Reviews of Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

    Find out more about Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    divus5's avatar

    United States United States

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    (Its discontinued so I bought a small sample from the Perfumed Court)

    The longevity is very poor in the sample I tried, it disappeared in 90 minutes...unacceptable. It smells good while it lasts, but I'll take the "old green grease" over this any day. Save your money.

    (I tried the recent formulation of the original and it smells like stale cigarettes, avoid that one too. Gotta go vintage if you want the good stuff)

    10th July, 2014 (Last Edited: 11th July, 2014)

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Fougère

    Well, my sample of Polo has gone missing, and I’m disappointed at not being able to make a side-by-side comparison between Modern Reserve and the original release. Like bbBD, I don’t find much resemblance to the original Polo in Modern Reserve’s bergamot and aromatic fresh fougère-style top notes. It’s only after about twenty or thirty minutes’ wear that Polo’s leather, woods, and tobacco make their entrance. From that point onward it’s pretty close to what I remember as Polo, perhaps a touch drier and with less conifer resin at its heart, but still very much the big 1970s gentleman’s club leather and cigar scent. Which is to say good, if a bit out of synch with today’s olfactory aesthetic.

    23 June, 2014

    Cary Grant's avatar

    United States United States

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    MR is a well executed flanker. Reminiscent of the best of the original Polo, but subtly leaning toward incense and away from the harsher leather/moss/woods. Projection and sillage are superb.

    Smells classy and classic.

    08 April, 2013 (Last Edited: 11th April, 2013)

    photofinish's avatar

    United States United States

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    A distinctly dark, masculine, herbaceous scent, whose unbalanced spectrum of wood, floral, green and leather notes never develop into a coherent aroma... making Polo Modern Reserve almost clean, almost classy and almost wearable.

    03 October, 2012

    Swanky's avatar

    United States United States

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    Modern Reserve is a good example of a well-done flanker. In my opinion, flankers are most effective when they bear some resemblance to the precursor. MR shares the DNA of Polo through and through. It manages, I think, to outdo the current iteration of Polo Green. While the original was a power beast and sillage monster, the contemporary rendition seems watered-down, closer to a knockoff than the real thing.

    Modern Reserve recuperates Polo. Those that find the original dated might prefer MR's calmer approach. This manages to be more successful than Polo Crest, another flanker to which Modern Reserve has been compared. Crest was a bit too polished and tranquilized. MR restores the smoky leather of Polo and carries the family jewels well into the substantial longevity. Nice work. A caveat though: this is more old school than modern so those looking for a fresh, wispy clone of the current Macy's counter should look elsewhere.

    05 August, 2012

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    As well as already abundantly underlined  the Modern Reserva is a more contemporary (?) revisited kind of juice which is still green and smoky but is at once sweeter, endowed by a certain dose of soapy smoothness, more fruity and far less complex, aromatic-balsamic, minty, coniferous, sharp, resinous and leathery than the HUGE predecessor. I catch hints of balmy "synthetism" in this modern version, the flowers are less angular and more enveloping, the juice is more radiant, ostensibly light and spacious (airy), more sporty-dymamic and owns like a touch of something boozy, balmy (the myrrh) but also fruity-detergent (deep fruits-vetiver-patchouli) and deeply spicy is in the blend. The first impression is that the juice is less dusty-incensey, aqueous,  sharp and leathery than the original Polo even if as soon as the dry down is cast you notice that the smell is still a Polo kind of smell and is virile, leathery, herbal-rooty (vetiver) and prickly-dusty (but with that spicy-balmy-fruity warm sweetness almost absent in the body of the great original). The main difference between the two versions is to me made by the sweetness of balsams, fruits and spices introduced in the body of the Reserva. Nonetheless this revisited flanker is a good smell of forest for us but is not so transparent, pure, natural, stiff, cool-aromatic and silvan as the bold original.

    04 June, 2012

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    I don't have my Polo Crest anymore or I'd so a side-by-side. It had been such a long time since I'd sampled PMR, that I was expecting more greenery and less leather, so I'm questioning my previous treatment of it as a summer scent; now I'd say it's a good intermediate for all seasons. It starts out as a very light, well-behaved spearmint with an Antaeus-like leather underneath, and surprisingly a bit of fruit, which to me is a lot like the banana in Acier Aluminium. This stuff, even moreso than Crest, turns the old drill sargeant's piney leather belcher of Polo into a usable fragrance; Crest did it largely with summery wintergreen, which I can only take so much of, but PMR does it with an interesing mix of summery and wintery notes. The sweet florals in the mid-notes remind me of Van Cleef and Arpels or Hammam Bouquet, which I don't like, but the leather reminds me of Parfum d'Habit, which I find very true-to-life. Plus there's some wood and pine needles, but it's from a lush, magnificent old growth forest, not the sort of "hey guys, we have a few pine trees too in New Mexico," like the bone-dry, scrubby forests of Yatagan. I also think it nails this genre better than Eucris because it includes more sweet spices and less astringent herbs.

    26 February, 2012

    ironduke's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    Fresh, clean, 'smells nice', not feminine, inexpensive. More wearable than original Polo. Reliable blind buy, if that kind of thing exists. A bit linear for my taste. Give it to your friend who want to smell good but do not want to wear 'woman's perfume.'.

    22 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 05 December, 2011)

    Giannino's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    One needs but one word to sum up this fragrance. Masterpiece! I simply cannot fathom that this jem was released in 2008. Yes, that's right, it's not a typo, 2008.

    Based on the powerhouse classic, 'Polo', Modern Reserve is indeed as the name suggests, a completely 'modern' twist on the original, but with enough hints of it's older brother to keep Polo wearers interested.
    In my opinion, PMR is quite different from Polo. It's certainly more sophisticated and elegant in it's composition - an ideal day fragrance, especially for those of us who suit up to work.
    That old school pine note has almost vanished completely (not such a bad thing) which makes PMR more wearable and less offensive than it's older sibling.

    In terms of projection and longevity, PMR is excellent without being overbearing.
    One of the finest MENS fragrances around...bravo Ralph Lauren.

    17 November, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 December, 2012)

    silentrich's avatar

    United States United States

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    Having worn the original Polo a long time ago I forgot how it smelled. Modern Reserve instantly brought back memories from the first spray. Majorly toned down from the original, but it still has enough in common with it to wear the badge. The only thing that disappointed me was the pine note that was so prominent in the original is barely noticeable. Otherwise it's a nice fragrance for an older gentleman.

    17 November, 2011

    Mario-K's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    This is masterpiece. If you like traditional Polo, you will love Modern Reserve.
    Hard to believe, but better than his "father".
    Must have for a green scents lovers...

    14 November, 2011

    wardamoose's avatar



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    I like the smell of the original Polo but I could in no way wear it on my skin. Its like a thick, hot spice rack. THIS HOWEVER i love. The moment I tried it, i loved it. It isn't as overbearing as the original. Its very very very warm. Be warned though, if you don't like very GREEN scents, you will not like this. I however prefer the very green scents, so this is one of the elite.

    27 September, 2011

    Mapletop's avatar

    United States United States

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    Big fresh green blast. The vetiver and the jasmine mix well together. The vetiver soon fades after and hour and a rounded myrrh note is prominant. Big thumbs up.

    07 August, 2011

    hutch21au's avatar



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    This is a great fragrance I love this .This is just one I like to keep sniffing .This is anytime of the year fragrance,green and moss just a great job it has the smoke out of it is the diffrence I can tell from the original polo

    26 June, 2011

    usemyname's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    I really like this one. I'm not sure it's very masculine. Wearing this got me a comment like 'Why are you wearing a women's perfume?'. Probably to perfumey, but still very good.

    31st March, 2011

    scardinaclan's avatar

    United States United States

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    It's here! Polo Crest resurrected! It was a sad day when Polo Crest stopped being produced, but thanks to some references in the Basenotes reviews of Modern Reserve I've found it again. Granted it is not exactly the same, but it is the closest thing out there. It starts off very similar to classic Polo, but instantly warms into a Crest-like aura. The longevity is superb as is the sillage. A very winter fragrance indeed. As Polo Crest was one of my all time favourites, I was very glad to find this. I bought it blind and have received numerous positive comments from the ladies. ;-) I can only hope that they don't stop production any time soon. As far as I'm concerned this (and the original Crest) are the best scents ever produced by Ralph Lauren.

    04 January, 2011

    sinodor's avatar

    United States United States

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    The original was my standard throughout the 70's and 80's. And I wore it proudly. This take steps it up a notch, while maintaining the piney essence of its iconic template. I will always love this definitive forest-like scent, but I must admit I bought this out of curiosity and nostalgia as I feel I have lost touch, for better or worse, with its pipe and cashmir sweater nature. Nonetheless, I don't believe Lauren has ever matched with any of his other (colored) offerings the staunch presence of the original "green"...except perhaps with his Modern Reserve.

    21st December, 2010

    urfliness's avatar

    United States United States

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    UH, THIS IS DEFINTELY NOT "BETTER" imo -than the original.However Modern Reserve (like many opinions before) maintians the masucline character but puts a new twist on it if you will.It's modern because unlike the original many mens frag are not chacteristicly "bold" and "in your face" as they once were. This frag has gracefully evoloved to the Modern era of quality mens frags.Longevity is magnificent without sickening and to me that is one tell tale sign of a quality fragrance.

    17 June, 2010

    Chewbacca's avatar

    United States United States

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    This was a total blind buy for me, and it passed with flying colors. To explain the smell, I always imagine a real tough man who just came out of the deep deep forest and has all the smells of nature on his shirt: Pine, rich woods, and some leather. This is so unique and has so many layers, its a must have for anyone who calls them-self a "MAN". Longevity - Very long (10-12hrs) and Projection is Awesome, so a few sprays and your good for the day. This is defiantly a sophisticated smell that perfect for those special occasions. I would suggest for ages 30+ ( I know im gonna wear this when im a grandfather ).
    -10 out of 10

    18 April, 2010

    RCavs's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    In "Pre Acqua di gio's time" I used to wear Polo and It was one of my favourites, although I always had some issues with its super potent smell. After some time, a lot of minor facturers started producing knock-offs and other fragrances "influenced by Polo" and its ubiquity was the cause of my decreasing interest from that time on. With Modern Reserve launch I was affected by some nostalgia and found the perfect excuse to revisit a classic. And I'm delighted! They really made a nice work here! It's greener than the original one (in some sort of minty way) and has a cleaner spicy character without excluding the pine note. MR is more wearable but still potent: lasts hours and has great sillage. And I understand perfectly the resemblance some detected with Polo Crest.

    08 April, 2010

    Cheeva's avatar



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    just bought a bottle two days ago. this is a very green woodsy fragrance but without the tobacco ,leather , pepper of the original. after the first 30 minuets, the floral notes really start kicking you in the face! silliage is very good ,well past 5 hours . according to polo.com., they might be phasing out modern reserve, just like polo explorer.

    21st March, 2010

    rodent's avatar

    France France

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    Not much to add to what's already been said. MUCH lighter on the leather and tobacco than the original. And, quite oddly, at a certain point the drydown veers off into cadamomy-cuminy territory very reminiscent of Cartier's Declaration, of all things!

    11th February, 2010 (Last Edited: 12 February, 2010)

    fragranceluvr's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was very surprised at all the "Thumbs Up" and positive responses here. I was NOT IMPRESSED! I was surprised at this scent. It is nothing new on the original; PRL Mondern Reserve is only slightly more floral than the original. Modern Reserve still imparts the harsh herbal tang as the first but softens the fragrance somewhat with a touch more floral. This fragrance still carries the moderate to strong sillage and does last a good while. If you are a fan of Ralph Lauren Polo, than you will like this one. Modern Reserve is boring, and has been done before, the florals don't help much. It is a nice work and weekend fragrance and it's reliable like an old friend, it's inoffensive; a go-to fragrance. But if you're looking for something new, this is NOT your fragrance.

    11th January, 2010

    WhosYerBob's avatar

    United States United States

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    Smells nice! It really is a modern take on Polo - hence the Modern Reserve moniker - and has a modern green/woody/piney scent to it. Longevity is good and the sillage is not overpowering. Like it a lot better than the Polo Green.

    10th January, 2010

    bokaba's avatar

    United States United States

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    Modern Reserve certainly attempts to maintain the integrity of the already dated and intolerable formula of original Polo. How nice of them! The opening is similar to the original with the same citrus, spices, etc. Then the middle and base of some kind of resinous sweet amber appears and stays strong for at least twelve hours. Polo Modern Reserve is very potent.

    21st November, 2009

    evinick's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    No one should doubt about the project’s intentions. We don’t talk about an improvement of the classic but of a modern approach on to the same theme, I suspect with only one and only reason. To attract a new and younger group of fans that love the classic Polo , but cannot imagine themselves smell like their father. And it’s definitely a success regarding the creation of an interesting scent, althought I am not sure it is different enough to call it “NEW”. A new fresher opening with green herbal notes and the pine still present but more polite. The heart incorporates wood, light floral and leather notes always on a patchouli background and altogether drydown into a beautiful light base. Less formal but still classy. A worthy successor of an American classic.

    09 October, 2009

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    a tolerable green but not fresh scent. the patchouli is undetectable and after a half hour or so it astonishes the senses. not at all sexy but manly and confident. paul bunyan would wear this and go home and you know what to his wife all night. green and informal but casual and manly. it also last all day. a bit pricey but i got it for a steal on ebay!!!!!

    07 October, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th March, 2013)

    truth657's avatar



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    This fragrance is modern!! vey nice last long and blended very well last a long time

    25 September, 2009

    tnamey's avatar

    United States United States

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    I agree with the last two reviews, especially by Vibert. Clearly better than the original-smoother and more refined. Singular in scent, strong projection, and a classic.

    20th September, 2009

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    This is a welcome and successful update of the original seventies classic. I am fond of the original, but as I mature and my tastes broaden, I find it harder to remain as enthusiastic about it. Modern Reserve is a much more refined and versatile fragrance than its older sibling, but retains much of the spirit that beguiled a generation.

    The ginger-like qualities of the cardamom, lend the opening a lightly spiced tone that give the proceedings a feeling of refinement. There are no dominant top notes, just a nicely balanced aromatic blend of harmonizing ingredients. Once the opening notes recede, things start to feel a little greener and tighter. The heart notes are vetiver driven, but the feeling of warmth supplied by the incense is very pleasing. The shift to the incense displays Modern Reserve’s sensual and soothing side, a very welcome development from the original.

    Modern Reserve may not make the impact that the original did 31 years ago, but it has earned the right to be uttered in the same breath. Producing an updated version of Polo was no mean feat, and I applaud Ralph Lauren for succeeding with such aplomb.

    17 September, 2009

    Showing 1 to 30 of 53.