1 Million (Paco Rabanne)

Reputations precede the loudest things in life, usually to their detriment. I know a guy who embodies the archetype of the "insecure male." Stories about his antics always unofficially introduce him to whatever scene he happens upon, and many of these tales are downright hilarious. Such a dynamic also exists with certain masculine fragrances. Paco Rabanne's 2008 release followed a tidal wave of mixed press, and the chatter on basenotes pitted it against other gourmand orientals, some of them by Rabanne. Comments like "This is the sweetest and longest-lasting oriental I've ever smelled," and "It's 1 Million times worse than Le Male," were in abundant supply. If 1 Million had received modest press, my interest in it would not have been piqued - I imagine a bottle is sold every time a basenotes member makes a wisecrack about it.

Smelling it now, I'm left with one question: Am I the only one who smells a more refined version of Lapidus Pour Homme here? The extremely sweet blood orange top note could easily be identified as pineapple, and its pairing with dusty cinnamon, patchouli, and an odd wintergreen mint lifts the composition into a very strong and masculine realm. Underpinning everything are discreet rose and amber notes, elements that guide this potentially disastrous brew into a successful dry down. Definitely sweet and strange, this scent reads more as a throwback to the powerhouse perfumes of the 1980s, and not as another Le Male clone. I think that everything which made Lapidus unwearable for me finds a solution in 1 Million, and therefore I can't help but like it. Crumby bottle, though.

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