Amor Amor (Cacharel) + Alien (Thierry Mugler) + Nina (Nina Ricci) + Eau Demoiselle (Givenchy) = millions of dollars every month for L'Oréal, Clarins, Puig, LVMH. This is the perfect equation to describe the scent of Lady Million, the new fragrance introduced in Paris by Paco Rabanne, once an audacious brand in fashion and fragrance.
Puig, the Spanish owner of Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne, has discovered several years ago the "secret" of eternity. This is not the magical fountain of youth as it is depicted on an old Nina Ricci logo but the fountain of dollars, now represented by a fruity honeyed note they put in all their perfumes without gender discrimination. This note is somewhere between raspberry - woodland strawberry - honey and sweet orange flower. Having this in mind, it was hard to imagine that after 1 Million (N°1 in several countries) there would be any artistic touch for the feminine version.
The surprise is that, despite the lack of new or original ideas, the perfumers managed somehow to balance all the notes or influences and create a fragrance that is actually very good. Lady Million (Paco Rabanne) is sweet, fruity and artificial like diet Coke and any other "junk-perfume" adopted by the young generation but it is a good interpretation. From top to bottom it has a smooth evolution being almost linear, there are no surprise notes and like a block (or a tough diamond) it manages to maintain the fruity balance around the floral bouquet of rose-jasmine-orange flower, all in their "synthetic" version. Smelling now, the flankers of Givenchy launched early this year (that I did not review yet) seem a collection of experiments that preceded the launch of Lady Million (Paco Rabanne), when the perfumers from IFF tested different accords or ideas that are put together in the new "creation". Lady Million is also a very distant cousin to Hot Couture (Givenchy) where an unusual gardenia-tuberose note was hidden inside the huge raspberry composition.
Lady Million will not surprise you very much because all the major notes were already around us but in different contexts. It has solid bones and does not smell like a shampoo but of suggests a(nother) rich "confiture" hidden inside the petals of a flower. There is also a very curious aspect, a contrast between a sweet and a "salty" note, something "sucré-salé" that opens the way to a new direction. Unlike Womanity (Thierry Mugler) this idea is under control and continuous during all evaporation stages and offers a special interpretation of the feminine skin, somewhere between cashmeran-musks-very soft patchouli, an idea found in some chypre perfumes where the sweet was balanced with dry and bitter notes. The floral-woody accord based on sambac jasmine from Alien receives a new interpretation here, softer, less dramatic and fruitier.
Thinking about Emporio Armani Diamonds it is hard to understand the link between the raspberry note and the diamonds. Is it the pink-fuchsia dress of Marilyn Monroe (or Barbie or Paris Hilton) the answer to this bubble-gum riddle about "diamonds are a girl's best friend"? Raspberry, strawberry, milk and chocolate are the million dollar babies of the industry. They are the über-expensive pink diamonds that made the fortune of their "creators". We find them in food and now in perfumes and apparently there is no cure for this addiction. Puig understood this "fundamental" truth and expect in the next future a new generation of fruity perfumes right from the chocolate factory of Willy Wonka, now with an updated range of candies.Video commercial for Lady Million (Paco Rabanne)
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art