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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