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.
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.
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.
Although its not popular to say this, I'm a huge RL fragrances fan. With few exceptions I like them all, especially Polo (original), which was my grandfather's cologne and my first fragrance purchase. I have patiently waited for a Monogram bottle to show up on eBay that was in the realm of reasonable. I've seen minis go for $80 and open bottles go for $200. I spotted a .25 mini recently for $20 so I had to splurge.
This is the Purple Label bottle - which makes me appreciate that the PL designers made this nod to RL fragrance history. As other reviewers note, this compliments Polo closely. The initial notes are similar to Polo but with stronger accent on some of the pungent herbal notes and less tobacco and less leather. Although not overt, I believe there is some citrus in there that balances out the herbal notes, and this citrus (or whatever it is) becomes more pronounced on drydown, as do some spice notes. On drydown Monogram is closer to Polo Crest than it is to Polo. Like its family members, a little goes a long way and sillage/longevity are not a problem.
Overall this falls in the '80s powerhouse' category. I'm not much for these types of fragrances (Drakkar, Paco, Kouros, AzzaroPH, etc.) because I either just don't like them or don't need my entire office knowing what cologne I wear. Monogram is a happy exception that I will occasionally enjoy. 'Occasionally' until I find an unopened bottle in a friend's grandparents' attic, win the lottery, or otherwise justify spending $400 on a 'new' bottle.
I can't believe Ralph Lauren would discontinue this gem. Perhaps it didn't sell that well, but they could have made a limited supply for those customers like me who would have continued to buy it. Just another example of how some companies totally disregard certain customers' wishes to keep certain products. If it doesn't sell, discontinue and disregard those few customers who still enjoyed the fragrance. I really enjoyed Monogram, as well as Purple Label, which I would surmise they will discontinue also since it's in the same bottle as Monogram, only purple. I shy away from perfume companies like Ralph Lauren who tend to discontinue their "unique" fragrances. Just like Halston discontinued 101, I will never buy Halston fragrances again since they were bought out by EA Fragrances (Grey Flannel), who just buy the designer name and put it on bottles of imposter fragrances. I know these are the original formulations, they're close, but these companies that buy out those designer fragrances tend to use less perfume oils and there's a slight difference in the fragrance from the original. Most people would not notice any difference, but I've return many bottles because I know they were just watered down versions of the original, e.g., the original Calvin by Calvin Klein. I have 3 bottles of the original Calvin left, and when I compared them to the "newer" version, the originals had a lot more complex composition with certain definite underlying tones, whereas the "newer" version just had a chemical smell with a hint of the original underneath, but none of the complex signature tones. How sad, because Calvin used to be one of my favorite fragrances.