Perfume Directory

Chaps (original) (1979)
by Ralph Lauren

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Chaps (original) information

Year of Launch1979
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 102 votes)

People and companies

HouseRalph Lauren
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections
Parent Company at launchWarner Communications > Warner Cosmetics

About Chaps (original)

FIFI award winner in 1980

Chaps (original) fragrance notes

Reviews of Chaps (original)

I gotta give props to one of the first scents that I had decades ago.

Chaps has that unmistakable masculine leather-musk-spice blend that I think I've measured all other colognes that I've tested since.

The fragrance profile has a LOT of notes that I typically enjoy in men's fragrances: Amber, Vanilla, Musk, Honey, Moss, Benzoin, Tonka Bean in the base; Jasmin, Patchouli, Orris, Geranium, Sandal, Cedarwood, Patchouli in the heart; and Anise, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Lavender, Lime, Lemon in the head.

This wouldn't be the first scent that I apply today necessarily, except for wearing around the house to elicit nostalgia. A legendary cologne to take note of.
28th December, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
Drugstore Cowboy. Although this was launched as a lower end product than the original Polo, there is nothing wrong with this cowboy! While his older brother may have been off playing polo with the rich folks, Chaps hung around the stables, saddled the horses and got all the girls. This reminds me of a sweeter, more rounded Azzaro Pour Homme, with an extraordinary number of ingredients that all seem to hang well together. A shame that you can no longer pick this up for a song at the drugstore.
02nd July, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Fresh fougère - Young Ralph is the best

The top notes are a fresh lime and bergamot but with a green-floral bent with lavender, geranium and a very good patchouli. A cedar note is added. After about three hours a new chapter is opened, characterised by a delicious amber with honey, benzoin and a delicious gorgous, soft oak moss without any sharpness. The blending is superb, as are the ingredients. A confident, green drydown with good silage and projection and an excellent longevity of seven hours. A wonderful classic autumn chypre of great quality.

06th September, 2013
Stetson, all grown up.

Top notes: I mainly get a floral/herbal bomb. The citrus notes are subdued, being blended into the floral sweetness. Though there some anise (as the note profile on here claims), it's nowhere near the amount in Azzaro pour Homme, for example-- to me, it's hardly detectable. It's possible that this note has decayed over the decades as the fragrance aged (top notes are usually the first to go).

Middle notes: The floral aspect continues, and changes, dropping the subdued citrus aspect, and picking up patchouli and resinous woods instead. The only other notes I can detect are jasmine and orris; if the geranium from the note profile is there, it's very subtle-- enough that I can't find it. The jasmine does give the fragrance a sort of 'dirty' or sensual aspect- something that continues into the base. Also, for me, the sandalwood is much more prominent than the cedarwood.

Bases notes: The combination of the musk and amber gives the base a sweet, leathery smell. The amber's sweetness is reinforced by some very well-blended, other sweet notes-- the amber, honey, vanilla and tonka bean are intermingled to the point of being an amorphous, somewhat spiced sweetness. The benzoin picks up the sensual aspect right where the jasmine left off, but the note is even more 'dirty', evoking the scent of a resinous incense. Last, but not least, the oakmoss adds a woodsy aspect that works harmoniously with the spices from the tonka bean and the sensual incense scent of the benzoin.

Pros: Masculine; refined; complex.
Cons: Slightly cloying."

02nd September, 2013
Rich, animalic, raw, leathery, and loud; this fragrance assaults the nostrils upon first whiff. If one can make it to the dry-down, a softer and more powdery sophistication awaits, with ever the slightest touch of sweetness. The problem is, if one over-applies the vintage formula, that dry-down phase never really happens, and it stays at the head not for the duration of the wear (Joop! has this problem as well). I can see this being reformulated into the softer and tamer creature that the "Chaps Est. 1979" is today, because Ralph Lauren wanted to take all the effort out of wearing this one the right way by removing the animalic elements and subduing the leather notes, leaving behind only the softer side that was always there, but buried in the head notes by those who wore this indiscriminately. It's a shame, because some of the powder and dry formality was removed as well, making the new version smell too fresh and casual for it's intended market. If you can find unopened bottles of this classic, go for it, because it can be quite a head-turner if worn with discretion and poise - as it was intended.
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 05th November, 2012)
Chaps kicks ass! I think this an awesome fragrance that really does put you in mind of a dressed up country boy/cowboy or something. To me it smells like the pinkish orange Caress soap mixed with musk, and it gives off a soft leathery quality(like English Leather but more leather). I find Chaps to be an innofensive and safe fragrance that screams old school and 80's at the same time which is a win win in my book.
15th November, 2011

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