Paco Rabanne One Million

One man's spicy bubblegum is another woman's cheap.

Paco Rabanne One Million is a sweet leather fragrance that comes in a bottle shaped like a gold brick. Fun! Well, it is and it isn't. I'm not against fun, but I am against cheap. But since One Million smells the way you'd expect for something that comes out of a plastic gold brick, I guess you could say it delivers. So that's some unexpected integrity for you.

It'd be nice to trace an aesthetic link between One Million and Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne's outrageous 1960s creations, but the interplanetary dots stop short of connecting cheesy with visionary. For a refresher course on Rabanne's mod suits of armor, dig this and this:

Now that delivers!

In my video discussion of One Million, I reference four other YouTube fume reviewers who provide some contrast to my kvetching: cformosa4, cyclexy, Kerosenetrewthe, and JRWRITER.

Out of this bunch of likely lads, it's Kerosenetrewthe's video that interests me most. [Sadly, Kerosene has since made his channel private.] In a low-key delivery that wavers between deadpan and shell-shocked, he painstakingly enumerates his findings on One Million. But just when you're drifting off into a sitting nap, Kerosenetrewthe zings you back to attention with weirdness. Like his bewilderingly over-extended Hansel and Gretel analogy:
If you're like the Hansel and Gretel kind of a person, and you're running through the woods, just searching for that house that's made of Smarties and Skittles, and everything that smells super-sweet, One Million is for you. Because the house is surrounded by woods. And in the middle it's this And Hansel is just gonna do backflips once he gets a whiff of this stuff. But instead of a house, it's a gold bar.

I can't really figure out Kerosenetrewthe. And that's why I like him!

One Million is available from, and

For my review on One Million's fancier family member, click on Serge Lutens Daim Blond.


  1. Katie Fierce Girl #6 in 60's Paco Rabanne Video Puckrik:

    That Youtube link was amazing.

    But 1 Million? Tried it once at Sephora, thought it okay. Just okay, in the way that 99 percent of the Sephora offerings for guys are "okay." Which means many men will buy it, and privately revel in their inner Continental suavity. Or, as you say, wear a hoodie, approach the counter at Insert Area Mall Store Name Here and say, "Paco Rabanne's the shit, man. 'S Nice! Shit's Nice! I love this shit!"

    But yeah, gold brick bottle doesn't really do it for me either. But I'm curious about the other scent you mention, something by Serge Lutens? I didn't quite make the name out on your review (this is because we have no coffee today, and I'm currently having my cat type all of this until reality arrives.)

    I LUV YO KAPPIE (that's him. I had to grab something off my bookshelf.)

  2. Starting my day with Mr. Kerosene was like um, starting my day with a Paco Rabanne fashion show from the 60s! Gee, and I did both. Now I have to go to work and put on my serious face. At least I'm not wearing One Million.

  3. OMG, Katie! I think I just fell in love with Kerosenetrewthe... He's hilarious! And sick. And I like that.

    And Stefush, you and your cat made my day! I almost spit coffee on my screen laughing at your post. (Yeah, sorry. I have coffee. Running out of coffee is not an option, as you seem to be learning the hard way. Thank God you have your cat to get you through it... Poor baby! =]


  4. We have a lady at work who wears the female version of this, but she smells like a combination of the entire Annick Goutal library (or my memories of it) and cat pee...I think a house of Smarties and Skittles in the middle of the woods would be a welcome distraction...?
    And on that point Katie, what's the best way to let someone know that their fragrance of choice is either off or intentionally makes them smell of cat pee?
    Or do we just let that slide---to each their own?

  5. Loved the last rumblestrip. I may or may not do that every Easter.

  6. Stefush, has your cat had his coffee? Because his typing's pretty good.

    I took your editorial hint and added links in the post to the 2 other perfumes I mentioned in the video: Serge Lutens Daim Blond and Gap The Lover. Thanks for pointing out my mush-mouthiness.

    melisand61 - You? Serious face? How long can you keep that going?

  7. Tina -- Kerosenetrewthe's charms are certainly offbeat. I like how his sick side seemingly comes out of nowhere.

    Danielle -- Ah, the ol' "bad taste in perfume - and TOO MUCH of it" problem. It's a delicate matter, because you don't know if your colleague's wearing Lady One Million because she feels it expresses her inner rich girl to a T, or because a loved one gifted her with it and she doesn't really care what she's wearing, so why not that?

    If you pipe up, either you're insulting her, or her loved one. Lose/lose. Also, how well do you know her? Probably best to hold your tongue -- and your nose.

    If it is someone you know well, you might venture some variation of "your new perfume is not living up to your innate hotness." And maybe suggest another woody/fruity/floral that you both can live with. Kate Walsh Boyfriend isn't bad at all.

  8. Maggie -- Between your Perfume Fight Club rage and your Peep microwaving, I'm starting to get a picture of you as a perfumista not to be messed with!

  9. Am I alone in finding Kerosentrewthe's screen name a little disconcerting?

    I felt really sorry for that pat of butter - or for that possibly prohibited object that reminded me of a pat of butter shaped like a rack of lamb.

  10. I had to tell a coworker that her scent was giving me a migraine one time. It didn't go well.

    Now I work in an environment when wearing perfume is not ok, and I have seen coworkers flat out deny they were wearing perfume when they reek of something.

    People take their perfume seriously. And Katie, I just don't like marshmallow peeps. Or Clinique perfumes in general. Don't get me all ranty on Happy.

  11. Hmmm...great advice, Katie! On further investigation, she's not wearing the female version, but this one (Which, you know, is fine. I love a good men's fragrance myself). It certainly fills a room (!), and actually, this makes me curious to smell it not on her at all---just because my experience so far, is well, so far from what it sounds like it should smell like...
    I will say though, that whenever I smell that off/cat-pee smell I will always think of my time working at a makeup counter in a department store. There was an elderly woman who would come by the fragrance counter across the way and spray Chanel No5 on her jacket every single visit (ie. often). Of course, the oils had gone rancid over time and God knows how many applications. I could smell her coming from a block away. Sweetest little lady, too.

  12. Gosh, Katie, you keep shining the spotlight on all these YouTubers and pretty soon I'll be forced to make my own video reviews just to get me some of that.

    1 Million. I just...I don't know. I can't wrap my head around its deafening Internet buzz, can't fathom its place in the masculine fragrance pantheon (guys today want to smell like Skittles and musk? Really?), can't imagine how the guys who buy it think they're going to smell like money and magnetism when in reality they smell like they nicked their younger sis's drugstore body spray. Can't figure out Kerosene. Can't detect a goddamn stinkin' bit of leather in 1 Million. Can't handle any more Bath and Body Works sweetness in men's fragrances. Can't wait to go spritz some Eau Sauvage to clear my head and calm my nerves.

    On the plus side, I heart your for that Paco Rabanne clip. Groovy, baby.

  13. Katie, would love you to do a side by side sweet-off, comparing 1 Million to Thierry Mugler's A*Men (or A*Men Malt -- beloved by perfumistas and reviewers) and Gaultier's Le Male (also a star in masculine fragrance firmament). All are incredibly sweet, last about a week on the skin, and throw like a baseball pitcher. I may be a dissenter here, but I actually like 1 Million, although I do get bored after hour 2 or 3 (or 9). There is no development to speak of. A*Men malt is my fave of the three -- a very boozy opening, and the sweetness is dark, like a burnt sugar syrup, with a luscious patchouli. It makes me very happy. Le Male enters the room about ten minutes before I do, and I have yet to find a place I feel comfortable wearing it, though I do appreciate its androgyny. Thanks for you fab review and introducing me to Kerosenetrewthe's truth.

  14. Vanessa, I know what you mean - I too felt a little sorry for the effigy of the One Million perfumer (three are listed as creators, so it looks like the other two missed out on being microwaved.) I believe the rack-of-lamb-shaped item is a Marshmallow Peep, but darned if I can tell if its bunny, chick or any of Peeps' newfangled forms. Can anyone clarify? You'll have to rely on the Interweb for further information on Marshmallow Peeps and their significance to Americans.

  15. Maggie -- "People take their perfume seriously" is about the truest of all true statements. I've never gotten yelled at so much as since I've started discussing fragrances on YouTube. The angriest people are always 12-year-old girls and middle-aged men.

    Danielle -- You're now an involuntary expert in One Million. My condolences.

    I'm wondering if Chanel No. 5 is getting too much credit for the cat pee smell on your sweet little old lady. There could be other forces at work...

  16. Darryl -- A spritz of Eau Sauvage will cure many ills. As for any One Million buzz, I think you're right about guys thinking they're buying into money and magnetism. Subtle doesn't work for that crowd.

    A*Men Malt is my fave of your three, too. Don't think I'll be inclined to do a dessert dance-off any time soon. Anyway, you've already done it! Thanks for the comparative analysis.

  17. Cheap, cloying candy-apple leather in a plastic gold brick...well, who wouldn't want some?

  18. Seeing as we're A*mening over A*men so much in this thread, I have to state how much better and sultrier my summer is going to be now that I've experienced A*men Pure Havane. Please tell me that A*men Malt is to whiskey as Pure Havane is to a fine Cuban cigar.

  19. Well if you tell a 12 year old girl they smell like a 12 year old girl, they seem to take offense. Of course, my 12 year old girl wants to think she looks older, acts older, and is older than she is. Sadly, she is mistaken. LOL i guess girls that age want nothing more than to be mature, and I feel offended if I am called ma'am. No one can win!

  20. Stefesh, I do believe the perfume math on your A*Men equation is correct. But as a whiskey lover, you'll have to be the judge on the caliber of A*Men Malt's hooch.

    Maggie -- So true, no winning with a 12-year-old. My young YouTube commenters seem to get their dander up the most when I'm not sufficiently deferential to the genius of Britney Spears, or the charms of Vera Wang Princess.

  21. I swear every girl on YT loves Britney Spears perfume. Every top fove perfume video features it. Except mine. Mwahahaah. What does Vera Wang Princess even smell like? Let me guess... Fruity floral?

  22. I love the reference to the Likely Lads! I am gonna be middle-class one day, Katie! HAHA! What are you sayin? I'm average!? haha!

    love it! Thanks for the shout out, Katie!

  23. Maggie -- Good guess on Princess. Throw a cupcake in there, and you're set!

    Cubbbbbbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! (Hi Chris.) I can't believe you caught that Likely Lads reference! A) They had that TV show in Canada? and B) It was on before you were born. I am mystified at your Likely Lads knowledge. I only knew about them because I lived in London for many years.

  24. I guess I never felt compelled to smell it because I had a feeling that a heart shaped bottle with pink juice and a crown on top was not aimed at my demographic.

    I wonder if there is some sort of coffee table or possible more informative book on perfume bottle design. ----->to the interwebs!

  25. Katie :) haha. My dad is a MAJOR movie/tv buff. I grew up watching all the black and white tv shows and movies. I was lucky to see a variety of different things including everything from british comedies to westerns. lol.

    As far as british comedy goes -- I still think the faulty towers were my personal favourite.

  26. Chris - (Har, faulty "Fawlty" spelling.) Film buff dad explains everything. I think it's a wonderful thing to have references far beyond one's generation and culture. It enables you to connect with so many more people. A connection based on pop culture trivia, perhaps, but a connection all the same!

  27. Katie
    Hey katie.p can you review for me the lolita lempicke
    Eau de masculin (the green one lol)

    Gabandi (i know its a weird name lol)

  28. Lol srry lolita lempicka

  29. Not sure if I'll get around to a stand-alone review, Gabandi, but it's part of a licorice discussion in this post.

  30. Thanks katie for wrote my name right and thanks for the post

  31. I smelled this fragrance 2 years ago when I was 18 and I loved it (although I never bought it because I couldn't justify buying a fragrance for that price at that age) it smelled sexy and fun. Fast forward to a week ago - I'm 20. I smelled it again hoping for those same rushes and feelings to be produced from catching a quick sniff of 1 Million but, this time; it smelled incredibly generic and cheap. I thought to my self, "what the hell was I thinking 2 years ago??". Have I matured? I hope I have!

    1. It's such a trip to revisit scents, food, music, books, etc and experience such a definite shift in our remembered feelings about them. Particularly with fragrance and food, our palate becomes ever more sophisticated the more we experience.