Introduced back in 2008, 1 Million is Paco Rabanne’s most successful men’s fragrance. Now, at long last, the French fashion house is rolling out a new addition to the line: 1 Million Elixir. Created by perfumers Quentin Bisch and Christophe Raynaud (the latter is one of the noses behind the original 1 Million), the brand’s latest fragrance is pushing the iconic line forward.
For a fragrance this well-known, that’s no easy task. And for Raynaud and Bisch, this meant making 1 Million Elixir bolder and richer than its forebear. “I was inspired by the raw materials emblematic of perfumery [in the] Middle East, like saffron, cèdre Atlas, and, of course, the amazing and unique Damask rose,” says Raynaud. “I love this mood; [it’s] rich, opulent, and complex.”
1 Million Elixir certainly puts its raw materials, hand-picked by Raynaud and Bisch, on full display. Top notes include sweet apple oil and hints of Davana leaves. Next, a layer of Turkish rose and osmanthus — the latter, floral with notes of leather and apricot — combines with wild-grown tonka beans. Endnotes include lingering Davana, along with patchouli, cedar wood, and black vanilla seed. “When I create a perfume, I’m like an architect; I think about [its] structure,” says Bisch, explaining the process of building layers of scent into a package that’s coherent yet intriguing.
Of course, a fragrance like this — bold and rich — requires an appropriate bottle. For 1 Million Elixir, this comes in the form of a cheeky visual metaphor that fans of the original 1 Million are well acquainted with: a gold bar. “It was the first time that humour appeared in perfume,” Raynaud says of 1 Million’s launch back in the late 2000s. The brand has maintained this air of tongue-in-cheek fun, leaving the bottle untouched save for the addition of a striking black triangle that represents the scent’s new, bolder direction.
Times have changed since 1 Million first hit shelves, and Paco Rabanne has kept up. Not only is the made- in-France fragrance vegan, adhering to the company’s cruelty-free policy, but 91 per cent of its ingredients are of natural origin. Even its recyclable packaging comes from responsibly managed forests. Now that’s how you update an icon.