Ralph Laurens first male fragrance contains a very distinctive pine note.
The packaging and bottle are a forest-green colour.
FIFI award winner in 1979

Polo fragrance notes

  • Head

    • pine, lavender, juniper, artemisia, bergamot, cumin, basil, green notes
  • Heart

    • coriander, marjoram, jasmine, carnation, geranium, thyme, rose
  • Base

    • oakmoss, patchouli, leather, cedar, amber, musk, frankincense

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Latest Reviews of Polo

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Here in Europe, Ralph Lauren's first ever fragrance was not a runaway hit when it was launched in 1978. From what I gather, Ralph Lauren didn't spend that much money to market their products outside the US until the 1990s. Hence why it's harder to find vintage Cosmair or Warner versions around here. What I'm reviewing is the L'Oreal tall sprayer version from the mid-2000s i.e. one of the maligned later versions.

It opens a bit spicy with crisp pine and hay and then dries down to a smoky tobacco soapy leather. It is a powerhouse for the mature man, but very refined, especially when compared to Puig Quorum, which it often is.

Projection is great. Lasts forever.

Masculinity Level: Logan Roy from Succession.
22nd April 2023
Many are so quick to dismiss "new-age" Polo due to its vintage pedigree, meanwhile scents like Sauvage Elixir and Layton are highly praised. Yes, the oakmoss is gone. Yes, the performance has drastically changed (for the better). Yes, the composition has slightly been tweaked. But one thing hasn't changed, and that is: Polo is still Polo. The pine sap, oak, basil, and spicy leather affair is very much still there. Sometimes it is easy to forget that Polo has passed the test of time. It is such an honor and privilege to still have this wonderful scent produced and marketed in today's tonka bean market. I own both the Cosmair and current formulation, and I honestly prefer the latter as I find its a smoother, more modernized incarnation of Polo that I also find smokier. This is likely due to the addition of frankincense to make up for the loss of real oakmoss. All in all, the scent is still comes off as classy, virile, and noble.
5th April 2023

It's fun to revisit scents that were once ubiquitous and have now fallen out of fashion. A strong, mossy pine, Polo is definitely that. No fruit, aquatic or detergent notes here! Easier to wear than other classic scents of its time, as there are no heavy, musky animalic notes. Ralph Lauren's very aspirational advertising always gave me the giggles, but that's what his Boomer audience was into, I guess. Polo's success did make Ralph a very rich man, after all.
6th February 2023
At once timeless and dated, it’s that hike we once took through the woods. The time you kept letting branches slap me in the face. Pine branches, specifically. Really? Not you? Well, maybe I’m not talking to you. Anyway, it’s THAT pine-like. Possibly some leather; maybe some tobacco. But definitely pine. I think.

Polo’s really not at all what I was expecting, trying it again after all these years. I was fully prepared to dismiss it as a throwaway throwback. But it’s just not. And it’s uber masculine, too—though I could’ve sworn there were girls in my high school who wore Polo. However, considering where I’m from, that wouldn’t really be all that strange if true. And if in fact no girls wore it in my high school, then I might not be talking to you.

If a gypsy were to eat my heart, then I’m almost positive said gypsy would be imbued with an insatiable lust for sampling all available classic scents. And a terrible stomachache. Which is just my way of saying that I’m well on my way to sampling all available classic scents. Been doing it for years. Have a spreadsheet. Gave this one a 6 out of 6. Don’t agree? You quite sure I’m even talking to you?

In closing, I’d just like to say that I wish they could bottle the sensation I get when I sample Polo. What? Yes, of course they have, but— Wait—I guess they have! Lucky us! Well, me. I think I’ve concluded that I’m not talking to you….
22nd September 2022
If you're a fan of earthy or mossy scents, Polo Green is definitely worth a try. It's reminiscent of a slightly dry forest floor with a hint of leather and a touch of tobacco. The earthy and tobacco notes are expertly balanced, making for a well-blended and mature fragrance. While it's geared towards the older crowd, it doesn't come across as dated or old-fashioned. Personally, the Polo line doesn't usually capture my attention, but this one is definitely a standout.
21st May 2022
As a teenager in the 1990s, I remember the advent and for a while, the dominance of fresh, sporty and aquatic fragrances for men and women very clearly. I have forgotten how many of them originally smelled but recognised back then that this was a new breed, aimed at a younger crowd and vastly different to the perfumes my mum (Anais Anais, Rive Gauche and Chanel No. 5 being her favourites) and colognes my dad had worn for many years, notably Guerlain's Habit Rouge and Vetiver as well as the ubiquitous Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, all of which to my developing nose smelled divine.

With all that in mind, I stumbled upon 4x 50ml bottles of Ralph Lauren Polo (Green) recently, dating from the mid 1980s to 1991 and bought them all, primarily as I had forgotten what Polo was like 30 or so years ago. They all have the '16 Place Vendome' address on the boxes and I opted to open a bottle from 1990 first.

2 careful sprays later, the memory of where I had first encountered Polo returned. So popular was Polo in the 1990s that a sample of the scent would often be found inside perfumed magazine inserts, which seemed to be all the rage in those days and were a great way of marketing fragrances, new and established, in my opinion. In the UK, glossy newspaper supplements and monthly style bibles which my older brother was so fond of were my gateway into the murky world of fragrances. Sadly, after a few sniffs of Polo as an impressionable teenager, I was hooked.

Back to the present day, a spray to the chest and 1 to both wrists instantly brought back the memory of the scent, and what a scent it is, a masterpiece that is comfortable and utterly wearable but even more so, is the definition, to a child of the '90s such as I, for better or for worse, of elegance.

The tobacco, moss and leather (and who could forget the pine?) of the 1990 version may be too strong for contemporary tastes, but I feel the fragrance is well-balanced and not too overbearing at any stage of wearing it, at least on my skin. It's impossible to say whether the bottle in question has deteriorated or may liven up, so to speak, after further use, but I was pleasantly surprised that Polo has no harsh opening nor is its sillage of nuclear proportions, as others have reported. Longevity is excellent at 12+ hours.

Polo is an old style pine fragrance done exceptionally well and will seem dated to many, whereas for now at least, I consider it gentlemanly and timeless. The pine evokes a menthol freshness which many others have commented on, but the blend as a whole is a little darker and more rugged, given it contains elements of leather, patchouli, lavender, tobacco, natural oakmoss and many others which mean it cannot be replicated due to the limited availability and restrictions on the use of such ingredients.

Recommended for wear between late autumn and spring. Older men may love it for the memories it holds (and I count myself as older nowadays, unfortunately!) or even loathe it due to its universal popularity and the connotations it has as a result, but I recommend it unequivocally to anyone who loves a refined powerhouse from the 1970s / early 1980s as there were few better made.
9th March 2022
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