Ralph Lauren takes a whack at the Agarwood tree.
Off the top, you get hit with a shot of perfumers alcohol for 1-2 seconds, thats unpleasant.
Soon after I can detect a Fireball candy accord with wet wood of oud waiting in the back for its turn.
Within 5 mintues a wet, damp smelling oud really pushes forward.
Hints of cotton candy sweetness along with something that smells mentholated, medicinal.
Into the mid luckily the oud thickens up and the cotton candy like sweetness is left behind.
Looking at the notes for this, where is the smoky Guaiac? Even more of a disappointment its losing its projection punch within an hour.
I can pick it up ever so slightly away from my face after about 60 minutes.
I wish it was smokier, had more depth to it, instead its spiced, a rough chopped, handful of spices.
After about an hour I can start to pick up on a generic vetiver scratching its way through, it smells a bit less spicy.
The vetiver adds roughness, bit of woody feel to the damp oud.
Even further into the dry down its really becoming a skin scent of generic, scratchy vetiver and oud, which now has a rubbery accord (maybe thats the Guaiac wood?).
By the end, the vetiver is pushing the oud away further and further, oddly mixing together to give it a licorice tone.
Late skin scent dry down, the guaiac wood eventually joins in weakly with the rough vetiver, too little, too late.
The above breakdown reads as disappointing, and it is really.
The light sillage smells much more pleasant that up close sniffs of the wrist, which is unfortunate because with its weak power you’re likely to attempt putting your nose to your skin.
I was expecting a lot from Carlos Benaim, who is responsible for formulating the original Polo, which is considered a Mount Rushmore classic by many in the fragrance world, including myself.
With the candy fireball accord at the start and the spicy, woody vetiver base, I can relate this one to two scents currently out there.
The top is very similar to Bond No. 9’s I Love New York for All, and the mid and base are not unlike Versace’s Pour Homme Oud Noir.
Performance is similar to the Versace, starting out with promise and fizzling out by the end, leaving wondering what could have been.
At $120+ for 125ml, its a little below some niche offerings, without the high quality feel.
If I were to pick an oud scent to buy, this would not be it, it would probably be Montale’s Dark Oud, which offers much more complexity for around the same price, a little more for 100ml if you can find it at a discount.
Personally, I cant see this being worn other than for personal entertainment, even then I have other more satisfying scents than this.
A sweet and spicy fragrance thats forgettable and at the same time, representative of the crap Ralph Lauren is putting on shelves now.