Today I have a new perfume to review. The brand, however, is by no means new to me. So many of my favourite perfumes came from this designer as a teenager and in my early twenties. Of course then my perfume collection was a lot smaller, so owning four or five scents from one brand was, I suppose, more significant. It just seemed that whatever came from Ralph Lauren, I liked! This was despite the fact that the scents I will write about today are all quite different in my opinion. My most recent addition – Woman – was actually launched four years ago and I’m only just getting round to trying it. Very recently I saw that someone on the Fragrantica site had said that Woman reminded them of Glamorous and my interest was piqued!
So I was all set to talk about a different scent and then I remembered my first ever Ralph Lauren perfume – Polo Sport! For me this scent fits into a certain genre of those clean floral perfumes that had an androgynous look with their bottles and were so popular in the late nineties. I’m thinking Hugo Boss Woman and Tommy Girl as other contenders. Looking at that picture of Polo Sport with its frosted glass takes me right back to my teenage years. I even remember drawing the bottle as part of an art project to show objects which I felt represented me! A Lauren Hill album and a karate belt were among the other items…let’s just say that only one of those still holds true! The scent itself was a floral aldehydic which had mint and melon in the top and wood in the base. I wouldn’t say that it’s one I’d love to wear now but it was certainly perfect for that time…a time when ‘Adidas trousers’ were part of my wardrobe!
On to Romance. I think it all started with my seeing an advert, which would have been very similar to the one above, in a magazine. Perfume launches were fewer and further between then and so a new launch was exciting and likely to have involved a sample or a tester before seeing the bottle itself in the shops. I loved the perfume immediately and received a bottle for my 15th birthday. I enjoyed that time and having a ‘signature scent’. It was the one my friends associated with me, one that would need replacing when I finished the bottle and I didn’t ever tire of it. As I write this I’d love to test it again! Over the six years when I wore Romance I of course found other great scents along the way. These included Cristobal and Boudoir which I feel will be favourites forever! However it was always Romance which proved the slightly more wearable scent that I’d return to in my collection. Romance has a kind of ‘fizz’ to it. I’d describe it as a pretty scent and the notes include rose, ginger, oak moss, violet and carnation. Sadly but my love of the scent ended abruptly. I can remember what I was wearing and how the room felt when I went to bed with a migraine one afternoon in 2006. If I’d been feeling good, I’d have loved how the scent smelt on my warm skin but not on this occasion. I felt so sick and like I couldn’t escape it. I still have lots of happy memories of wearing the perfume though, and I love how important it was to the start of my perfume collection.
The next Ralph Lauren perfume that caught my attention was Ralph. My chronology was a little out before I started writing because I had thought that this was launched a couple of years later than it actually had been. Ralph is fun and fruity yet somehow distinctive. The only other scent that’s reminded me of it since is Mariah Carey’s Ribbon perfume. I bought it as gift for someone shortly after its release and I have to confess, kept the free body lotion for myself. Happily my friend loved the perfume and while it has great nostalgia of the early noughties for me, the scent doesn’t quite feel like ‘mine’ as I associate it so much with the friend I gave it to. In 2007 I went on to buy ‘Ralph Rocks’ but I must admit it was one of those occasions where I had pretty much decided I would like the scent because I liked the original. I remember being in Macy’s New York and upgrading my bottle size with all the change I had to use up! The result was owning a perfume that was spicy and enjoyable but again not quite ‘me’. Now that I’ve researched the notes I have a new found appreciation of the passionfruit but at the time all I could smell was the orange and amber.
This next scent is a perfume I’ve written about so many times in the last few years. My love for Romance led me to try Glamorous in 2003 and in it I had seriously found my ‘going out’ scent! It was Romance by day and Glamourous for occasions and the scent was just beautiful. Until very recently I had my actual bottle but it just didn’t smell the same and as you may have guessed, the perfume has been discontinued. It’s been such a loss and my little solace is the fact the Victoria Secret’s Love Star is similar – I think it’s due to the cashmere note. Other notes included clementine (a recent love in other scents), frangipani and rose. To smell it again would take me back to my university days in Leeds. If this was discontinued due to lack of popularity then I really don’t understand it!
Cactus flower, violet, lily, rum and birch. Somehow the notes in Pure Turquoise just worked so well to create an almost spicy, unusual scent which just ‘worked’ and almost smelt as the bottle looked. The perfume could have easily been marketed as unisex and had a great balance between the woody and floral notes. I feel like this perfume could have been mistake for a niche scent and it was so distinctive. It reminds me of where I was living at the time and sunny days in autumn. As another scent that has been discontinued, Pure Turquoise can be found online selling for a couple of hundred pounds…suffice it to say – I miss my bottle!
Apart from looking at Ralph Lauren’s Big Pony range of scents at the ‘Duty Free’ at the airport a couple of years ago, my love for the Ralph Lauren brand inevitably paused with so many of my favourites having been discontinued. Naturally I did choose a favourite from that range – I’ve always felt ‘collection’ launches are clever for the fact you find yourself choosing a favourite and perhaps, thinking that you like a scent more than you do. Incidentally it was the pink bottle – 2 – which I liked the best! As I mentioned previously, when I read that someone had likened Glamorous to the fairly recent ‘Woman’ by Ralph Lauren, I was desperate to try it. The team at Escentual gave me a bottle to review and here are my thoughts…
To start with, I didn’t ‘get’ the Glamourous comparison. What I did smell was a beautiful floral perfume that reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Covet Pure Bloom – certainly not a bad thing. The shared notes of orange blossom, tuberose and sandalwood explain the similarity and the overall effect is classic and pretty. The rhubarb gives the scent something a little different in the opening and there’s a spicy, woodiness in the base notes. On my second and third test, I could certainly enjoy that Glamourous DNA and immediately craved winter coats, going out and many a spray of ‘Woman’. On my skin it’s wearing a little bit peppery – think Carolina Herrera’s 212 Sexy – which is fitting as it was this scent which proved a good surrogate for evening scents when I no longer had my beloved Glamourous.
Overall I’m pleased to have been reunited with my ‘old favourite’ brand. Woman’s classic bottle is reminiscent of Glamourous and let me add – how amazing is the flip-cap detail?! I feel like it would be a great accessory on a train journey in a film set in the 1920s! With ‘fragrance wardrobes’ becoming the replacement of signature scents, it seems fitting that Woman could easily fit in to mine as my go-to ‘evening scent’ in the way that Glamorous once had been.
Have you tried any of these scents? Are there any brands you think of fondly or still love to collect from?
I’d love to chat in the comments,