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Paco Rabanne is a Spanish-born French Fashion Stylist who dominates the fashion world and owns one of the world’s best-selling perfume lines. He is well-known for his outlandish, unconventional style in both fields.
Consequently, when the infamous 1 Million recognized worldwide hit the market, it created a revolution in the world of perfumes—defying all the rules and upending the notes to create a scent that was inherently unique at the time of its release, a first-timer.
In 2008, Paco Rabanne introduced – 1 Million Eau de Toilette by Paco Rabanne with a LUXE limited edition in an 18-carat gold bottle with a diamond crown. Each bottle in the LUXE edition, shaped like a gold bar, is separately numerated and refilled.
This edition radiates grandeur and a sense of power, affordable only by the privileged. However, a simpler version – gold in color but not in essence – is also available.
The packaging, identical for both versions, is a vibrant shade of gold with etched-in barcodes. One of the main reasons for this fragrances’ success is its packaging and marketing, which might appeal to the average Joe, but a fragrance enthusiast would know better.
The durability and sillage on this perfume are incredible, definitely beat out the subpar performance – in this area – by many other distinguished names (hint-hint John Varvatos). This perfume’s best, most commonly agreed-upon quality is its longevity; it can last up to 24 hours on the skin!
You can smell it from literally miles away. And the sillage is such that it gives out the scent for at least 3 hours. However, this also means that the smell can become a little too penetrating, so be careful with how much you spritz on!
Although – this perfume has been reformulated and the newer version is softer and lasts up to 8-10 hours, which though, still good, nowhere nears the performance of the previous version.
This Woody Spicy fragrance is best suited for winter evenings, night outs, and casual wear; it is a party pleaser. A blend of Blood Mandarin and Rose, this scent draws all the sexes. It smells very fresh and sweet yet still somehow masculine. This is the perfume that kicked off the trend of adding sweet-smelling notes to men’s fragrances.
It is made for a confident man, very secure in his masculinity. The best feature of this perfume in terms of the scent’s composition is its incredible top note which gives off a zesty intoxicating smell for the time duration that it lasts (around 30 minutes). However, after the initial scent settles a little, it becomes so overly sweet that it can give you a migraine.
The perfumers behind this sensational composition include; Christophe Raynaud, Olivier Pescheux, and Michel Girard. 1 Million is widely considered to be the best scent in the fragrance line of Paco Rabanne.
In my opinion, this fragrance is better suited to young adults (ages 16 – 20), not a bad thing per se, but for those more mature men out there (or women trying to avoid a man-baby!), it’s better if you choose a different fragrance.
Furthermore, this perfume once caused such a stir that everyone wanted one, and consequently, (almost) everyone got one! If not the scent itself, then one of the perfumes from a host of its inspired fragrances means that every other person seemed to be wearing it, which made it lose its exclusivity.
There are many different facets from which a perfume can be viewed, and being one of a kind is one of the topmost. It feels great when you’re wearing a fantastic scent that leaves people wondering, adding to the air of mystery. In 1 Million’s case, however, there is none left!
Moreover, this perfume is for the more egotistical men. It is a status symbol, which happens to be its main attraction as the scent itself – a mixture of sweet (a LOT sweet) and spicy – doesn’t necessarily rank very high.
So, the conclusion I come to is that someone either buys it because of its tantalizingly deceptive top note, or they want to show they’ve got class.
- Top notes: Grapefruit, Peppermint, and Red Mandarin Orange.
- Middle notes: Rose Absolute, Spicy Notes, and Cinnamon.
- Base notes: Blond Leather, Amberketal, Indian Patchouli, and Woody Notes.
- Superb longevity and sillage.
- It gives off a macho air (if that’s your thing)
- Provides value for money (arguably)
- The smell has worn out a little – perhaps of the sensation it once caused.
- The scent is not unique.
- It can smell a little overpowering and heavy.
Perfumes Similar to 1 Million by Paco Rabanne
The Golden Secret by Antonio Banderas
There is a discrete similarity between these two perfumes – besides the somewhat similar-looking bottles – they share many of the same notes, but The Golden Secret is more subtle. It has the same spicy scent with a leather note that’s intrinsically masculine. This might be the best alternative to 1 Million, just not the most durable one.
- Top notes: Mint, Green Notes, and Apple.
- Middle notes: Cumin, Pepper, and Nutmeg.
- Base notes: Cedar, Leather, and Musk.
Ab Spirit Millionaire by Lomani
This is the most inexpensive substitute for 1 Million. Vanilla is most distinct in this concoction, but it still gives the feeling of the same Woody Notes. Furthermore, it doesn’t have the same beastly projection, sillage vise, as 1 Million (which perfume does??), but it still offers good longevity.
With the price in which it’s available? Definitely worth a try!
- Top notes: Cardamom, Green Apple, Mandarin Orange, and Bergamot.
- Middle notes: Nutmeg, Cumin, Corriander, and Jasmine.
- Base notes: White Musk, Vanilla, Amber, and Cedar.
The One by Dolce & Gabbana
This elegant scent, initially launched in 2008, was destined to become one of the classics. A denser version was re-launched in 2015. Starting with sparkling notes, it leaves behind a deep masculine scent. This fragrance, in my opinion, is not just an alternative but a superior choice to1 Million by Paco Rabanne.
- Top notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Basil, and Grapefruit.
- Middle notes: Orange Blossom, Ginger, and Cardamom.
- Base notes: Tobacco, Amber, and Cedar.
Stronger With You by Emporio Armani
This scent is not very similar to 1 Million, but it fills the same needs, and the smell is very masculine and seductive. Where 1 Million is more suited to casual evenings, this perfume goes well with formal and informal attire, no matter the time of day, and can be worn throughout the winter.
- Top notes: Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Mint, and Violet Leaf.
- Middle notes: Melon, Sage, Pineapple, Lavender, and Cinnamon.
- Base notes: Vanilla, Amberwood, Guaiac Wood, Cedar, and Chestnut.
La Nuit de l’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent
This Woody Spicy scent is akin to 1 Million – intended for the enigmatic, boldly seductive man. The smell is impressive although, its longevity and sillage are mediocre at best. Overall, it’s a rather good alternative that provides value for money.
- Top notes: Grapefruit and Cardamom.
- Middle notes: Clary Sage, Leather, and Lavender.
- Base notes: Patchouli, Tonka Bean, Vetiver, and Sandalwood.
Brasil Dream for Him by Estee Lauder
This is a masculine cologne version of the previous Basil Dream for Her perfume. It has a clear spicy scent that’s accented with Woody Notes. This scent goes well in the summertime, and you can envision a sexy, well-dressed man when smelling this one.
Overall, it’s the closest you get in terms of scent to 1 Million. But this one is not so much sweet, more a tropical floral. However, longevity vise it doesn’t fare as well. Its performance is mediocre in this department.
- Top notes: Cilantro, White Pepper, and Green Cardamom.
- Middle notes: Cinnamon, Oregano from Cuba, Orange Blossom Water, Neroli, and Nutmeg.
- Base notes: Labdanum, Patchouli, Leather Accords, Jalapeno Pepper, and Pimento.
Pure Gold Euphoria Men by Calvin Klein
Based on the lingering scent it leaves behind, it can be best described as Oriental Woody, with a mix of sweet and spice, which is a somewhat similar composition to 1 Million. It is a sensual, warm scent that is best worn on special occasions. As with most perfumes, the sillage and longevity are average. This scent is mainstream, like 1 Million, which is not necessarily an insult; it can be a compliment, as anything “mainstream” is usually easy to understand and likable.
- Top notes: Saffron, Green Cardamom, and Pine Needles.
- Middle notes: Aromatic Cedar, Rose, Juniper, and Vanilla.
- Base notes: Agarwood (Oud), Sandalwood, Musk, and Patchouli.
Question: What Does 1 Million by Paco Rabanne Smell Like?
Answer: Inspired by Paco Rabanne’s metallic fashion line, this perfume is composed of Blood Orange, Light Leather, Spices, and Rose. It has a sexy, seductive scent that is sweet yet very masculine. The velvety-soft fragrance is also spicy but very subtly. Perfect for the youth looking for an adventure!
Question: Is 1 Million by Paco Rabanne a good choice for gift-giving?
Answer: 1 Million is available in 50 and 100ml bottles as an Eau de Toilette, with accompanying body care products so, it’s an ideal gift choice whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a promotion or, Christmas!
Another great idea might be upgrading to the LUXE addition. It is an excellent option for gift-giving if the person on the receiving end is a man of stature. (and if you can afford the expensive luxury item).
Question: Does the Perfume 1 Million by Paco Rabanne Offer Longevity?
Answer: Yes! This perfume is an ideal option for the consumer whose priority is longevity. 1 Million can last on the skin for up to 8 – 10 hours. Longevity and sillage are where it scores the most, which is a much sought after and rarely found feature in a fragrance. The attractiveness of the scent, however, is debatable but – “To each his own”
Question: Is 1 Million Perfume Worth its Cost?
Answer: This depends on your taste and what do you look for most in a perfume. Uniqueness? Longevity? Attractiveness? Masculinity? Is it perhaps, an indicator of a status symbol for you?
Furthermore, everyone has their taste. Having said that, 1 Million is definitely an irresistible, quality perfume and worth the cost. (Perhaps not the LUXE version, though.)
Question: Do Perfumes Have an Expiry Time?
Answer: Yes, perfumes do expire, but they usually don’t have a set expiry date. Depending on its composition, a fragrance can last anywhere between 1 – 10 years, with the average time being 3 – 5 years. Many experts believe that perfumes with heavier base notes have the longest shelf-life.
Million Cologne Review: Final Thoughts
1 Million by Paco Rabanne is an ultimate classic; no doubt about it. It became an instant sensation when it was initially released. However, it is due to this exact reason perhaps that it has lost its uniqueness; its fame inspired a lot of copies, both cheap and high-end, like almost every other person coveted it.
Therefore it became too conventional. Overall, this fragrance scores good, with excellent longevity and a one-of-a-kind bottle. But, there are other more attractive and exclusive perfumes available out there in a wide variety of price ranges.
If you’re looking for a signature scent that people immediately associate with you, 1 Million is not for you. However, as with any other perfume, it depends heavily on your style and what matters most to you. So, if a little conventional, seductively masculine scent with remarkable longevity is your thing, then I’d say, go for it!
Get your little gold bottle of 1 Million by Paco Rabanne today!