Polo Blue (Ralph Lauren)

In the words of Don Henley, "Summer's out of reach," but that doesn't mean fresh, clean, aqueous fragrances are off limits. If you're one of those people, one who likes extending your shower experience by other means, then it's likely aquatics feature heavily in your rotation. I'm always phrasing things badly when it comes to aquatics because I hold them in relatively low esteem, not for any arch shortcoming, but for their inability to transcend the basic idea of elemental water, which can smell clean, musty, briny, and even dirty, depending on how it's depicted. Some folks love the smell of water in multiple incarnations - I am not one of them. At best I like it, enough to live with it without much complaint, but I rarely, if ever, yearn to smell it, and avoid aquatics.

Polo Blue represents the middle of the road in aquatic masculines, smelling neither earthshaking or bad. It exits the atomizer with a splash of sweet melon and an ozonic, somewhat chemical rendition of cucumber, which isn't a note RL should dabble with in the future, given its lackluster performance here. Cucumber smells very crisp, a little green, with a musty-water quality, the off-note of which resembles the scent of glossy paper. As it dries down, this fruity-fresh thing gets somewhat green and piney, but only remotely, with perhaps sage or geranium gently hinting at the original Polo. It's a fleeting effect, and before two hours have passed, Blue is little more than a woody-fresh skin-scent. I should add that generous application extends the scent's lifespan considerably, and there's something of an anosmic's nightmare to Blue; this fragrance can reach an olfactory pitch that overloads the wrong sniffer, creating a white-out of little more than watery-ozone and remote woodiness, and little else.

Quality of materials is lacking here, and the packaging is as dull as it gets, but trivialities aside, Blue is a competently formulaic cucumber aquatic that could only challenge someone who has smelled nothing of other scent genres. If you're a James Bond fan who wilfully ignores James Coburn's brilliant In Like Flint, this is probably your signature.

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