Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

Total Reviews: 150
hcr Show all reviews
United States
Only tried the reformulation, but I was expecting a powerhouse scent. Wasn't what I expected. Barbershop and floral yes, dated yes, but not old man/too strong. I don't know if I'd wear this to work or out, but might consider a bottle for weekends at home.
13th May, 2018
My dad used to own it back in the 1980s/90s. It's a very masculine, elegant, dry, classic, old school fragrance, suitable for young and older men. Great for men in their 40s and 50s.
28th February, 2018
(vintage edt)
Very green and nostalgic, in the same family as kouros but far more friendly and light. Like in a lot of these scents a hint of urine but it doesn't go too far and ends up just overall feeling very soapy after a balancing act that could of gone either way. Lasts a few hours and gets more and more soapy and dare I say sexy.. a good one for the gym bag.
16th February, 2018
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TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Sweet memories 1988.
I remember I bought my first 3 perfumes in one go

This Paco Rabane, Polo (green) and original Kouros (white bottle)

A sweet, fresh manly smell, with average sillage and longevity.
For me this is now a very dated scent and which can barely compete with contemporary trends.

I might buy it again from nostalgia again

5/10
07th January, 2018
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme was the debut masculine scent from the designer Francisco "Paco" Rabaneda Cuervo, initially known for making Barbarella's dress (yes, -that- Barbarella), and released under a partnership that same designer forged with Antonio Puig SA, who still makes his fragrances to this day. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme was quite the trendsetter in it's day, and made the next great leap forward for the ever-stalwart fougère category, taking the reigns away from the creamy, powdery, lavender-heavy fougères that had reigned in the 60's resurgence of the style. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme added increased density with even more green notes than it's older siblings possessed, replacing much of the powdery tones with a soapy clean dry down that still contained all the prerequisites of the fougère category. The stuff set a new precedents for what a fougère could be, freeing the genre from the shackles of vanilla and florals that were hold-overs from the 19th century days of the original Fougère Royale. In reality it had some floral notes too. For what else could Lavender and Geranium be but floral? But, those florals didn't dominate the composition alongside vanilla or musk like older creations such as Canoe and Brut. Paco was still fresh, still clean, but decidedly very different from the barbershops of old. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme would have many near-clones over the years, some veering more towards chypres with leathery bases and drier openings such as Bogart Eau de Toilette Pour Homme (1975), while others would go more aromatic, or more in the direction of citrus, creating off-shoots in the newly-forming aromatic fougère segment like Azzaro Pour Homme (1978). Rabanne's debut masculine may not have been the true first in the aromatic fougère category (more on that later), but it was certainly the first one that mattered.

Paco Rabanne Pour Homme opens with rosewood, rosemary, sage, and the unusual laurel. It would seem perfumer Jean Martel would put everything "rose" but actual rose itself in the introduction, and much of this lends to the trademark soapiness that comes later. From that opening we go down through the 2 aforementioned florals hanging in the middle but then find ourselves in a classic base with moss, tonka, musk, amber usually reserved for orientals and chypres added, plus some honey, which brings in the everlasting sweetness -that again- helps maintain that soap note throughout. The feel of a fougère is maintained, but without the late-stage warmth, the fluttery itchiness of talcum-like bases, and with a degree of verdant freshness that the earlier British Sterling (Speidel 1965) presaged, but buried in thick heaps of spice and thus ruined. It's as if British Sterling pointed in the direction fougères were to eventually go, but Paco Rabanne Pour Homme actually tossed on the backpack and went there to chart the new lands. Accounts from people who were there retell how guys simply went nuts overusing this because it was so different, and apparently their romance interests loved it too, with many a dude from that time telling me how the "ladies couldn't keep away" or "this is how I met your mother" etc. I can't really speak to that myself because my father was a frugal dyed-in-the-wool Mennen guy and my mom a compulsive Avon user, but I can see how this would have been a game-changer both in the perfume world and dating scene. In reality, this is not a virile scent whatsoever, but just pure class, and even though it may surprise some, I find it's floral and aromatic demeanor to be quite relaxing, with the soapiness of the open, and the green of the dry down to put me in the mood for slumber, and not the mood for anything else like folks will often lay claim. It's just an all-around mood lifter for me, but I admit the taste for it developed after a while. This one grows on you after your first wear.

Many others would follow in this scent's wake, with each new twist in the tale growing richer, mossier, greener, and denser until the 1980's gave birth to the powerhouse phenomenon, which for all intents and purposes are just the overwrought and chemically-enhanced progeny of this scent. If you followed the line from stuff like Lapidus all the way back through Azzaro, Halston and finally back to this, you're literally just peeling away aromachemicals and notes. Perhaps that's why this holds up so well even 40+ years on: it's obviously a very outdated style but with bits and bobs of it's construction still found in even the most modern aromatic scents. Paco Rabanne Pour Homme is simply a timeless balance of elements that presents itself mature, classy, yet daring enough to step out and say "hey, wanna dance?", which surely was the case; this cologne did compete with stuff like YSL Pour Homme, Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur, and Halston Z-14 in discotheques after all. The vintage advantage here is more oakmoss for those who love that note, and just like with many other still-produced aromatic fougères, time has pushed this towards louder top notes and quieter base notes as those ingredients became restricted or replaced with less-potent synthetic substitutes. The overall personality of Paco Rabanne is the same in any formulation, but like with music, it all depends if you prefer the richer analog dynamic of the older releases, or the crystal clear digital fidelity of later versions. Personally, I'll take this one any way I can get it. Time has rendered this now as a more formal or business casual scent in public perception, since green aromatics just don't ring out as romantic or sultry as they may have once done. Therefore, don't show up to a trance club in this stuff unless you're spending the evening at the bar. Paco has a gold bar for fellas of that ilk.
21st December, 2017 (last edited: 25th May, 2018)
A new favorite!

But before I get to the praise, let me tell you, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme smells very dated! I'm a fan of older fragrances, and even to me, this one feels a little too conspicuous to wear in 2017.
This cologne says, "Hey baby, what's your sign?"
However, despite coming out in 1973 it smells nothing at all like Jovan Musk, or Halston 1-12 (which came out three years later). In my opinion, it's clearly an antecedent of fragrances like Drakkar Noir and Trussardi Uomo. Not necessarily in composition, but in style. Although it's undeniably macho, which might come across as sleazy to anyone not in their 50s, there's a freshness that permeates throughout the entirety of the fragrance's life. I finally get what people mean when they describe something as being soapy. It smells like the color of its bottle.
When I sprayed this on my wrist, I was constantly sniffing it throughout the day.
I like that this is clearly a fragrance for a man, macho, and yet surprisingly fresh. I wish this style of cologne was still in fashion but it's not.

WHAT IT'S NOT LIKE:
Usually I say what a cologne is like, but in my limited experience I can't think of anything that this one is similar to.
It's not like Brut which gets kind of powdery, it's not like any of the Jovan's which smell super pungent and oft putting to me, nor is it like the Halston brothers. It's not sand paper rough like Polo either.

CONCLUSION:
I don't see a young guy pulling this off at all. Shoot, I don't even know if an older guy can pull this off today. If you're thinking that you're going to find some unknown fragrance from yesteryear to compete with the dude's wearing Bleu de Chanel and 1 Million, forget it. This is not the one.
BUT...if you like old school men's fragrances pre-90s you're probably going to love this one.
I'm going to buy a bottle of this and wear it once in awhile just to make myself happy. That's how much I like this fragrance.
25th August, 2017 (last edited: 02nd September, 2017)
Wow, this one packs quite a punch! Paco Rabanne pour Homme reminds me that, way before Invictus and 1 Million came on the scene, this company was still putting out potent colognes that polarized both wearers and smellers alike!

PRpH is a relic that reflects its decade well (namely, the 70’s): Loud, brash, daring, experimental, individual. The result is a musky-spicy-soapy potion combined with needed touches of moss, tonka, and amber to keep it somewhat tamed. Spices dance together like a crowded disco, creating a wall of sensation begging you to dance!

It’s clean and approachable even today…compared to a LOT of the men’s colognes that came out during that era from the many and sundry houses - Hai Karate, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Anucci, Capucci, Jacomo, etc. etc.
30th April, 2017
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Love both the vintage and current version. The vintage was great "back then", but the current version is really solid for what a men's fragrance can smell like today. No need to have roaring "fume-bombs" for every fragrance!
I love the interplay of the top notes as they morph into the lavender and geranium heart.
For those who smell similarities to Azzaro PH, sorry I just don't smell it. And I love APH.
19th March, 2017
Very masculen and strong opening. Stay with you a whole day, and at night you can still smell it. Soap scent is more dominant but the citrus waves it's hand under it very lightly. This is a must continue to produce perfume and suitable for man over 35. Used one bottle but can't find on any retailer in my hometown.
17th February, 2017
Nice fragrance. Clean and fresh opening with a fizzy citrus and spices. I'm picking up a note that reminds me of something I've smelled in Halston's Z-14...makes me wonder what woods are going on in Paco Rabanne Pour Homme. I'll have to check out the notes to see. I'm enjoying this one so far.
18th January, 2017
It smells like Irish Spring original soap with just a hint of honey,musk,and florals.I like Irish Spring and as a matter of fact use that brand...but at about $40 a bottle?it seriously lacks imagination.Pierre Cardin I could see a popular cologne in the 70's...not Paco Rabanne.This cologne seems like what someone would splash on after doing some takes on an adult film in the 70's and call it a wrap.Hey if you smelled purely like soap who'd know you didn't shower afterwards.
01st January, 2017
Stardate 20160909:

A classic barbershop but with extra soap.
Unfortunately, this has been rendered useless by reformulations.
Buy the vintage.
09th September, 2016
When you want the soapy greenery of a classic giant like Nobile but without the smoky decadence and finely tailored formality, you need Paco! This is singing praise of rosemary and moss, and it's cool, clean, semi-sweet, and fairly airy. Before this 'casual wear' herbal donned the three-piece suit and heralded the 80's it was a carefree, uncluttered affair. Unfortunately it hasn't aged well after reformulations, and it is now just a pleasant echo on the wind in its current form.
24th August, 2016
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This is a soapy wonder. I have a decant of the original version, and I'm savoring it. It's soapy, leathery, and mossy.
12th July, 2016
Airless green fouge-ypre.

***
06th June, 2016
Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, released in 1973, was grandfather to the then new men's fragrance type, the so-called "aromatic fougere." Top Notes of rosemary, sage, rosewood and laurel; middle notes of lavender and geranium; base notes of moss, honey, tonka bean, musk and amber.

It is very like so many of its imitators throughout the 70s and 80s, the latter decade pouring on the densities of the notes to create the almost over-whelming "powerhouse" effect. Paco Rabanne PH is a much lighter original, very well balanced and confidently crisp, warm and herbal. To my nose, the lavender, rosemary and moss are primal, blending together seamlessly and defining the scent.

An excellent example of this genre and a good place to start in exploring this historical period of the then emerging masculine scent market.

23rd March, 2016
Burned through a bottle of this in three months 1978. It was so unique in scent at the time, clean, green and Oakmoss heavy. Distinct and identifiable.
It suggested, clean, clean,clean. The girls loved it.


Try for Vintage if you can, as the Natural Bases provide for a Multi-layered dreamy drydown.
25th January, 2016 (last edited: 27th January, 2017)
Of warriors and poets...

I assume that by now, it has become more than obvious through my reviews that I'm a total vintage freak, and since I've never come upon a reformulation that was better than the original fragrance, I think that my reasons for being such a freak are on solid ground. Thus, all my reviews and comments are about the original formulations of the fragrances they're about.
So, Paco Rabanne pour Homme. This is one of the "Holy Trinity" of rather expensive fragrances that I remember from when I was a kid, and were hugely popular in Greece during the '70s and '80s. The other two were Azzaro pour Homme and Aramis. An uncle of mine was using all three of them regularly, so I grew quite accustomed with each one of them. If we consider Aramis as a "battle scent" and Azzaro as a "macho overdose", Paco Rabanne was a much more refined tough guy, with a sweet undercurrent lurking under his skin. I'd daresay it was the metrosexual of its era. I'm not even sure after all these years if it would qualify as a "powerhouse", compared of course with fragrances like Quorum and Drakkar Noir. I don't mean that it lacked in sillage and longevity, cause it didn't, and there's absolutely no doubt that it would singlehandedly beat to a pulp 99% of today's masculine fragrances, but compared to the rest of the beasts that roamed the Earth during its heyday, it somehow lacked in "powerhouse" quality, which is a quite abstract and difficult thing to explain. For example, Le Male and 1 Million have nuclear sillage and longevity, but not a chance to be rendered as powerhouses, cause they lack the sense of seriousness and/or meaning business that old powerhouses had. Maybe this was the reason that its bottle had smooth curves and was a joy to hold, while Aramis and Azzaro pour Homme bottles' edges could be used as a knife in an emergency. And that unique, elegant and peaceful shade of green it held, was like saying "Come on gentlemen! We don't need that much of testosterone to prove us men!" in a melifluous and cultivated, yet commanding voice.
Since I'm not a rich guy, my only chance of laying my hands on vintage bottles is to discover them in some backstreet shop. And I haven't stumbled on any Paco Rabanne yet. So my comments are mainly based on my memory and the feelings that this fragrance evoked to me back in the day. A couple of years ago I visited a Sephora shop to browse through body lotions, and there I saw an almost full tester of Paco Rabanne pour Homme, next to almost empty 1 Million, Invictus and Black XS ones. This seemed quite reasonable, because what Sephora visitor would mind to test in 2013 a fragrance launched in 1973? I thought "Why not?" and reached for it, but its sprayer appeared to be jammed. It seems that the universe was sending me some kind of message. But being a stubborn explorer, I ignored it and insisted on pushing the sprayer and my luck, and what I finally got was a good deal of the fragrance spilt on my hand. Its dinstinctive soapy quality was still there, but that was about the only thing that was left from the scent I remembered. It didn't smell natural at all, and to be honest I found it a little cloying and off putting. I informed the sales assistants about the malfunction and told them that the fragrance might have gone bad. They were helpful enough to bring a new tester, but it sprayed the same disappointment on me. I stood brooding for a few seconds, mentally waving yet another reminder of my youth goodbye. It bode me farewell in about 3 hours...
To conclude, Paco Rabanne pour Homme was one of the cleanest smelling fragrances of its time, with a sweetness (honey?) that was rather unusual back then, and much more sophisticated and courtly than most of the brutes of its era which were knocking you of your feet right upon first spray. But alas, as I've already mentioned, the appropriate tense when talking about its present self is simple past for me, and as such it shall remain...
30th November, 2015
Fresh, green, herby, clean. Very strong oakmoss. An old-fashioned soapy smell. Like walking through a wood on a bright, cool morning after a night of rain. Damp moss, ferns, rain-soaked greenery all around. Sweet earth faintly detectable underneath. It makes me feel really clean and fresh. Love it.
Sillage good only for an hour, then a fresh mossy skin scent that continues for a couple more hours. I'd keep this for weekends or days where it's convenient to refresh every now and again. Then it's perfect.
October 2015
04th October, 2015
Recently acquired the 3rd edition ( from the period 1991-1995) basis my readings blindly and what a fragrance it has turned out to be ...utterly powerful and strong, opens with a great sweet rosemary / rosewood note which is alluring and then slowly the other flowery notes like lavender & geranium kicks in ..the sweet --slightly amberish / Tonka notes at the base make it very creamy delightful fragrance to smell and it stays like that through-out i.e a slightly ambrish / creamy sweet ( not cloying not synthetic not chemicals heavy but endearing / gourmand kind of sweet ) .
The vintage last for close to 6 to 7 hrs on my skin which is an above average performance.
Since acquiring this vintage , I am intrigued to smell the current edition which by all accounts is a notch below ( sad ! ) the earlier versions through restrictive reformulations so will see when that happens ..but if you are planning to acquire the vintage version ,just go right ahead - I highly recommend it.
30th September, 2015
Simply a classic. A classic which is rewritten to modern style and tries to reconnect the new age to old style.
The new version is how a perfume starts Italian and transfers to French mood! Pour Homme starts green intense and herbal like a green meadow in sunny day somewhere in south of Italia. But the final stage is a french soap on marble bath tub. The core is apparently watered down. I wonder if it satisfy a classic fan.
Longevity 6/10
Sillage 5/10
Scent not enough, not enough
09th September, 2015
It used to be my favorite fragrance in my teenage and until 23 years old. What a fragrance at that time! (eighties and beginning of nineties)

A bergamot/fougere scent that makes you happy-go-luky, full of confidence and unforgettable to women.

But why a so disaster with the last new formulations! Tell me why!

I don't think production costs can be a sufficient reason to destroy such a masterpiece.

Old version -> 9,8/10 almost perfection

new -> 6/10



14th August, 2015
Emoe Show all reviews
United Kingdom
this is for me, an utterly fantastic scent, such a nostalgic and well refined male fragrance, which i think embodies everything about a strong male.
i find it refreshing, both in the feel of the scent when i apply it, (i have the splash) and also as a refreshing change from the deep dark ambers and woods and ouds I tend to wear more often.
this doesnt give me any fruity notes, and honestly, im at a loss for words on how to describe it properly. i dont get soapy in the way some are Lye sickly soap, more CLEAN fresh smell. theres ferns in there, which bold up the scent, and an icy top note.
all in all, its my cheapest, but very much loved fragrance, just wish they would do this in a decent Parfum to give it a little more projection.
30th May, 2015
My older brothers favorite scent when I was kid was Paco Rabanne and as a 10 yr old I used to steal sprays from his dresser top whenever I had the chance. Recently I took a sniff of it again from a fragrance discount store and think this stuff was really pretty good. I know it has a benchmark in fragrance history for many.

I like the scent, just not right for me and couldn't see a place for it in my "classics" collection as it has the 70's - 80's strong masculine vibe that I don't want to project. However, Paco Rabanne you have my respect!
13th February, 2015
Ah...Paco Rabanne. Actually a great, well put-together fragrance, but not my cup of tea...why? When Paco was in it's heyday (mid to late 70's) so was I! 'Disco' every Saturday night in the hopes of impressing the girls! You were NOT allowed entry to any local club (not called clubs then, but rather Disco..did I mention that?) unless you bathed in Paco Rabanne. At least half a bottle was standard fare. This left such an annoying and nauseating impression on me that this juice makes me run in the opposite direction when I smell it! It's akin to being run over by a Rolls Royce...does it make RR a bad car? No...simply bad memories! Now where are my platform shoes......????
29th December, 2014
Large and soapy, yet fairly smoothed over, this smells clean without veering too sharp. The usual suspects of the masculine trope are all present (lavender, moss, coumarin), but this one comes off more soft and less aromatically jagged in that the bitter greens are dialed back. There’s a fair amount going on beneath the surface (I detect a peppery carnation in there, something mahogany-esque), but it’s all swaddled in a dryer-fresh towel of mossy lavender. Extremely anachronistic, obviously, but not as annoying as other ‘70s / ‘80s Disco Stu-type scents.
04th December, 2014
I have the vintage aftershave from the early Eighties and a edt spray from 1993.

A very honeyed green mossy and slightly soapy scent that gives you that fresh out of the shower feeling. The quality is very good with a deep clean smell. The projection is soft and just below average with three or so hours with the aftershave and several with the edt.

Unfortunately after the year 2000 this scent was severely reformulated. The oakmoss that made this scent the classic it is became restricted in the amount they could use. With this scent it's best to find a older bottle to enjoy the clean sexy smell.

A big thumbs up on a scent that imo is as contemporary now as it was in 1973 when it was released. I mean when has smelling clean and fresh ever been dated.
27th November, 2014
Genre: Fougère

In its relative simplicity Paco Rabanne’s structure is the progenitor and common denominator of the modern aromatic fougère. You can smell it peeking out from under the skin of its descendants from Azzaro pour Homme, through Tuscany Uomo, Lauder for Men, Jules, Drakkar Noir, and Tsar, right up to last year’s Sartorial. What strikes me especially upon reacquaintance though, is how closely its blend of brisk aromatics, citrus, honey, and boldly animalic musk presages Kouros.

Paco Rabanne’s bergamot top note is still terrific, and its aromatic bouquet still signals “barbershop” as clearly as a red-and-white spiral pole. It remains as loud and tenacious as ever, too. My neutral rating reflects the ambivalence I’ve always felt toward Paco Rabanne pour Homme. Though I acknowledge its classic status and its historical importance in the evolution of perfumery, I’m never tempted to wear it. Like Drakkar Noir and Macassar, it feels coarse and crass on me, and I always prefer either the comparative reserve and refinement of successors such as Tuscany, Lauder for Men, and Sartorial, or the more blatant iconoclasm of Kouros and Jules.
23rd June, 2014
a rather mild fragrance with a hint of lavender with moderate lasting strength. i was expecting a more powerful scent but this bottle is more sublte.
14th May, 2014
An green fougere for the ages!

Overall rating: * * * * * (masterpiece)

NOTA BENE: This review is for the VINTAGE formulation

If you ever wonder why veteran Basenoters lament the new restrictions on classical perfume ingredients, find a sample of vintage Paco Rabanne.

Why? Oakmoss. Paco Rabanne was all about oakmoss, and oakmoss is on the IFRA's list of restricted substances. Oakmoss was used as a fixative, but also to provide "gravitas" or depth to aromatic fougeres like Paco Rabanne or Azzaro. New perfumes use substitutes like Treemoss or synthetics to mimic the effect, but NOTHING compares to the real thing.

What a tragedy! Vintage Paco Rabanne is a triumph of the olfactary arts. It is clean, fresh, and green but absolutely refined at the same time. Think of classic Polo turned down about 4 notches. Paco Rabanne was a fragrance that was equally appropriate in the office and at the club--it was almost as popular as cocaine at the famous Studio 54 in New York.

I can't really comment on the new version since I've only sampled it a few times. It struck me a kind of weak green-citric wine cooler.

Needless to say, the heavy dose of oakmoss made vintage Paco Rabanne a sillage and longevity monster. another major difference from the reformulation.

Pros: crisp green notes on a bed of oakmoss
Cons: none"

26th August, 2013