Ralph Lauren (1985)


Average Rating:  17 User Reviews

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Monogram by Ralph Lauren

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About Monogram by Ralph Lauren

People & Companies

Ralph Lauren
Fragrance House

Designed to complement the orginal "Green" Polo. -- Monogram was "sophisticated and elegant", while Polo was "sporty and active".
On it's launch, instead of the usual 'Gift With Purchase', bottles were monogrammed with the customer's initials.
Unfortunately, the scent was discontinued in April 1987, with stores being asked to return all stock.

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Monogram by Ralph Lauren

There are 17 reviews of Monogram by Ralph Lauren.

I'm trying to figure out why I like Monogram (1985) so much. I think it might be a variation on some other favorite perfumes such as Antaeus (1981), Antaeus Sport (1985), and Ho Hang Club (1987), which would help explain it. A little sweet, a little smoky. Polite and dressy. Mouthwatering.

It also reminds me of Aramis JHL, a sweet, musky, smoky, woody fragrance. But this is the hip version. It’s a bit like Antaeus meets JHL, with a pronounced sweet animalic floral similar to Antaeus and Ho Hang Club, and with the laundry type musks in Antaeus Sport (which also has a similar floral).

Monogram opens with a highly aromatic lavender and sharp citrus bergamot tandem before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart the bergamot vacates, as the now subdued lavender remains in support of the focal slightly animalic musk and soft patchouli tandem with additional natural smelling dark woods and oakmoss support. During the late dry-down the perfume turns quite musky as it sheds the remnants of the lavender, with the patchouli and oakmoss remaining in support through the finish. Projection is good and longevity excellent at over 12 hours on skin.

Monogram's history is rather sad. Ralph Lauren had such grand ambitions for it in the mid-eighties as a more refined, classy counter to their uber-successful original Polo offering, but alas the sales just weren't there, and the remaining inventory was sent back from stores in relatively short order, leaving most including this writer to never even sniff the stuff back then. Only recently having sampled the perfume decades later do I now know what I was missing, and while nowhere near the masterpiece of the original Polo, or even the next (successful smell-wise if not sales-wise) attempt about five years later for a more refined Polo in Polo Crest, Monogram definitely smells quite good and deserved a much better fate. I can definitely see the Polo counterpoint they were most likely going for despite any obvious Polo DNA, swapping musky patchouli for the coniferous focus of Polo, and when grouped with the lavender and woods it really works. I most surely would have bought a bottle, though I can easily see when it was released why original Polo probably just overpowered any chance for Monogram (critically missing the word Polo in its name) to breakout from its immense shadow and shine on its own merits. The bottom line is the $125 per 53ml bottle on the aftermarket "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 rated Monogram may have failed sales-wise, but definitely succeeds in its fine execution smell-wise, joining original Polo and Polo Crest as the three best (and only) superb offerings from Ralph Lauren, earning it a solid recommendation to collectors if you can find a bottle.

Somewhat a betweener with early Chaps (original) and Equipage... lavender, powdery musk, spicy carnation, moss.

Given my highest regards for vtg Polo and Chaps, I chased after a couple minis then a big bottle of Monogram. Worth my effort. Yes, it's definitely an old school 'what a young Charles Bronson might smell of' type scent.

Aggressively sharp and biting right from the start. Like an enthusiastic greyhound at the start of a race, as it madly dashes out of the gate. Alas this is not the winner. It mellows and tires before finishing, with noticeable baby powder notes in the dry-down. Projection and longevity are beyond belief, but after the first few hours you're fatigued from wearing.

This was my best friend from High Schools signature scent back in the 80's. It drove me crazy for some reason, and induced sneezing when applied. I tried on many occasions to wear (and understand) Monogram by Ralph Lauren to no avail.

Slightly sharp citrus bergamot/aldehyde ladened opening, very dry lavender, punjant incense, cyclamen, heliotrope over a mildly musky base with a touch of synthetic woods.
*Envision Helmut Lang Cologne and Gucci Rush for Men having a love child.....

This fragrance was advertised heavily in magazines and department store circulars, and the bonus gift with purchases were very lavish and generous. Free engraving on the bottles was virtually unheard of at the time!

Why did it fail? I've always suspected that this fragrance was toxic. Don't ask me why, but there was something quite unsettling about wearing it, and a general feeling of discomfort with your breathing. Of course nobody will ever admit to that now (for fear of lawsuits), but at the time it was really mysterious how this disappeared from the marketplace so fast; especially knowing all the investment by RL and Warner-Lambert into the packaging and promotion of Monogram. I don't ever remember a fragrance disappearing from stores and being sent back to corporate after less then a three year run, without explanation nor going to a discount chain. Very odd....

I still have a few deluxe sample vials, and occasionally sniff them. I still sneeze and laugh at myself for trying again to like this after nearly thirty years. Some things in life just weren't meant to be....

This one has a classic men's cologne vibe to it, which I think is a hit or miss for the scent collector. I don't think it is very versatile, albeit not unpleasant per se.

Fragrance notes:
[Top] - Amber, Siam Benzoin, Bergamot, Vanilla, Jasmine
[Heart] - Green Notes, Sandalwood, Cedar, Woody Notes, Leather
[Bottom] - Lavender, Oakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Spicy Notes

I do see the slight resemblance to the original Polo, but with a spicier twist and character that sets it apart. Monogram is darker, deeper, and louder than Polo, and this one SCREAMS 80's gaudy men's cologne!

Wear with caution, as some may find it cloying or - well - OLD SMELLING.

The opening combines a transient citrus welcome with a jasmine-iris component that is very delightful. In the drydown a well-rounded spicy touch is added, with whiffs of herbal green tones developing with just a hint of lavender. Then we are are getting down to the core of the matter: a distinctive but not-too-harsh patchouli combines with an oakmoss of beautiful clarity: fresh with a touch of bite, but counterbalanced by delicious smoothness. This is first-class oakmoss, revealing this scent as a fougère of great standing. In the base a touch of amber is added, with leather and wood notes, the latter mainly cedar with a touch of pine. This superb balance of the fresh fougère character and sheer elegance is very impressive and not commonly found. The performance is outstanding: good silage, very good projection and an incredible longevity of sixteen hours on my skin, fading very slowly. Definitely a child of it's time, but what a wonderful child! One of my favourite fougères, and one of RL's finest.

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