Paco Rabanne Lady Million ~ brief perfume review

Paco Rabanne Lady Million perfume advert

Lady Million is Paco Rabanne's newish feminine counterpart to 1 Million, a fragrance that I liked even less than Kevin did — in fact, the only thing I liked about 1 Million was the fun commercial.

The commercial for Lady Million was a little less fun — it was so much like the 1 Million commercial that it seemed like an afterthought — but I like the fragrance a little better. The start is rocky: mega-sweet neon fruit punch over a darkish base, and for a moment or two I thought we were going down the same candied road as Black XS, or any number of the loud fruitcholi perfumes of the past couple years. But it dries down reasonably quickly into your basic ambery-musky woods, lightly honeyed, with some floral notes that might reasonably be imagined to stand in for the orange blossom, jasmine and gardenia listed in the ad copy. It's still a bit louder than I would like in the middle stages, but within an hour or so it's calm enough to be quite wearable if not particularly enjoyable. It's not bad, mind you, but it hasn't got anything really going for it either: it smells too much like a gazillionty other things on the market. By next Monday, I will have already forgotten what it smells like.

As is so often the case, the reviews at Sephora are drastically different than mine: sexy and sophisticated seems to be the consensus. The folks on the fragrance board at MakeupAlley mostly call it generic.

Paco Rabanne Lady Million was developed by perfumers Anne Flipo, Beatrice Piquet and Dominique Ropion; the notes include citron, raspberry, neroli, orange flower, jasmine, gardenia, patchouli and honey. It is available in 30, 50 and 80 ml Eau de Parfum.

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26 Comments

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  1. Nina says:

    I found Lady Million utterly boring. I’m dumbstruck by the people who find anything positive to say about it. It HAS to be down to the packaging. (And when you look at the talented noses involved, you have to wonder if they were given a budget of 1 Euro per 100 litres.)

    • Robin says:

      Could be, although the packaging also looks much less glamorous in person, IMHO.

      I think I would just hate to be a perfumer. (not implying that I could be one even if I wanted to, mind you. I couldn’t)

    • sayitisntso says:

      Nina, I absolutely agree. This is a perfume dream team but they must’ve been given a miserly budget to work with for this to turn out so poorly. When stuff like this happens, I can’t help but wonder: What the heck did the other submissions… the ones the client turned down, smell like if this stinker made the final cut? A waste of talent.

      • Robin says:

        Or, they perfectly captured exactly what the people at Paco Rabanne wanted…you never know! Creative direction matters too :-)

  2. Ari says:

    Ha! My review of this was all about how glad I was to find a perfume that was genuinely bad, not just generic. But whether it’s generic or not, I’m sure that we can agree that it’s certainly not good.

    • Robin says:

      Genuinely bad, as in it smelled objectionable to you?

      • Ari says:

        Right, didn’t care for the smell at all.

      • mals86 says:

        Ari said something like “jasmine-scented cough syrup.” Urgh.

        Did you catch the PR blurb about it? It’s one of the most accidentally hilarious things I’ve read lately.

        • Robin says:

          I did see it on Sephora — it’s intense… For anyone else who wants it:

          “Vibrant and sensual, Lady Million is like a voluptuous nectar of flowers. Powerfully seductive, the sparkle of bitter orange and a hint of raspberry reveals the fragrance’s first breath. Smooth and bright, a burst of neroli follows. Then the lethal weapon: heady orange blossom slips out of its sheath. Its narcotic sweetness then reveals itself, bewitching and demanding all attention. Joining with sambac jasmine and underlined by gardenia, the blend soars into something more carnal—yet ever subtle. Now the obsessive pulsing of patchouli enters the fray, pacifying notes of honey with an addictive and supremely tempting sweetness. Amber endnotes become all enveloping, floating around like a ray of light on a diamond.”

          • Aparatchick says:

            Oh my! That is intense. But I like “obsessive pulsing of patchouli.” I may make that my Amazon Express phrase. ;-)

          • Robin says:

            Ha…and I like the idea of orange blossom, which I always think of as so conservative, as a “lethal weapon”.

          • FOandW_oh_my says:

            I have to agree with you Robin, about the orange. Maybe it has something to do with our cultural associations with orange juice and early morning, brushed teeth (eek! momentary nails on chalkboard), fresh and clean ready for the new day. Just doesn’t seem to work with the narcotic leathal weapon. Maybe it would for other cultures not “orange in the morning? obssessd?

  3. Rappleyea says:

    I was shocked after reading your review to see who the noses were on this. Like Nina above said, they must been on an extremely tight budget and used the cheapest of chemicals. I wonder if this was done specifically for PR or if it was one of dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of mods sitting in storage at the laboratory – as in someone else’s reject?

    • Robin says:

      Hard to say. It could be that it’s exactly what they were after — again, the Sephora customers seem to like it (although it’s not very many reviews there yet).

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks for the review and letting us know we’re not missing much (I’m confident…. I don’t think this sounds like a YMMV situation!).

    I wish I had never watched the commercial when you posted it, because whenever I say “Oh my god” now, I think of that danged annoying commercial. I hated it.

    • Robin says:

      LOL…luckily for me, I have a pretty bad memory.

  5. PetronellaCJ says:

    The 1 Million bottle is one of my tacky department favourites, and the Lady Million is not much better imo…

  6. Lovetosmell says:

    Actually I like this fragrance better then the other Paco women’s fragrances and so much better than Gucci Guilty.I found it very wearable while its not a master piece I found it enjoyable and I like the bottle I am sucker for a nice bottle.I also love the Guilty bottle but the fragrance was very generic I may still get it for the bottle.

  7. Owen says:

    I think it smells quite nice, it has a twist in it that I don’t like.
    I smelled berries in this, I haven’t read the list of notes but I like the berries :)

  8. newtothis26 says:

    Damn I was hoping that I would see good reviews on this. I would love to try it because I do love the men’s version of this fragrance…my husband owns it and I just want to jump his bones every time it catches my nose.

    • Robin says:

      Well then do try it! Maybe you won’t agree with the review, that’s not uncommon.

  9. Sanguinari says:

    I didn’t even know about this perfume until I received it as a present. As always, I dread perfume gifts simply because my sense of smell is ridiculously strong and most of the time perfumes smell differently when they blend with the natural oils of your skin.

    I found the box and the perfume bottle kind of tacky and the initial smell overwhelming and far too sweet. I remembered thinking, ” great, now I smell like a baby prostitute that fell into a vat of orange ester”,

    However, an hour after this perfume raped my senses I was surprised when it started to actually smell nice. I honestly thought I was going to have to take another bath at first. Everyone kept commenting on how great I smelled O.o

    I’m a fresh scent fan so now I have mixed feelings about this perfume. I guess I like it but it’s definitely an evening soiree type of perfume, not a day time scent.

  10. OVincze says:

    I think it is pleasant enough, the only one worth considering out of the PR ladies perfumes but yes it does smell generic and sort of cheap and too loud at first. Not bad just not what I would consider buying. Very surprised about the team too and considering how cheap this perfume smells it must have been the budget. I too agree that the packaging is really tacky, I do not like it at all. Still a pleasant surprise compared to other PR fragrances.

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