Courtesy picture via WWD © John Aquino
Ralph Lauren are introducing a new eau de parfum version of Polo Red (2013) called Polo Red Intense, which aims to satisfy the global men's trend towards ingredients-led fragrances...
At the same time, there is a demand for statement, "robust" fragrances.
The basic concept for the new composition signed by perfumer Olivier Gillotin was to "supercharge" the perfume with a range of olfactory ingredients coming across visually, i.e., synasthetically, as red.
While it is more common to play on synaesthetic associations via the appearance of the perfume bottle, olfactorily colored fragrances are less easily made. A classic example however would be Vent Vert by Balmain (green) while more recent ones would be Black by Comme des Garçons or Aromatics in White by Clinique. Perfumes with a de facto dominant color sensation like orange can be found a notch below in this type of specialization.
Polo Red Intense is a spicy oriental concentrated at 14% vs. the eau de toilette, which is available at 10%.
Three new ingredients enter the composition: ginger, leather and coffee.
The edp opens on top notes of grapefruit, cranberry and ginger, with a heart of saffron, sage and orange flower. The base rests on woods, cedarwood, roasted coffee and leather.
The brand also see a racial divide operating in their fragrance market analysis. While Polo Red performed well with both "Caucasians" and "African-Americans" meaning it seems to negate the divide, they hope that Polo Red Intense will now appeal to "Hispanics" who by the way would be considered "Europeans", i.e., "Caucasians" in Europe. These divides are actually constructed and cultural and can only be reinforced by a system which institutionalizes them. Do we really need to go back to the era of perfumes for redheads, brunettes and blondes? If yes, then, please don't wear l'Heure Bleue by Guerlain because it was once advertized for blondes.