As someone who loves many of the classic Paco Rabanne perfumes, I was cautiously optimistic about Lady Million, the new release under Rabanne's name. According to press releases, several serious perfumers were involved in Lady Million's creation- from legendary Dominque Ropion to Anne Flipo and Beatrice Piquet. Smelling the fruits of their labor reminds me of the old adage that a donkey (or a camel, according to some sources) is a horse designed by a committee. I like donkeys and camels well enough, and this new Paco Rabanne perfume is as pleasant as a synthetic fruitchouli can get, but this is no horse.
The raspberry note in the opening is what kills Lady Million for me. It drowns everything else- citrus and flowers- that might be there in its sticky sweetness. When eventually things calm down a little I recognize a rather generic honey-patchouli dry-down. This perfume could have easily be the latest Juicy Couture, DKNY's Delicious-whatever or a Calvin Klein Euphoria flanker. I guess some consider this style to be sexy and alluring, but to me this is something to pour over my pancakes only if for some reason I'm desperate and out of real Canadian maple syrup.
There's something quite vulgar in both the name, the bottle and the ad campaign. It makes me wonder who exactly is the target consumer of Lady Million. Obviously, not those of us who hoard vintage bottles of Calandre, La Nuit and Metal.
Lady Million by Paco Rabanne ($65, 1.7oz EDP) is available from Sephora. Samples are handed there like candy on Halloween.
Lady Million ad (model is Dree Hemingway) from imagesdeparfums.fr