Rest in Peace, Paco Rabanne: A Tribute
Unfortunately, the news broke today that legendary Spanish designer Paco Rabanne passed away at the age of 88. He was a well-known fashion designer, but I am not going to touch on that because this is a fragrance site. His fragrances were potentially even more popular.
Now, let me begin this by saying Paco Rabanne was not a perfumer. He was the creative director of the brand until 1999 he retired. I am unsure about how much influence he had on the brand after that. We will just act like he didn’t have much, even though we are unsure.
The Sultry Spanish brand has its beginnings in a fragrance called Calandre, an aldehydic green rose scent with a base of oakmoss. It was telling of the time by its note pyramid. Aldehydes were all of the rage back then. In 972, the brand released Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, its first men’s scent. Pour Homme is still lauded as one of the best barbershop scents that helped define an era, along with Azzaro Pour Homme, which competed in the same space.
XS was potentially the last great designer fragrance before he retired. In 2008, the brand released its most popular scent to date, One Million. It’s almost coincidental that the last fragrance slated for release is a flanker of the brand’s most iconic scent, house in the gold bar with various adornments depending on the flanker.
After One Million, the brand began using its trademark “bubblegum” DNA to church out perfumes that satisfied perfume lovers with a sweet tooth. An equally popular release, Olympea, is highlighted more for its freshness, but still maintains the sweetness that the brand became synonymous with.
Paco Rabanne wasn’t spotted much in public after his retirement before the dawn of the new millennium. He was credited with many futuristic designs, which transcended to the brand’s bottles choices…A gold bar, a trophy, a robot, and whatever the Ultra fragrances are supposed to be. He left his mark on both the fashion and fragrance world. The company he started is still beloved today and hopefully, his legacy is retained with One Million Royal and Lady One Million Royal.
Rest in peace, Paco. May your visions and inspirations continue to inspire millions for generations. People rarely appreciate the unorthodox until they are gone, and that was a trademark of his style and fragrances.