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PARIS — No matter what their income bracket, young men will have a shot at smelling like a million next fall. That’s thanks to Paco Rabanne Parfums’ latest volley for the 20- to 35-year-old set, called 1 Million.

This story first appeared in the June 27, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Metal has always been the currency of choice for designer Paco Rabanne, who worked hand in hand with Puig Beauty and Fashion Group — owner of the Rabanne label — on the scent project. In the Sixties, for instance, Rabanne conceived a dress for Françoise Hardy made of some 20 pounds of gold and 300 carats of diamonds.

“The 1 Million story is around gold and all that it represents in terms of fantasy,” explained Vincent Thilloy, brand manager for Paco Rabanne Parfums. “For that, we wanted a bottle that is extremely emblematic.”

Designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance was signed on to create the flacon, which resembles a weighty gold ingot. On it, the number 1 Million is engraved in typeface reminiscent of the Wild West.

“It’s very luxurious, masculine and architectural and also very inspired by the plates of metal found in Paco Rabanne’s fashion,” said Thilloy of the bottle.

Model Matt Gordon stars in both the print and film versions of 1 Million’s advertising. Some 80 percent of the 10-, 20- and 30-second spots shot by Nathaniel Goldberg are destined for TV with the remaining 20 percent slated for movie theaters. In them, Gordon dances and snaps his fingers to a Chemical Brothers soundtrack. With each snap, a seemingly magical thing happens. One time, a car appears. In another instance, it’s a bag of money. A third snap causes a woman’s dress to fall to the ground. The ad was filmed by Darius Konji and directed by Paul Gore. A print campaign is to include single and double pages, plus posters.

“There is a very classy side and at the same time the advertisement is very daring,” said Thilloy. “It doesn’t take itself too seriously; it has a lot of humor.”

“1 Million has the largest advertising budget for a men’s fragrance launch at Puig,” continued Jose Manuel Albesa, chief brand officer for Puig Beauty and Fashion Group, without divulging the sum. Part of the campaign will be online, including a teaser that goes live a month before the scent is introduced in each country. One out of two points of sale will have in-store displays looking like safes.

The new scent will be launched in France in mid-August followed by the rest of the world in September. The introduction follows that of the brand’s other men’s scents, including Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Ultraviolet, XS and Black XS. Although Puig executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate 1 Million will generate $110 million at retail in its first year worldwide.

Givaudan perfumers Christophe Raynaud, Olivier Pescheux and Michel Girard created 1 Million’s fresh, spicy leathery juice. It has top notes of grapefruit, mint and blood mandarin; middle notes of rose absolute and cinnamon, and base notes of leather, white wood, amber and Indonesian patchouli essences.

The product lineup includes a 100-ml. eau de toilette spray for 61 euros, or $95.90 at current exchange; a 50-ml. edt spray for 46 euros, or $72.30; a 100-ml. aftershave lotion for 42 euros, or $66; a 75-ml. aftershave balm for 29 euros, or $45.60; a 150-ml. spray deodorant for 21 euros, or $33.00; a 75-ml. stick deodorant for 18 euros, or $28.30, and a 150-ml. shower gel for 21 euros, or $33. Prices are for France.

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