Total Reviews: 102
A classic barbershop but with extra soap.
Unfortunately, this has been rendered useless by reformulations.
Buy the vintage.
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.
This is a soapy wonder. I have a decant of the original version, and I'm savoring it. It's soapy, leathery, and mossy.
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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.
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.
Don't know why I didn't purchase again. Wish I had, as everyone says it's a shadow now.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Scent not enough, not enough
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.
I have the current formulation. This remains a benchmark fougere, unspoiled by the anise note that makes so many other fougeres a challenge. It has a stunning, fresh opening followed by a classic and beautiful lavender and geranium combination that has a smouldering backbone for the first half hour and then eases into a stunning honeyed dry down. Transluscent, dry and undoubtedly masculine. Your girlfriend or wife will love this fragrance but they will not borrow it for themselves. This is a fragrance for rugged men who like to smell effortlessly good. They have broad shoulders and dark features, 35+, in good shape for their age. They don't collect fragrances. They probably have 2 or 3 fragrances in their collection and this one was gifted to them by a knowing relative who has perfectly matched the fragrance to the man.
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!
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.
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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.
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
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.
16th June, 2013 (last edited: 13th December, 2013)
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
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.
06th September, 2012 (last edited: 27th June, 2014)
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.
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!
I'm editing this after getting hold of a vintage bottle which is a different scent.
The word that comes to mind on experiencing this again after a 30 year gap is "rich". Rosewood, geranium, lavender, moss and honey are all apparent in a remarkable balance of complex but harmonious herbal sweetness (just a touch of sweetness from the honey and perhaps the rosewood)
A terrible shame it isn't still available along with vintage Kouros which were the two scents I was familiar with back in the 80's and frankly I haven't found anything I like any better.
The current version is a neutral for me, harsh and with most of the complexity and sweetness removed.
07th November, 2011 (last edited: 26th January, 2016)
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.
a good alternative to the kouros, a similar nasty but more restrained stink
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.
12th May, 2011 (last edited: 16th May, 2011)
"Paco Rabanne pour Homme" is a very classic of parfumes, particulary indicated for gentlemen. A+++++
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
04th January, 2011 (last edited: 23rd April, 2011)
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.
14th December, 2010 (last edited: 03rd May, 2012)
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.
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.
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!