polo red

Polo Red review: A Smart Cologne Choice?

Polo Red is a cologne for men created by fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Widely recognized for its brave red bottle, the scent profile within exudes plenty of energized, masculine character. In today’s review I’m going to touch on the key features of Polo Red; and let you know why it’s a smart fragrance choice this year.

Polo Red smells fruity, ‘ambery’, and sweet

I consider Polo Red a fruity sweet fragrance with an ambery foundation. It contains notes of cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, saffron, amber, coffee, and woods.

When sprayed on skin the cranberry note is the first to appear. Its aroma smells slightly tart and comparable to red fruits, drawing instant parallels to the fruity opening of Spicebomb Infrared.

Tart, sweet cranberries

Radiating alongside the cranberries is the citric duo of lemon and grapefruit. They emit a complementary zesty energy in support of the red fruity smell. Pleasingly, there is little sharpness or sourness here, which is often a risk with citrus accords.

After the first 10 minutes, the opening fruits start to settle. Then, I identify previously indistinguishable notes that’ve been quiet in the background until now:

  • A saffron note emerges, adding some (subtle) floral and earthy touches; and
  • Appearance of an amber accord. Although the amber isn’t resinous or smoky, it does furnish the fragrance with depth and sweetness. In that sense, it reminds me of similar usage in Dolce & Gabbana The One.
Sweet amber

The amber has two other integrated facets to it – whiffs of dark coffee and woods. The drydown is where these notes become a bit more pronounced. Specifically, the coffee emanates a generic, mildly nutty and bitter undertone; whilst the woods form a backbone that smells dry and masculine.

Overall, Polo Red starts as a fruity citrus scent, progressing into a floral, sweet amber mixture with elements of coffee and woods. Although, I wouldn’t say this scent changes much as it develops – rather, it’s a question of how visible each ingredient is at different stages.

Woody undertones

Regardless, this is a charming aroma that entices those nearby, with credit to Ralph Lauren for choosing an uncommon cranberry note to headline the opening.

Check out this reviewer’s comments:

I just got a bottle and I am loving it. The cranberry, amber and coffee work really well on my skin and I’m getting a solid 8 hours with arms length projection for about 4 with two sprays on my neck and two on my shirt. Definitely worth having.


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Longevity and Projection could be better

From my testing, Polo Red projects out from the skin for the first hour, before settling closer to the skin for 4 hours more. Therefore, you’re looking at 5 hours of total longevity here guys.

Not the best, but I think that’s okay.


Considering this comes in an affordable and huge 125ml bottle, you can fearlessly overspray to beef up the performance, whilst keeping things economical.

A great casual scent

Polo Red is a capable casual fragrance.

From social catch ups to errand running, Polo Red’s informal nature makes it a smart choice when you’re looking to keep things laid-back. I’ve even worn this on a coffee date before – it has that kind of easygoing appeal.  

man who wears polo red
A great scent for casual circumstances

Though if you’re looking to get formal and dressy, check out my list of top classy colognes instead.

Furthermore, you may assume that the warm-spicy and sweet elements make it exclusively winter wear. Not the case. Thanks to the uplifting grapefruit and lemon, Polo Red’s versatility is extendable to spring and autumn – and even cooler summer days.

Polo Red – closing thoughts

polo red

There you have it, my final thoughts on one of Ralph Lauren’s most popular fragrances, Polo Red.

This is an enamouring cologne, bringing together fruits, citruses and sweet amber attributes to form a composition perfectly suited to nonchalant situations.

Polo Red doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t need to. It possesses an elevated likeability factor and won’t fail to draw a compliment…or two.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon >>>

I want to hear from you. Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments. What are your thoughts on Polo Red?

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