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  1. #1
    Dependent jkonick's Avatar
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    Default Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    A few weeks ago, when it was still possible to visit malls and touch communal tester bottles, I was in Macy's and finally got the chance to try out Polo Green. Notes-wise it seemed like a no brainer for me, because I love pine, leather, etc, and nothing in the pyramid turned me off. I have a decant of Italian Cypress, which I absolutely love, and have heard about the similarities.

    What I smelled was completely different though. Acrid, burnt hair, greasy old BBQ, super harsh. Eventually it dried down into something more tolerable, but I was completely taken aback by it - is this really what this stuff smells like??? I can handle some harsh fragrances, but this was just completely unpleasant. I immediately ran to the mall bathroom and scrubbed like there was no tomorrow.

    I'm hoping this was an anomaly though, because the tester I sprayed from was almost empty (only about 15 ml left out of 120), and who knows how long it had been sitting on the counter at Macy's. Did I sniff from a bad tester or is it really just like that? I want to like it and have almost blind bought a bottle, but now I'm thinking maybe I was right to have held off...
    "To 'give style' to one's character-- a great and rare art!" - Nietzsche

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    I've been feeling this way for a few years towards it. I don't get the lush green notes, chamomile, leather, and musk of olden days. I get a burnt ash tray smell. I do hope they've corrected this formula.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Burned a lot of hair on the BBQ have we?
    No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by jkonick View Post
    What I smelled was completely different though. Acrid, burnt hair, greasy old BBQ, super harsh.
    Yikes! That doesn't sound pleasant.
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    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by jkonick View Post
    A few weeks ago, when it was still possible to visit malls and touch communal tester bottles, I was in Macy's and finally got the chance to try out Polo Green. Notes-wise it seemed like a no brainer for me, because I love pine, leather, etc, and nothing in the pyramid turned me off. I have a decant of Italian Cypress, which I absolutely love, and have heard about the similarities.

    What I smelled was completely different though. Acrid, burnt hair, greasy old BBQ, super harsh. Eventually it dried down into something more tolerable, but I was completely taken aback by it - is this really what this stuff smells like??? I can handle some harsh fragrances, but this was just completely unpleasant. I immediately ran to the mall bathroom and scrubbed like there was no tomorrow.

    I'm hoping this was an anomaly though, because the tester I sprayed from was almost empty (only about 15 ml left out of 120), and who knows how long it had been sitting on the counter at Macy's. Did I sniff from a bad tester or is it really just like that? I want to like it and have almost blind bought a bottle, but now I'm thinking maybe I was right to have held off...
    That sounds like the pre-2018 formula. I bought one at CVS and it was sickening. I took it back. The stubby spray version now out is quite good.
    Currently wearing: 1 Million by Paco Rabanne

  6. #6

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Can someone please provide a pic of the stubby spray for reference? I'm interested in buying a bottle to try it again, but want to make sure its the correct one.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    This is the new stubby one
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by jkonick View Post
    Acrid, burnt hair, greasy old BBQ, super harsh.
    So, niche.
    Currently wearing: Ténéré by Paco Rabanne

  9. #9
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by jkonick View Post
    A few weeks ago, when it was still possible to visit malls and touch communal tester bottles, I was in Macy's and finally got the chance to try out Polo Green. Notes-wise it seemed like a no brainer for me, because I love pine, leather, etc, and nothing in the pyramid turned me off. I have a decant of Italian Cypress, which I absolutely love, and have heard about the similarities.

    What I smelled was completely different though. Acrid, burnt hair, greasy old BBQ, super harsh. Eventually it dried down into something more tolerable, but I was completely taken aback by it - is this really what this stuff smells like??? I can handle some harsh fragrances, but this was just completely unpleasant. I immediately ran to the mall bathroom and scrubbed like there was no tomorrow.

    I'm hoping this was an anomaly though, because the tester I sprayed from was almost empty (only about 15 ml left out of 120), and who knows how long it had been sitting on the counter at Macy's. Did I sniff from a bad tester or is it really just like that? I want to like it and have almost blind bought a bottle, but now I'm thinking maybe I was right to have held off...
    If it's your first experience with Polo,be patient. Come back to it another 3 or 4 times. Try a tester at Ulta or Kohl's. Maybe they'll carry a newer tester.

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    So, niche.
    Lmao! Nailed it.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Sounds like a bad tester I don’t believe that has ever been a description of Polo in reviews. Ashy ash tray yes but not burnt hair, try another location it’s super masculine and different than anything else currently available in fragrances today. It’s a excellent fragrance and when it’s not a gone bad bottle should smell excellent and balls to the wall masculine!
    “I find fragrance to be such a mood enhancer and definitely a seduction tool.”

  11. #11
    Dependent jkonick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Ok, thanks for all the responses! Sounds like I got a bad tester. Additionally, it was definitely the one with the longer sprayer. I'll have to hunt down a stubby sprayer. The notes are so on-point in terms of what I like that I'm not going to give up. Usually I'm not a vintage-chaser, but might be worth it to track down at least some decants of the Cosmair version I'm always reading about.

    When I was in elementary school, we were doing a series of lessons on holidays, and my mom came in to talk about Hanukkah. When she was lighting the menorah, the outer edge of her (very large, early 90s) Jew-fro caught on fire. The smell is burned into my memory, so to speak. I'd forgotten about that incident until I smelled the Polo tester, and it took me right back.
    "To 'give style' to one's character-- a great and rare art!" - Nietzsche

    "I got my own style; you put my shoes on, you wouldn't last a mile" - Mac Dre

  12. #12

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Stubby sprayer is good.

    Your description sounds like a bottle of the older, stanky post-2011 formulation that was left to sit and rot.

  13. #13
    Dependent NickZee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    The opening of Polo has always been quite impressive to me, it’s meant to be full of green notes for the first 3-4 minutes. If you’re getting burned hair in the opening, then it’s a bad tester. Polo Green testers can sit for a long time since people typically know what it smells like by now. The problem of recent formulations, at least pre 2018, has been in the drydown where it becomes too thin, ashy and acrid.

    On the issue of bad testers, they can be very damaging to a brand, which is why Chanel (at least in Australia) force stockists to replace testers when they get to half-way empty.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    I've come across this thread title three times now, and it keeps making me laugh, so descriptive.

  15. #15
    Dependent jkonick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by NickZee View Post
    The opening of Polo has always been quite impressive to me, it’s meant to be full of green notes for the first 3-4 minutes. If you’re getting burned hair in the opening, then it’s a bad tester. .
    Yeah, I got nothing green at all. That was the most baffling part. It was all pungent herbs and leather ashtray.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I've come across this thread title three times now, and it keeps making me laugh, so descriptive.
    "To 'give style' to one's character-- a great and rare art!" - Nietzsche

    "I got my own style; you put my shoes on, you wouldn't last a mile" - Mac Dre

  16. #16

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Burned a lot of hair on the BBQ have we?

    Veteran grillers all have a "Joe's brother-in-law's cousin's mullet caught on fire" story don't they? It's kind of like the "then all the steaks caught on fire" story except the laughs not on the griller.......

    A close relative is the "then Billy Bob used a can of lighter fluid and...." story which may not involve hair but will smell bad and often ends up in the Darwin awards.
    Currently wearing: Gentlemen Only by Givenchy

  17. #17
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    My favorite part of Polo is the drydown evolution. To me, the longer it's on my skin, the better it gets.
    Spray it, let it settle and do it's thing. An hour or two after you've sprayed, you'll be amazed.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Tobacco Oud by Tom Ford

  18. #18

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckW View Post
    This is the new stubby one
    Thank you so much ChuckW! Looks great and can't wait for the malls to open back up. Will be the first purchase I make! Oh how that polo crest beside it looks amazing!
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    The opening is what I like most about Polo. One reason I didn't love the Cosmair I acquired is that the top notes had faded, so it was very mid/base-heavy. It's the coniferous notes and spices that really get me going.

    The drydown is nice, though, and I'm happy that the "stubby sprayer" version smoothed out and deepened that drydown compared to the shrill version in pre-2018 bottles.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Never experienced this particular sensation with various of the editions/vintages/manufacturing years of this fragrance so far, neither with its flankers (though remotely this possibility might have been somewhat likelier with one of the Polo flankers, even if this did not experience this either so far)
    Currently wearing: Zino Davidoff by Davidoff

  21. #21
    DEMON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    Cosmair is the ONLY way to go with Polo.

    Check eBay. I've smelled every formulation of the luxury LLC era, and the best version they've made is maybe a whisper of Polo's former greatness.

    Polo is decidedly NOT intended to go quietly into the night. It would assault with its magnificence.
    My updated top ten, in no particular order:
    Bentley Intense
    Cosmair Polo Green
    Green Irish Tweed
    Calvin(original blue)
    L'Occitane Eau Des Baux
    Spicebomb/Lomani Body and Soul(tie)
    Hanae Mori HiM EDP
    Pure Havane
    Dunhill Icon
    Halston Man Amber

  22. #22

    Default Re: Polo tester smelled like a BBQ full of burning hair

    I ditched my Cosmair and opted for the 2019 juice.

    (It's partially because the top notes had faded on Cosmair, and that's what I like most about Polo.)




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