Love, Ralph Lauren ~ perfume review

Ralph Lauren Love fragrance Ralph Lauren Love fragrance

When I heard that Ralph Lauren was going to launch a new perfume in a jewel-studded bottle for some $2000+, I thought: why not — every other brand is jumping on the luxe bandwagon despite these tough economic times, why not Ralph Lauren? A week or so after I first heard about it, I spied a tester of something I didn't recognize hiding behind the tissue box on a Neiman Marcus perfume counter (always peek around the back, you never know what you'll find) and asked what it was. The sales associate told me it was to be the new Ralph Lauren, that it wouldn't launch until later in the year, and that it would be very expensive. She let me spray some on a card. I sniffed, giggled at the audacity of charging so very much for such a thing, and then promptly forgot all about it — easy enough, since Love, Ralph Lauren is not a particularly memorable fragrance.

Later, I realized that it wasn't really so expensive, or at least, it needn't be. The bottle at top left is the luxury limited edition, and it's $2200. It has a 47-carat amethyst in the 24-karat gold painted cap, and it comes with a lucite stand. If you want to blow some money but not quite that much, you can spend $600 and get a 15 ml bottle of the Parfum with a crystal in the cap, and you still get the lucite stand. If you're a real tightwad, you can get the plain bottle with the plain cap (the one shown at top right, although it doesn't look so enthralling in real life without the nice blue background), for $90 (50 ml Eau de Parfum) or $135 (100 ml); sorry, no lucite stand. There's supposedly also a smaller size for $75, but I haven't seen it yet.

What of the juice? It's meant to be an "extravagant floral oriental", and for anyone who missed the fragrance announcement on Now Smell This back in September, I'll repeat what Ralph Lauren had to say about Love:

What I most wanted was for the fragrance to have quality. I wanted it to have some longevity; for the experts to say, ‘This is really special.’ I wanted something that was not this year’s fragrance or the luxury of the moment. (via wmagazine)

He got his wish with the longevity factor; Love, Ralph Lauren lasts pretty much through the day. Whether any experts will find it special I cannot say, but this non-expert found it more serviceable than extravagant. The opening is sweet berry with added "fresh"; it does have some sparkle for a brief time (there's champagne accord in there, along with goji berry, cool green water accord, rose, magnolia, amber, iris, sandalwood, vanilla and patchouli) but there isn't anything special about it, nor does it smell like any extra investment was made in the materials. The dry down is that dark-but-scrubbed-clean ambery-patchouli-woods stuff that is already starting to bore me nearly as much as the ubiquitous fruity florals we've suffered through recently. The sweet fruit lingers through much of the proceedings, but more quietly as time passes; the florals are strong but vague.

Love, Ralph Lauren is fine if perhaps rather dull. I said about the same about Notorious, but actually I like Notorious considerably better than Love. I suppose there are women on earth who will be getting the luxury version of Love for Christmas, and I hope they like it better than I did.

Love, Ralph Lauren can be found at major department stores.

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40 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I really like Notorious, and would love to try Love. My mom likes Romance, so maybe she would like Love as well? Right now I'm getting her a bottle of Grosselina by Guerlain, becasue she loves red currants – her favorite fruit. My little luxury-wish is Comme des Garcons + Stephen Jones bottle. I felt bad about the price $175 dollars for a 55ml EdT, but hey it's nowhere close to 2000 or even 600 dollars! I don't feel guilty anymore:))

  2. Anonymous says:

    Apologies to IrisNobile, but for this sniffer the words 'I liked Notorious considerably better' are the kiss of death.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Meh! (Did you know that “meh” was added as a new word to Webster's Dictionary this year? That fact alone is more interesting than RL's Love.)

    Hugs!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good luck on the Stephen Jones, I want a bottle of that too! Will be curious to hear what you think of Love. I do think Notorious is, while not my cup of tea and not a good fit with the name, nice enough and it doesn't smell like everything else on earth. This one struck me as more “generic” for want of a better term — I almost can't remember what it smells like when I'm not wearing it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am going to be surprised if this finds more fans than Notorious. But then, I've been surprised before!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh good, it's such a useful word. Hope it gets added to the Scrabble dictionary too, it would come in handy there as well!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Joe, when I think of the perfume you could get for $2200 — I mean, if I got this on Xmas morning, I'd cry at the lost opportunity.

    And yes — LUCITE!

  8. Anonymous says:

    For $2200 you could fly to Paris and get a Lutens bell jar (and a bottle of Vetiver Elle at duty free on the way home).

  9. Anonymous says:

    I may be alone way over here in the corner, but I like Love. It's good for the office, when I'm craving a patchouli/iris/sandalwood/amber thingy but can't go full-on, in-your-face with those notes because, well… I'm at the office. Yep, it's a toned-down version, and not an olfactive tour de force, but I like it. And the bottle is very pretty. Definitely worth a spritz if you happen to be strolling by the counter so you can test it out for yourself.
    Another thing I like about Love is that it shows that Ralph Lauren Fragrances, usually a very conservative company with a clearly defined image, keeps trying to stretch a little and go outside their comfort zone.
    Hey, it's a start…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, for that much I could have a lifetime supply of My Precious. Meh, Ralph, meh. Take that.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Meh, now THAT's a word! I like it a LOT better than the fragrance. And backwards, it's hem, a nice throat-clearing judgmental word, that carries the gravitas that Meh avoids.
    LUCITE?? For that kind of cash, I want it displayed on the extended tongues of hovering hummingbirds and decanted onto the ear-tufts of snowy owls who will apply it to my pulse points. Lucite. Meh.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “cool green water accord”? Do I even want to know what that smells like?:)

  13. Anonymous says:

    They teach classes in that, don't you know — to make sure you don't confuse it with “cool blue water accord” or “cool clear water accord”?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I could spend my entire Germany trip fund on the luxury version!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I didn't try the fragrance yet, but the first bottle with the amethyst reminds me a lot of Princess (vera wang) bottle!

  16. Anonymous says:

    And Precious could have it's own lifetime supply of something to boot…

  17. Anonymous says:

    LOL on both points, nicely put.

  18. Anonymous says:

    LOL! To me, it just smelled a bit fresh in the top notes — I didn't find it very green or very aquatic.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It sounds as if the scent is safe (practical in use, long-lasting, fine and not overbearing) but dull. Despite the use of real crystals and amethysts to design the bottle, it seems not worth the 2 grand when it comes to the scent, overally…

  20. Anonymous says:

    There you go. See, we're all saving money.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Of course you can have it for $75, if it turns out you adore it — but yes, I'd call it safe but dull.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Please, could You guys name a few mainstream fragrances with the above mentioned “dark-but-scrubbed-clean ambery-patchouli-woods stuff”? As a novis I'd like to train my nose and try to detect that accord…

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well, I have tried Love twice on card, and am afraid to say it didn't make enough of an impression for me to remember clearly what it smelled like on either occasion. I think the first time I did get a whiff of “nondescript, slightly luxury floral”, and the second time I got “nondescript floral” and couldn't detect the luxury. I need to try this properly on skin, but in Harrods one simply has so many distractions.

  24. Anonymous says:

    My guy got me the luxury edition !! i love it :)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I was just thinking the same thing! For $2K I could fly to Paris, and buy whatever I wanted from Guerlain, Montale, Amouage, etc…..

  26. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if they're scrubbed clean, but when I think ambery-patchouli-woods stuff, I think of Prada, Stella Rose Absolute, Tom Ford White Patchouli, etc.

    If you are looking for a good way to research by notes, visit the Perfumed Court and click on “Perfumes by Notes” – its a good way to browse & learn.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Maltesia, it isn't an accord really, maybe more accurate to call it a “style”. But I would think of DKNY Be Delicious Night, Tom Ford White Patchouli, Gucci by Gucci, Elle Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior Midnight Poison, etc.

  28. Anonymous says:

    If you got the “luxury” even once, you got it more than I did. There are perfumes that smell expensive (Amouage Gold, Joy extrait) and perfumes that smell like they're supposed to smell expensive (David Yurman), this one didn't strike me as either.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Congrats and wear it in happiness :-)

  30. Anonymous says:

    The first trial was under the watchful eye of the SA, who was really talking up the luxurious aspect, so my impressions may have been based on the power of suggestion – like the time my dad persuaded me to eat pistachio ice cream as a kid by swearing it was lime.

  31. Anonymous says:

    definitely meh…smelled this a few months back by chance- immediatly non-plussed and can't remember much about it- soft floral.

    For this kind of cash, I'm going to Paris with Monkeytoe ;-)

  32. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking it was water filled with those little green algae that float on the surface.

  33. Anonymous says:

    LOL — and did you like the pistachio ice cream?

  34. Anonymous says:

    You are not alone in your corner. I like most R.L. scents and I'm a pretty cool decent person. It will sell well, because it is targeted for the normal people who are not connoisseurs. I didn't even know about *niche* fragrances before I became interested in perfume making, about 4 years ago.

    Most people DON'T even know about niche.

    And Ralph Lauren makes scents for those in the majority. There are still quite a few people who don't have a computer or the Internet.

    There are a couple of gourmet food stores here, but most people just go to the grocery store.

    Joy and happy smelling Liongirl,

    -Becca

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank You AnnS and NST. It's informative to hear it's more of a style than an accord. And thanks for the examples. That tells a lot. “Hunting” by official notes (or accords) is difficult because descriptions don't match the reality. I'm thinking about your article on that subject here on NST…

  36. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure Mariah Carey and some other “princessy” girls out there would love that amethyst canister but as a recessionista I'll stick to the plain jane bottles. Also; I can't really decide if it's a good thing that a fragrance is not really that much to remember; some fragrances have left me with offlicatory scars (?). Maybe bland isn't so bad?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Lovely image, thanks ;-)

  38. Anonymous says:

    At the time I liked it every bit as much as the lime I thought it was. When my dad revealed his ploy, I went back to hating it and have not touched the stuff since. And for that matter I wasn't too pleased with my dad either, but it shows how easy it is for us all to be Svengali!..: – )

  39. Anonymous says:

    This one isn't bland, exactly — it's sort of strong, in fact. Just doesn't have a ton of personality, to me at least.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, that would make me hate it too!

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