Cologne Review: Paco Rabanne's 1 Million

   I am, as far as I'm aware, the only person I know to have ever received a Christmas card from a homeless person - one who could perform magic, no less. Although this previous sentence may seem a left-field approach to start my latest cologne review it is, in fact, an integral detail into how I first experienced Paco Rabanne's signature fragrance.

   Just like one of my previously reviewed Eau de Toilettes, Jukebox ,  my first experience of 1 Million came, rather than in a more traditional place like a pharmacy, on the mean streets of Bradford. My initiation came in the unlikely form of a homeless man who, rather than simply asking people for money as they passed, would entertain crowds of people with his array of magic tricks; I, myself, was a stunned observer one night but, rather than simply give money to him, I stayed to have a chat with him inquiring not just about the tricks he performed but about himself too. In the following few months our paths crossed regularly and a somewhat unlikely friendship developed - instead of just giving him money to observe magic tricks I would often take him for a drink of tea where we would discuss our lives. Occasionally these situations were highly unusual and, on one such meet-up, my homeless friend tried to give me a dog. There were so many reasons I thought accepting such an unusual gift was a bad idea but, I decided, the best way to turn down this kind offer was a simple "no thanks".

   After a few months of our unlikely friendship I received my aforementioned Christmas card. It was mind-blowing for me that a man with as many problems as he, including a debilitating drug habit, had taken the time to address such a gesture my way. It was also, at this point, that he offered me a bag full of cosmetics for a small fee - a bag, which I'm quite sure, he had received from a reputable source. Whether he had actually paid the reputable source for these products, however, was debatable.

   Inside the bag was the cologne 1 Million by Paco Rabanne which quickly became one of my favourite fragrances. Although I would not go as far as to say that Superdrug's summary of the cologne as the "expression of every man's fantasies" was accurate, I would, however, say the smell was pretty good. I would, in fact, go as far as to say that if your fantasies can indeed be encapsulated in a smell then you really have a paucity of imagination. My personal fantasy, being the middle piece of a human centipede featuring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, probably would not be becoming of a mass produced fragrance either.

   The musk, in summary, is a vibrant, yet masculine aroma which combines a leather base smell with more sweet, fresh fruit aromas for a winning smell. Whilst less understated than D&G's The One , a cologne I have previously reviewed here on KC's Man Blog , it is perhaps, in its obviousness, more appealing to some.


   Following Christmas I did not see my homeless friend for a couple of months until one day in town I was approached by an almost unrecognisable figure. Since I had last seen him, the bags had gone from under his eyes and his emaciated frame had filled out into a somewhat healthier figure. Upon seeing me, he smiled, exposing a few of his rotten teeth which betrayed his identity, and instantly his eyes filled with water. Over another cup of tea who told me how he had, in the last few weeks, really began to turn his life around and offered me his sincere gratitude for any part I had played in that - the fact that I was one of the few people who seemed to care about him, and was one of the few people who had not ignored him at his lowest point, meant a lot to him. I left our meeting feeling a renewed sense of optimism for my friend and towards the world in general. Yet this, sadly, was not the end of our tale.

   Half a year passed without seeing him; if I had not had our last meeting I would have worried significantly. I was sure, however, that, having turned his life around, he would be somewhere anew trying to make something of himself. So, when confronted by a skeletal figure from the past I was somewhat upset. His teeth  were now somehow worse - more black than white - and his skin was replete with rashes and breakouts that were not synonymous  with a healthy lifestyle. Worse was to come when I attempted to speak to this man. Despite his moving monologue six months earlier about the impact I had had upon his life, he no longer recognised or remembered who I was; drugs, it would seem, had consumed him wholly. This instance, over three years ago, was the last time I saw him ad, unlike the optimism from the previous meeting, I am pretty confident that I will never see this man again.

  The moral of the story: Paco Rabanne's 1 Million = good. Drugs = not so much.

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