Sample Review: BIG PONY 2 by RALPH LAUREN

     Big Pony 2 was a first for me.

     Before BP2 I didn’t realize perfumes smell of things – they just smelled good, or bad. Once in a while I’d think to myself, hmm, this lady kinda smells like vanilla! Or flowers, or grass, or whatever it was. But never had I realized perfumes are constructed from notes.

     I don’t assume you’re unknowledgeable in any of this, and there’s certainly no need to elaborate further, but I will regardless. Notes can work in groups called accords to create something new, something different. This is one of the fundamentals of perfumery.

     Now, this is all wonderful, but here’s where it gets interesting: marketing departments and creative teams have loads of fun using notes to sell their products. “How would YOU like to smell of strawberries?” “Does mahogany wood sound good to you?” “Try smelling like oranges, men and women love it!”

     I used to be more susceptible to this kind of advertising that I am now, although occasionally I’ll fall for the trap. When Big Pony 2 was first launched, one of the things their print ads emphasized (at least to my memory) was the use of chocolate in the fragrance.

     Chocolate, you say? In hindsight, I realize this note is nothing special. Plenty of fragrances, including Princess by Vera Wang, Angel by Theirry Mugler, and L.12.12 Noir by Lacoste all feature it. Of course, I didn’t know that, nor did I care. All I knew was that the ad said the red Ralph Lauren perfume smells like chocolate, and I wanted to smell it. So I did.

     Alas, as we’ve discussed in posts before this, there are many red Ralph Lauren perfumes. Too many. Can you guess what I did? I smelled the wrong one. I was distraught, waving the strip of paper in the air as if it might help – somebody fix this! Why doesn’t it smell like chocolate?

     I am now older, slightly wiser, and certainly much better equipped when it comes to handling perfume ads. The point of this blurb was this: don’t believe everything you read, and don’t get excited about a fragrance until you smell it. If you love it, then it’s something worth celebrating. Premature raving? Not so much.

     This is my review for a sample of Big Pony 2 by Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 sample

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 2 sample

     The box-carded sample comes in a clear 1.5 mL glass vial with a red cap, with green lettering and clear fluid.

     A 2010 release, the creator of Big Pony 2 is unlisted, but I can tell you Yves Cassar did Big Pony 1, so I have reason to believe he might have done this one as well. He’s also responsible for Tom Ford for Men and Intuition for Men by Estée Lauder, two powerhouse men’s fragrances.

     Most fragrances I talk about these days have a long, detailed list of notes, which is helpful in figuring out what I like/dislike about a fragrance, and also in describing it to you. I’ve already told you that Big Pony 2 has a chocolate note, but besides musk and ‘spicy notes’, that’s just about the end of it. Since the notes pyramid won’t be helpful, it’s up to the gold ol’ sniffer to catch this one. Go get her, boy! Note: I just checked the rest of the Big Pony collection, and it appears all of them have 2-3 notes – laziness, or an attempt at encouraging layering?

     You should know that I am not a spicy fragrance person.. nor do I like musk. But chocolate? Man, I just ate half a pound of the stuff. I broke into a grin when I smelled this on my skin. After the initial ‘cologne’ scent, it comes down to a very spicy blend. But, this is not a painfully spicy thing, it won’t be burning the back of your throat any time soon. Instead it’s almost like a sweet BBQ sauce.. which is unexpected. A few minutes into the fragrance I get a quiet patchouli, or maybe vetiver – something slightly earthy. At any rate, I can’t find my promised chocolate, which I’m terribly cross about. Not a hint of musk either, which is fine by me.

Collective thoughts about what I’ve sniffed today: I am vastly unimpressed by this fragrance. Where there could be depth, there is none. Instead of going to any extremes, it remains so conservative that it is boring. Would not recommend this when there are so many, more interesting things available. I am interested to try the rest of the collection, in hopes of finding The One (because Two just didn’t work for me).

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