Paco Rabanne: From Architect to Fashion Designer and Perfumer

Paco RabanneParisian designer Paco Rabanne’s success in the fashion industry was practically deep rooted in fate. Originally from Spain, Francisco de Rabanne da Cuervo (named “Paco” for short) fled to Paris with his mother during the Spanish Civil War. In France, his mother would take a job as a seamstress for major high-end design house Balenciaga. When grown, Paco would originally study architecture, but his desire to work in fashion would soon conquer as he began creating jewellery for some of fashion’s most well-known houses, including Givenchy, Dior, and of course, Balenciaga.

Although already successfully working with some of the biggest names in fashion, the real turning point and big break in Paco Rabanne’s career came in 1968 when he began to collaborate with the Puig, an international company operating in the fashion and fragrance sectors of the business. With this collaboration came the birth of Paco Rabanne Fragrances. His first perfume for men, Paco Rabanne pour Homme has been called a superbly classic scent that once whiffed will be hard to remove from fond memory. Eventually the fragrance line became so successful that the company built its own perfume factory in Chartres, France.

A True Success in the Fashion World

In 1965 he began his career as a clothing designer by presenting a collection of twelve contemporary dresses which he deemed “The Unwearables”. This collection included his first plastic dress. Interested in using unusual materials such as plastic and metal, Rabanne was famously nicknamed “the metal” by fellow designer Coco Chanel. Paco spent the 60s as one of the most in demand costume designers for cinema, theatre, and the ballet. Some of his most innovative costume designs are still on display today in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Paco Rabanne 1 Million CampaignThroughout the 80’s and 90’s Rabanne continued to design with unusial materials, and in 1989 he was awarded with the Golden Thimble at the first International Festival of Fashion. While Rabanne insisted on still using hard-edged materials for his clothing, very few women worse his designs as they had discovered the appeal of softer, ethnic looks. His fragrances however, continued to flourish in popularity.

In the 1990’s Rabanne diversified away from using only metals and plastics in his designs and started to present collections using softer, man-made materials. In 1999 he presented his final collection and entered retirement. Fashion fans fear not however, Aurelien Tremblay and Christophe Decamin will continue to design ready-to-wear for the House of Rabanne.

Exploring Paco Rabanne’s Most Famous Colognes

Today Paco Rabanne is unarguably one of the most original couturiers of his time. The fragrance line on its own has 35 popular perfumes and has no signs to step back in motion. Below are just a few examples of his most successful fragrances created for men.

Ultraviolet Man by Paco RabanneUltraviolet Man

Launched by the House of Paco Rabanne in 2001, this alluring masculine fragrance is intense and provocative compared to its female counterpart. It is in a league of its own. Opens with a earthy and peppery notes, then some lemony citrus in the middle notes, but the dry down is absolutely warm and spicy, flavored with soft vanilla skin fermentation feeling. It should also be noted that the bottle of Ultraviolet perfume is one of a kind and a true homage to Rabanne’s clothing designs, made with glass, silicone, and metal.
1 Million by Paco Rabanne1 Million

1 Million by Paco Rabanne pays tribute to Rabanne’s love and fascination of working with metals, it was also the name of a dress designed by Paco in 1967 for performer Francoise Hardy. Rabanne has said, "Whatever the civilizations and religions, gold has never ceased to seduce the man." The perfume itself is focused on seducing the man who wears it, the man who forcefully asserts his masculinity. An excellent scent you can use to get noticed.
Invictus by Paco RabanneInvictus

Launched in July 2013, Invictus is called the fresh and sporty creation in comparison to the other fragrances of the house. The name, which is Latin for "invincible," represents power, dynamism and energy. The fragrance opens with a strong spicy citrus accord, but you will immediately appreciate the cedar and pepper notes, which make the perfume very masculine and elegant at the same time. Called the essence of a champion, with a chill of pure energy and a vibrant freshness like a shot of adrenaline. Sure to drive the point home that this is a sport and fresh fragrance, the bottle itself is artfully designed to resemble a trophy.