Positive 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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    tempest moon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The best of the Polos... and my favourite "green" scent.

    Polo Modern Reserve is a wonderful modern updating of a classic. It is green and fresh and aromatic, with a wonderful line up of notes that is even better than the original!

    You get wonderful additions of basil, cardamom, spicy pimento pepper, myrrh, vetiver and suede. This is sophisticated, timeless, masculine & elegant. I really love it... and it's a shame it was a limited edition. If you don't like the original or want a "modern" updating of it, then this is the way to go. Otherwise, the original is still fine, it's just that this one happens to be my favourite... and probably the best flanker of the entire "Polo" line in my opinion.

    01st December, 2014

    nwhite14's avatar

    United States United States

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    I really love Polo Green, so now for my totally un-biased opinion! PMR a decent update on the original but is definitely more floral in the middle notes with less blunt force in the dry down. Where Polo Green is swinging sledge hammer tire strikes wearing a burgundy turtle neck / navy blazer / leather jacket...PMR is a picnic near a meadow, sipping brandy from the breast pocket of your Belstaff motorcycle jacket. I like it when the fancy strikes...

    23rd 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.

    23rd 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.

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

    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.

    05th August, 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.

    26th 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.'.

    22nd November, 2011 (Last Edited: 05th 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.

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

    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...

    14th 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.

    27th 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.

    07th 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

    26th 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.

    04th 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.

    17th 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

    18th 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.

    08th 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: 12th February, 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

    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.

    09th 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!!!!!

    07th 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

    25th 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.

    17th September, 2009

    MrFragranceReview's avatar

    United States United States

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    I heard this fragrance got such high reviews so I had to try it out for myself.

    I initially was skeptical because its very different than fragrances on the market today but I did like it. I ended up purchasing it more due to the fact that it got such great reviews so I figured it would grow on me.

    It did not disappoint.



    At first I was debating taking it back, but the more I wore it the more I grew to appreciate it. It's well blended, refreshing and is a very green woodsy fragrance but not in a deep way. More fresh and the one phrase that seems to perfectly describe it would be a "spiced cool coniferous scent".

    It's very classy and more well suited for the daytime and warmer weather. Excellent fragrance and very masculine and well distinguished from the typical citrusy ozonic run of the mill fragrances everyone is pumping out these days.

    01st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th January, 2010)

    AnimaSola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Modern Reserve is a superlative reinterpretation of the classic Polo. A luxurious and elegant green, spicy and fern accord. It resonates with sophistication, and it smells lovely from initial application to its long-lasting dry down. It is headier and lovelier than Polo Crest; I would have never thought that possible. It reminds me of Esencia Loewe in a way, but this beauty is crafted to absolute perfection. Magnificent!

    19th August, 2009

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    A simpler, modernized, but still viable version of the famed Polo Green… The resinousness of the original is reduced and so is the leather and heavier herbs like thyme, which makes for a much cleaner, less ponderous presence. It is still green but I think it is less coniferous and more airy. That strong presence of the original that wafted through the halls of the school thirty years ago hasn’t disappeared… it’s just been beautifully reinterpreted and it is unquestionably worthy to reside in the bottle of the original Polo. The green of Modern Reserve is an herbal green – primarily basil tempered by a sharpness-reducing cardamom. There is still a tiny bit too much leather for me, but not enough to keep me from buying a bottle. The softening floral element has been reduced to just a rather abstract jasmine note, and since jasmine is my favorite floral note, you won’t hear me complaining at the simplification. The (possibly dated) quality of the geranium has been removed and the base is a simplified, clear, and long lasting cedar and patchouli with a minimum of soft suede leather. I like this better the original. I had an at-a-distince admiration for the original although I never purchased it because the leather note was a bit too much for me. One sniff of Polo Modern Reserve and I laid down the cash and fulfilled a three-decade desire. I’ve worn Modern Reserve many times and I’m still as pleased as I can be – after all these years I can now wear a version of Polo Green.

    07th August, 2009

    Stereotomy's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    I was ready to scrub it off right after I tested it, because of my not so pleasant encounter with the original Polo, but this is actually quite wearable.

    It's a very green fragrance. It starts off with spicy basil, and when the topnotes have settled down, you can smell the pine, which links it to the original Polo. The drydown is remarkable in the sense that it is totally the end stages of Bulgari Pour Homme! The translucent pepper/white musk combo is definitely there.

    I couldn't wear the original polo. The pine is so harsh. But Polo Modern Reserve does what it promises to to: it makes the original Polo wearable in the next century.

    16th June, 2009

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