Ralph Lauren Polo Red Parfum Review: Decent Doesn’t Make the Cut
I dropped the news about Polo Red Parfum a while back, and I was excited for it. Well, I was able to try it through Influenster and Ralph Lauren, who sent me a bottle for review in exchange for an honest review. Just to be clear, this bottle was not sent because of me writing for I Fragrance. It was sent to me personally. However, I will tell you ahead of time that I had mixed feelings. Free bottle or not, you will always get my honest thoughts on anything I review, as the owner of this site encourages us to write with honesty.
Polo Red Parfum features the note of absinthe, which isn’t commonly used, and when used correctly, it creates a beautiful woody sweet, yet fresh feel. It’s a strange note of sorts, but it just works. However, what I found in this perfume was conflicting.
The newest release from Ralph Lauren’s successful Polo Red line opens up with candied citrus, syrupy and not vibrant at all. They soon calm down and meld into a the sharp spice of pink pepper, which actually feels like it is derived naturally.
The absinthe appears shortly after, with its sweet woody hues backed by herbal minty freshness and the warmth of anise. A soapy, and very artificial smelling lavender, akin to cheap lavender soap you would buy at a grocery store, rises out of the composition. This create a somewhat off-balance feeling, as it doesn’t mix well with the absinthe in this highly tampered manmade form of the beautiful ingredient.
The deep dry down unveils a balsamic and warm opoponax which grounds the sweetness, but it is muted by clean musk, which only exacerbates the cheap lavender and creates an aroma that smells like someone just bathed with a soap bar, and wafted stale incense on their clothes. Luckily, that settles down later, and you are left with a warm cedar and the delightful opoponax, which is possibly bolstered by an amber accord, with just a touch of the sticky citrus remaining.
While Polo Red Parfum is not terrible, it is decent. However, it is marred using an inferior lavender note. Natural lavender, outside of some special grades, is not expensive. If they sprung for a nice opoponax and pink pepper note, then they could have spent slightly more for a higher-grade lavender.
The bottle is absolutely beautiful, coming in a dark red bottle, and a grayish steel cap. It looks luxurious, and the fragrance does last a good 7-8 hours. It is suited more for the cooler month and would likely resonate with a younger crowd more than the middle-aged and above.
Polo Red Parfum could have been so much better than it is. I just think there is a case of mistaken identity here. Absinthe and lavender in a “red: fragrance? Red means warm, which the scent is, and the absinthe could have worked here, but until the stretch of the scent, the lavender ruins what could be a solid release. While it’s not a terrible release, it staddles the line of mediocrity, and with the current selection of scents on the market, no one has the coin to waste on normalcy.
Images Credit The Author