Perfume Directory

Polo Blue (2002)
by Ralph Lauren

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Polo Blue information

Year of Launch2002
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 691 votes)

People and companies

HouseRalph Lauren
PerfumerCarlos Benaim
PerfumerChristophe Laudamiel
SupplierIFF
PackagingBormioli Rocco
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Polo Blue

Update of the seventies classic. Created by Carlos Benaim, who created the original version 25 years ago. Contains notes of Cucumber, Tangerine, Geranium and Basil. Inspired by St John Island's Caneel Bay.

Reviews of Polo Blue

Not bad, not bad at all. Generic but pleasant. Longevity and sillage are both leaning to the bad side though. A nice, everyday, mild, never overwhelming scent. You cant go wrong with this one. But nothing special. Overall 7/10
13th September, 2019
This is the first cologne I ever owned growing up, I remember running across a sample in a magazine and being blown away. Therefor, nostalgia will factor into my review. For me, this is one of my top fragrances of all time, even if I have much more complex and sophisticated scents, this one was a milestone that introduced me to the fragrance world and will always remind me of those early teenage “coming of age” years, so for that reason alone it will always be special :)

The feelings I get when I smell Polo Blue are fresh, crisp, adventure, freedom. It’s a fresh/spicy, musky aquatic and the initial blast can be a bit much with the alcohol and intensity (in fact I remember being disappointed as a kid bc my bottle didn’t smell quite like the magazine sample), and as I’m older I can smell the small similarities between this and the classic Polo Green (a scent I truly hate on me but it establishes the Polo DNA which still runs strong with every Polo cologne), with just a bit of that classic spice, and really appreciate it. The fresh spicy quality helps push this frag into a higher level of the overpopulated fresh/aquatic scents, it’s far from one dimensional and it’s just exceptionally put together, though definitely a bit dated today in 2019.

It feels modern and classic at the same time, with fresh melon and cucumber mixed with musk and suede. I feel, along with the subtle spice, the suede is what makes this nearly perfect as an introductory scent. I will admit it’s too musky for me, but in general I really dislike musk on my skin, I much prefer a deep, woody base over a musky one, which is precisely why I prefer the EDP version.

Blue is an overall crowd pleaser, which will not offend anyone and will always keep you smelling good , as it’s not overly sweet and fruity or just one dimensionally “fresh”, but balanced quite well. For me personally it is the best of the Polo colognes (besides the Blue EDP) and a true modern classic, the definition of casual freshness and elegance, though it will be a bit too preppy for some. I can honestly wear this any day, any weather, night time, work, gym, everything. I’ll probably always have some on hand, just for nostalgia and because it’s always reliable on a hot day.

This, along with Nautica Voyage are probably my favorite scents on a hot day, like after mowing the lawn or working out, they are just so fresh and clean, absolutely rejuvenating! I’ve yet to find a better basic “fresh” casual scent (though many that are more complex and classy, don’t get me wrong) to be honest, and that’s saying something as it was released in 2002 and I’ve tested hundreds of frags :)

-8/10, would rate higher, as this is a true classic, but the reformulation has reduced performance and projection it seems, sadly, and it honestly does not smell the same (obviously similar, but there is much more musk which gives it a sort of clean linen scent that was never there in my original bottle.). It is still very good but doesn’t quite smell or perform like it used to :(

Old formulation (my original bottle from 2004): 9.5/10

Current:
Opening - 9.25/10
Dry down - 6.5/10
Longevity - 5/10
10th September, 2019
To me, Polo Blue is an upscale version of a mass-market men's fragrance. It's like a double quarter-pounder with cheese from McDonalds, except made with Wagyu beef.

It starts out with the oft-used melon and cucumber note found in hand soaps and other skincare products layered on, essentially, a Cool Water by Davidoff (1985) foundation. This is not something that comes across smelling unique because of the variety of the ingredients. Rather, it comes across as an extremely well-crafted version of scents that you've smelled countless times, just not as expertly blended as they are in Polo Blue. This has zero resemblance to the original Polo from 1978, but it is exactly the type of scent that I would imagine Carlos Benaim putting out as the 2002 spiritual successor to the original. It definitely has the synthetic qualities that were prevalent at that time, but it's not one of those overpowering and overly synthetic fragrances that resembled some sort of delousing fluid that flooded the market at the turn of the millennium. Again, it's the highest rung of mass-market fragrance.

There's nothing here that knock my socks off as far as originality, but the composition is just superbly done. This is a classed-up aquatic that doesn't smell like a Cool Water flanker or something best used instead of a shower after playing a pickup game of basketball. It works great as a warm weather scent, and performance is good, with decent projection. It's a good everyday generalist that I would qualify as a "dumb grab," but a good one at that.

Thumbs up.
28th August, 2019
Oh man where to begin?! One of the first fragrances I have ever owned. I got it as a gift from my father (R.I.P.) when I was like 15/16 years old. Back then, I really didn't care about fragrances, how to wear them, or even how they smelled. I just sprayed it on and out the door I went.

Fast forward quite a few years later, and I'm still rocking it. I don't grab for it as much as I do several others in my collection, but I still reach for it. Mainly casual usage.

For those that are new to it or have never sniffed it, here's my take on it:


Scent: The first spray really takes me back as I spray it on my skin. To a time where I didn't pay bills, haha. I have to say, spraying it now, it's undeniably a old school designer scent. I can get that vibe from it. The initial spray consists of that synthetic melon and cucumber combination. Polo Blue is very linear on me. It doesn't change much at all. Even when it eventually dries down, I still get that melon/cucumber combo, plus the musk. The musk, in my opinion, is what carries this scent. There are a ton of notes in the breakdown and I don't get that many to be honest. It does last about 6-8 hours on me before it's gone.
Rating: 8/10

Projection: This one is not going to score high in the projection department. It's a solid 3/5 stars in my opinion (or a 6/10 if you're using the numerical rating scale). For what the scent tries to achieve, I'd say the projection is right where it needs to be - in the middle. Polo Blue is a very casual scent. It's not meant to be "loud" or "in your face." After the first hour or two, it tones down quickly to a skin scent. If you're just relaxing or at work, the last thing you're going to do is spray on something like Jubilation XXV. You'll either annoy everyone around you or annoy yourself. Polo Blue sits in that happy medium. As a result though, if we're doing this by the "if it's less than 8 hours it takes a hit" rule, then it's going to lose some points here.
Rating: 6/10

Versatility: I wear this stuff anytime, anywhere. I don't care which season. I will say, however, that this scent performs BEST in the spring/summer (primarily summer). It is such a versatile scent. Casual, office, home, date, night out, you name it. High marks here.
Rating: 10/10

Longevity: Like I said in the scent section, it lasts 6-8 hours and then it's gone. Pretty straightforward.
Rating: 7/10
29th December, 2018 (last edited: 01st January, 2019)
This is a good scent, not a great scent. This is an original scent, but not a powerful scent. I feel like Polo Blue is the lens through which I view most aquatics.

From the moment you spray it you know what it is. It is bright, fresh, and the melon, oh lord, the melon! I really appreciate the opening on this fragrance.

If you like Nautica Voyage, you can probably blind buy this with pretty certain success.

Where this fragrance falls short: its longevity. Applied at 9am this is faint by noon. It projects a fairly small radius. I wish I knew more about the dry-down, but I feel like it is still changing by the time it disappears. It is one of those fragrances where I feel like I never really get to experience the base notes.

A summer fragrance, for sure. Not quite for the beach, but definitely for a day on the boat, a day at the golf course, a day in the park. Not for nighttime, dates, or formals.

Scent: 7/10

Longevity: 3/10

Sillage: 4/10
31st July, 2018
My best way to describe Polo Blue (2002) to the old heads is an "aquatic made like a chypre", and to younger fragrance fans as "a sweaty aquatic", because it is both of those. Truth be told, Polo Blue exists as Carlos Benaim's return to the series he started in 1978 with the original Polo, reinterpreting that mossy gentlemanly scent themed after a sport only one percenters play, but for the Y2K crowd obssessed with freshness and dynamic. Polo Blue subsequently renewed interest in the aquatic genre that was starting to cool it's heels after "radioactive grapefruit" ozonics rose to plague shelves with their feckless attention grab for the emerging affluent "sons of the establishment"; the Donald Trump Jr's of the world that wanted to smell loud and decorated in opulence they didn't earn but not in the gentrified way their parents did. All that stuff eventually fell downmarket anyway and was forgotten as it became discontinued, while Polo Blue gave the more-populist aquatic an upper-class shot in the arm which renewed interest not only in the Polo fragrance line for younger people, but in the aquatic genre itself. I actually encountered Polo Blue at Walmart, however ironic as that sounds, because they attempted for a while to sell high-end new releases (when they weren't stolen) to show their fragrance aisle was a more than a place to buy Calgon and Axe sprays. The "made like a chypre" factor comes from it's use of dry mossy textures and sharp, slightly virile tones, while the "sweaty aquatic" comes from the prominent but bleached-out bay note floating in the drydown. It's not the average blue juice.

Polo Blue opens with a kerfuffle of juicy fruitiness and cucumber. Carlos Benaim wasn't messing around with his core audience for this and went right for the throat with bouncy melon and tangerine. This isn't quite ozonic territory but it definitely feels like the average aquatic opening but with a prescription of Vivance fed to it, with a side of trendy cucumber water. The middle comes from basil, clary sage, and geranium, which is pretty crisp and green standard-issue fare for masculines going back 50+ years, and likely Benaim's nod to tradition that helps anchor this down so the older crowd, more likely to buy Ralph Lauren suits than scents at that point, might see it as adequate. There's quite a lot of fantasy notes here which I'm trying to ignore, the kind of thing Calvin Klein is known for and not Ralph Lauren, so the base regardless of what's listed has a slight dry moss and patchouli, with Iso E Super, amber, a musk molecule, and bay leaf. These were the days just before norlimbanol or ambroxan, so none of that is here, but the stuff is totally aswim with dihydromyrcenol (a.k.a. the "Cool Water" smell), a bit of calone for the melon accords, and the aforementioned Iso E Super in the nose-tinge woody base, so in strictest terms, Polo Blue is a chemical scent that super-hardline indie niche or vintage purists will hate. I'm sure those folks are not even remotely considered by the perfumer or house anyway, but it bears mentioning. The end result of a Polo Blue wear is an aura of fruity notes with their sweetness squashed by the herbs and burned to a crisp by the dry aromachemicals, having the slight moss only acting as a rounding agent alongside the scant musk. The bay note adds the "sweaty guy" vibe that makes Polo Blue come across as a buttoned up Perry Ellis 360 Degrees for Men (1992), which has my vote as best "gym bag" fragrance, and that's not a bad comparison.

Polo Blue served a niche that I don't think anyone knew existed initially: a crowd of young professionals looking for a slightly formal and forthright masculine but in aquatic form. All the 90's aquatics were casual, sporty, slightly androgynous and laundry-clean affairs that were fine for day-running in summer or inoffensive fragrance bubbles within one's own office cubicle, but didn't serve the suit and tie upper management guy. If you're forced into a 3-piece suit 365 days a year and are a guy who normally wears stuff like Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) or Terre de Hermès (2006) but want something fresher for days commuting in high heat without losing the formality, this scent is a serious option for you. Polo Blue has enough manly dryness to recall the starched collars of mid-century masculinity, hence my link to the chypres of that era, but the sweat factor also plays into usability at the gym too, since it won't stand out a ton but will deodorize nonetheless, making it a great office to gym then home or out kind of smell. The success of Polo Blue spawned Nautica Blue (2005), Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme (2005), Versace Pour Homme (2008), and even distantly Bleu de Chanel (2010), which itself ushered in the Ambroxan craze. Polo Blue is arguably the most popular Polo creation in the 21st century, dwarfing the original in use for the 35 and under crowd, and it's easy to see why. Folks who hate the use of any post 1990 aromachemicals or aquatics will hate this too, so there's nothing to see here for them, but for a person who just sorta likes (but doesn't love) the aquatic genre, this is certainly one of the better entries and presents the aquatic in a dressed-up and classy form, worthy of at least sampling. 2016 saw the introduction of this in parfum form, which like with the Bleu de Chanel line, adds increased sillage, warmth, and heft, but loses some of the freshness this genre is all about. A solid blue juice and one of my faves in the genre. Well done Polo!
14th July, 2018 (last edited: 20th July, 2018)

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