Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo has been a great stylist, known for his futuristic looks, but also his predictions and theories about reincarnation. He was born in the Spanish Basque Country. and his mother was a head seamstress at Cristóbal Balenciaga's studio. His father, a colonel in the Spanish Republican forces, was shot in 1939 by Franco's troops.
Starting the text this way, you can hardly imagine that I write about Paco Rabanne. Society recognizes him as an innovative stylist, but he was also called a futurist, mystic, crazy, Dada, sculptor, architect, astrologer, perfumer, artist, and prophet. After Paco Rabanne designed the futuristic "Barbarella" dresses made of PVC, leather, chain mail, and plastic leotards for Jane Fonda to wear, Coco Chanel said of him: "He's not a couturier. He's a metallurgist!"
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme was his first men's perfume, launched in 1973. It was so radically different from the citrus fragrances in vogue at the time that it quickly won over a legion of enthusiastic followers. In the 70s and 80s, it was normal to see a green bottle of Paco Rabanne in any stylish man's closet. It became an icon of an era and today many people still classify it as timeless. Several perfumes claim to be classified as timeless, when in fact they belong entirely to their own age, which after all is not a bad thing.
The smooth contours of this perfume are as symbolic of virility as Paco Rabanne was an irresistible agent of blunt and almost shocking charm. This behavior extended to his male models - rude, dark, and Latino - who have always been associated with strong masculinity. I have already stated several times that perfumes have no gender. This statement is difficult to support with a fragrance as masculine as this one. Paco Rabanne pour Homme Eau de Toilette
is the typical aromatic fougère for me, reminding me a little of the green landscape of ferns and shrubs, so typical of the native Donostia of Paco Rabanne. This sensation is intensified by notes of rosewood, laurel, sage, and rosemary that create a truly herbaceous fragrance. The characteristic strengths of a fougère are revealed by the heart of the perfume with bouquets of geranium and lavender. In the end, oakmoss, coumarin, amber, honey, and musk complete the fragrance with a somewhat sweet note.
I have to admit that I don't use this perfume much. Its aroma has become very familiar to me over several tens of years. I don't need to smell to feel it. It is almost enough for me to just visit my memory. However, I will never fail to have a bottle of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme in my closet, and I am happy to see many young people following my enthusiasm for this aroma, which is "so different" for them.
It's not easy to rate a half a century old icon:
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Opening: 8.5 (a green lovers delight with clary sage, rosemary, and lavender)
Drydown: 8.5 (fougère "finale" with a lot of oakmoss and hints of coumarin)
Longevity: 8.5 (up to 9 hours in my skin, with 3 sprays)
Sillage: 7.5 (5 feet sillage with 2.5 hours of projection; better if used on clothes)
Exclusivity: 9.0 (this scent is still unique and only shadowed by its extreme use during the '80s; Bogart Eau de Toilette
- from 1975 - is somewhat similar but with leathery and smoky nuances)
Portability: 9.5 (all seasons, but better in Spring and Fall mild weather)
Versatility: 9.0 (leisure, office, daily wear...; not really gym or seaside)
Praise: 7.5 (almost everybody knows it; distinct but familiar)
Quality: 8.5 (above-average quality ingredients; a lot better with older batches)
Presentation: 8.0 (discreet)
Price: 8.0 (25 € / 100 ml for testers, and 35€ /100 ml for the regular bottle)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
Overall rating: 8.41 / 10.00
between 7 and 8 = above average;
between 8 and 9 = recommended;
greater than 9 = don't miss it;
Opinion: A must if you like fougères and "old schools"
Recommended? If you are a man, you must have at least one bottle of it.
Blind buying worthy? Yes if you are over 40 years old. Younger people who never tried it should sample it first.
Music: Simon & Garfunkel - "Scarborough Fair"