I wore this a lot when it first came out—I was a fan of Polo, Polo Crest and Monogram, so it was a natural that I should take this one up. I like the ascerbic opening with its eucalyptus and bergamot; from there, it goes straight to dry spices, leathery patchouli and manly sweat. No sweetness anywhere and in fact it reminds me quite a bit of a drier, medicinal Givenchy Gentleman, in its vintage form.
Safari is as arid, spicy and masculine as a khaki bush jacket worn all day in the field, back in camp with a pink gin sundowner in its hand. It is hard and handsome, with a loaded bolt action rifle in hand and a day’s stubble on its sunburned face.
In his ongoing attempt to reimagine—in his own image—the last days of the British Empire, Ralph Lauren has created a harshly masculine, modern scent, seen through a sepia-toned lens, with all the retro trappings of the Raj. This recreation may not truly be a pukka sahib, but is still someone to be reckoned with.
I have owned Safari since it first came out in the early 90's. I used to think it was a really strong scent, (which it is initially) and I was always a bit shy about where I'd wear it. However, two things have always kept me going back to it.
First, I always liked the woody leather drydown it gives me, which seems to last on my skin beyond 8 hrs. Very unusual for me.
Second, Safari is a fragrance that I get complimented on quite frequently. Now that Safari's past it's prime, no one seems to ever recognize it and I am always asked what I'm wearing.
Additionally, Safari's timeless bottle looks great on my atop my dresser.
I was expecting so much more from Safari. It to me is a reasonably non-descript warmish fougere, with little character. I bought a bottle for a friend who owned it previously and in his opinion it is significantly weaker than it was in the 90's. I have any number of fragances that are superior and given the price, it is not worth the money (luckily I paid less than $50 Au - $42 US for the 4.2 Oz). It has been likened to YSL Jazz by some people, but Jazz is in every way a superior scent. For a real Man's fragrance I would opt for Montana parfum d'homme, Jazz or any number of others.
21st December, 2014 (last edited: 20th December, 2014)
Plasticky, synthetic cologny stuff.
Safari for Men by Ralph Lauren is an unexpectedly good fresh fougère with a bold, slightly clumsy (but quickly-to-evolve-better) opening played on green and balsamic tones, with notes of mint and dry aromatic herbs, a refreshing and juicy accord of citrus notes, a sweet, rich and slightly creamy sandalwood note “reinforced” by a classic, discreet and solid fougère structure: lavender, leather, carnation, rose, oak moss. A bunch of spices provide a nice, exotic dynamism, well interacting with leather and mossy notes. Basically a respectably conventional fougère just fresher and spicier than others, quite good indeed, with an enjoyable sort of effortless, unpretentious and relaxed sense of elegance. A warm, radiant, almost “holiday” version of more austere and dark Mittel-European fougères like Tsar (to which Safari resembles quite much). The drydown is even better than the first stages: a soft, pleasant yet dark and dusty leather-mossy accord with balsamic, sweet and spicy notes on top and a subtle ambery vibe, cozy and graceful like a warm summer evening. Easy-going but refined, a sunset in a bottle. Not a masterpiece, but well made for sure, and still totally wearable and enjoyable today as well.