A modern take on the 1978 original fragrance

Polo Modern Reserve fragrance notes

  • Head

    • cardamom co2, basil, pimento
  • Heart

    • vetyver-leather, liquid jasmine, precious myrrh incense
  • Base

    • humidor wood, patchouli, sueded leather

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Latest Reviews of Polo Modern Reserve

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Released as a limited edition to mark the 30th Anniversary of the OG Polo, Modern Reserve is a modern interpretation of that classic. In order to make it more palatable by modern standards, they made a fragrance that is cleaner, much lighter, and less complex. Gone is the pine, and instead we have loads of basil, some cardamom, and pepper. The legendary smoky tobacco has been replaced with suede. And the leather was toned all the way down.

Now... what is the OG Polo without pine, tobacco, and leather, I ask? At the moment I don't have an electron microscope to go searching for the OG's DNA which according to many reviewers was left intact - I'll update this review when I get my hands on one.

You wouldn't choose between Modern Reserve and OG Polo for an occasion because they're totally different in tone. If we were to ignore the existence of the OG Polo, then Modern Reserve is a pleasant, mature, mid-2000s style scent. If you're looking for clean green suede, you got it. It's a good flanker that should have been put in a more fitting brown bottle and named Polo Suede instead... and nobody would have cared for it.

Projection and longevity are moderate.

Masculinity Level: I can see an old hipster wearing this.
3rd December 2022
Twelve years hidin' in the FiFi swag
Coneheads pinin' on the cyber rag
Platinum canary with a Falstaff beard
Mercedes school and receptors weird
Paper sniffer syn sin seer
Vintage Po-Fi my-eau-near
Buy the next dream and sell the fail
Get a new swirlfriend, holy grail
A change would do me good
A change would do me good

Someone's next gift is in the rag
Poster girl insert in the catamag
Failine, peeline, heckle and snide
Sniff the fake fur and wear it inside
King of refrig-erating blues
Dinner's at Saks, wear our Aldo shoes
I thought you were sniffing your heart out to me
Our scents were syncing and now I see
A change would do us good
A change would do us good

Chasing flacons with plastic swords
Cash or credit, everybody wants more
Mitsy and Angel on the bedroom floor
And I'm buyin' Roudy on the vintage board
I've been thinking 'bout catchin' a save
Leave the Roja Dove in the microwave
Goodbye perfume, I'm not at home
Would you like to reach me?  Leave me alone!
A change would do you good
A change would do you good

Suede and pleather when the leather lies
Thirty years older, 'til the smoking dies
Throw a party for the new old song, and then
Disco hard, like there's something wrong
Thought you said it's still in style
Make another flanker, another pile
Goodbye new green, say hello to red
The big boys called, and you're stayin' dead
A change would do them good
A change would do them good
22nd April 2021

It's probably as good of a Polo rendition as we'll ever get, but it's still not perfect.

Overdone with pepper, or whatever spices being used is what kills the dry down for me. Other than that, it keeps the original DNA, gets rid of the darker elements in the base like moss and leather. and modernizes the structure.

As most of us reading this know, Modern Reserve couldn't make it on the market, and has been discontinued. Looking for an alternative? I'd recommend Paul Smith Men (green bottle). It's not a clone, but it keeps the basic idea of a grassy, peppery, green fragrance. Want something even more similar? Check out Beverly Hills Polo Club Rogue. This one is in a green bottle with gold cap, if memory serves me correct. It just screams Polo rip off. It came out after Modern Reserve, and if I had to guess, the intent was to copy it. Is it good? I don't think so, but I don't particular like Modern Reserve. The overkill of pepper is done in Rogue too. Not sure if Rogue is discontinued or not, my guess would be it is, as BHPC is not very successful with their fragrances.
12th April 2021
Carlos Benaïm's original Polo ranks as one of the most iconic masculines ever released, and of the many flankers Benaïm has created over the years, Modern Reserve is the only one that feels like a true sequel.

This is another green, herbaceous leather with a similar core accord, but all the stuff that defined Polo (the pine, the ashy tobacco, the kind of rawhide leather) are traded for cleaner, zestier elements (juniper, myrrh, suede). It's not exactly youthful, but it strays from the powerhouse-y feeling of the vintage original.

It's good stuff, though perhaps isn't deserving of the unicorn reputation it has acquired. It is more full-bodied than the current Polo but also isn't as artful as some of the more upscale Polo-esque variants (such as Floris 1962).
28th November 2020
A moderate, slightly disappointed thumbs up because I still like this flanker overall.

Of course, I expected Polo Modern Reserve to be a revolutionary rethink of the legendary Polo green originating in the late 1970's.

Well...not so much, but it's still a credible, though underdelivering, uber-flanker.

Polo Modern Reserve is still woody-spicy like the original, but it swerves away from the familiar aromatic sweaty indecisiveness of the original with more definite peppery and woody earthy sensation. That is a distinction worth noting between the two.

But rather than shower me with a swath of spicy-woody warmth, I still get a slightly cold, incomplete feeling from PMR. It seems to stop developing into anything deeper and just lingers around the myrrh/jasmine/vetiver /patchouli/wood dryness and no further.

In the end, I think PMR can be worn as a legitimate alternative to the original formula especially out of nostalgic fascination for this pricy, discontinued formulation. It all depends on what you did and didn't like about the original Polo in how you approach and experience PMR. It's not an ESSENTIAL replacement unless the old formula has really fallen out of favor with you!!

Anyhow, I recommend getting decants of this one before buying. As for me, it's fairly forgettable, but I won't outright deny that PMR has its good points worthy of notice.
19th August 2018
I'm a big fan of the original Polo but not in the current formulation, just the vintage. This is probably the closest to it if you can't get the real thing, at least as far as my memory is concerned.

I do actually prefer Polo Crest over the original and Modern Reserve because it smells like original Polo just slightly modernized, so you get the best of both worlds.

Modern Reserve starts off green, mossy and spicy. As it dries down, you lose some of the green but the spice carries on into the leather phase which is great. Very masculine throughout.

This is manly and rugged but there's some wealth and refinement in there as well. It should be a versatile scent for the right guy with the right attitude. Probably more mature than young.

I get good projection and longevity, lasts 7-8 hours on me.
16th July 2018
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