It should come as no surprise that the Ralph Lauren fragrance business has decided to follow a number of their contemporaries into the luxury niche collection sector. Their initial foray consists of ten releases comprising simple soliflore constructions. Each perfume is named after the focal point of each three note perfume. Three perfumers were used; Carlos Benaim, Harry Fremont, and Calice Becker.
The Ralph Lauren Collection was the third large soliflore collection I have received in recent months. I’m not sure the source of the embrace of this particular style but there are going to be a lot of choices out there for the consumer. Like all large collections there are highs and lows. The highs of The Ralph Lauren Collection are Oud by M. Benaim which goes all in with the oud by bracketing it with smoky incense and the clean woodiness of guaiac. I also really enjoyed Sage by M. Fremont which is a modern fougere using a green fig and balsam to round out the herbal sage. The one which was hands down my favorite is Lime by Mme Becker.
If there is one hallmark of Mme Becker’s career it is using lots of notes in the majority of her perfume she composes. Those notes are used as shading and texture around specific keynotes. They are what make me look forward to trying her new releases. With Lime this might have the shortest note list of her portfolio: lime, bergamot, and lavandin. These three notes are brilliantly chosen but this perfume succeeds because Mme Becker is able to use the proprietary Givaudan technology called Freeze Frame.
Freeze Frame is where a fruit is frozen in liquid nitrogen and then as it thaws a headspace isolation is done. Givaudan has done this with fruits along with roots like ginger. The lime here is from a Freeze Frame extraction. What it seems to do is to provide a source of lime that has much more of its tart bite intact. It also has more of the pithy quality of the rind present as well. I wouldn’t describe it as photorealistic but a more “whole fruit” experience containing more prominent parts of the entirety.
Lime has a simple evolution. The Freeze Frame lime appears right away. The bergamot provides a bit of a sunny twinkle while simultaneously shading the tartness of the lime. The lavandin is that species of lavender which carries a bit of camphor with it. In the case of Lime it almost gives the impression of the curls of frost off the surface of the frozen lime. Less prosaically the hint of camphor lifts the brighter citrus facets of the lime.
Lime has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
As a soliflore collection goes The Ralph Lauren Collection is overall very well done. It is definitely worth the time to track it down and try them all. The simple aesthetic which runs throughout all ten fragrances can be as appealing as the name on the label is to each person who tries them. Lime is the one I picked because Mme Becker showed me an icy globe of citrus perfection.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Ralph Lauren.