Ten years already since 1 Million broke away with perfume convention and brought all our fantasies to life. Let’s look back at the iconic Paco Rabanne fragrance and the alchemy of its success. Flashback to 2008. The international financial crisis hits. Paco Rabanne comes to the rescue with a provocative gold bar, triggering instant global pandemonium.  In numbers: 10 years, 70 million bars sold, 7 million a year, 19,178 a day, 799 an hour, 13 a minute! Proof that daring pays off.

A fragrance both powerful and unexpected. A flamboyant ingot. A charming bad boy, accustomed to grand gestures. His love for vivacity knows no bounds. Gambling, dollars and beautiful cars… His golden rule? He answers to no one. Except his fantasies. Snap! Fast forward a year and 1 Million is number one in a dozen countries. Not bad for a debut. Ten years later, the gold rush continues with 1 Million as fixture in the world’s top five men’s fragrances.

The scent of gold. Perfumers Christophe Raynaud, Olivier Pescheux and Michel Girard joined forces to create a fragrance evoking “man’s skin”, “with a clear smell of leather” and an “excessively fresh, contemporary and an undeniable  masculine facet”.

Their aim was to reinvent a leather accord free of classic notes, for  a white leather “as clean as suede”. 1 Million is a standout fragrance like no other – a unique  spicy-leather that is both fresh and powerful, with a bold manly side. Captivate first, seduce later. Far from predictable, the flamboyant scent shakes things up from the very first notes. Strong blood mandarin and peppermint for near-instant freshness; invigorating and intriguing. Intense at its core with rose absolute and a dash of cinnamon;  the charm of masculine insolence. The ‘signature’ accord of white leather, pale wood and amber for a hot, sensual, animalistic silage. And literal seduction.

The weight of gold. Shaped into the flanker, this gold bar knows how to play to its strengths. Huge, flamboyant and beautifully encased, the 1 Million bottle is the work of Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, a once promising and now big-name designer.

Noé was looking for a truly offbeat object to put a new spin on the ingot concept. “Of course, it had to stand out, be eye-catching, but there was above all the ambition to disrupt  established values and toillilcit intrigue.”

Inspiration was found in Paco Rabanne’s metalworker-architectural world and the Far West gold rush fantasy. The challenge was to convert the raw material into a sophisticated, ultra-desirable object without losing the spirit of the ingot. The bottle presents a beautifully smooth, dense metal that encircles the glass without overpowering it. The transparent  back allows a glimpse of the fragrance. Hijack complete – they did it! The 1 Million bar is already iconic by any standards.

The method and madness of gold. Immutable, sensory, visual and full of light, gold has fascinated Paco Rabanne since the very beginning. Most of all, gold “was the symbol of power, royalty, something profoundly virile”. With its masculine, flamboyant style, 1 Million embodies the designer’s relationship with metal. It’s his obsession, his Holy Grail and the occasional source of scandal! The Haute Couture alchemist tamed it with his bare hands. He beat it, softened it and ennobled it, readying it for his Amazons’ bodies like a second skin. Though chiming silver adorned his first dresses, gold soon came to the fore. Bling bling! The year 1968 marked the beginning of this symbiotic story, immortalized by Françoise Hardy’s ‘jewel’ mini dress. One thousand fine gold plates weighing nine kilos, interlinked using five thousand gold rings. Three hundred carats of inlaid diamonds at the neckline. Pure hand-made daring with no needle or thread. A cutting-edge technical feat, so visionary.

The Million generation. Since its launch, 1 Million has had a Big Bang effect in the perfume world. The success story in brief:

  1. Our daring protagonist is joined by the seductive Lady Million. Like him, she loves big thrills and the spotlight – like an insolent diamond. A carnal white-floral verging on addiction. Nothing is too shiny or glamorous for this golden girl.
  2. Launch of Million Privé. 1 Million forms a liberated gold-digging double act with its alter-ago. Fascinating. Inseparable. From chases to hold-ups, our partners in crime push the forbidden to its very limits. New obsession. To feel the exquisite adrenaline rush. Two Oriental fragrances for an intense and risky addiction. Extreme accords. Sensuality. Beautiful materials. Captivating.
  3. Enter Jordan Barrett and Sophia Ahrens, icons of a new generation. It boy, it girl. Cool kids impatient to see it all and all of it now. Hot and fun. No inhibitions. A click of the fingers to start the beat. Snap! Flow to make dreams come true. A fantasy world. Euphoria. Limitless.
  4. 1 Million Lucky and Lady Million Lucky redefine the meaning of luck. How can we make the world our sidekick and take back control of our destiny? Just get lucky! Get luck on our side. Right now. And enjoy it while it lasts. Vibrant wood over addictive hazelnut for him. Reckless rose for her with an edge of insolence and juicy raspberry. Life is a game!

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