Skip to main content

Ralph Lauren Releasing Polo Red Intense Fragrance

The new version of Red, which is due out next week, is an eau de parfum, a more powerful concentration than the eau de toilette of the original scent.

Polo Red Intense is more than Polo Red with a racing stripe on the fragrance’s bottle.

Intense, a line extension of the briskly selling Polo Red men’s fragrance, embodies a number of trends now percolating through the men’s fragrance market. First, the new version of Red, which is due out next week, is an eau de parfum, a more powerful concentration than the eau de toilette of the original scent. Intense’s formula has a 14 percent juice strength, compared to Polo Red’s 10 percent. “The idea is to supercharge,” said Guillaume de Lesquen, president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide at L’Oréal USA. The intensity is built into the formula, which was created by Olivier Gillotin of Givaudan. The new fragrance is an oriental spicy, a more aggressive version of the original, which is a woodsy spicy scent.

“For us, it’s the first oriental juice [for Polo] that we have done,” de Lesquen said.

You May Also Like

Gillotin added three ingredients to the Red olfactive architecture — ginger, leather and coffee — to create a “supercharged sensation of red ingredients,” the perfumer said. Top notes include grapefruit, cranberry and ginger, followed by saffron, sage and orange flower in the midrange. Woods, roasted coffee and leather notes comprise the base. The grapefruit, saffron and cedarwood notes were borrowed from the original fragrance. The line-up includes a 125 ml. edp, priced $86; a 75 ml. size for $69, and a 40 ml. version for $50.

De Lesquen described the new scent as “sweeter, warmer and rounder. It has a little bit of a gourmand feeling,” he said, noting that those characteristics constitute a new trend in men’s fragrances. “It will help us to create new users. We want to gain market share.”

Alex Choueiri, president of the International Designer Collections Division at L’Oréal USA, noted that Polo Red had done well with both Caucasians and African-Americans. With its more powerful juice, Intense is expected to appeal more strongly to Hispanics, he added.

Another trend is being driven by the emergence of “statement” fragrances that are designed to satiate customers looking for a stronger, more pronounced scent, and Intense is meant to fit the bill. “A lot of people are asking for stronger, more robust fragrances,” de Lesquen observed.

In a nod to the new generation of artisanal indie brands, de Lesquen added, “we see worldwide a very strong trend behind those fragrances driven by ingredients.”

The original Polo Red, launched in 2013, is the largest of the Polo brands, ranking third among men’s fragrances in the U.S. department stores, behind L’Oréal’s Acqua di Gio Pour Homme and Bleu de Chanel. According to industry sources, Polo Red generated $33 million at retail in it first year and gained 30 percent last year.

While Polo does not break out projections, sources estimate that Red and Red Intense together could generate a 30 to 40 percent combined increase — as much as $130 million in worldwide retail sales — for 2015. Of that total, $60 million is expected to be done in the U.S., a 20 percent increase.

Intense is expected to shadow Red’s distribution pattern around the world — throughout the U.S. and the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, plus the duty-free channel.

L’Oréal is betting so heavily on the juices of the two scents that they are launching an aggressive campaign of scented strips, amounting to 14.5 million strips through June, often featuring dual strips on a double-page magazine spreads, in a total of at least 11 fashion and lifestyle publications. The list includes ads in Hispanic magazines, like Glamour Belleza and Latina, which are expected to break next week.