Reviews of Polo Modern Reserve by Ralph Lauren

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    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!

    19 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.

    07 August, 2009

    splashit's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The first thumbs down i'm afraid. Too green. I'm not a fan of overly sweet fragrances but this has no sweetness detectable at all. After the first hour i began to feel sick and couldn't wait to shower this mess off. Synthetic with strong sillage and longevity. Not pour moi.

    18 June, 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.

    16 June, 2009

    Excelsior's avatar

    United States United States

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    Not bad. It's a very fresh woody scent with a bit of a back bite. I wasn't crazy about the top notes, but it moves quickly into a piny, musky heart that I very much enjoy. It smells sort of similar to Caron's Le 3 Homme, to me. Classy, subtle, thumbs up!

    12 June, 2009

    jagmartini's avatar

    United States United States

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    As the name implies, this scent is -only- for the reserved, modern gentleman, who can kill with one look and charm with a few words.

    I loathe the original polo but this, I proudly wear it and love catching a whiff of myself. There's almost a spicy scent to it that I love. Upon the dry down I detect a soft, sociable soapy-leather smell that oozes with class.

    I was apprehensive about only being able to buy a large bottle but now that I've worn this a few times, I see why it only comes in a large bottle.

    Another winner from Ralph!

    07 June, 2009

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    It is almost like Polo Crest with some notes of the original Polo. So I guess it will be quite welcomed by lovers of the now defunct Polo Crest. As for me, I appreciate the fact that is not, at all, in line with modern or present templates, which in the times being, is surprising.

    01st June, 2009

    mikeperez23's avatar

    United States United States

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    I noticed a much more spicy (almost soapy) top note that isn’t harsh at all. Less resinous. But not ‘typical’ or ‘fresh’ (thank goodness). The scent evolves quickly through a few stages and one could easily miss them if you’re not paying attention: soapy basil; spice; a hint of leather and/or birch tar; the tiniest bit of smoky resin (myrrh?); and then: the vintage smell of Polo. The sharpness and piercing effect of the notes has been softened (the tobacco is gone). I, personally, prefer this change. The original always smelled less like something in nature (animal, plant) and more like a manufactured ‘smell’ of green foliage, woods and the outdoors. It suffered for this: It was lumped into the bargain fragrance category (along with other outstanding masculines like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Aramis and the discontinued [prior to reformulation/ vintage] Brut). When so many other products (hand soap, dishwashing liquid, carpet cleaner) are scented like this too, it’s no surprise many have a knee-jerk aversion to it. Maybe this is why Ralph Lauren decided to re-brand, re-bottle and reformulate it?

    I’m impressed: This new edition impresses me without cheapening the quality of the original scent. It highlights all of the lovely facets while it simultaneously plays down those less-than-friendly parts with a more balanced vetiver/leather base. It also, just like the original, lasts hours and hours!

    26 May, 2009

    jalexhrovat's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the original and this is an awesome "remake" of it. Definitely more versatile with the depth, warmth and masculinity of the original. Much less smoky, which I guess is complaint of the original but I never had a problem with it.

    Excellent fragrance. If you are trying Polo for the first time, try the original first then this one and you'll truly appreciate this remake of a classic.

    Thumbs way up!

    17 May, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very nice. It's neat that the original perfumer was tapped to make a modern take on his old formula. Part of me thinks that this is the new formula and will phase out the Polo Classic. Very clever by Polo if that's the case because it smells very similar but definitely like a reformulation. As for Polo Crest clone... Modern Reserve seems more green and oakmossy than anything. Fresh aromatic leather and pine is what this is. After sampliong a few times I have decided that Modern Reserve is an awesome scent.

    16 May, 2009

    nomad's avatar

    Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago

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    so good i went and bought the 30th anniversary edition a great scent.

    07 April, 2009

    EarNoseThroat's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Flawless masterpiece! Much props to Carlos Benaim and Ralph Lauren!

    01st April, 2009

    tanto's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a really nice fragrance. The only way I can describe it is that it smells exactly like Polo Crest which came out in the early 90's.......I really liked that, too. Most likely it is Polo Crest with a new name and package design. This is a great frag to wear to work because it is nonobtrusive or cloying. Very subtle, pleasant, and classy !!

    17 February, 2009

    Basteri's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Polo Classic was one of my first loves and I think I went through 10 bottles in the 80/90´s.
    Polo Modern is greatly appreciate it, they have toned down the classic and have made it more approachable and versatile.
    You can clearly smell the classic in there BUT this one has its own personality and deserves also its own respect and place.
    The smoky pine note is pretty much gone. If you cannot without it you can buy classic and have both, that is what I will be doing.
    Seems they really took their time to create something nice and well elaborated, not just a flanker to bust sales during Christmas. I am glad I got myself a bottle.

    02 February, 2009

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Definately positive, thumbs up. Very nice fragrance. If you are familiar with the original Polo, then subtract the feces shrouded in cigar smoke blast that hits you in the beginning. I also get a hint of Purple Label/Romance Silver. This is a very manly. elegant wearable instant classic. Worth a test, and to me much much better than the original.

    17 January, 2009

    trojan66's avatar

    Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

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    Nothing but class! great sillage, does not leave trails, but is good enough

    22 December, 2008

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Finally, a decent fragrance from the house of Lauren. No, make that a great fragrance. This one's a keeper, and not just because it's based on a tried and true classic. It's actually a real rethinking of the original that's so nicely done, it stands on it's own. Some low-key peppery combo that tamps down the runaway pine/leather accord of the original. It's like Polo Green "Lite" and it's not just some slapped together juice that you'll forget in a month.
    So, why did they drop the ball on the bottle. Come on Ralph! Who's running the show over there? They've just slapped some truly tacky typeface that says "modern reserve" under the polo pony logo. No other change to the packaging. Big mistake! This one deserved a bottle as well thought out as the fragrance.

    18 December, 2008

    JaimeB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spice and herbal notes lead off, with a white floral and resinous note to follow. Later, patchouli and woods with soft leather. This strikes me as a casual or work scent more than as anything really dressy, but it could probably be stretched to that end. Being a modern scent, it can defy convention as far as that. This harks back more to the original Polo (Green), and I think I prefer both of these to Polo Blue, Black, or Double Black.

    05 November, 2008

    Ronin's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a nice one. I can't go in detail about exactly how it smells but to me it smells like a classic from the past that has been toned down a bit. I've tried the original Polo on a paper card but that one goes on sharp and not sure how it is compared to this Modern Reserva version. I will most likely buy this stuff when the price goes down a bit. Thumbs up.

    18 October, 2008

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    The notes (per Sephora):

    Top: Cardamom C02, Fresh-cut Basil, Pimento Berry.
    Mid: Vetyver-leather, liquid Jasmine, Precious Myrrh Incense.
    Base: Humidor Wood, Patchouli, Sueded Leather.

    At first I didn't think Modern Reserve (MR) really shared that much with the original. I then tested them against each other, one on each arm, and revised that initial impression. They definitely share notes, and more importantly MR definitely invokes the style of the original.

    MR stars of with a real cardamom blast, backed up with 'coolness' that it very difficult to articulate... perhaps it's the basil, but it's like a sharp piney-ness that makes the cardamom feel sharp. The fragrance settles into the heart quickly, with the top notes and mid-notes melding for a while. The heart is very 'green'... very piney and bordering on almost being the slightest bit minty. (By this point the original has warmed up, and is very leathery with a tobacco edge). As with the original, MR's notes are very well blended and no distinct note is very apparent. I can't distinguish vetiver or myrrh by themselves, but it makes sense that these notes together create the green heart of the fragrance. The drydown is fairly uneventful... a light leathery/woody/piney base that persists for a few hours. Unlike the original, which can easily be overdone with just a few sprays, MR doesn't kill the entire room with a few sprays. It's got good longevity and sillage without being overly potent.

    Overall MR is a great fragrance - especially for being a modern designer offering. If Polo itself wasn't so green and bold, there's no way RL would have released something so radically different than everything else designers have released this year. You don't have to like Polo to like MR - it is its own fragrance for sure.

    18 October, 2008

    Zerby's avatar



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    I'm just sampling it now. For anyone who was unhappy about Polo Crest being discontinued. Break out the wine & celebrate. This smells just like it. That's a good thing. I sure hope to get a bottle. UPDATE:8/7/09. I got a bottle for Christmas and I just love it.

    13 October, 2008 (Last Edited: 07 August, 2009)

    ToughCool's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'll be the first here. Tried this and immediately purchased it. As a teen or preteen I never really noticed the strength of the initial blast of Polo. Just recently I tried it again and it was overwhelming. I'm not sure if it is the chamomile in the original or what but I didn't like it as much. What Modern Reserve does is mutes that intitial blast to almost nothing and then lets the middle notes and the base of the original come out. this maybe has a little more "green" to it in the middle and drydown. I personally, upon todays testing, find this better than the original. It keeps everything I loved about Polo as a youth, especially the drydown and takes away some of the things that may have kept others away. It is Modern and it is Reserve(d) alright. I love this scent and it will be a new classic for me.

    01st October, 2008

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