Paco Rabanne : Lady Million

Created by :  Anne Flipo, Beatrice Piquet and Dominique Ropion

Date : 2010

Genre : Fruity floral

Concentration : eau de parfum

I’ll admit upfront that I have never been a fan of Paco Rabanne as a dressmaker.  All those metallic and plastic dresses never looked very appealing.   His legacy in fashion is ensured but his impact on fashion is very debatable.

As for his recent foray into perfume creation with Lady Million, I don’t think there will be much debate.  One thing that we can all agree on outright is that very little money went into its research.  There’s nothing new here.  Lady Million is based on a popular theme… the fruity floral.  And even less money is going into its production.

I’ll admit that the top notes were fun with their orange, fizzy blast that reminded me of those champagne and orange drinks called mimosas which they give you at fancy hotel brunches.  But the fireworks didn’t last very long and the raspberry-centric fruity concoction which followed was right out of a Hawaiian Punch drink.  That part of it I found loathsome and if it wasn’t for the odd but enticing tobacco subnote, I wouldn’t have given this one much more than a passing sniff.

Unbelievably there are no less than 3 experienced and successful perfumers behind Lady Million.. and I’ll credit them for adding the tobacco note.  But it wasn’t enough for me to give it a passing grade.  As for the fruity floral heart, the floral notes could be heard only faintly in addition to a honey note… “honey” being a euphemism for sickly sweet.  The drydown is a synthetic white floral accord of jasmine and gardenia… I think.  Several bloggers list patchouli in this one… but I don’t detect it.

I suspect that Lady Million’s target audience is between 16 and 17 years old.  Little Tiffany has just graduated from high school and her Jessica Simpson fragrance isn’t woman enough.  Now she is looking to scale up to a couture fragrance.  While at Sephora, she looks around… Paris Hilton perfumes are for girls, the latest Guerlain is too difficult to pronounce and Chanel perfumes are too Samantha Jones.  Lady Million’s “gold” diamond-shaped bottle and pretentious name are enough to have her spray her arm and pull out her credit card.

In short, Lady Million is about as subtle and as classy (or not) as a Paco Rabanne dress.

If you’re over 18 (or male), my advice is to pass on this one unless you’re looking to channel your inner Carmen Miranda and your tutti-frutti hat is at the cleaners.


Top image : Poster from Carmen Miranda’s biography “Bananas is my Business” (1995)

Bottom image : Paco Rabanne haute couture dress

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