1 Million by Paco Rabanne

What never fails to surprise me is the idiosyncrasy of compliment getters. Often the simpler, more stereotypical (I’ll expand on this eventually) fragrances receive most praise.



Plastic gold. How fittingly superficial. Photo by Paco Rabanne

We take, grudgingly for example, the infamous One Million by Paco Rabbane. Sweet fairy floss, caramels and apples combine to create a sweet, fruity and punchy fragrance with a rather questionable drydown. Somehow, for some inane reason people, and by people I mean (most often) females, love this fragrance. It’s a polarising one, you either love it for the compliments that it fetches or hate it for what it is.

I guess it’s an abdication on the artisanal nature of fragrances that I love and that fumeheads adore; an absurd defilement in the core traits of haute perfumery; and a direct example of a many-to-many and feed the horde of hormone filled lads style of perfumery. However… I can’t just say this, I need corroboration! I can’t just say willy-nilly that the nose behind this fragrance only wanted to trap attractive pheromones that reduced women into a melt…no, no, no; that’s just not right. Well, I may be right.

So what is this corroboration you ask? Well – have you seen the advertisement?! Hello and welcome the conscious, now fashionably aware metrosexuals who apparently want high risk, lots of money, an uber-exotic lifestyle and of course, women stripped denude at the click of a finger. If this is their idea of sexy, have they got no idea of Tom Ford sexy? You know…like jocular bemusement, sly flirtatiousness? My god, never mind.

Of course, there are so called ‘panty-droppers’ (my fingers burned when typing that combination of letters) in the niche industry; but these have background, good taste and an air of refinement, not necessarily sexual MSG. Some say those who wear Chanel No5, Eau D’Orange Verte by Hermès or Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford have good taste, and in my eyes they do.

The fundamental difference between the niche compliment getters sometimes lies in the fact that it isn’t a direct compliment getter.
Much rather, you have a form of surety that you will smell universally appealing; with those around you knowing that you reliably and constantly smell good. A compliment and a sign of respect to everyone in the radius of sillage; catch my drift?

There’s no ‘going with the flow’ or ‘-but the ad suggests that I’ll get lucky if I wear this!’ with this…and really, is that necessary? Must you teenybopper, quasi-mature teens reach for the juice that’ll have guys and/or gals crawling at your feet? I challenge that; smell elegant, not desperate. Get compliments, not red-hot hunka hunka burning love.

Some may claim ignorance and just me being spiteful; but we develop taste and cumulatively the ability to engage in discourse regarding ‘fine’ taste. I feel qualified. Remember: A gentleman is understated.

Some say this is a clubbing scent. Now, I don’t do clubbing (and the matter of fact is is that I don’t go outside), but the purpose of a clubbing scent is clear. Something that cuts through the crowd of vetivers and woods and like the spanish inquisition, saturates/infiltrates all things nasal. Insane projection and longevity ensured.

Now, so far this is a rant, not a review; I have elucidated enough.

We start with the warm spice of cinnamon and astringent leathery notes that has this bubblegum, jammy apple pie vibe to it. A ‘pep’ is added with the lightness of grapefruit, blood mandarin and mint. I suspect this gives 1 Million the apple bubblegum character. In the drydown the amber comes through with an added dimension of creaminess; it gets synthetic. Very synthetic. Contradictory for a gold block bottle.

There’s a category for these fragrances, and it rhymes with ‘Jargon Sin’. I won’t hate you for wearing this, I just need to teach you a lesson in reverence and sartorial elegance.

Alternatives: By that, did you mean other lesser known, somewhat classy compliment getters? It’s a secret. 

“What’s a drydown?” he said, after 25 sprays of 1Million.

Subjective rating : 1/5

Objective rating: 2/5

3 thoughts on “1 Million by Paco Rabanne

  1. I also have a love hate relationship with PR – 1 Million. I adore its audacity for being what it is, but also can be overwhelmed by its cloying nature and over usage in the general population.

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