Perfume Directory

Polo Sport (1993)
by Ralph Lauren


Polo Sport information

Year of Launch1993
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 420 votes)

People and companies

HouseRalph Lauren
PerfumerHarry Fremont
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Polo Sport

Bright, bold, cobalt blue - The sleek contoured design was inspired by the shape of a water bottle. The cap is patterned to represent the design of a bar bell weight. Well that's what I was told anyhow. It's got lots of seaweed in it, which seems a bit disturbing, but it's not put many people off, as it's the worlds number one "Sports" fragrance. Don't ask me what makes a fragrance a "sports fragrance" apart from the name. I once drunk a whole bottle and I didn't run any faster.

Polo Sport fragrance notes

Reviews of Polo Sport

Pineapple sushi, sprinkled with chopped ginger, nuzzled in a bed of sweaty gym socks. Bon appetit!

0 stars.
15th September, 2020
Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren (1993) was a very big deal when it launched, and became the go-to scent for many a "gym bro" back in the day, who were composed entirely of muscle, libido, and a desire to beat everyone at everything in which one could possibly declare a winner and loser. This was the smell of unbridled ego-driven whey-fueled insecurity for much of the 90's, a market that would be tapped into heavily until the 2000's, and if you so dare as got even unintentionally in the path of one such meathead doused in Polo Sport on his way in or out the door, you'd be on the receiving end of either an arrogant quip or possibly a shiner. Now not everyone wearing Polo Sport is or was a self-centered "Chad", as a lot of impressionable teenage boys and young men throughout the time Polo Sport reigned supreme wore it to be "on trend", much in the same way Davidoff Cool Water (1988) was also worn to absolute death. For my experience, this was one of the few scents you were almost required to own if you were going to own any at all coming up through high school by the end of the decade, as wearing something so popular that onlookers could recognize your scent was actually encouraged rather than frowned upon like it seems to be now. Polo Sport wasn't so much an important release for incidentally becoming the territorial pissings of steroid abusers during the 90's, but rather because it furthered the aquatic genre put into being by the aforementioned Cool Water and eventually the "blue fragrance" category. There were other attempts at emulating the accord founded by the erstwhile Davidoff mega-hit, but nobody really tried to advance the state of the art quite like Harry Freemont did with Polo Sport. Becoming the number-one "sports scent" among males for a time is no small feat, but the combination of oceanic tones with a richer earthy/woody underpinning was one sure-fire way to make it happen. Polo Sport is by far the final word in "blue" aquatics, and there would be at least one or two more great leaps in the genre until it lay dormant to be reawakened without so much "blue" midway through the 2000's, but it's still pretty important because the abstract concept of a fruity fresh "blue" masculine fragrance really solidified with Polo Sport, evolving more when Bleu de Chanel (2010) showed up to change the game by removing the aquatic elements.

The cobalt-colored bottle reminiscent of a sports canteen is crowned with a cap and resembling a bar/knob from a free weight or piece of athletic equipment, housing a juice that itself would be copied countless times for the next 15 years or so. Polo Sport fused fruity minty top notes with smooth cool spices and a unique sea grass note in the heart, then finished with a woody aromatic base laced with the prerequisite dihydromyrcenol "aquatic" note. Opening with mandarin, tangerine, pineapple, mint, lavender and neroli, Polo Sport confronts you with a dynamic contrast of fruity sweet, cool, sharply citric, slightly-medicinal aura that sets up for the green vegetal sea grass heart mixed with geranium and rosewood. This heart is the most-iconic feature of Polo Sport, and is the part that would become most-copied as the 90's went on, quickly stealing the title of "aquatic gold standard" away from Cool Water, which itself has by comparison received far fewer clones over the years. From there, we move into a more-conventional base of musk, oakmoss, patchouli, and sandalwood with the "aquatic" note moving between them, but this is also a bit unconventional in a way too, because it was far heavier and more aromatic than what few aquatics arrived on the scene prior, and definitely has more depth than Cool Water itself. What we're left with is an accord that provides a semi-sweet fresh crisp experience with dynamism up top mixed with a vegetal quality of the heart that very gradually moves the slider into aromatic woods and musk territory as the base takes over. Polo Sport is a suprisingly unpretentious fragrance since it offers up approachable freshness and inviting warmth when you get close, which seems all the more ironic that it was pitched as a sport scent and worn by a bunch of Gold's Gym flunkies looking to get in everyone's pants or scare them off the dance floor with arms too big to do much more than the cabbage patch when C&C Music Factory started cranking at the Roxbury. Where you would use this now is anyone's guess, as Polo Sport has moved so far away from the common masculine vernacular that wearing it around millennials might actually catch people off-guard regardless of context or time of year, but this feels more summery than anything else even if it has enough weight for general use. You won't get looks of concern like you might wearing an 80's powerhouse or 70's aromatic, but you'd definitely get some folks trying to place where they've smelled it before if you sport it on an outing.

As for performance, conflicting opinions exist about pre-and-post-2011 batches, or before and after oakmoss was heavily restricted and mostly replaced with evernyl for the houses unwilling to pay up on the low-atranol treated oakmoss available nowadays. For my part, the modern version of Polo Sport still "smells like Polo Sport", and wears with moderate projection and longevity. This was never a "beast-mode" fragrance from the onset, but most people experiencing Polo Sport back in its prime were also experiencing an over-application on the wearer's part in many cases, with rose-tinted glasses and hobbyist knowledge doing the rest for some guys to assert that vintage is stronger/better because it had more oakmoss. If you prefer it, then by all means seek vintage out, but people new to Polo Sport will still "get the point" with what's commonly out there. Jean Patou took the depth of Polo Sport's base even further with the oakmoss-stuffed Voyageur (1994), a fragrance that isn't even possible to make under current IFRA regulations, so if oakmoss content is important to you, then I'd not look to this scent for satisfaction anyway. Wings for Men by Giorgio Beverly Hills (1994) is the next logical leap for folks who enjoy the "blueness" of Polo Sport, as Wings for Men is the "bluest" aquatic I have ever smelled. For everyone else, Polo Sport is the once-ubiquitous turning point in men's fragrances where "sport" was more of a marketing gimmick than an actual olfactive aesthetic, and remains something that at least needs to be experienced once if not worn or enjoyed alongside Polo Blue (2002), as a critical step towards where mass-appeal masculine perfumes have gone. I still enjoy the occasional sniff from Polo Sport when I find an old tester here or there, but wearing this is like strapping on my JNCO jeans and tossing a Korn CD into my stereo, and I'm not testosterone-filled or close to having pectorals bursting from a purposely too-tight shirt to own a bottle unironically. Still, for the guy looking to rock some old-school aquatics (feels wrong placing those two terms together but here we are), Polo Sport is probably the best starting place because it shares the most DNA with what's out there now than anything else made back then, and still smells pretty damn good too. Just please remember to rack your weights when you're done with them, since not all of us can bench press a SmartCar like you, thanks. Thumbs up.
12th January, 2020
Wore this during High School in the mid-late 90's, so I'm used to the vintage formula. Was a great starter for getting into fragrances, but every single person I knew had a bottle and wore it often.

6.5 out of 10, too bad for IFRA regs. I definitely wouldn't care to smell a current formula, and to drop the coin on a vintage bottle? Why bother with so many better vintage choices?

To the good 'ol days...
22nd June, 2019
*reformulated version with the clear blue spray nozzle*

This opens up much like Calvin Klein's Eternity. It's sharp and sweet, but with a blue smell to it, if that makes sense.
And like Eternity, the sharpness in the opening gradually fades away to reveal a much softer interpretation of it. To me, it's somewhat linear, in a good way.

I've heard reports that this isn't as good as the Cosmair version. That it even smells bad.
I've never tried the original, but the bottle I did sample smelled really nice and pleasant.

Aqua Velva Ice Sport. Almost the exact same, except Polo Sport obviously lasts longer, and has a better dry down.
Also, Aqua Quorum.

I like this scent, but it's not really mature. This feels like something a high schooler would wear. Almost like a starter fragrance.
I think Polo Blue, and Polo Blue Sport are both a slightly more serious take on this style, although I think this one is more distinctive.
Overall this is a very pleasant scent. It feels a bit dated because it reminds me of Cool Water, and that scent, for me, was synonymous with the early/mid 90s.
An excellent fragrance to give you an idea what the 90s was like.
26th September, 2018
Nothing special about Polo Sport.Half aquatic and half fruity fresh 'sporty' scent.It's clean and's just boring yet expensive.You could probably blend Nautica Classic and any Adidas fragrance with it and make your own little 'mongrel' of a scent that would be more creative.
14th March, 2018
Bought this when it first came out!! Reminds me of starting work/college and going to pubs for the very first time. It had a shower fresh smell to it and I remember it being rather cloying. Not sure what it smells like these days??
15th November, 2017

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