Paco Rabanne 1 Million Privé (2016) is another attempt to widen the net caught by the original 1 Million (2008), and is made to capture a more mature segment than the original, which often gets derided by older colognoisseurs for being a night club bomb, and rightly so. One member of the original 3 perfumer team returns with 1 Million Privé (Christophe Reynaud), and he takes the trademark blood orange of the original but not much else, building a fashionable tonka and tobacco accord similar to L’Occitane Eau des Baux (2006) or Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (2007) around it. I don’t really think it hits the mark as a truly marketable alternative to 1 Million for an older audience, but this “Privé” edition does offer a more “mature feeling” alternative for a younger man wanting to wear something in this vein to the office or to snuggle a loved one on a cold night.
1 Million Privé opens with blood orange combined with an apple cinnamon accord, instantly recalling perfumes like Pasha de Cartier (1993) and Parfums de Marly Layton (2016) but with that richly sweet Paco Rabanne 1 Million push. Myrrh and olibanum follow up with the familiar “tonkabacco” accord of scents like aforementioned Tom Ford and maybe even stuff like Calvin Klein cK One Shock for Him (2012). The combo isn’t really original or all that interesting, but it is well done. Finally, the usual woody amber base of the original 1 Million reprises its role, adding a bit of musk and dialing down the sweetness. The aroma is satisfyingly devoid of the “party animal” vibe but is still a bit too synthetic in feel for anyone of a vintage persuasion to enjoy, which neuters some of 1 Million Privé’s effectiveness with the intended audience.
If it isn’t obvious, 1 Million Privé is a very warm scent meant for winter months, and can be very cozy in the right moments because of its intense but tight eau de parfum sillage that lasts the average length of time. However, I think the tobacco vibe this intends to sell as a mature gentlemanly variant to 1 Million falls flat on its face since most guys in this age group want the dry mossy tobacco of Aramis Havana (1994) and not something filled with rounding agents like tonka or tons of amber, with them having written off most modern tobacco fragrances newer than Burberry London for Men (2006) because of it. Still, for the not-so-stick-in-the-mud types, 1 Million Privé is a competent if unsurprising flanker that may not be crucial to enthusiasts, but is a harmlessly pleasant semi-gourmand delight for fans of the Paco Rabanne house and 1 Million line. Thumbs Up.