Perfume Directory

XS pour Homme (1993)
by Paco Rabanne


XS pour Homme information

Year of Launch1993
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 463 votes)

People and companies

HousePaco Rabanne
PerfumerRosendo Mateu
PerfumerGérard Anthony
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group > Puig Prestige Beauty Brands

About XS pour Homme

XS pour Homme is a masculine fragrance by Paco Rabanne. The scent was launched in 1993 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Gérard Anthony and Rosendo Mateu. The bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

XS pour Homme fragrance notes

Reviews of XS pour Homme

XS was one of my favourite fragrances of the nineties together with Joop! pour homme and Le Mâle. Contrary to those two XS is much more gentle and not that outspoken. Its a damn good citrus/mint/orange fragrance. I wore only black in the nineties and lots of Paco Rabanne pieces, XS completed that picture. It's simply not true that it doesn't last long and nobody around you can smell it. I got the most complements when i used XS and only the original Kouros could beat that. Today I bought a bottle XS after 20 years of absence. Yes the bottle changed in 2018 (regrettable) but luckily the smell is still the same. 1 million and Invictus are cheap modern fragrances against this classic. Definitely two thumbs up!
18th June, 2020
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! That was the creedo of most designer perfumers in the wake of the aromachemical-led "fresh revolution" that took place between 1988 and 1995. Anything for guys not fresh, aquatic, fruity, zippity-doo-dah and apologetic in sillage was washed away in the deluge created by Davidoff Cool Water (1988), Aramis New West (1988), Calvin Klein Eternity for Men (1989), and Nautica (1992). Paco Rabanne, like so many designers near the end of the 80's, jumped on the "dandy revival" floral-phase of the powerhouse phenomenon that turned everyone's colognes "to 11", releasing Ténéré (1988) to compete alongside scents like Zino Davidoff (1986), and Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), but like most of it's floral sandalwood chypre or fougère peers, was cut down as irrelevant not very far into the 90's thanks to the "freshies" taking over. Paco Rabanne already needed a new pillar scent, as it was clear they wouldn't be able to milk Ténéré with flankers over the next decade as they had done with Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (1973). Thus, 20 years after their eponymous masuline hit the market, the folks at Paco Rabanne unleashed XS, a scent with an innocuous fresh fougère top, a semi-oriental backbone, and featuring a few "loud" twists in typical Paco Rabanne style. Rosendo Mateau, who was a veteran perfumer for Rabanne often on loan from parent company Puig, was teamed with Gérard Anthony, who himself was responsible for greats like Azzaro Pour Homme (1978) and the cult classic Balenciaga Pour Homme (1990), with neither perfumer really working on something in this mild new vein prior. It sort of shows on XS that they were a bit subversive with the "freshie" formula because it's a scent meant to go on quietly but periodically raise it's voice during the wear. There's nothing even remotely scandalous about XS, and it draws some parallels to Burberry for Men (1995) but you will ever-so-slightly edge out other freshies if you wear this side-by-side with somebody decked out in something like Curve (1996), just not the super fruity "teen de toilettes" like Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1994) or Hugo by Hugo Boss (1995).

Paco Rabanne XS Pour Homme (1993) opens similarly to Eternity for Men in the very beginning, arriving on a cloud of soft lavender, shimmering calone, and dry bergamot, but adds in mint, lemon, mandarin orange, rosemary, and tarragon, which plays tug-of-war with sweet and herbal directions on top of a bracing bite afforded by the mint. At once, XS is both soft and loud. My nose gets mostly the lavender and herbs with the calone at first, with the citrus just used as a vehicle for them, until the middle shows up. Geranium, coriander, sage, rosewood, and juniper consist of the mid-phase, but I mostly get geranium and sage, like a classic mid-century barbershop fougère, with juniper berry adding a non-descript sweetness which draws parallels to the apple notes sometimes found in other freshies from this era, and rosewood being too well-blended if there. XS finally starts calming down with the oakmoss base, which is slight even in pre-IFRA formulations, since vanilla, amber, and sandalwood do most of the talking in a surprise turn away from the fougère category and into semi-oriental tones way late in the game. Since cloth holds top notes longer, spraying this on shirt and skin creates two different developments, as the shirt reveals more of the oakmoss, patchouli, cedar, and tonka alongside the lavender and minty citrus top, while the amount sprayed on skin turns into a different scent altogether with the aforementioned vanilla, creamy sandalwood, and amber. If nothing else, XS is certainly more complex and blended than most "fresh fougères" from this era, which is a nice artisinal lean in an otherwise marketing-focused genre made to please crowds and not individual tastes in fragrance.

Paco Rabanne XS is housed in a really interesting "Zippo bottle" that would later be adapted by several other perfumers like Jacomo and Jean-Louis Vermeil, becoming quite an iconic shape for masculine perfumes. The scent itself is ultimately rather nondescript like most things from this era, but better quality than most too. Creed Himalaya (2002) is touted as being a high-end alternative to 90's fresh fougères in general, and particularly similar to this, so maybe little 'ol Paco inspired the almighty Creed here, who knows? XS also had hilariously sleezy ads, including one featuring a lapdance, which gives me endless chuckles considering how tame the scent is, outside of the edgy packaging. XS actually stands for "Excess" which is almost never stated anywhere outside the box it comes in, and shows the lengths Paco Rabanne was willing to take in order to retain the badboy image it's masculine lines had garnered over the decade, despite the fragrance being thoroughly conformist. XS is enjoyable as a work scent, or casual weekend cologne, being good in spring through fall, but little elsewhere. The line would go onto be Paco Rabanne's most successful one, taking the reigns from the self-titled pour homme, and still spawns new flankers even after the release of 1 Million (2008) effectively succeeded it. I like XS enough for a thumbs up, because a plain cheeseburger can be as tasty as a fancy one if it's broiled right, and this exudes quality even if it has the personality of a 1993 Chevy Corsica. The flankers further in get much more interesting than the original, which is something XS has in common with Chanel Allure Homme (1999). A good solid dumb-grab workday choice for folks that miss the 90's, with enough dynamics to be an entertaining wear throughout the day.
20th August, 2018
Citrus, clean and pleasant but ultimately dated. Something kinda green and bitter in it too. Its get sharper and more bitter into the drydown. It feels like a transition scent from some of the classic 80's scents into the cleaner, sweeter more fresh 90's.

I get good projection and longevity from XS pour Homme.
21st January, 2018
TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Why was this created?
Why do they still make it?

It smells of nothing memorable ... does not last hardly impacts the people around you...

A poor scent...
I send XS to the weak scent club with
Hot Water by Davidoff, Nightlife by Joop, Hugo bottled, Mr Burberry, Uomo Moschino, Adventure by Davidoff

08th January, 2018
Smells like a very cheap toiletcleaner to me. Horrible stuff.

29th June, 2016
This was a gift. I would almost give it a thumbs sideways because it has nice moments during the development, and it's a loud scent that could get you attention if you wanted; but ultimately it just doesn't smell that good to me, and no one around me has ever really liked it either.

Still, there are some good moments in the development of the fragrance.
08th October, 2014

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