Paco Rabanne 1 Million is probably one of the most recognisable men’s fragrances from the 21st Century so far. If you live in the city, you likely catch a whiff on half a dozen other commuters every day. In either case, it’s successfully established itself as an iconic and popular fragrance.
In this review, you will discover Paco Rabanne 1 Million as we touch on the following topics:
- Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula (BUFF)
- Fragrance Overview
- Blend & Fragrance Strength
- Tested 3rd Party Feedback
- When To Wear 1 Million
- Presentation & Value
Use the links to jump ahead or scroll on to read more.
Developed by Michel Girard, Olivier Pescheux and Christophe Raynaud, 1 Million caused a stir when it came out in 2008. It was an immediate success and young men of all backgrounds flocked to grab themselves a bottle.
In fact, it was one of my first major fragrances as well as an initiation into the olfactory universe. Whilst my grandfather would religiously wear the classic Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, I had the young and ambitious 1 Million.
As a young student in his late teens, I still fondly recall the compliments I would get from women. I couldn’t believe how successful it was at the time and lavished its sweet, leather bouquet of spicy amber notes.
Now a decade later, I’ve been somewhat put off by its popularity. After all, it’s a great fragrance and soon it was worn by countless of men. Today, it’s my stepson’s fragrance of choice and I gladly revisited it for a nostalgic trip down memory lane with more analytical eyes.
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Paco Rabanne 1 Million’s Composition
With a complex bouquet of amber, spicy and woody notes, 1 Million tends to fluctuate between the Oriental and Woody family. However, given the prominent agarwood, which we will discuss later, it’s a notable Woody Spicy fragrance.
- Blood Orange
Opening on a bittersweet head of grapefruit, blood orange and sharp peppermint, 1 Million begins with a sharp head, which retains a somewhat mellow roundness. The sharp minty sensation contrasts against the bitter mellow citrus spice.
If anything, the head is strongly reminiscent of a well-made Old Fashioned given its bitter, sweet and citrus notes.
Through a seamless transition, the head subsides to reveal the opulent and sweet heart. A sugar citrus note of neroli bridges the head and heart. Meanwhile, floral notes of rose contrast against warm cinnamon and vivid nutmeg spice.
The overall sensation creates a tantalising sweet and savoury polarity before drawing us to the base.
Finally, we’re lead to a seductive base that reveals a leather accord created by labdanum and resinous agarwood notes. The earthy, spicy labdanum also interacts with a patchouli note, which creates an oily, intoxicating finish.
1 Million’s lifecycle
As a heady and boozy fragrance, it’s impressive that 1 Million is able to create seamless transitions between its phases. In fact, the notes carefully transition with a deliberate and calculated structure one after the other.
Wake & Strength Of 1 Million
Catering to young adults and teenagers, 1 Million is a power frag with a sillage and longevity that can be detected miles away. Indeed, it’s an enormously powerful fragrance with an enduring longevity that will effortlessly last you throughout the day or night.
Therefore, caution is advised when applying as the bitter resinous notes can easily become overpowering if too concentrated. Seemingly, 1 Million’s poor reputation has been earned through over-application, which can make it quite garish.
Do People Like 1 Million?
Firstly, 1 Million has earned itself quite a polarising reputation. Whilst it’s loved by many as an enduring and seductive fragrance, it’s over-use and popularity has hurt its reputation.
Being worn so commonly, it may have lost its original appeal and even be considered as overwhelming. There were some that also noted that it came across as overly synthetic and found the sweetness cloying.
However, when exposed to only small quantities, it was looked on with more appreciation. In fact, many women still seem to have quite a soft spot for it. Additionally, it’s still very appealing to young men as their first fragrance.
When Should You Wear Paco Rabanne 1 Million?
With regards to its seasonality, Paco Rabanne 1 Million is a decidedly winter fragrance that can also be worn throughout the autumn months. Its spicy bouquet of resin and citrus are reminiscent of cold festive evenings and crackling fires. You can almost visualised the mulled wine or Old Fashioned as mentioned earlier.
However, it’s certainly still wearable during the spring when the weather is still a little fresh. However, it may become too heavy for the summer. That said, it might be a fair choice for late summer nights spent clubbing on the coast.
As mentioned earlier, 1 Million is distinctively designed for younger men in mind. Therefore, it’s something that will unlikely appeal to those with more mature tastes. Likewise, women who appreciate this tend not to be much older then their early twenties.
Furthermore, the time of day best suited to 1 Million tends to be the night but it could be used as an everyday casual fragrance. Nevertheless, it would be its most successful during certain nocturnal activities.
Similarly, this isn’t a particularly refined fragrance to wear on special or formal occasions. It’s also far too overpowering for use at the office and would likely be met with scorn by colleagues. You may choose to wear it for a date but being so common, it carries its own risks.
Finally, 1 Million is an overtly masculine fragrance and quite strong. Therefore, it’s not particularly suitable for unisex wear or for men with more modest palates. However, a women’s version is available called Lady Million.
resentation and Value For Money
However you may feel about 1 Million, it’s bottle is undeniably iconic. Designed as a smooth golden slab look like a bullion ingot, there’s a smoked glass reservoir at the back. The logo is stamped into the metal plate and the atomiser is embedded in the top.
On the subject, the atomiser is reasonable but not very smooth to handle. A light half-press will even create a cloud that is more than ample for a single application.
Likewise, the packaging replicates the bottle itself as a smooth, gold box with “1 million” boldly written on the top.
Surprisingly, 1 Million is still quite pricey despite its overwhelming popularity. You’d expect its value to drop due to its popularity but the demand must be enough to keep it high.
Perhaps a victim of its own success, Paco Rabanne 1 Million is both loved and hated by many. However, despite the reputation around it, it’s still an undeniably good fragrance. Personally, I still find it reasonably enjoyable. Yet it is far from being a favourite today and not something that I could really wear. However, my palate has surely changed with age.
Nevertheless, BUFF (Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula) is hard to cheat and despite my own tastes, it still marks very highly. Therefore, 1 Million is surely a highly recommended and viable choice for young men in their teens or early twenties.
Want more? Watch the review video!