, even for the younger guy. If you can’t quite dress for the job you want just yet, you can certainly smell like it.
Top notes for this now-classic fragrance are pine, thyme and basil. The mid notes are subtle leather and tobacco, with some tarragon. Moss and incense round out the base notes.
Polo Black Eau de Toilette
A scent with woody, fruity, and darker notes could be considered a combination of all the earlier fragrances with a sophisticated twist.
It shows how the brand can embrace all aspects of American life, open road and bootstrapped ruggedness, but also the urbane, chic, and mysterious. That’s what Polo Black is going for.
This fragrance does start out brighter and a little juicy-mango, lemon, and a few other citrus notes, not unlike the Red.
The mid notes of ozone accord (yes, that’s actually a thing for perfumers) and floral oils tie in with aspects of Polo Blue. And the woody base notes are much like the dignified Green.
Similar to the modern gentleman, this fragrance is an exercise in restraint. It could be quite overpowering, but the intensity is moderate. Two spritzes are plenty for an all-day performance.
Some of the language around fragrance can be an excuse for the pun “flowery,” but this shows how a brand comes full circle with its classic fragrance lineup and the effort for continuity from one scent to the next.
Polo Earth Collection
It’s kind of an open secret that fashion isn’t the most sustainable. From the amount of water required to make a pair of high-end denim to the fast-fashion culture designed to be thrown away next week, the industry is shockingly wasteful. Some of this extends to fragrance and perfuming, too.
The amount of natural and synthetic material required to produce your favorite scents and the bottles they come in is quite significant.
However, many large retailers, from GAP to Armani, have made strides to curtail the use of resources. Ralph Lauren is one of those, too. The Polo Earth collection, launched in 2022, is part of that effort.
This unisex line comes in three varieties: Provencial Sage, Moroccan Neroli, and Antilles Vetiver. The first, as you might expect, is inspired by the Provence region of France.
The lightest of the three has top notes of bergamot and mandarin, mid notes of sage, rosemary, basil and lavender, and base notes of sandalwood and bourbon geranium.
The second is a unique combination of both Morocco and the small Italian town of Neroli. More citrus forward and of medium intensity, the top notes are ginger, grapefruit, and cranberry.
Mid notes are herbal and floral, with lavender and sage. The base notes here are Cedarwood and Musk accord.
The most intense, scent wise, of the three is the Antilles Vetiver. Top notes are like the bergamot and mandarin of Provencial, and the mid notes are similar to the “sage-y,” herbal components of the Neroli.
The twist here is the earthy essence of vetiver. Interestingly, the vetiver is sourced sustainably from a collective of about 200 producers across three Haitian villages.
Each of these scents is versatile but probably best for day wear in spring and summer months.
Polo Oud Eau de Parfum
Oud fragrances are all the rage these days, and every high-end house from Creed to Tom Ford has one. An oud fragrance is a sumptuous concoction usually evoking wood, leather, incense, and sweet spice essences, much like what you’d find in a Middle-Eastern marketplace.
Polo Oud is another new-for-2023 fragrance centered around ‘exotic intensity.’ Think of it like a more mature Polo Black.
There are some lightly-spiced and herbal top notes of pink pepper and sage heart. Mid notes are sweet and spicy: orange flower and cinnamon oils, with a rose heart for the exotic curveball. Heavy base notes here: Oud wood, incense, and patchouli. Indeed, a bazaar in a bottle.
Intoxicating and slightly mysterious (whatever that means for a fragrance), this is a slightly more mature Polo Black. Try it if you’re feeling sensual or have a one-on-one date in a far-flung destination.
We don’t often think of the scent of sport. Grass and clay are typical, with salty sweat mingling for something that could, understandably, be conceived as quite unpleasant.
Polo Sport launched in 1992 as an active, fitness-based line, and the eponymous fragrance followed in 1994 as a way to turn the gritty nature of sport on its head.
Instead, it embraces an ‘active, fit, sporting lifestyle’ in a bright and crisp way. This medium-intensity but quite complex, fragrance has citrus top notes of tangerine, lemon, and pineapple.
The mid-notes include ginger, jasmine, orange blossom, and marine accords. Fresh base notes are sandalwood, musk, oakmoss, and amber.
It kind of makes me want to go for a run!
Nearly every iconic bar or restaurant has a back room. This is where the rare bourbons are kept, the best conversations are happening, and famous faces getting a card game going after the awards show. The brand did pretty much this for the 2019 launch of the fragrance.
It comes in Eau de Parfum, Parfum, and what Ralph calls the “Elixir.” Let’s focus on the latter.
This is an exceptionally intense, long-lasting fragrance with mandarin, grapefruit, cardamom at the top, sage, lavender, and geranium in the middle, and balsam, leather, and patchouli at the base. Sweet amber and rich wood invoke that after-hours experience.
The approach appears to be more inclusive than an exclusive club. You have the opportunity to experience the luxury lifestyle and join the club. This is Ralph’s Club. Let the satin bow tie hang loose.
Purple Label Eau de Toilette
Ralph Lauren Purple Label is regarded by fashionistas as some of the finest ready-to-wear clothing in the world. This line is home to some of the best fabrics, finest cuts and largest price tags-on the market. Purple is the color of royalty, after all.
The Purple Label Eau de Toilette is ‘quiet luxury’ at its best as if you tried to wrap one of the suits in this scent. Even the bottle is purple. Blackberry, mandarin, and coriander at the top. Tobacco flower, purple sage, and thyme in the middle. And mahogany, oak moss, and suede at the base.
Wear this at leisure. In a vintage car. On the wooden sailboat. Now, that’s rich.
Safari for Men Eau de Toilette
This one is a true wildcard. Originally launched back in 1989 as a fragrance marketed to women, this men’s companion line debuted in 1992.
While the women’s line was discontinued nearly 15 years ago, the men’s line is still around. Inspired by the Serengeti’s freedom, adventure, and nature, the bottle is warm, inviting, and surprisingly ornate. The box is a little cheeky, too — with a faux croc pattern on it.
The top notes are pretty snappy — lemon and bergamot, with tarragon and eucalyptus for a cooling herbal finish. More herbs — including rosemary and lavender, to be precise — are in the middle. Oakmoss, patchouli, and leather are in the middle.
It’s an unusual combination, but many may find a chance to wear it. Even if you’re not planning a safari anytime soon, it might just be at home in the concrete jungle.
Closing Cologne Thoughts
Ralph Lauren and the Polo brand are fashion icons. The fragrance offerings span decades; many are true staples in any retail location. Whether you’re a keyboard warrior, student, executive, or movie star, the brand probably has something for you.
That’s part of the ethos of Ralph and what the company stands for as an American company, touching all aspects of American life. At the center, though, are the values of quality, hard work, and togetherness.
Which would you choose? And why?