Reviews of Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne

    Find out more about Paco Rabanne Pour Homme by Paco Rabanne in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    23 June, 2014

    cologne65's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    14 May, 2014

    Sam Walton's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I have just been re-introduced to Paco Rabbane after many years away,why I have no idea,but I'm BACK,or more so Paco's back,back into my fragrance world BIG time.
    It's a classic that has stayed the course of time.
    Form is temporary,CLASS is PERMANENT.
    Welcome back Francisco.

    04 May, 2014

    lairdangus's avatar



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    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"

    26 August, 2013

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Classic Masculine For Another Age...

    *This is a review of vintage Paco Rabanne pour Homme.

    Paco Rabanne pour Homme (vintage) opens with a blast of aromatic lavender before a fern-like green accord takes over as the star in the early heart. Joining the relatively sharp greens is an underlying dirty spice that most likely is cumin (though not listed in the official fragrance notes). The dirty green accord continues through the earlier stages of the dry-down, as a relatively dry supporting honey note permeates the dirty greens. During the late dry-down the composition softens as the dirty greens all but disappear, leaving slightly powdery oakmoss from the base to couple with the remnants of the honey. Projection is above average and longevity is outstanding at 12+ hours on skin.

    Paco Rabanne pour Homme (vintage) is a fragrance that I really want to like but there is something in it that holds me back. The aromatic lavender open smells really great and I wish it hung around longer, but my guess is the culprit behind my lack of enthusiasm must be the cumin-like dirty spice undertone in the early heart. Also a contributing factor of note is the very old-fashioned green fern-like vibe exhibited by the composition (somewhat reminiscent of the primary heart accord in Clive Christian's 1872 for Men) that just seems a bit out of place nowadays. As I tend to seek out and love classic compositions from Paco Rabanne pour Homme's time period generally, my guess is that if it is striking *me* as old-fashioned it must be viewed as truly ancient by many others. The bottom line is the still relatively inexpensive Paco Rabanne pour Homme (vintage) does smell good and is certainly a classic masculine for sure, but I am not quite a fan of its dirty green presentation and can only award it a "good" 3 star out of 5 rating with a tepid recommendation.

    Pros: Longevity is outstanding and the aromatic lavender open is quite impressive.
    Cons: There is a dirty spice underneath the green heart accord that is offputting and the composition smells dated.

    16 June, 2013 (Last Edited: 13 December, 2013)

    fudull's avatar

    Albania Albania

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    Classic shaving foam cologne

    Due to an interesting question posed to me by a colleague, I have been going through my collection to identify the fragrances that best match the aroma and vibe of a classic barber shop. Ultimately I settled on two: Rive Gauche and Paco Rabane PH. Out of these two the main difference is the opening approach, namely the use of sweet accords in Rive Gauche which is in contrast to the herbal top notes of PR. While I prefer Rive Gauche, that is not to say that I dislike PR. In truth, this smooth green classic is one of my favorite fragrances for casual use. It is neither overwhelming nor is it subtle, the longevity is just right and the mellow drydown soothes with moss and geranium while still sweetening the whole deal with just a tad of honey. As with many fragrances from the 70s, there is the question of vintage versus new formulation, and while I can't claim to know which of these I own (I bought my bottle circa 1998) if you are looking for a fragrance to harken back to days gone bye of straight razors and hot towels, look no further.

    Pros: smooth green
    Cons: minimal projection and average longevity

    31st May, 2013

    Bobster's avatar



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    Ok Props for this old school masculine for coming out in the 70's sadly it should of stayed there. To be fair I am referring to the current formula and not vintage. I have never smelt the vintage but this new formula to me is flat, weak, and no character. Seems the longevity is ok but that's about it. This doesn't show me anything new or anything I haven't come across before. In fact the dry down to this reminds of Charlie for women cause my mema wears that and when it settled on my skin that's what it reminded me of. I will pass on this.

    10th March, 2013

    tropicalstorm's avatar



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    A true classic. I just love the dry down. It's very unique and sophisticated. Green of-course but a bit dark and smoky. Reminds me of Aramis classic (also a favourite) but there's no similarity with AzPH.
    (AzPH and PRPH are both distinct, sophisticated fragrances with a hell of character and substance and that's where the similarities end.)

    I am an outdoors person and this perfume reminds me of dense pine forests and the heady smell of herbs while on a mountain trail. The notes are fresh and completely natural... and the whiff of those smoky undercurrents is pure bliss.

    This legend will be my signature for at least the rest of this year.

    The above review for the Vintage version. Just bought another bottle (manufactured by Puig) and the smoky undercurrents in the basenotes are missing. Quite a few people have been complaining about the present formulation being a rather "low voltage" version of the original and in lacking punch. True, but in it's present formulation I still don't see reason to rate it down. This juice has toned down from an EDT to an EDC in its' present avataar but still the alchemy remains.

    06 September, 2012 (Last Edited: 27 June, 2014)

    Smellitivity's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    It's not a shaving foam, but the beginning will smell a lot like that, with mint and rosemary. It's clean and unsophisticated, and green, green, green.

    In the end, it will still be green and aromatic, but sweet rather than stinging, thanks to light honey notes.

    Very good, but also very old. I'm not sure how guys under 50 could pull this one off.

    16 July, 2012

    Zut's avatar



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    Paco Rabanne pour homme brings me back to the 70's. After Eau sauvage, Signor Ricci (original) and Vetiver (Carven), this is one of the very first fragrances I bought for myself as a young man. Back then, I was into fresh and clean fragrances. I can very well understand that some fellow reviewers find this EDT rather soapy because it really is. But in my book, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Captain (Molyneux), the fragrance I bought next, was also a little soapy. There were quite a few fragrances launched in that era that shared this characteristic. Conversely, soap bars that were popular in the 70's (in North America) such as Irish Spring and Coast tried to emulate fresh masculine EDTs. At the time, I suppose people loved a little soapiness in their perfumes and a little designer fragrance in their toiletries !

    When first applied, PRPH is quite hard, dry and woody and perhaps a little intense. I remember the first time I tried it, I was afraid it would never tone down and I was ready to wash my wrist. However, as soon as the dry down began, the sweeter notes emerged and the entire composition became rounder and richer. Fortunately, some of the green, peppery and zesty characteristics remained until the end preventing the fragrance to become too "bubble-gummy". Now, about 35 years later, I still love Paco Rabanne pour homme and I think this fragrance suits a man my age even better. Unfortunately, it's longevity (which was outstanding when I was young) is now a little less impressive. Maybe my skin changed over the years or maybe they lowered the concentration of the juice. No big deal! I still make heads turn with this fragrance anyhow!

    11th June, 2012

    martinijo's avatar

    England England

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    Just makes it as a thumbs up for me. Just makes it as a result of the bargain price for which it can be had. There is a note which I find a bit difficult in the opening (is it violet?) which fades, but only to a degree. I am also reminded of industrial strength washing powder. Despite this there are great things about this fragrance. great in the same way that Kouros is great though on a lower level for me.
    It is not the same as it was in the mid 80s and i think the earlier version had the edge.

    07 November, 2011

    yoyo's avatar



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    This thing is potent, I had to scrub it off twice with rubbing alcohol. Smells like public washroom air freshener. Definitely not a good association there.

    07 November, 2011

    WellGroomedGentleman's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I like to respect classics, but this one smells like a 1$ bar soap, really.
    in the dry down it is slightly more complex but alas it sits way too close to the skin by then.

    07 October, 2011

    Safetyjon's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paco Rabanne PH shares many similarities with Azzaro PH. It's just that, IMO, Azzaro is so much better. I would basically describe Paco Rabanne as Azzaro with a greaner opening, while exihibiting a "soapiness" throughout its lifespan, a soapiness that I just don't get from Azzaro. I don't find it to be dated, any more than I find Azzaro to be dated. Paco Rabanne is a good fragrance...Definitely a "thumbs up". However, Azzaro PH is a GREAT fragrance, certainly in my top 5. As a result, I find myself reaching for Azzaro much more often.

    03 October, 2011

    eov8b's avatar

    United States United States

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    a good alternative to the kouros, a similar nasty but more restrained stink

    02 August, 2011

    santino's avatar

    United States United States

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    When I will depart from this world and knock the doors of heaven, I know it will smell like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme. This fragrance never fails to put smile on my face. It is uber classy scent and those who can not appreciate it, I feel sorry for them.

    12 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 16 May, 2011)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Not much to say about a classic scent like PRH besides is one of the first aromatic fougere ever created (and apparently one of the best too). The problem is that I never liked the opening that smells cheap and absolutely dated. Things get a lot better in the drydown with animalic notes that enhance the darker side of this fragrance, but it's still a scent that doesn't completely match my taste. It worths a try, at least for its historycal meaning, but if you accept an advice buy Azzaro pour Homme or Penhalingon's Sartorial or Or Black. The same theme, a bit revised, but way much better executed.

    06 April, 2011

    Sillage Enthusiast's avatar

    United States United States

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    It smells like a cheap pine tree shaped air freshener for your car. Not how I wish to smell.

    28 March, 2011

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, the original aromatic fougère.... and a very coniferous one at that. Lavender, pine, and tobacco is what I get for most of the scent life with a smooth drydown of moss and honey.

    Don't get me wrong, I normally like strong, long-lasting men's fragrances. However Paco is just a bit too obnoxious and headache-inducing for me. Love it or hate it, though, it's a classic.

    18 March, 2011

    jerrycbm's avatar



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    "Paco Rabanne pour Homme" is a very classic of parfumes, particulary indicated for gentlemen. A+++++

    19 January, 2011

    kierroo's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    Okay yes your dad did properly wear this back in the day, and you think you will have to either have to get the dodgy sideburns and tash with the plaid suit to wear this, but this is a classic and there is no other word for it.

    It smells like like the 70/80's but for us born in the 1990's were can never be sure, but this fragrance smells the polar opposite of the citrus, perfumery not sure its male or female unisex fragrances that are common and popular today.

    But this is the main reason to wear it nowadays you will smell different than everyone else and the barbershop soapy smells rocks in the cooler weather of the winter and fall

    Another main reason is the fragrance is dirt cheap now, you can pick up 100ml for less that £15 and it offers 6-8 hours of projection and staying power. This is the fragrance that took Paco Rabanne more that 35 years to even get an other fragrance close to it and that is the greatest compliment you can give it Paco Rabanne Pour homme

    04 January, 2011 (Last Edited: 23 April, 2011)

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    I do enjoy this fragrance and have a lot of respect for it as well as the franchise. However, the opening could make or break it for you.

    Paco Rabanne pour Homme is a very green fragrance with a barbershop feel. It's pretty linear from beginning to end. It's spicy, and well blended as many of the old school powerhouses tend to be. My biggest complaint is the extremely sharp opening. Very very sharp and in your face. I never actually realized it until I wore it out. But, if you can hang on about 2 hours (at most) you may enjoy the green/spicy/classic/sophisticated dry down.

    Much respect to this one, but I'm glad I only have a 1 oz bottle of it, as I'm not a fan of such sharp fragrances. Longevity for me is anywhere up to 8-10 hours which is nice, since I enjoy the dry down. The opening though, is what you're going to smell without trying and for me, it makes for a big deduction of a potentially 5 star fragrance as some of its cousins Azzaro pH, Polo, and Drakkar Noir. I'll take them over this any day.

    03 January, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    I grew up in the 1970s (born 1964) in New England and I remember this one. I do not remember being aware of cologne or perfume in general, but I remember PRpH vividly. I liked it, it was spooky-ubiquitous and there was nothing else like it. I remember it as pine-like.

    When I smell it now I get the pine reference, but now I see it as the green convergence of rosemary, clary sage, laurel and lavender. The pine ‘snap’, the coolness, comes from tarragon and clove. This is a wonderful fougère. It is soapy, mossy, resinous and barbershoppy all in one. It isn’t terribly complex and it doesn’t show much evolution over time, but it’s wonderfully breezy in a way few scents then or now are.

    I understand that PRpH was eventually overshadowed by Azzaro pour Homme, the next king of the hill fougère. ApH is more sophisticated (although even louder) and notable more complex. Still complexity isn’t necessarily a virtue in a fougère. Also, I don’t think ApH would cover the reek of weed quite so well. (A classic use of 70s cologne.) PRpH is less like the Azzaro fougère than it is two that came later: Caron’s Troisièmme Homme and YSL’s Rive Gauche pour Homme. By comparison the Azzaro seems baroque and a bit busy in its evolution on the skin.

    I can’t un-stick PR from the 1970s, but if you don’t have that reference, how would it strike you at first sniff? If you knew fougères from, say, Cool Water forward, what would you make of this? I wonder.

    14 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 03 May, 2012)

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    An aromatic-mossy-spicy barber-shop classic which, after a watery, green, almost balsamic initial burst, settles down in to a sort of petroleous, mossy/shadowy, tobacco flavoured and slightly soapy type of smell. A wonderful rosemary plays a noticeable role arousing a touch of mediterranean, breeze, salty/mild, coniferous aroma of pines of the coast. Clean, discreet, conservative but for many unappealing, a bit "laundry/soapy/bath-foam" type and out of these infamous times.

    16 November, 2010 (Last Edited: 04 January, 2014)

    tsuzumi's avatar

    United States United States

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    I recently re-tried this one. I had a full bottle in the old days, but I think I just wore it without paying attention, or maybe I threw it away. My impression back then was sharp soapiness, harsh green, and in the worst case, a dirty ashtray. No citrus, no honey, no lavender, just dark and harsh. One problem is over-application, and wet-spot application. Recently I have been doing more of a walk-through application. So I tried it with PR. This worked a lot better, and the opening was much more varied than I remembered. However, a certain funkiness began to develop on my skin. I suspect it may be the honey. Something similar happened with a test of Antaeus. Next, I tried a very light spray on paper. Then, the citrus and florals finally came out, with barbershop humming underneath. So, for some people this will work with the right application method (light). For me, I can appreciate it on paper, but it doesn't work on my skin.

    24 September, 2010

    Weimar27's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the opening of Rosemary and the Clarity note of Clary sage starts off refreshing but in a few seconds later it turns to an smoky a bit rubbery scent
    and i think Brazilian Rosewood is responsible for that Lavender stands out strong in this cologne with the nutty accord of tonka bean i don't any traces of honey but i love the warm combination of Amber and Musk and dry Sandalwood.

    16 August, 2010

    Pleski's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    My first impression on spraying Paco Rabanne is 'Pwooaarr!!' In a 21st century world of shy, foody, fruity and almost apologetic men's fragrances, PR is none of these. It's manly, forceful and an unmistakeable 'aftershave' fragrance.

    I'd never want to use for sombre days, and walking through a sprayed cloud is preferable to applying it directly, but there is something classic, primal, energising and ultimately satisfying about this scent, especially a few hours later when the floral, herbal notes have died away.

    14 August, 2010

    darius's avatar



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    absolutely Horrible!unless you want to smell like an old man, i think is not the best choice!

    28 July, 2010

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    A masculine classic, and for good reason. So many reviews have been written about this, that I'll just focus on differentiating vintage versus current, and also versus Bond's Great Jones, which seems to be a "tribute" to PR PH.

    The vintage PR is darker, mossier, and deeper than the newer stuff - the vintage feels three dimensional versus the current's 2-D vibe. They almost smell like two different fragrances to me, with the newer stuff being a fresher version of the vintage stuff. The newer PR is a bit louder and brighter, but not as deep, not as rich. The base seems to be lacking the dark green and slightly salty/earthy vibe that oakmoss brings to the game. The vintage PR is strong, and lasts, but stays a little closer to my skin. I like both, but ultimately, I prefer the vintage for its deeper and richer feel. Basically, the newer stuff smells like the lighter green color of the older PR box, while the vintage PR smells like the darker green color of the vintage PR bottle. I don't find either to be dated or out of place in current use. They fit well as a casual green fragrance and I find myself wanting to wear them (especially the vintage version) fairly regularly. I also don't find either version to be too loud to wear comfortably. PR PH is just a good, versatile, soapy green men's fragrance.

    As for Great Jones: it's closer, in my opinion, to the vintage PR, but it's not as mossy. It's got more cedar to it, and in the deep dried down phase, cedar is about all that's left of Great Jones, whereas in vintage PR it seems that oakmoss is the main component of this same phase. Great Jones also seems to have more orange at work than either PR.

    15 July, 2010

    Derbyman's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A classic aromatic fougere created in 1973 (the year I was born!) - this distinctive, masculine fragrance is fresh and 'green' drying down into a clean, soapy accord with notes of honey, tobacco and pine. Reportedly the inspiration behind the creation of Azzaro Pour Homme which surfaced three years later. Shares many similarities with Azzaro Pour Homme, however, if the Azzaro is warm, sunny and 'orange' in feel, Paco Rabanne is clean, fresh and 'green' whilst projecting a similar 'barbershop' vibe. Good longevity whilst staying quite close to the skin. Very much of its time but classic, not dated! Would never be without it!

    07 June, 2010

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