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Since I just bought my third bottle of it, I thought it was time to do a Ralph Lauren Blue perfume review. I’ve enjoyed this scent since it came out in 2005, and I won’t stop until it’s discontinued.
It’s a dream vacation in a bottle, with white flowers intertwined with warmth and woods, dancing with hints of freshness. It’s not an aquatic or “fresh” scent as much as it is a floral, but it’s the epitome of summertime magic rather than your run-of-the-mill floral fragrance.
Bottom Line Up Front: Should You Buy Ralph Lauren Blue Perfume?
So…I love it, but should you buy it? Not blindly. I’ve only seen the 4.2 fl. oz. bottles lately (at Ulta), and that’s quite a commitment for someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to give it a sniff. If there’s an Ulta near you, check their inventory on the website or app to see if they have it in stock; if they do, there should be a tester on display where you can try it on your skin and see what you think.
If you can find a sample or smaller bottle at a reasonable price from a reputable seller, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one. From there, you can decide if you should snatch up one of the larger bottles.
What Does Ralph Lauren Blue Smell Like?
Ralph Lauren Blue smells like nostalgia for better summer vacations than I ever experienced in my actual life. Though there’s nothing aquatic in the notes, and it’s a true floral scent layered over a glowing base of sandalwood, musk, and amber, it makes me feel like I’m on a Mediterranean vacation. It’s warm and heady and full of optimism and hope.
In this Blue-inspired fantasy, I’m surrounded by flowers and people I love (old friends and new). We walk paths lined with lotus flowers, peonies, jasmine, and gardenias. At the same time, the petals and our skin are being pleasantly warmed by the sun. We can see and hear the sea in the distance and feel the caress of a breeze. We’re carefree and feel beautiful, inside and out.
The official notes listed on the Ulta website (which is one of the few places I’ve found this perfume for several years) are:
- Top – Lotus flower, peony, lilac, rose, tuberose
- Middle – Jasmine, gardenia, muguet
- Base – Sandalwood, musk, amber
Fragrantica expands on that list a bit: jasmine, gardenia, lotus, lily-of-the-valley, pink peony, grapefruit, melon, tuberose, orange blossom, basil, verbena, rose, musk, vetiver, suede, oakmoss, sandalwood, and amber. I wouldn’t have picked out the melon and basil myself, but now that I see them on the list, I’m having an “a-ha!” moment. Now I know where the freshness comes from.
The melon and basil are intricately woven through the florals and woods like a fine, brightly-colored thread along the hem of a circle skirt–there, but easy to miss as you admire the whole thing.
The Key Features of Ralph Lauren Blue
Ralph Lauren Blue is one fragrance you’ll have to smell for yourself to determine whether it should be your next signature scent, an addition to an always-growing collection, or something you would never want to own.
Though I love it and it works well with my skin, the warm and humid climate where I live, and the way I use perfume (to match my mood), I can see how some people might find it borderline screechy or headache-inducing. Some may even think it smells like hairspray.
Here are a few quick facts about it to see if you should seek it out:
- It’s currently only available in the eau de toilette version.
- It’s a fresh floral scent with the type of warmth that veers it more toward spring and summer than fall and winter.
- To me, it’s pretty linear. The fragrance doesn’t morph much from when I first spray it on to when it’s dried down a couple of hours later. It does seem to warm up a bit on my skin and a sweetness that isn’t initially obvious comes to the surface. Definitely give it a few hours to make a final decision about whether you like it or not, but it’s not going to change dramatically.
- It seems to be available almost exclusively in the 4.2 fl. oz. size at the moment.
- It comes in a simple, weighty blue glass bottle with clean lines and a silver cap. The box is also understated–a deeper blue with silver writing.
- Decent staying power
- Not much sillage; it sits close to the skin and creates a thin cloud of fragrance that trails in a faint wisp of scent. It is not an 80s powerhouse type of perfume, for sure.
Pros and Cons of Ralph Lauren Blue
- It’s floral without being overtly feminine; there’s almost a masculine edge to it. I could see this being unisex, though it leans slightly more toward the traditionally feminine scents than masculine to my nose.
- Many perfumes will tell you a story when you first get a whiff. This one, however, has the power to transport you to a happier time and place (at least, it has that effect on me).
- The blend of florals, woods, warmth, and freshness keeps this scent from feeling too heavy, even in the summer months.
- If you wanted it to be an exceptionally feminine scent, you might be disappointed.
- Only the huge 4.2 fl. oz. bottles are available, so you’ll be dropping around $90.00 on a bottle. Smaller bottles used to be available for about $50.00. Even though I enjoy the scent, I like to mix things up. I prefer to buy 1 oz. (1.7 oz at the most) bottles of perfume so they won’t go bad before I can use them.
Where to Buy It
I know you can get the large bottle at Ulta, which is perfect if you already know you love it and plan to wear nothing else (or almost nothing else) for months or even years.
But what if you like to mix it up, or you’re just not ready for that kind of commitment?
Here are some retailers you can try:
- Fragrance X
- Walmart (this is the 1.36 oz. bottle, so if you’ve been hoping for a smaller one, grab one!)
Be sure to compare prices before you make a purchase. If you frequently shop at Ulta and use their Ultamate Rewards program, you may be able to put points toward the perfume purchase or earn points to spend as cash later.
That’s especially true if you shop when you get 5X or 10X the points on any purchase (or just fragrances). It’s unusual for their coupon codes to apply to fragrance purchases, but sometimes they do. You may be able to save some money that way, as well.
7 Alternatives to Consider
If you can’t find Ralph Lauren Blue perfume or just don’t want to buy the large bottle that seems to be the only option at most retailers (aside from the Walmart listing above, at the time of this writing), there are a few similar scents you can try.
These aren’t dupes, but the notes are similar and/or they have a similar vibe.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can apply several spritzes of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue to my skin and barely smell anything. I’m not anosmic to it; my husband and daughter don’t smell much there, either.
That said, I know many people know and love Light Blue. If you’ve experienced this scent, you can get a feel for the type of fragrance Blue is. On me, Light Blue is just weaker and fresher–more ocean and sun than fragrant florals near the sea, under the sun.
Notes include Sicilian lemon, green apple, bluebell, bamboo, jasmine, white rose, citron wood, cedar, musk, and amber.
Some people call Britney Spears Curious a dupe for Ralph Lauren Blue, but I disagree. It’s certainly very similar, but it lacks the depth and warmth of Blue and is headache-inducing for me. Its notes feel more scrambled to my nose, like there’s too much going on.
On me, Curious is mostly jasmine with some indiscernible notes to prop it up. It dries down to a sweet scent; I detect vanilla, musk, and a hint of sandalwood. Its notes include magnolia, pear, lotus, jasmine, tuberose, cyclamen, musk, vanilla, white woods, and sandalwood. I was excited to see magnolia on the list before buying a bottle, but I don’t really smell it in the fragrance.
From this list, you can see a mix of fresh, floral, warmth, and woods. It’s just not as rich as Blue.
Estée Lauder Beyond Paradise is similar, but there’s more fruit and a tropical vibe here. It’s still heavy on the florals, but the woods are toned down. When I used to wear this one, I felt like I could smell the raindrops on giant flower petals–it’s that kind of freshness, rather than green notes or a feeling of being near the ocean.
According to the site, the notes are: Eden’s mist, blue hyacinth, orange flower templar, jabuticaba fruit, laelia orchid, crepe jasmine, mahonia japonica, pink honeysuckle, natal plum blossoms, ambrette seed, Zebrano wood, and golden melaleuca bark.
This sunshine in a bottle is another cloud of fresh, floral warmth. I’ve had one in my collection since 1999 because of its ability to take me to a sunny, late spring day on a whim–even in the middle of winter.
It, too, lacks the woodiness and depth of Ralph Lauren Blue (there’s no sandalwood or any woods listed in the notes, so that’s not surprising). Still, its way of elevating my mood and taking me to more optimistic places in my mind is the same. The fragrance is similar enough that you could just have one or the other unless you’re really into collecting perfumes.
According to the Clinique site, the notes are ruby red grapefruit, bergamot, Hawaiian wedding flower, and spring mimosa.
Oscar de la Renta Live in Love is another white floral perfume with a citrus-infused set of top notes, middle notes that celebrate the beauty of jasmine, and warm, woody base notes.
Here is the full list of notes, reported by Fragrantica: lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, bergamot, galbanum, and orchid (top); African orange flower, jasmine, and rose (middle); and Virginia cedar, musk, sandalwood, and amber (base).
This one’s fresh and green with florals reminiscent of a dewy spring morning, but there are warm notes to balance that out–without making it feel heavy–in the drydown.
Armani Ocean di Gioia has a fresher, cleaner–less floral–scent overall, but there are some similarities. This one’s more likely to mentally take you directly to the ocean’s edge to relish the wind and salty air.
The notes are sparkling pear, citrus, green notes, water jasmine, salt, rose, musk, and sandalwood.
Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche will always have a home in my collection, even though it’s similar to Ralph Lauren Blue. It has that combination of fresh florals, citrus, warmth, and woods I love. It’s another that immediately transports me to a beautiful summer day.
According to Fragrantica, its notes are lemon, cedar, citron, water hyacinth, pink pepper, jasmine, patchouli, white musk, vetiver, teak wood, iris, and amber.
Question: Did Ralph Lauren discontinue Blue perfume?
Answer: It was discontinued for a while, then it came back. It may be on its way out again because it’s been more challenging to find, and not all the sizes are available. As of this writing, though, it hasn’t been discontinued for a second time.
Question: Does Ralph Lauren Blue smell good?
Answer: Scent is subjective, but I think Ralph Lauren Blue smells good. It’s a warm, sensual floral with a touch of something aquatic. To me it’s a beachy scent without veering into sunscreen or coconut territory.
Question: Is Ralph Lauren Blue a summer scent?
Answer: I feel like Ralph Lauren Blue is the epitome of summer. I’m swept away to humid summer days when I wear it, surrounded by flowers and warmth. It’s gorgeous year-round, and if you wear it in the winter, maybe it’ll take you on a mental vacation.
Question: Is Ralph Lauren Polo Blue for Men?
Answer: Yes. Polo Blue is different from the Ralph Lauren Blue perfume. Polo Blue was designed for men, whereas Blue, the perfume, was created with women in mind. Of course, you should always wear what you enjoy!
Ralph Lauren Blue Perfume Review: Conclusion
If Ralph Lauren Blue perfume sounds like it might be right up your alley, pick it up sooner than later. Try to sample it first, either in the store or through a shop that offers authentic fragrance samples. I’m worried it won’t be around for much longer, but I hope I’m wrong.
This stunning white floral, fresh, and woody scent can transport you to warm, summery days with a single spritz.
I can’t confidently say everyone will love it so much that I can tell you to go blind-buy the 4.2 oz bottle. However, anyone who loves this type of scent should at least try to track down a sample and see if their experience is similar to mine.