Perfume Directory

Monogram (1985)
by Ralph Lauren

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Monogram information

Year of Launch1985
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 31 votes)

People and companies

HouseRalph Lauren
SupplierRoure Bertrand Dupont
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Monogram

Designed to complement the orginal "Green" Polo. -- Monogram was "sophisticated and elegant", while Polo was "sporty and active".
On it's launch, instead of the usual 'Gift With Purchase', bottles were monogrammed with the customer's initials.
Unfortunately, the scent was discontinued in April 1987, with stores being asked to return all stock.

Monogram fragrance notes

Reviews of Monogram

Aggressively sharp and biting right from the start. Like an enthusiastic greyhound at the start of a race, as it madly dashes out of the gate. Alas this is not the winner. It mellows and tires before finishing, with noticeable baby powder notes in the dry-down. Projection and longevity are beyond belief, but after the first few hours you're fatigued from wearing.

This was my best friend from High Schools signature scent back in the 80's. It drove me crazy for some reason, and induced sneezing when applied. I tried on many occasions to wear (and understand) Monogram by Ralph Lauren to no avail.

Slightly sharp citrus bergamot/aldehyde ladened opening, very dry lavender, punjant incense, cyclamen, heliotrope over a mildly musky base with a touch of synthetic woods.
*Envision Helmut Lang Cologne and Gucci Rush for Men having a love child.....

This fragrance was advertised heavily in magazines and department store circulars, and the bonus gift with purchases were very lavish and generous. Free engraving on the bottles was virtually unheard of at the time!

Why did it fail? I've always suspected that this fragrance was toxic. Don't ask me why, but there was something quite unsettling about wearing it, and a general feeling of discomfort with your breathing. Of course nobody will ever admit to that now (for fear of lawsuits), but at the time it was really mysterious how this disappeared from the marketplace so fast; especially knowing all the investment by RL and Warner-Lambert into the packaging and promotion of Monogram. I don't ever remember a fragrance disappearing from stores and being sent back to corporate after less then a three year run, without explanation nor going to a discount chain. Very odd....

I still have a few deluxe sample vials, and occasionally sniff them. I still sneeze and laugh at myself for trying again to like this after nearly thirty years. Some things in life just weren't meant to be....
16th February, 2017
This one has a classic men's cologne vibe to it, which I think is a hit or miss for the scent collector. I don't think it is very versatile, albeit not unpleasant per se. I do see the slight resemblance to the original Polo, but with a spicier twist and character that sets it apart. Wear with caution, as some may find it cloying or, well, old.
14th November, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening combines a transient citrus welcome with a jasmine-iris component that is very delightful. In the drydown a well-rounded spicy touch is added, with whiffs of herbal green tones developing with just a hint of lavender. Then we are are getting down to the core of the matter: a distinctive but not-too-harsh patchouli combines with an oakmoss of beautiful clarity: fresh with a touch of bite, but counterbalanced by delicious smoothness. This is first-class oakmoss, revealing this scent as a fougère of great standing. In the base a touch of amber is added, with leather and wood notes, the latter mainly cedar with a touch of pine. This superb balance of the fresh fougère character and sheer elegance is very impressive and not commonly found. The performance is outstanding: good silage, very good projection and an incredible longevity of sixteen hours on my skin, fading very slowly. Definitely a child of it's time, but what a wonderful child! One of my favourite fougères, and one of RL's finest.
14th October, 2014
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
This is clearly a patchouli/cedar Oriental, but it's a bit different than others I've tried. There is what I call the "jasmine suntan lotion accord," as well as a cool quality, which I can't explain. Could it be a touch of something like eucalyptus, perhaps combined with vanilla/benzoin? There seems to be a strong spice note, but it's nicely blended in. It's not especially herbal, if there is any major herb note. There may be some pimento in here, from past experience with that note. There is no strong lavender, as one finds in many "men's" fragrances of this era, nor is there an animalic note, which another RL fragrance that is similar, namely vintage Chaps, does possess. There could be a little leather or oakmoss, but I'd be surprised if there was much. The "problem" I have with it is that is has that strong patchouli/amber/cedar type accord that I personally dislike when it is this strong. Also, if you are familiar with it, I can imagine Monogram as the masculine counterpart fragrance to the original Roccobarocco perfume, to provide yet another way to think about it. Longevity and projection/"sillage" are excellent.
30th June, 2011
Oh, how lucky I was!

Raiding my father's old cologne bag (long forgotten under the bathroom sink), I was graced to find many old colognes (Jovan from the 1970's, Halston I-12 and Z-14), and a bottle of Monogram about 1/4th full.

I didn't know what I had on my hands other than a strong, masculine cologne until I visited Basenotes.

I never used it, of course, which makes me glad now.

It was given to my father for Christmas in '85 or '86, and has been sitting under the sink for much of the following time.

I doubt I could find the gut to sell it, but it's always an option.

Also, I'd just like to mention that the above picture of a bottle of Monogram is slightly incorrect. The picture is lacking its true cap, which is rounded, metal/metallic, and shiny.
21st November, 2009
Smells like baby powder. Like one of Jonhson and Jonhson's baby powder. It is not as light and fresh however, it is somehow dark and gloomy? A little bit of incense in there somewhere...
I don't see what is so specail about this that it commands so much money online. It reminds me of one of the offerings from Amouage, but much much better. Not bad.
31st August, 2008

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