Ralph Lauren Polo Classic through the years (Reformulations discussed via an audio review.)

fraghead93

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 31, 2012
Hello,

This has been requested over the years by quite a few people and since I've had the opportunity to own a lot of different formulations over the year's,
I thought I'd share my experience with those keen on a discussion about it.

My collection could not have been complete without the help of Andre and Jason Newton, thank you !

I was earlier going to type it in but to be honest, I hate typing. Give me a pen and paper and I will write as much as you want, but not typing !

Photo's will be uploaded soon, hope this audio review helps address a lot of question.




P.S- English is not my native language, so please excuse me if I have not pronounced certain words proper, though I've tried my best.


I tried to do this in one take, so do excuse any mistakes that you find.


https://soundcloud.com/fraghead93/20141225-182406a





Regards.
 

hednic

Basenotes Institution
Oct 25, 2007
Wow 20 years old and 9 bottles of Polo - Bravo!. So how many of the nine are only Warner, Warner Cosmair, and only Cosmair? I might have missed it. By the way - your English is excellent. Enjoyed listening to your "journey" as you describe it with this fragrance. :thumbsup:
 

fraghead93

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 31, 2012
Thank you hednic, your kind words mean so much :)

I have 1 original form by "Warner/Lauren"

1 is by " Warner Cosmetics as a division of Cosmair"

5 bottles of "Cosmair" ranging from 3 digit batch code to 5 digit

1 bottle of modern reserve

1 bottle of LOREAL Polo.


Regards.



Wow 20 years old and 9 bottles of Polo - Bravo!. So how many of the nine are only Warner, Warner Cosmair, and only Cosmair? I might have missed it. By the way - your English is excellent. Enjoyed listening to your "journey" as you describe it with this fragrance. :thumbsup:
 

mossyoakpenn

Basenotes Junkie
Mar 11, 2013
I know you said you hate typing but maybe you could post a brief overview of your discoveries. Sounds like you have a large database of Polo knowledge!
 

fraghead93

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 31, 2012
P.S- I did myself a favour and smelt pine needles and yes, a dominant note of pine is present !

But the tobacco, leather and patchouli still invokes the colour brown. The pine note just makes it
It all the more better. I Should have smelt pine needles long back, but now I see how it is a pine
Fragrance, though, it is a dominant tobacco, patchouli and moss fragrance !
 

fraghead93

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 31, 2012
@mossyoakpen, when I finished this recording I realised that I had only relayed about 1/3rd of what I planned to say !

Thank you for your kind words,I hope most of your doubts and questions were answered.

Regards.
 

mossyoakpenn

Basenotes Junkie
Mar 11, 2013
Lol....you did have a lot to say there. Im sure comparing bottles, formulas, years, and differences would leave a LOT to speak about. The thing I found interesting the most was the fact you found the 'color' to be brown. I don't get many fragrances that evoke colors to me but this one definitely evoked brown to my mind.
 
J

jason_newton

Guest
I enjoyed your appraisal of Polo. You certainly have a lot of bottles. I am glad you find it such a great fragrance.
 

DerangedGoose

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 27, 2009
I am at work so I cant listen to the audio, but what is your opinion on Polo Modern Reserve? To me, it is better than the original because the bitter green notes come through more clearly, to me the original has some kind of musky/pungent base. I bought a backup bottle of Modern Reserve, but I am trying to convince myself to love the original because it is so much cheaper.
 

MO2121

Basenotes Member
Oct 21, 2014
I'm glad I found this thread, because I have been on a Polo 'kick' the last few days. I have been testing 3 bottles against each other - a new Polo (2014), a bottle of Cosmair (4003) and Modern Reserve.

The top of each is different, but I can honestly say I would be happy with any of them. I think my Cosmair bottle has gone south, because there is less strength and silage with it than the other two.

Yeah, I wish they still made Polo like it was 1978, but the new stuff isn't as bad as some folks let on.
 

SportsFan

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 18, 2010
I'm glad I found this thread, because I have been on a Polo 'kick' the last few days.

Yeah, I wish they still made Polo like it was 1978....

Same here.

Thanks for the recap, long live Vintage Polo Green! The hunt continues.....

View attachment 35811

I would definitely own, and wear the vintage Polo if I was fortunate enough to run across it today. That was the decade of the 1980's for me, in a bottle. Great, classic stuff!
 

aphexacid

Basenotes Dependent
Dec 13, 2008
I absolutely loved the review. I played it while i was working and felt like an uber multi-tasker.

Funny thing is it came at a time where i've not been binge buying new releases from expensive niche houses, but more so trying to try down vintage perfumes from the past. One thing that basenotes and this audio review helped me with, was trying to figure out how to identify an older bottle. Thank you Jason_Newton for the help over PM as well!

I bought a half full 2oz Cosmair spray. I didn't search for a Warner make becuase honestly, i really don't like this perfume. BUT listen...I've never worn it before. I've only be choked by certain family members that have worn way too damn much, and smoke cigarettes on top and it becomes a dizzying machismo-cologne fest.

The other day while at Nordstrom, i came across it and sprayed it on a card. I was scared to death to smell it. But i put the card to my nose and it actually smelled like something i would love wearing! I passed it to my fiance and she said 'wow this stuff is interesting, im surprised Nordstrom sells this, it belongs at Barneys". I said its "old man Polo" lol she couldn't believe it.

It smelled like something green has been set on fire. I absolutely loved it. And that got me to wondering what the vintage smells like. So i began searching.

I should be getting my bottle in a few days, i'll definitely comment on it!
 

DerangedGoose

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 27, 2009
Too bad they stopped making Modern Reserve.

I hear that brother.

I found a brand new sealed 4 oz for $80...I should have bought more when it was discontinued :cry:

Is it possible that modern reserve was discontinued because regular polo was reformulated for same effect?

It definitely has not. I just tried Polo Green at Sephora and it was not as bright and crisp as modern reserve, there is some kind of pungent base in the original green that prevents it from being as clear and bold as Modern Reserve. To me, Modern Reserve is definitely better than the original.
 

SportsFan

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 18, 2010
It definitely has not. I just tried Polo Green at Sephora and it was not as bright and crisp as modern reserve, there is some kind of pungent base in the original green that prevents it from being as clear and bold as Modern Reserve. To me, Modern Reserve is definitely better than the original.

In it's current formulation, I probably would tend to agree with you. Vintage green juice, before all of the reformulations neutered and destroyed it....absolutely no way.

Of course....it sounds like you prefer the "fresh" as opposed to the fullness that the original possessed.....so you may prefer Modern Reserve either way. But having worn the vintage juice for years, and having samples a few years ago of Modern Reserve.....and FOR ME....I can safely say that the original vintage is the best that Ralph Lauren has put out.
 

DerangedGoose

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 27, 2009
In it's current formulation, I probably would tend to agree with you. Vintage green juice, before all of the reformulations neutered and destroyed it....absolutely no way.

Of course....it sounds like you prefer the "fresh" as opposed to the fullness that the original possessed.....so you may prefer Modern Reserve either way. But having worn the vintage juice for years, and having samples a few years ago of Modern Reserve.....and FOR ME....I can safely say that the original vintage is the best that Ralph Lauren has put out.

I dont mind heavier frags, I own some tobacco and darker wood/spice based frags, but to me, the whole point of Polo Green is the soaring, bitter green notes. Anything that tempers that neuters the fragrance. Modern Reserve is unlike anything I have ever tried in how unabashedly green it is. There is nothing sweet, nothing musky, nothing pungent, nothing floral standing in the way of it. I bring it to every specialist boutique I go to hoping that they will have something similar, but everything they suggest (GIT, Riverside drive [which I own and enjoy], fou d'absinthe) is good, but attempts to balance many ingredients in harmony.

The reason I love modern reserve is because it gives zero shits about balance. It is green and (some) tobacco all the way. Is that what the vintage was like?
 

tophat

New member
Nov 20, 2012
Which Polo green seems to be the favorite among the noses here, if I may ask. The earliest version Warner or the Cosmair? I'm not trying to resurrect a big discussion just maybe one person opinion is good enough for me. I'm looking to take my chances on eBay and pick up one bottle. I've found some from both era's.

My first bottle of Polo was from a dept. store called Belks in 1985. It was magnificent ! I purchased a second bottle shortly after but slowly stopped using it. A few months ago I wanted to revisit Polo however the Luxury Products version I picked up is not good and too far apart from what I would call revisiting a fine fragrance from the past. No memories of the younger days came to mind when smelling the new one.
 

cytherian

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 24, 2013
Recently I picked up a 118ml bottle of Polo distributed by Cosmair, but titled as "Cologne", not "Eau de Toilette". I'm guessing this is from the time just after Cosmair bought Warner Cosmetics, as Polo was only sold as "cologne" under Warner then later became "eau de toilette" under Cosmair. The batch code on mine is 01A9, which CheckFresh says is 2004... could it be 1984?
 

Scent Detective

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 15, 2015
In it's current formulation, I probably would tend to agree with you. Vintage green juice, before all of the reformulations neutered and destroyed it....absolutely no way.

Of course....it sounds like you prefer the "fresh" as opposed to the fullness that the original possessed.....so you may prefer Modern Reserve either way. But having worn the vintage juice for years, and having samples a few years ago of Modern Reserve.....and FOR ME....I can safely say that the original vintage is the best that Ralph Lauren has put out.


This! I couldn't agree more. I've worn original Polo since 1983. I have bottles of the reformulated, the vintage, and a sample of Modern Reserve. The vintage is by far the best in my opinion. So much better than the reformulated version, and much better than Modern Reserve as well. I had been hearing a lot about Modern Reserve, so I got a sample to check it out before I invested in a bottle. It's a much sharper, more bitting frag than either the vintage of reformulation. I didn't mind it, but it's just not like the vintage is for me. My wife also thought the Modern Reserve got powdery smelling and almost old lady on the dry down, which surprised me. I need to keep trying it to get a better feel, but vintage Polo is still the king of the Ralph Lauren line in my book...
 
Last edited:

tophat

New member
Nov 20, 2012
Recently I picked up a 118ml bottle of Polo distributed by Cosmair, but titled as "Cologne", not "Eau de Toilette". I'm guessing this is from the time just after Cosmair bought Warner Cosmetics, as Polo was only sold as "cologne" under Warner then later became "eau de toilette" under Cosmair. The batch code on mine is 01A9, which CheckFresh says is 2004... could it be 1984?

Even though I don't wear Polo that much I did decide to revisit the vintage like I wore in '85 and done some research of my own along with learning from some great research done by others. To me its nostalgia like it is for many of us. Honestly, there seems to be conclusive answers as far a labels and time periods but there's still some grey areas since Polo wasn't documented very much along it's life.

I do know that bottles made '78 to 83' were Warner. Bottles between '83 & '85 are "usually" marked with Warner and Cosmair on the bottle. Something like, Warner Cosmetics on one line then another line saying Division of Cosmair Inc. Having said this, there are bottles in existence that are marked as Cologne that do not have Warner on the bottle at all which means ones marked Cologne should be post '85. Some people's research have brought them to believe the less digits the more vintage. For example a 3 digit Cosmair could be the most vintage nearing 1985 whereas a 5 digit being more recent '99. Going by all this it would seem yours is definitely post '85. How much after, I don't know.

One thing for sure..if Polo had been documented like Aventus this would all be 100% conclusive and easy. 20 years from now Aventus will be a breeze to date

EDIT: I forgot to add that I have checked several batch numbers of Polo with that website database and half of them would not show anything. The entire other half that would show were all 2004. Don't trust it for Polo unless its the new stuff
 
Last edited:

cytherian

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 24, 2013
^ Thanks, tophat -- good to know. I did a closer side-by-side with my older Eau de Toilette and the more pristine Cologne, and find them pretty much the same, except the cologne smells a little more complete. I think that may just be due to better preservation. All in all, still a great scent. I have Crest and it's similar to original Polo but with a bit more refinement (something about the absence of tobacco refines it, allowing the other notes to have more presence).
 

Himalayan odyssey

Basenotes Dependent
Jul 5, 2015
If I m jumping from a building & I am given a choice to grab one bottle of mine from a big enough collection ....then this will be it for here & afterlife !
I still find the new juice the BEST in its class out there....inspite of reforms & toned down of the ingredients & added to that the price of the bottle....it's an unbeatable combo !
For any newbie dont get disheartened by all the redone talk if u can't get an old cosmair or Warner version ....go right ahead and try the current formulation ....& if u like it u can always back up by hunting for the old versions which incidentally are quite a steal on eBay anything from $20 to $40 at most listings......!
 

ChuckW

Basenotes Institution
Aug 21, 2001
I got the original Warner/Lauren bottle in yesterday. One small spritz on my left arm. Green juice. Notes are higher pitched to start, a little shriller at first sniff (compared to my younger Cosmair) but dries down to the classic scent we love and remember. This bottle is probably 30 years old at least, but it's a 4.0 tester spray, completely full that it appears someone took good care of. The golden neck nozzle has no lower seam or ridge, just at the sprayer on top. The nozzle is long, Cosmair 4.0 oz cap won't fit on it.
 

SportsFan

Basenotes Dependent
Aug 18, 2010
I got the original Warner/Lauren bottle in yesterday. One small spritz on my left arm. Green juice. Notes are higher pitched to start, a little shriller at first sniff (compared to my younger Cosmair) but dries down to the classic scent we love and remember. This bottle is probably 30 years old at least, but it's a 4.0 tester spray, completely full that it appears someone took good care of. The golden neck nozzle has no lower seam or ridge, just at the sprayer on top. The nozzle is long, Cosmair 4.0 oz cap won't fit on it.

OK...I'm officially jealous.
 

cytherian

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 24, 2013
I got the original Warner/Lauren bottle in yesterday. One small spritz on my left arm. Green juice. Notes are higher pitched to start, a little shriller at first sniff (compared to my younger Cosmair) but dries down to the classic scent we love and remember. This bottle is probably 30 years old at least, but it's a 4.0 tester spray, completely full that it appears someone took good care of. The golden neck nozzle has no lower seam or ridge, just at the sprayer on top. The nozzle is long, Cosmair 4.0 oz cap won't fit on it.
Thanks, Chuck! Sounds interesting. Good to know that the Warner dries down to pretty much the same aroma as the early Cosmair batches. I had Warner on my search list, but have now scratched it off. :)
 
Jul 17, 2011
This! I couldn't agree more. I've worn original Polo since 1983. I have bottles of the reformulated, the vintage, and a sample of Modern Reserve. The vintage is by far the best in my opinion. So much better than the reformulated version, and much better than Modern Reserve as well. I had been hearing a lot about Modern Reserve, so I got a sample to check it out before I invested in a bottle. It's a much sharper, more bitting frag than either the vintage of reformulation. I didn't mind it, but it's just not like the vintage is for me. My wife also thought the Modern Reserve got powdery smelling and almost old lady on the dry down, which surprised me. I need to keep trying it to get a better feel, but vintage Polo is still the king of the Ralph Lauren line in my book...
Modern Reserve... It was a joke. It was a complete disappointing buying. Glory to the vintage.
 

Marand75

Heaven's made of Oakmoss!
Basenotes Plus
Feb 9, 2018
What a great thread! I'm a few years late, but then, I've only been a member for a couple of months.
I LOVE Polo! I purchased my very first vintage bottle of Polo just two months ago and, according to a respected BN-member, a very special one too. It is a rare original formula 100ml Warner-era Eau de Toilette splash, made by Ralph Lauren Parfums, Paris, France. And let me tell you, allthough vintage fragrances (especially splash'es) over time obviously tends to loose some of the freshness and strenght/power, and do not smell as fresh and vibrant as when they were launched (which is important to remember), this still smells so damn good! Extremely well-blended quality and richness. I decant it and use it often.
I also own a current (2014) formula bottle, and I like it very much and wear that too (leather, greens, rose and chamomile comes through the most). Great stuff!
IMG_0634.jpg
 

Imdwheeler

New member
Nov 20, 2018
I got the original Warner/Lauren bottle in yesterday. One small spritz on my left arm. Green juice. Notes are higher pitched to start, a little shriller at first sniff (compared to my younger Cosmair) but dries down to the classic scent we love and remember. This bottle is probably 30 years old at least, but it's a 4.0 tester spray, completely full that it appears someone took good care of. The golden neck nozzle has no lower seam or ridge, just at the sprayer on top. The nozzle is long, Cosmair 4.0 oz cap won't fit on it.

Have i got something for you to see. Its a 1lt 32oz Warner bottle aprox 6 oz still in it. I cant find any info on it any ideas? 20181119_204233.jpg 20181119_204254.jpg 20181119_204300.jpg 20181119_204407.jpg
 

Kristian F.

Basenotes Member
Nov 6, 2018
That would've been attached to a display of, usually, wood and brass.


Sent from my foil-hat using Tapatalk

Like this?
s-l1600.jpg

I've only seen these in the 8oz, I'd love to see in the 32oz size one! Hell, if I had a quart of Warner Polo, I can't promise I wouldn't be heavy handed with it!..I'd have to splash a couple handfuls on!! :D

That cap is VERY interesting as well..
attachment.php

..almost like a pickelhaube helmet!
61dijIKUy%2BL._SL1000_.jpg
 

Latest News

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...

Top