Perfume Directory

Polo Red (2013)
by Ralph Lauren


Polo Red information

Year of Launch2013
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 131 votes)

People and companies

HouseRalph Lauren
PerfumerOlivier Gillotin
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Polo Red

Polo Red is a masculine fragrance by Ralph Lauren. The scent was launched in 2013 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Olivier Gillotin

Polo Red fragrance notes

Reviews of Polo Red

As a diehard Polo Green disciple, reviewing Polo Red is nothing more than an exercise in pure shame. What an absolute disgrace.

Nearly every flanker, save Polo Crest, have done nothing but shite all over the legacy. Even the sweet irony of the perfumers name, Oliver Gillotin (rhymes with GUILLOTINE), could not be more appropriate as the heart and soul of Ralph Lauren's mens line has been carved out and left to marinate in the sweet, sweet amber waves of a glowing, synthetic cesspit, funded by a never ending cue of wankers armed with run on sentences, easy credit and NO taste.

Have a nice day.

0 stars.
29th September, 2020
The Polo line continues on ever-popular thanks to the endless potential for flankers, from Polo Crest (1991) and Polo Sport (1994) through to Polo Blue (2002), Polo Black (2005), Polo Explorer (2007) the various Polo Big Pony (2010) fragrances one through four, and now Polo Red (2013). The "Big Pony" fragrances were a mistake, and did not kick off the 2010's on a strong foot for the Polo line, being these aqueous exercises in extreme synthetic minimalism like Ralph Lauren had been copying Calvin Klein's homework, but it wasn't the first time old Ralphy boy had dropped a bomb in a Polo bottle on us, since Crest and Explorer were not well-received flankers either (discounting all the in-between flankers-of-flankers that have been ignored out of sheer irrelevance), so something like Polo Red was needed. Olivier Gillotin was put on task for this, undoubtedly for the success of his unorthodox work with both niche houses and designer-tier brands like Ed Hardy, but he was still something of a controversial choice for a mostly conservative brand like Ralph Lauren. Gillotin delivered, and the continued flanker-flankers produced under the Polo Red name would bear his mark as well, so I guess popular consensus approves of his quirks. I usually approve of his quirks too, although I admit sometimes those quirks can't save the brief he's being forced to follow, and I think that is the case here with Polo Red.

Those quirks in Polo Red manifest as a weird subversion of gourmand notes in a fresh mass-appeal context. This isn't the first time he would do something of that nature, but we are dealing with Ed Hardy in these former contexts so people tend to take his work under that nameplate with a grain of salt from the onset for the very fact that it is for Ed Hardy, a brand not to be taken seriously. However, in Polo Red, this fresh subversion of gourmand tones has to come across as serious because Polo is a very serious line, and Gillotin somehow pulls a rabbit out of his hat for the occasion. The openings is one of the best I've smelled in modern designer perfumes made in the 2010's, using grapefruit, cranberry, and lemon notes mixed with smooth lavandin (a dry medicinal plant related to lavender). Unfortunately, it doesn't take long to see where all the R&D budget went, because the heart of well-executed sage, saffron, and cedar drys down very quickly after about 30 minutes into a generic "woody amber" accord of amber xtreme, tonka, and a coffee note that adds the gourmand subversion to the mix, avoiding the usual expected ambroxan overdose accord instead. I'm not a fan of this base type but if you dig this, performance is outstanding with longevity for a day. Best use here is casual or probably office during spring and fall, thanks to the dry one-two woody-amber punch that becomes the entirety of the scent after the first hour.

A fragrance like Polo Red could have been marvelous with a bit more natural wood (or at least natural-smelling) wood in the base, alongside maybe some vanilla for smoothing, with the coffee note lingering to add that bit of gourmand subversion Gillotin seemingly likes to inject into aquatics, woody ambers, blue scents, and other modern-day fresh masculine genres. Unfortunately, because either he or his bean counter overlords decided that the best cheapest and most-effective answer was a woody amber molecule overdose, Polo Red ends up being a slightly-better version of something like Acqua di Giò Absolu Instinct (2019), which has the woody amber turned up even higher and doesn't benefit from a fruity lavender fougère-like structure on top. Granted, this isn't insufferable or anything, but I think a smoother and more well-rounded eau de parfum version is needed to make this truly a world-class contender like Polo Blue or Polo Black was in this situation. A lot of old heads hated Polo Black because it followed the sour fruit musk ozonic trend aimed at then-twentysomething millenials, and Polo Double Black (2007) was made in capitulation for those older conservative types, so I don't see why a "Polo Double Red" or something of that type couldn't happen. As is, this is a beautiful start that leads to mediocrity on skin, and something that could have been so much more if designers like Ralph Lauren were just a little less greedy on development costs, but it doesn't outright suck. Test with caution. Neutral.
30th August, 2020
This is one of the best smells in the opening. Its got the cranberry and saffron, with some sweetness. It just works. It is my favorite part of any of the Polo Red line. It is very nice, but it dries down to a bland nothingish pretty quickly. the fastest fading of the Polo Reds.
09th October, 2019
This is one delicious scent. Fresh and exciting, it's very sweet, yet fresh, slightly spicy and warm. Almost a bit powdery with the creaminess yet still fresh, I feel this is a great cool weather scent and reminds me a bit of a barbershop, in a good way. I love this one during the day time, it has an exciting, energizing quality to it. It lasts a good amount of time on my skin, and I enjoy the scent from the opening all the way through the drydown. It's not overly sweet to me, and retains a fairly crisp, masculine quality with the spiciness, and it's warm enough you could probably use it as a "date night" fragrance, though I'd personally prefer it during the day time, after the gym, while being outdoors, etc. It's got the Polo DNA, being sophisticated and layered yet more exciting and energizing than their other frags. Another winner from the Ralph Lauren Polo line!

Only cons, it doesn't have much depth and it is very, very, very sweet.

10th September, 2019
Love the direction that Ralph Lauren took in creating Polo Red! I've been quite accustomed to the woody-spicy-floral outings of original Polo (green), Polo Crest (discontinued but decent), and the Polo Black flankers.

Polo Red is a new statement, a tangy aromatic cologne with a ambery-coffee dry foundation. Granted, it is a basic intro to this new direction and may lead some testers / wearers to want more. That's where Polo Red Intense does an EXCELLENT job of proportionately injecting some high octane into a much more pungent product. And then after dirty smoldering air is supercharged into it, voila: Polo Red Extreme!

Nonetheless, if Polo Red Intense is too strong for the prospective buyer, Polo Red and its reduced-cylinder son, Polo Red Rush, are there to do the trick.

So if you are ready to explore the tangier, more fruity-spicy side of things Ralph Lauren Polo, then Red is definitely worth a look!
19th August, 2018
Sweet and spicy but it never blends well.
Like chicken and waffles except the hot sauce was added and fruit juice along with the syrup. Might taste good to some because party in your mouth, but as a frag just doesn't work.

It could work though if better blended.
19th January, 2018

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