Ralph Hot by Ralph Lauren ~ perfume review

Ralph Lauren Ralph Hot fragrance

Ralph Hot is the first gourmand fragrance from the Ralph Lauren brand. Like its predecessors in the Ralph by Ralph Lauren line (Ralph debuted in 2000 and Ralph Cool followed in 2004), it is aimed at women in the 15 to 25 age cohort. It was formulated by perfumer Pierre Negrin, and features cinnamon, almond blossoms, mandarin, mocha cream, orchid, honeysuckle, jasmine, fresh milk, fig, maple, creamy vanilla, amber, musk and sandalwood.

Ralph Hot starts with a brief flash of citrus overlaid with lots of cinnamon. The mocha cream comes on strong in the early stages, along with a creamy-sweet fig, and the maple syrup joins in shortly thereafer. The floral notes are fresh and light and indistinct, and they help to counterbalance all the sweet foody notes, but still, what it calls to mind more than anything is an indulgent Sunday brunch: french toast floating in syrup with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a side of fig jam, and a cup of mochachino, heavy on the frothed milk and sugar, easy on the coffee.

The foodiness, and to some extent the sweetness, lessens over the next hour or so, and eventually it is overtaken by a mild musky wood base. All the same, it is sweeter and foodier than I care for personally, and to my nose (which granted, is quite outside of the target age range) it simply has too much of too many good things. It is also sweeter and warmer than you would expect from a spring-time launch — I would think it would be overwhelming in hot weather — and I'm surprised they didn't launch Ralph Hot in the fall.

Ralph Hot is available in 50 and 100 ml bottles of Eau de Toilette.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mocha cream and honeysuckle…That is scary. And anyway I am outside the age range, he he.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for another great review, Robin. I do like foody fragrances at times (I own bottles of Serendipity and Keiko's Loukoum), as long as they're interesting. What puts me off about this one is the maple syrup note…not my favorite smell. I too am surprised they launched this for spring, I don't go near the foody ones in the spring/summer.

    Yesterday I tried my sample of Keiko's Paname and hated it. Saturday I tried Montale's Greyland and LOVED it. Those cedar-y, woodsy, incense-y scents are the ones I buy and wear the most. Today I'm wearing Shaal Nur by Etro. It's great in the hair.

    Spent a load of money this weekend on Ebay. Decants (Ecume de Rosine, A la Nuit), 35 Serge Lutens samples (lots of stuff I haven't tried, so I'm excited). Fragrance makes me so happy, it's worth it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, you describe what I imagine as an olfactory overload, but then again gourmand is not my favourite category.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A maple syrup note? You have got to be kidding me! If maple syrup is the next new fragrance trend, I think I will hang up my spritzer. LOL!

    Now if we're talking buttermilk waffles (my favorite Sunday brunch dish), then a dollop of the stuff will do. Otherwise, forget about it!!


  5. Anonymous says:

    Of course, I hesitate to think of what fragrance notes the marketers might decide are appropriate for my age cohort, LOL…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have a few sweet gourmand favorites, but they are exceptions to the rule I guess. Love Shaal Nur, and getting very curious about that Greyland!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Olfactory overload is a fair accusation in this case, at least for me. I wish they had left out one of the foods — maybe the fig, or maybe the maple.

  8. Anonymous says:

    R, Right there with you, and now I'm hungry, LOL…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm also way outside of the target age-range for this frangrance, but I like it. It's subtly foody to my nose, and not overpowering. Very easy to wear.

  10. Anonymous says:

    OMG, Robin… I am laughing, this sounds so horrible. If they come at me at Hechts offering to spray, I'm sprinting the other direction.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So glad to see a fan show up! Do tell me if you disagree with my notion that it isn't going to work in hot weather?

  12. Anonymous says:

    March, it is not my thing at all, and guessing it won't be yours either, but wouldn't call it horrible by any means. You'll find way worse things at Hechts without even trying.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It sounds gawdawful, and the bottle's ugly, too. Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate it all.

  14. Anonymous says:

    To me there is a double whammy in this fragrance. I'm out of the age range (think: in orbit around Pluto), and it sounds like it would make me want to eat some of the very things it contains.

    Now at my age I have to work hard to stay trim. Last thing I need is a fragrance taunting me to indulge in sweets. Besides, in a couple of weeks I'm going to want fragrances that can be tolerated on a twenty mile bike ride. You can bet that Hot won't be in the saddle bag.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere or another I read that you should wear lavender fragrances if you're trying not to overeat. Who knows if it works.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I hate that bottle too! We need some young women to come around and tell us what's what…

  17. Anonymous says:

    I looked at the list of notes in this one, and my only response was 'blech yuck ptooey”… I don't even want to sample it on a card because it sounds so awful!

    Why do perfumers associate a youthful target market with cheap and tacky?

    On another note, I must try drowning myself in lavender to see if it curbs my appetite.

  18. Anonymous says:

    That name. I just think of Paris Hilton's syrupy love child with Ralf Lauren. I don't know why exactly, but I do, and it's really messing with my sleep.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…maybe a small dab of lavender fragrance or lotion applied just above the upper lip, directly under the nose before every meal? Sounds like it could curb the appetite LOL.

    But I'm sure that's not the prescription you meant.

  20. Anonymous says:

    LOL…I guess you won't be buying Ralph Hot…

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Anonymous says:

    Well, it would keep me from eating, but that is mostly because I don't much like lavender…

  23. Anonymous says:

    I've heard many comparing this to the bath and body works scent “Fig and brown sugar”. After smelling both, they are very very similar to me. I too think it should have been released in the fall 05 season. Still for the 15 to 25 age range, I'm sure this is going to sell. Already sold out of samples in my area, but I will try it on next time.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Also outside the age range, but love the food scents…..brownies, pumpkin pie, coffee cake… Will have to give this one a sniff.

    R-could you add, or do you have a Translation page? :) I have seen words like lemming…and a few others….. words I'm unfamiliar with in the perfumery world. But everyone else seemed to know.

    In the 1980's I wore White Shoulders by Evyan and could have bathed in it! (Maybe I did!) But it had this incredible very “peppery” scent in it, and that is what I loved!! Anyone know what note that may have been?

    Been searching for another scent, since WS changed to smelling like an awful cheap imposter. Major YUCK!

    I have ordered and tried some 30+ fragrance samples in the past few weeks!!!

    Seve Exquise, Ambre Narguile, Vetiver Tonka, and En Passant are the only ones thus far I'd even consider….and still not even sure about them. None of them gave me that 'to die for' feeling like the old Vintage White Shoulders with its 'peppery' scent did. Boo-hoo! :(

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have heard the comparison too…but have never smelled the BBW version. Would guess that you're right, this is going to sell!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Gina, You sound like we have similar tastes. Maybe you can help me? I too just purchased over 30+ samples past few weeks, SL, FM, GD, Bond 9, Hermes, etc.

    I feel desperate for something to absolutely LOVE again. Can we exchange emails on what you feel about some of your 35 samples after you give them a whirl? -Except I have NO idea how we'd accomplish that. Anyone know how? R?

    This is my first day ever posting. :)

  27. Anonymous says:

    A lemming is something you want because you hear others talking about it…after the mythical notion that lemmings will follow each other blindly off a cliff. It is fragrance board lingo, and I do try never to use it in an article but it does appear in the comments. Do let me know what other terms you need defined!

    I am sorry to say that I haven't smelled White Shoulders in years — all I remember is a sweet white floral. No idea what the peppery part might be — it didn't have carnation that I remember(?) Have you tried looking for some vintage White Shoulders on ebay? It might be worth a try.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the definition! Gina (above), like myself, also recently purchased some 35+ samples to tr!! Is there any way she & I can commuicate with each other about them (IF she should so wish.) ??

    LOVE this site! Hoping I will see a 'lemming' that brings me to a new scent to adore!

  29. Anonymous says:

    If Gina is interested, you could both send me your email addresses and I could pass them on…

  30. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! Hopefully she will see, and respond Yay or Nay. :)

    btw – White Shoulders notes… Gardenia, Lilac, Amber, Lily of Valley, OakMoss, Jasmine, Rose, Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Incense?, Orris.

    Any of those possibly very 'peppery'?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the review dear R! I was keen to hear your impressions. Getting past that hot name would be a start for me. Will test when I see it though. I am not keen on the maple syrup note though.

    Hope you are well.

  32. Anonymous says:

    N, hope you are well too! Seriously doubt that Ralph Hot will end up in your collection, though…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, just looked up the reviews for White Shoulders on Makeupalley, and several people mention carnation — so perhaps that is it?

  34. Anonymous says:


    I just found your site and I love your reviews!

    I just got a sample of Hot and I kind of like it. I was surprised because I wasn't sure how I'd feel about wearing food-related scents, but I feel like once it's on, I really like the scent of it after the initial few minutes. It's not too overpowering and I don't feel like I'm wearing maple syrup.

    I agree that it's kind of strange to launch it in the summer, but I think it could be a good scent for going out at night, but I probably won't wear it to much during the day.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Welcome, and glad you found a perfume you love! Now you have a whole new world of gourmand perfumes to explore :-)

  36. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE this fragrance. Don't know if i'd but it, but it smelled really good at macy's. However, I haven't tried it on. Just smelled a sample stick

  37. Anonymous says:

    Do try it on skin if you get a chance, it is quite different.

  38. Anonymous says:

    My mother wore White Shoulders — I just obtained a samples of “Moss Breches” from Tom Ford Private Blend, and I was struck by the similarity of how 'White Shoulders” smelled in 1950 or so, and how “Moss Breches” smells today. I am so sorry to hear that it has changed, I haven't had the chance to try it for decades and I assumed it was the same. But try Moss Breches and see if you get what I mean. It's not so much peppery as green and sharp…

  39. Anonymous says:

    hahah how young is young…..I am a perfume addict….would love to help out fellow worshipers out!

  40. Anonymous says:

    The target market is 15-25, so I guess the question is whether people in that age group think it's a great bottle — us oldsters find it ugly :-)

  41. Anonymous says:

    Oh Robin, he has a new one called Ralph Lauren Wild and it smells soooooooooooo good! Have to try it on my skin

  42. Anonymous says:

    Have seen it online but haven't smelled it yet :-)

  43. Anonymous says:

    wow, this scent is awful!!! good lord! i seem to have a dramatically different taste from the majority on here as i love flowerbomb, dior cherie & alien… based on my opposite taste i thought this might be right up my alley, boy was i wrong! i got up to the counter @ tj maxx & begged to open before i purchased (thankfully the employees don't really seem overly concerned as they let me tear it open & try it at the register!!) i thought i would loose my lunch w/ this one…. eesh! my poor boyfriend said it was like a kick in the head the whole ride home ;) hehe… but i am curious to try wild now.

  44. Anonymous says:

    You hated it way more than I did! It always helps to find someone w/ opposite taste & then try what they hate though.

  45. Anonymous says:

    my thoughts exactly :)

    btw… thank you for this excellent blog! i love reading about all these scents from people that have much more experienced noses than i do. i really love it!



  46. Anonymous says:

    Hey, thank you for the nice words! Hope you'll find some wonderful new scents by following the ones I detest ;-)

  47. Anonymous says:

    I'm a bit closer to the age range (13) and the idea of smelling like IHOP on a Sunday Morning doesn't appeal to me either.

  48. Anonymous says:

    LOL — then there you are, not everyone likes it :-)

  49. IndieCindie says:

    I love it.

  50. jonr951 says:

    Robin, would u say this is a great coffee scent for women? My friends turning 20 and she ADORES the smell of coffee. Im always getting her perfumes and have really been wanting to get her a coffee scent. Are there any other coffee scents for women? Thanks SO much!!! : )

  51. jonr951 says:

    O great!! Thanks so much! Yeah there really isnt alot of womens scents w/ coffee in it. O well. : )

  52. jonr951 says:

    I was thinking about Jo Malone Black Vetyver Cafe, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Mokha or one of the Demeter coffee fragrances as well. Im kinda interested in the Jo Malone for myself. We’ll c. : )

    • Robin says:

      I love the JM, but it just doesn’t last on me. Have not tried the CSP or the Demeter.

  53. sugarplum says:

    I’ve never had a fragrance make me laugh before, but this is as much fun as a Warner Bros cartoon. I’m way out of the age range at 56, but the way i see it is this: in one’s 50s you have a choice – classic beauty or what-the-hell, and I go for what the hell whenever I can. This happy fragrance is a daytime, cool weather wear, goes well with my yello Converse All-Stars. It’s its own category – and, no, not gourmand – Cartoony Oriental.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, it’s good to laugh! Two other dept store things in that category, for me, anyway: Ed Hardy Love & Luck, Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame.

Leave a reply