Cologne

What’s the Best Polo Cologne? Ralph Lauren Deliver Great Bang For Your Buck 

I came to the Polo cologne game regrettably late. Thankfully, I’ve woken up and now I’m here to share the best Polo Colognes.

For whatever reason, Ralph Lauren’s clothing brand never really appealed to me. I thought they were a bit of a stuffy company, a bunch of “plain Janes’ without much dynamism or mystique.

About five years ago, Polo colognes had entered the mainstream to such an extent that I felt my hand was forced. I finally bit the bullet and picked up a bottle of Deep Blue.

It was, and still is, the best blue cologne I’d ever experienced. It was refreshing, unstuffy, and I couldn’t have been more impressed watching it leap over the low bar I had set for it.

What has been common across all the best Polo colognes is that they consistently punch above their weight in terms of price. I often receive more compliments wearing a $60 Polo fragrance than when I wear something two or even three times the price.

If you’re still on the unconverted side, check out my guide to the best Polo colognes to see what you’ve been missing out on.


Best Polo Colognes in 2022

Polo by Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for the Gentleman

Polo is one of the most established colognes by Ralph Lauren. It draws on traditional accords to produce a mature and refined fragrance.

Polo by Ralph Lauren cologne, best polo cologne

Check on Amazon

It’s a little ‘old school’, better for the gentleman than the party boy; Polo might feel a little out of place a nightclub, for example.

Polo is classically masculine, so if you’re after floral or sweet notes you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Instead, you’ll find complex and dark combinations of pine and leather. Grassiness and tobacco radiate in the body, before shifting into a smokier and woodsy drydown. 

I’d stick to using Polo in winter/fall. There’s something about the heavier notes that feels a bit out of place in warmer weather. Cool and fresh evenings on the town is where Polo shines.

In terms of performance, Polo does well off 1-2 sprays. It’s quite easy to go overboard if you’re not careful, and 3-4 sprays might take you from pleasant to overbearing. Having said that, the heavy potency makes your bottle- and buck- go further. 

I’ve had my 50ml for around a year and I’m still only around halfway through!

Longevity also stacks up. Polo can handle a full 8 hour day at the office, no worries.

Top NotesBasil Coriander, Bergamot, and Juniper Berries
Middle NotesPepper, Leather, Chamomile, and Pine
Base NotesCedar, Vetiver, Musk, Amber, Oakmoss and Tobacco
Polo by Ralph Lauren Fragrance Notes

Polo Red by Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for a Casual Date

Polo Red is a great example of the right way to incorporate sweetness into a masculine fragrance. This sporty, outdoorsy cologne is sweet, without wandering into the feminine territory. 

Polo red cologne

Check on Nordstrom

The main event here is a super bright and tart cranberry note, complemented by citrusy grapefruit. The combination is sharp and sweet, wrapped up in a warm cloud of amber to mellow it all out. 

There’s depth in the base with coffee and saffron adding some masculine character without being too heavy. There’s also a lovely touch of spice that I can’t quite put my finger on- perhaps ginger.

It’s seductive and classy, and the sweetness seems to appeal to women in quite a useful way. Just saying. 

It’s best for adding some zip to a cool springtime walk and perfect for a casual coffee with a friend or date. 

Top NotesCranberry, Grapefruit, and Lemon
Middle NotesSage and Saffron
Base NotesCoffee, Amber, and Woodsy Notes
Polo Red Fragrance Notes

Polo Red Extreme Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for Energizing Any Room

There’s a definite similarity between Red Extreme and the original Polo Red. The tart cranberry note is still present in Red extreme, but it’s less sweet, rounded out by more woodiness and warmth.

Polo red extreme cologne

It’s darker and smokier, with energizing coffee the central accord here. It’s vibrant, more like freshly harvested beans than a brewed cup of Joe. Then there’s a chocolatey note combining with blood orange in a way that’s zingy and full of life.

It’s a moody and decadent cologne. I’d almost call it a “goth” fragrance, dark and mysterious but still exciting and alluring. 

The performance here is excellent. You’ll get a full day of use from Red Extreme, to the point that if you spray on your clothes, you’ll get a blast when you open your closet. It’s the longest-lasting Polo red cologne, for sure. Red isn’t bad, but Red Extreme borders on excellent. 

With that in mind, you’ll only want to use one or two sprays max. Any more than that and you’ll risk flooding the room with that primary coffee accord. Like Red, it’s a versatile cologne you can wear pretty much anywhere. Enough personality to rock on a date at the dive bar, but also subtle enough to wear in the office. 

Red Extreme feels like Reds’ more powerful and focussed older brother. I think it’s the best red Polo cologne, but if you’re not a fan of coffee and sweetness I’d steer clear.

Top NotesBlood Orange, Cranberry, and Coffee
Middle NotesSage and Chocolate
Base NotesAmber and Woodsy Notes
Polo Red Extreme Fragrance Notes

Polo Sport – Best Polo Cologne for an Active Lifestyle

This wonderful all-rounder has been around for decades, and for good reason. It’s an excellent example of how to pull off an aquatic sports cologne.

Polo sport cologne

Check on Amazon

As the name suggests, Polo Sport is full of energy and dynamism, without coming off as immature or cheap. It’s a casual cologne, perfect for daily wear when you’re looking to feel fresh rather than dress to impress. 

The top notes are clean and citrusy with a floral twist. Don’t let that worry you; the floral element is neutral and doesn’t ever threaten to turn feminine. The middle opens up smooth and inviting jasmine and seagrass. It’s all pinned down by a touch of ginger spice, before moving into a musky base packed with sandalwood, cedar, and amber.

This is a cologne for warmer weather, for sure. The minty notes make Polo Sport feel a little ‘cold’. That’s great when worn in the sunshine, but might feel a little out of place in winter. 

Longevity and projection are a little like Polo Red; not bad, but not as powerful as some of the other Polo colognes. You’re looking at 5-7 hours of worthwhile projection, which is still a meaningful amount but by no means great.

However, the nature of Polo Sport might save it here. It’s a perfect scent for active and sporty souls, so it’s no major hassle to reapply as part of your post-workout shower routine. 

Top NotesMandarin, Lemon, Neroli, Lavender, Bergamot, and Mint
Middle NotesGinger, Jasmine, Rosewood, and Seagrass
Base NotesCedar, Amber, Musk, and Sandalwood
Polo Sport Fragrance Notes

Polo Deep Blue – Best Polo Cologne for Kicking it by the Beach

Polo Deep Blue is one of the best spring/summer fragrances I’ve come across at this price point. It’s my favorite blue offering from Polo, for sure.

Polo deep blue

Check on Amazon

It’s full of aquatic and citrusy charm. Perfect for casual days at the beach, or semi-formal drinks on a Mediterranean plaza.

Deep Blue revolves around a core mango note. It’s absolutely delicious and distressingly underused by other fragrances. It’s blended with bergamot and grapefruit that adds a refreshing citrus accord.

It’s followed by woody and herbaceous notes like cypress and sage which add some welcome grounding to the fruitier top notes. 

Deep Blue is a real compliment collector, and suitable across most age ranges. It’s not stuffy and over-mature, or too youthful to be taken seriously. It’s a crowdpleaser across the board. 

With that in mind, don’t pick up Deep Blue if you’re looking for a complex, signature fragrance. This is a sunny crowd-pleaser rather than an exercise in reinventing the wheel.

The performance is similar to most other Polo colognes, clocking in around 7-9 hours of meaningful longevity. In other words, plenty.

Projection is excellent for the first couple of hours, but I did notice Deep Blue clinging close to my skin after that. 

Top NotesBergamot, Grapefruit and Mango
Middle NotesSage, Geranium and Cypress
Base NotesAquatic Notes, Patchouli, and Musk
Polo Deep Blue Fragrance Notes

Polo Black by Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for Dressing to Impress

Polo Black is like something from a Bond movie. It’s smart, sophisticated, and would be an excellent choice for a suit-and-tie function.

Polo black

Check on Amazon

It’s from a world of cascading poker chips, clinking cocktails, and secret shared glances across the room.

Women seem to like it. When I wear Polo Black, I get so much attention that my male friends will stop and ask me what I’m wearing and how they can get a bottle.

If I’m going on an evening date, Polo Black is my go-to fragrance. You can wear it year-round, but I find it most suited to late spring, early summer freshness.

There’s nothing too experimental going on here. Polo Black has a pretty universal appeal without any particularly “out there” accord.

The closest it comes is bringing back that underused mango note I mentioned in the Deep Blue review. Beyond that, the fragrance presents more commonplace notes, like citrusy lemon and tangerine. 

These fresh fruits combine to produce a quality watery fragrance that refreshes and energizes.

Underneath, there are herbal and spice elements from sandalwood, tonka bean, and sage that add some welcome masculine bite.

Some of the best black colognes, while more expensive, can’t compete with the impeccable balance here. 

But here’s the catch. The projection and longevity could use a little work. It’s not terrible, but I find that by the afternoon Polo Black starts to cling to the skin a little. You’ll get 6-7 hours of meaningful projection at most.

This is pretty surprising given that Polo colognes are generally quite potent, but Black seems to be an exception.

That being said, picking up a bottle is still a worthwhile investment if you’re happy to reapply throughout the day. It’s not weak by any stretch, but don’t expect mind-blowing strength.

Top NotesTangerine, Mango, and Lemon
Middle NotesSage, Tonka Bean, and Patchouli
Base NotesSandalwood and Wormwood
Polo Black Fragrance Notes

Polo Supreme Leather Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for Classy Winter Wanders

Polo Supreme Leather is an accessible fragrance that is perfect for winter. It’s a masculine fragrance, perfect for formal gatherings or an evening in a high-end bar.

Polo Supreme Leather

Check on Amazon

Elegant and simplistic without ever becoming boring, Supreme Leather is a genuine crowd-pleaser in my experience.

Supreme Leather smells premium and refined, rather than rugged and dirty (as is often the case in other leather-inspired fragrances).

The leather is more of a co-star than the lead role, balanced with a creamy and sweet blend of tonka, honey, and cardamom. 

These elements, along with nutmeg and saffron, help brighten things up and stop the leather short of being too aggressive. 

It reminds me of a combination of my two favorite Tom Ford colognes, Ombre Leather and Tobacco Vannile, like a biker jacket dunked in a tub of ice cream. 

If you’re looking for a leather fragrance that is neither domineering nor docile, you’re in the right place with Supreme Leather.

Gun to my head, I’d call it my favorite leather-inspired fragrance (I’m sorry Ombre Leather, but versatility wins the day here). 

The projection and longevity is almost absurd here. I still get compliments from spraying on my clothes the previous day, for goodness sake.

With that in mind, if you want to get away with Supreme Leather in the office, handle it with care. Leather is still a bold accord, so using more than 1-2 sprays at work might come off as a little obnoxious. 

Top NotesCardamom and Nutmeg
Middle NotesSaffron and Leather
Base NotesTonka Bean and Honey
Polo Supreme Leather Fragrance Notes

A Quick Note About the Supreme Collection

Ralph Lauren produced the supreme collection as a limited run in 2015.

I can’t understand why, given that they were a commercial success and very popular in the fragrance community.

Unfortunately, it means these colognes can be are a little harder to get hold of than other Polo products. 

You can expect to pay about 30% more than the RRP, but it’s safe to say that they justify the price tag. 

Polo Supreme Cashmere Ralph Lauren – Best Polo Cologne for Quiet Confidence

Supreme Cashmere is rich and alluring, like walking into an ancient temple as incense wisps through the air.

Polo supreme cashmere

Check on Amazon

To my nose, it’s a cashmere/oud mix, held down by a musky woodiness that adds some much-needed bite to the incense sweetness.

It’s not the most masculine cologne I’ve ever come across, prioritizing grace and poise over brute strength. Supreme Cashmere is not an in-your-face, alpha male offering. Still, there’s enough grounding from deep musk to prevent it from wandering off into feminine territory.

It’s all about balance and nuance, and I’d recommend it to a well-mannered individual in an equally well-tailored suit, looking for an elegant and simple cologne. Some people compare it to Creed Aventus, but I’m struggling to make the connection. If anything, it’s closer to a dialed back Royal Oud

Longevity is a respectable 7/8 hours, but Supreme Cashmere is not the strongest in terms of projection. It seems to have difficulty cutting through the cold, so it’s best suited to spring or fall.

Top NotesBergamot and Cardamom
Middle NotesMyrrh and Incense
Base NotesCashmere and Agarwood

F.A.Q – What You Should Know About Ralph Lauren and Polo Colognes

So What Next?

Unlike more premium houses, even the best Polo colognes are affordable. This makes it possible to pick up 2 or 3 bottles so you’ve got the right fragrance for any given moment. 

I’d recommend starting with one of the base fragrances like Polo Red, Polo Black. Once you know which direction you want to go in, you can move on to more intense flankers like Red Extreme, Deep Blue.

For the discontinued Supreme collection, I’d look to act fast. As the supply dwindles, the price is only going one way – so pick up a bottle today while they’re still a great value!

Want to see how your other favorite brands stack up? Check our guides below:

Write a comment