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Paco Rabanne Perfume Review

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Perfume Review

Paco Rabanne 1 Million is a perfume that has received both a lot of love and a lot of hate in the perfume world. Being quite old now, it was the favorite scent for many men when it was first released, but has since fallen out of grace thanks to newer releases. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how Paco Rabanne’s 1 million holds up today.

Brand and Perfume History

Paco Rabanne was started in 1966 in France by a man named Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, who was affectionately known as ‘Paco’ to his friends. He started out designing jewelry for women before moving into fashion and quickly gained a reputation for his outlandish designs which used numerous materials such as metal and wood.

The first foray into perfumery was in 1969 when Paco Rabanne released the now legendary Calandre for women. Since then there have been releases for both men and women, each fragrance having the iconic Paco Rabanne strange bottles design.

Perfume Story

Paco Rabanne 1 Million was released in late 2008 and had a rather interesting creative brief – the seductive nature of gold. Wanting to create a bottle and fragrance that represented durability, wealth, power, and luxury, they brought in the creative team of Michel Girard, Olivier Pescheux, and Christophe Raynaud, who got to work.

The blend was a totally new concept at the time of its release, fusing the citrus notes of blood orange and grapefruit with spices and woody notes. The scent was an instant hit, thanks to its unconventional bottle and stellar scent.

The success of Paco Rabanne 1 Million saw the release of quite a few flankers – 1 Million Lucky, 1 Million Prive, 1 Million for Her, 1 Million Parfum, and 1 Million Elixir.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

The bottle for 1 Million is super divisive. It’s made to represent a solid gold bar and you will immediately get that from the presentation. Like other Paco Rabanne fragrances, part of the charm is the bottle.

The bottle is shaped exactly like a solid gold bullion bar, with one side bright gold and the other black. This is eye-catching, to say the least. The sprayer is pretty decent, although some people have had problems with the button to spray the fragrance getting stuck.

Our Thoughts

Personally, I remember back in the day when Paco Rabanne 1 million was first released and it was all the rage. Being in the perfect target market – young men – I rushed out to get it and it was totally different from anything I’d ever smelled before. There was a distinct sharpness and warmness, yet the fragrance had a bubble gum-like sweetness as well.

Whilst the fragrance has since pretty much fallen into the background, I still get fond memories whenever I smell this on someone or catch a whiff. For many people who have smelled Paco Rabanne 1 million in the past, I think this is one of those super nostalgic fragrances.

How many sprays are required?

1 Million is a pretty decent signature scent and for day-to-day wear, you can get away with a good 4-5 sprays in your routine. It is a bit of a screechy fragrance at the start, so you may be better off spraying 20-30 minutes before you head out.

1 Million was the go-to clubbing fragrance for many years, so it really shines in this setting. You can go for a few more sprays if you’re out partying – 5-7 and you’ll be set for the evening.

Date night is another story. Because of the cinnamon screechiness, you want to take it easy in an intimate date setting – 2 or 3 sprays max and you’ll be golden.

Finally, avoid wearing this in the summer. It doesn’t work very well with high heat. Winter time though, go wild – 5-6 sprays and you’ll have a lovely scent trail following you around for a good few hours.


Top Notes

Blood Mandarin



The opening of Paco Rabanne 1 Million is a pretty intense kick of the citrus – blood orange and grapefruit – as well as a slight bit of mint. This is a real shock to the senses so be sure to only give it a sniff after it’s had a few seconds to settle down. I also get the cinnamon and spice up top, which blends really well with the other facets.

Heart Notes


Spicy Notes


After a few minutes, the mid of 1 Million starts to take effect, and take effect it definitely does. The spiciness really starts to shine through, which a dry sweetness from cinnamon backed up by even more spicy facets. The rose draws everything together and is more an earthy rose than a clean rose.

Base Notes



Woody Notes

Indian Patchouli

After about an hour of the mid, the sweet base starts to emerge. In the base you have all the sweetness – the sticky amber and patchouli really stand out. The sweet amber is backed up by the blond leather, and the two pair incredibly well. There are finally some woody facets that help tie the amber with everything and give this that iconic sweet factor.



The sillage is above average, but not absolutely huge. When 1 million was first released the fragrance was damn near fatal in its sillage – you’d have to crack open a window. Over time, the formulation has been refined to help make it less offensive, which in my eyes adds to the appeal.

Expect a decent leather and amber trail in the dry down then people will notice.


Again, longevity is another factor of 1 Million that has been toned down a bit. With recent batches, you’re going to get a solid 6-8 hours of longevity – this is the perfect longevity for most activities that you’re going to be wearing this for.


The projection is good. People will be able to get a noseful of the sweet and spicy fragrance from a good few feet away when the projection is at its peak. It slowly dies down to sitting very close to you, but even then it’s a nice sweet smell that you’ll be able to catch whiffs of.

Target Market

The target market is clearly young men who like to hit the town and have fun. It can be used as a signature scent but it’s a bit too in your face for that in my opinion. Age-wise, a younger person can pull this off easily, whilst an older gent may find it a bit too playful – so the age range of 18-30’s.

When to Wear

This was made for clubbing and nights out. Thanks to the spicy facets and cinnamon along with the sweet leather dry down, it can be a nice little head-turner for the dance floor. You can also wear this for more casual situations, especially when it’s colder.

It isn’t really that office-friendly, thanks to the performance being a bit too in your face. It also is NOT good during the summer, as the sweeter facets start to get cloying as you sweat.


When 1 Million first appeared on the scene, it was revolutionary. No fragrance had combined sweet and spicy into a clubbing-type scent as they had. But fast forward to the present and almost every major house has an offering that is a similar vibe.

So, if you want a unique smell in the modern day, you may have to look elsewhere.

Value For Money

If you want an easy-reach frag for nights out, you would be hard-pressed to do better than this. Thanks to the fact it’s quite old now, you can find offers on 1 Million quite easily. In this case, is well worth buying.

If you’re after something totally unique though or that is guaranteed to turn heads when you’re out and about, you may be better off paying a bit more for one of the flankers.

Pros & Cons


  • Great for clubbing
  • An interesting blend of sweet and spicy
  • Hard to not like
  • Can be had for a decent price
  • Decent performance
  • Unique bottle


  • Not that unique.
  • Hard to pull off day to day and in the summer.

Similar Perfumes

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Lucky

Often considered the best flanker, There’s an absolutely incredible plum note in the Lucky flanker that is just to die for. This one amps up the sweetness and adds hazelnut, honey, and oakmoss.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million Prive

Another great flanker, Prive switches things up a bit and adds a tobacco note, myrrh, and tonka bean. This is like a more mature 1 Million and is also highly regarded when it comes to the flankers.

Our Verdict

Whilst it’s a bit dated and copied, 1 Million is still a great frag. The spice, citrus, and sweet facets help to keep this interesting and cut through the cold. It’s also still a pretty decent scent for nights out if you can grab a good deal on it!

0/10 Bottle
0/10 Sillage
0/10 Longevity
0/10 Projection
0/10 Price

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