Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Eau de Toilette: A Fragrance Review Of The 1970s Classic

By |2018-03-23T10:59:53+00:00Aug 22nd, 2017|Categories: Fragrance: Men's Perfume, Cologne & Aftershave|Tags: , |16 Comments

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Bottle with droplets of waterSince 1973, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme has been an established cornerstone of contemporary perfumery. In this review, we will cover in detail its composition, seasonality, value for money as well as the most suited occasions for wearing the fragrance.


  • Brand: Paco Rabanne
  • Fragrance: Pour Homme
  • Concentration: Eau de Toilette
  • Introduction: 1973
  • Olfactive Fragrance Family: Aromatic Fougere

Jean Martel’s concoction prompted a craze for Aromatic Fougeres and its distinctive composition inspired countless men’s fragrances for decades thereafter. Pour Homme is an iconic yet paradoxical scent that feels timeless whilst simultaneously representing the hallmarks of its particular era.

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Packaging and Bottle on Oak Stump

Before its introduction, a man’s fragrance was commonly a mere extension of his shaving routine. Shaving soaps would be rinsed away and replaced with bracing, fresh and audacious aftershaves that mimicked barbershop odours.

Occasionally these would feature traditional fougeres but otherwise they would be alcohol-rich menthol fragrances with sea notes that denoted cleanliness.

Paco Rabanne revolutionised the scene by introducing an element of sophistication to men’s personal grooming with its new Eau de Toilette. Rather than creating a solely embellishing fragrance for self-expression, it could be seamlessly introduced into a man’s daily shaving routine.

Download the Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Fragrance Formula as a PDF


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Paco Rabanne Pour Homme’s Composition

The fragrance’s complex character marries hygiene with elegance through a subtle blend of refined aromas. The composition is exemplary of the Aromatic Fougere fragrance family.

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Packaging and Bottle by Oak Stump and MossHead Notes

  • Rosemary
  • Clary Sage
  • Brazilian Rosewood

The Aromatic compounds provide an emblematic intricacy to the fragrance’s opening notes with a rosemary and Clary sage head.

Dominant Fougere elements appear with Brazilian rosewood whilst featuring a green oak moss base.

Heart Notes

  • Tonka Bean
  • Lavender
  • Geranium

The blend of Aromatic and Fougere ingredients marry with the warm lavender heart and floral notes reminiscent of geraniums. Furthermore, the presence of Tonka Bean releases characteristically fougere notes of coumarin.

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Base Notes

  • Oak Moss
  • Labdanum
  • Musk
  • Honey

The base is accompanied by respectively dry and sweet notes of musk and honey, which harmonise the oak moss’ freshness. Latent notes of sweet lime and bay leaves add a sensation of citrus and spice for a rounded finish.

Meanwhile, musky labdanum adds a subtle animalistic and leather note, which interacts with the oak moss to create a distinctive tobacco accord.

Interestingly, the interplay between the head and heart creates an experience not dissimilar to soap – specifically those used for shaving.

The aromatic, woody head dissolving into a floral yet dry heart denotes a sense of dry cleanliness. The result contributes to its association with traditional barbershop aromas whilst crafting an altogether different scent.

The Lifecycle of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Packaging on an Oak StumpThe composition’s Lifecycle is intuitive without being overly linear. Similar to an aftershave, the oily, alcohol-heavy head quickly cooks off the skin for a brisk transition to the heart.

The alcohol’s evaporation performs a practical role as a post-shave fragrance. However, it’s somewhat of a shame to lose the hints of rosemary and rosewood so soon after application.

Similarly, the heart’s lifespan is very brief. Wearers only experience of glimpse of interaction between the coumarin with the floral notes of lavender and geranium.

A brief sensation of pine dominates the fragrance as it edges to the base, which once established, leaves a very robust scent.

Wake & Strength

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Bottle in Rosemary and Thyme

An undeniably strong fragrance, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme features an admirable longevity, which performs better on textiles than on skin.

The fragrance, therefore, tends to remain on a shirt collar longer than on the neck itself. This may be desirable but not necessarily to everyone’s taste.

Nevertheless, it’s performance is impressive to say the least. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme offers a longevity that can easily last for well over a typical working day and into the evening.

It also projects well by being discernible by the wearer’s entourage without overwhelming the room.

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Throughout the day, the sillage is relatively faint. However, the scent lingers in the room where the fragrance was applied for quite a while, which can be overwhelming. Therefore, care must be taken not to over-apply.

The general consensus of the fragrance is mostly positive albeit occasionally polarising. Whilst some appreciate the masculine accords that denote a sophisticated barbershop cleanliness, others find the fragrance outdated.

Despite a subdued brashness and modest projection of minor synthetic notes, the fragrance is archetypal of the 1970s. However, the mastery of contrasting green freshness with a dry warmth ensures it remains relevant even among modern perfumes.

Consequently, its unquestionably a man’s fragrance and most appropriate for mature men generally over 40 years old.

For younger men, their style and demeanour should be consistent with the fragrance for a harmonious ensemble. Otherwise, as fragrances are a form of self-expression, the wearer risks creating an incoherent contrast with the personality he exudes.

When To Wear Paco Rabanne Pour Homme?

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Splash and Atomiser Bottle with oak mossPaco Rabanne Pour Homme is a distinctively seasonal fragrance. The fragrance family’s properties are quintessentially springtime, which it projects with minute accuracy.

Particular ingredients such as the rosemary, lavender and moss are reminiscent of an earthy forest still damp from morning dew.

The tonka bean and musk provide a spicy accord with a dryness akin to newly mown hay. This contrast between cool and warm allows the experience to remain relevant throughout summer up until the harvest.

However, by autumn, the fragrance begins to feel out of place and the benefits of its character dwindle throughout winter.

With its conservative blend of traditional Fougere and Aromatics, the fragrance feels most appropriate for day time wear at the workplace.

Nevertheless, it can be fitting for other occasions both casual and formal. For example, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme would be an ideal candidate for a summer evening barbecue among friends or even a romantic night out.

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In any scenario, it’s composition makes for an unmistakably masculine fragrance that can’t be interpreted as a women’s perfume. Although this renders it unwearable for women, it establishes itself as a strong and resolute statement of virility.

Presentation and Value For Money

The material usage experience of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is relatively conservative yet stately. The cardboard packaging comes in a simple, iconic green colour with a discreet silver border and embossed lettering. The boldly placed original Paco Rabanne logo and font are grandiose statements to its era with compelling 1970s undertones.

The bottle itself is very simple and modest in the shape of a rounded rectangle made from glass. The same lettering and logo from the packaging are present here. However, instead of silver they’re a clean white to contrast with the bottle’s contents.

Splash vs. Atomiser

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme Splash and Atomiser Bottle on stoneWhat is interesting is that Paco Rabanne seem to be making a transition towards atomisers from splash bottles.

Splash bottles used to be the norm for this fragrance and although are still available, seem to be being slowly phased out in favour of atomisers.

Therefore, you can currently choose either a splash bottle or an atomiser depending on personal preference. In both cases, the stopper or atomiser appear as a black box with grey edges on top of the bottle.

The biggest difference is that the splash bottle comes in a clear glass bottle whilst the atomised bottle is a dark, smoked green.

This is a new and intuitive option for younger users. Whilst a splash bottle is ideal for an aftershave, it’s frustrating when using the fragrance as a decorative scent.

Those opting for the latter will no longer need to literally get their hands dirty. Furthermore, although splashes are practical for aftershaves, they don’t let the fragrance breathe through oxidisation. Here you’ll get the most from your product.


Paco Rabanne Pour Homme can be found for excellent prices that offer superb value for money. Although a 3.4 Oz (100 ml) bottle features an RRP of $60, it can be found on Amazon for as little as $30.

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Such an premium fragrance and an excellent price means that you’ll find Paco Rabanne Pour Homme among the best fragrances under $30!

Closing Thoughts

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is a cornerstone is men’s fragrances, which offers a unique experience. Both mysterious yet unapologetically masculine, its aroma profile is defined by a particular era whilst being timelessly sophisticated.

Devout wearers praise its intriguing properties and consider it a highly masculine statement with a complex composition. The marriage of its ingredients create a simultaneously traditional and refreshing experience that contrasts with a warm finish.

No collection is complete with Paco Rabanne Pour Homme and the pricing makes it a very attractive addition. We’ve even featured it as one of the best men’s fragrances of all time.

Enjoyed reading our review? Why don’t you check out our video below?

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme
Reviewed by Charles-Philippe Bowles, on .
"A classic fragrance for men. With a complex character and unashamedly masculine fragrance, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is a strong statement for the traditional gentleman."
Rating: 4.0 ★★★★

About the Author:

Charles-Philippe is a Franco-Briton who, in forgetting where he parked his time machine, settled down somewhere between Paris and Champagne during the early 21st Century. A cheese, wine, spirits and cigar enthusiast with a penchant for all things vintage, you can find him loitering on Instagram when he isn’t writing for Bespoke Unit.


  1. Mark January 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Excellent review!

    • Charles-Philippe January 12, 2018 at 2:13 am - Reply

      Thanks, Mark! Delighted to see that you’re enjoying our content!



  2. Antonia January 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I am trying to understand if this is the Paco Rabanne fragrance I remember (back in the late 1980’s was when I encountered it and LOVED it on my boyfriend!). I remember the bottle as different than the photo you have (clear rather than dark green) and I am too much of a fragrance novice to understand if your description fits what I remember.

    Is the current fragrance in the dark green bottle a re-packaging of the original? I think the name was “Pour Homme” but not sure of that either…

    Thank you for any information

    Kind regards,

    • Charles-Philippe January 15, 2018 at 2:16 am - Reply

      Hi Antonia,

      I think there’s a strong chance that you’re talking about the same fragrance. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme was originally sold in a clear bottle not too dissimilar to the one shown in the last two photos of the article. Furthermore, it was the only one they had released between 1973 and 1996 so if this was during the late 1980s, I’m almost positive!

      Head to a fragrance shop and give it a sniff! Olfactory memory is very powerful so I’m sure you’ll recognise it!



  3. Daina January 26, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic review! Thank you so much. My 83 year old father has been wearing this scent for 20 years and loves it. I gave him a bottle for his birthday last week.
    I’ve heard that this product is soon to he discontinued. Do you know if that is true? If so, I shall stock up on a few bottles. How long do you think the bottles can be stored (unopened) without the contents being affected? Thank you.

    • Charles-Philippe January 29, 2018 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Hi Daina,

      Thanks for your message! It’s funny you should say that because in our video review of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, I spoke with my 92 year old grandfather who’s been wearing it for many years too! It’s actually the scent that got me into fragrances.

      This is the first I’ve heard of it being discontinued and the thought sends me shivers down my spine. Where did you hear this? I’ve looked elsewhere online and I’ve not seen any news saying so myself. Personally, I think and hope that we’re safe for now. However, if you want to stockpile just in case, you can store them for quite some time.

      The three factors that affect perfume the most are heat, humidity and light. Therefore, keep the perfume in their original packaging and store them somewhere dark, dry and at a constant temperature. A linen closet is an ideal environment as they’re often cool and dry with little light coming through.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you hear more about Paco Rabanne Pour Homme being pulled from the shelves!

      All the best,


  4. Daina January 29, 2018 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much CP for your reply. Apparently it was someone in Myer (a major department store in Australia) who said it was going to be discontinued. Also, several discount shops that used to stock it (e.g. Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist and Priceline) all no longer have any stock on their shelves.
    However… I do know of one shop that still has five bottles left, so was thinking of buying a couple of them. My only concern is that in that particular shop (as in most of the Chemist Warehouse stores) the fragrances are all displayed on shelves under bright lights. As you confirmed, the heat from these lights is not good for the fragrance, so I don’t want to stock up from this shop if I don’t have to.
    I’ll do some investigating too and let you know if I hear anything more.

    Thanks again!

    • Charles-Philippe February 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Daina! Thanks for your reply too. It’s interesting to hear that and I’ll do a bit more digging myself because I’m quite concerned to hear that.

      Have you checked Notino? We regularly use them for buying our fragrances as they offer both great prices and excellent service. They have a French website and I buy from them quite often so I imagine that they’re international.

      Best of luck in your endeavour and let me know how it turns out!



  5. Christoph Georg Volni March 26, 2018 at 4:49 am - Reply

    You are pure class just like this fragrance! I do fragrance reviews myself under the name of Scent Land and all I can say is Bravo!

    • Charles-Philippe March 27, 2018 at 8:24 am - Reply

      Hi Christoph,

      Thank you for your comment, I truly appreciate it! Yes, we’ve seen some of your work on YouTube – it’s great stuff!



  6. Bob W September 5, 2018 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Hi is there much difference between the aftershave and eau de toilette with regards to longevity and aftershave? I get great longevity from edt and was wondering if aftershave is worth buying?

    Great review by the way!

    • Charles-Philippe September 5, 2018 at 6:32 am - Reply

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the comment!

      As I recall (and forgive me as it’s been many years since I used the AS), it exceeds expectations as far as they go. It probably won’t offer you as much longevity but you’ll still get enough to get your through at least half the day.

      However, I haven’t seen the aftershave for a while. Would love to grab another bottle one of these days!

      Hope this helps!



  7. H A R T November 5, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I just purchased what I presume is the same formula that I used to wear in the 80’s. Initially it didn’t smell the same and I was considering returning it. However after time passed I began to have a nostalgic trigger from the scent. Can anyone tell me if the EU ban on Oak-moss affected the formula and smell from the 80’s version?

  8. Charles-Philippe November 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Brett,
    (I’m presuming that you’re the Brett Hart that directed Bone Dry with Lance Henriksen given the link to your site)

    I’m sure that the oak moss ban has had an effect on the overall formula. Like you and other people, I have noticed that the fragrance has been somewhat reformulated over the years. For instance, it’s sweeter and more contemporary in its general profile.

    However, you pretty much hit the nail on the head when saying that it does still provoke an element of nostalgia. While it has changed a little, there is still a strong underlying essence of the original Pour Homme.

    That said, if you want a really authentic experience, consider trying the after shave version. Last time that I tried it, it had changed a lot less. I presume that’s because the market for the after shave is going to be older men while the brand is likely seeking to attract younger fragrance wearers with the Eau de Toilette.

    All the best,


  9. Frank January 3, 2019 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I have been wearing this since I was in my early 30’s (60 now). I was told by a Macy’s employee that this was no longer being produced and that ‘One Million’ would be the only one available (too fruit smelling for me).

    • Charles-Philippe January 4, 2019 at 4:35 am - Reply

      Hi Frank,

      This is worrying as you’re the second person to tell me this. However, I have a feeling that it may be the aftershave and not the eau de toilette that’s being discontinued. Nevertheless, I think that I’ll be stocking up come next paycheck!



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