CARNIVAL OF HORRORS ~ 1 Million by Paco Rabanne


Low late autumn clouds pushed the neon glow back down toward the earth. From across the lake the carnival lights danced on the water under the glow of those clouds and it all looked so beautiful. Not even when he reached the entrance, the earth beneath his feet strewn with straw and candy wrappers did the beauty of the traveling show diminish. To Theo’s immature brain this was supper exciting and super duper cool.


    The carnies that could haunt the nightmares of most had their good faces pasted on to greet Theo and the others who followed him into the sweetly honeyed money trap. Theo stopped at the ring toss booth. There he dropped his pretty pennies which he had started saving months ago when he first heard the carnival was coming to Los Perros. He was never good at games like that, not like the other boys so the chance of winning a gold fish in a bowl that would die in a week went down the drain with his copper Lincoln coins.


A not very young lady with over-painted Cleopatra eyes sold him a huge cloud of cotton candy that was just a little pinker than her bee hived hair. He washed that down with a sixteen ounce Royal Crown Cola. He rode the Ferris wheel. As his swinging seat went over the top he tried to spit on the two snotty girls from his sixth grade class in the bucket seat below. He missed.

Theo looked at the octopus ride and decided it was not a good idea since the last time he rode it when he was six he nearly pooped his pants on the scary drop. He opted instead for the Zippy Mouse Roller Coaster. No big drops that made his tummy squeamish, just high and fast with lots of fun jerky turns. He laughed as he got off when he heard some old man say to the pretty lady he was with as he patted her bottom. “Never again, that thing nearly broke my back.”   She took his hand and said “That’s okay Daddy lets go to the fun house. It’s really dark and scary in there.”  Why did she call him “Daddy”? Grown-up were just plain weird.


He stopped by Cleopatra’s cotton candy concession to buy his third sugar poof on a stick and noticed for the first time that it was right next to the port-a-potties.  “Eww!” Theo whispered to himself as he gave ten cents to the lady.

“Carful kid” Cleo said popping her bubble gum as she handed him the saccharine delight. “Too many of these and you might get sick.”

“That’s okay lady I have an iron stomach.”


  With a mouthful of melting sweet delight he turned around and saw it. The din of the carnival faded and the calliope coming from the marry go round sounded like music from heaven. There seemed to be a magical spotlight on the thing. Theo dropped his cotton candy in the mud and floated toward it. The Galaxy Tilt-A-Whirl! It was red and blue with shooting stars on the shell shaped back of each of the cars. Cars that road a hilly track and spun around a central axis faster than an astronaut centrifuge at Cape Canaveral. He gave the operator the ten cents admission and found a car with no one in it. Perfect!


As the ride started and the car crested the first rise he threw himself against the right side of the car. The machine took off faster than a speeding bullet and he was blasting off in giddy spin into space in his very own Apollo rocket. He could hear the others on the ride scream and laugh in delight. All he could do was smile. When it was over too soon he threw back the flimsy safety bar and ran down to the entrance to give the operator a dime. When he got back in the car he checked his change. He had exactly one dollar left.

“If I only had one million dollars I could ride this ride forever!” He thought.

For the next half hour Theo was in heaven. Only when his money ran out and he couldn’t get back on The Galaxy Tilt-A-Whirl did he notice that he was dizzy and that he couldn’t walk straight. He stumbled toward the exit bouncing off the hips and thighs of strangers.

“Careful Kid…too many of these and you might …..”  Cotton Candy Cleo’s voice echoed in his tilt-a-whirling brain.

Just beyond the gate to the carnival behind the port-a-potties Theo got very very sick.



 Auric Goldfinger

1 Million by Paco Rabanne is an adolescent’s dream of what it is to be rich and cool and very sexy. Starting with the bottle you know you are in for a cheap thrill ride. Designed to look like gold bullion from Fort Knox that only Auric Goldfinger would find appealing as a perfume bottle you are hit in the face with pure commercial genius. The designers know just who they are aiming at with this design, boys who aspire to be cool. I say boys because it has a toy quality to the bottle design. To be honest it is kind of tacky fun. I can just hear Dr. Evil with his pinky to the corner of his pursed lips. “One Million Dollars in gold!”

That is the glitz, the shill to get you into the carnival of horrors that is 1 Million. It opens like a forth of July cherry bomb going off in a cardboard box with grapefruit, mint and blood mandarin. Well at least that is supposed to be there but what I get right off the bat is pure cotton candy and bubble gum. POP! It chews frantically at that bubble gum as the cotton candy machine works overtime pumping out an over sugared cinnamon, meshed in with rose and spices. In these mid notes you are somewhere between a migraine and food poisoning. But hold on, this ride is not over, not by a long shot even though you may be screaming way before the dry down “Stop Stop I want to get off!”  The greasy carnie running this ride is swathed in way too much cheap leather and patchouli.  He thinks he is so cool that the girls will be dropping their panties at the mere sight of him in his dry down get up. He is not paying any attention to you as he ramps up the machine with more cinnamon with a barf inducing amber undertone.

The sillage is killer huge which the fan boys of 1 Million love. Let’s put it this way, if you are in Mid-Town Manhattan and someone wearing 1 Million just crossed the George  Washington Bridge from New Jersey, you would certainly know he was in town. As for longevity it is the Rip Van Winkle of fragrances, I really think it would stay on the skin for twenty years. You could put it on and traces of it will linger on well into the next day.


In the end it smells like a teenager stepped in some bubble gum at a carnival and tripped while hopping around on one foot trying to get if off and fell head first into a cotton candy machine. The bottle screams “Hey look at me I have a gold bullion! Ain’t I cool?” It is the height of bad taste by the way of the lowest denominator in teenage appeal. But if you like 1 Million, then you just go to town with your bad self.






  1. This sounds like something that should be endorsed by all those K-pop boy bands …

    • You got that absolutely right! A real boy band fragrance if ever there was one.

  2. Ah! Memories of my misspent youth, carnivals and Royal Crown Cola! Great post/article as usual mate! 😀

    • Good old Royal Crown does put a time period to the story. I used to drink it all summer long. Cheers Mike I am glad I could open a door to the past for you.

      • You did as well! I was immediately taken back to hot summers and bottle of RC cola in buckets of ice. Meanwhile I sit here in cold, damp, England… Oh well, such is life! 😀

  3. Wow, I didn’t get the bubble gum sweet in this. On me it was more like a sweet cinnamon tobacco with incense and woods and patchouli. It does pack a punch though.

    • Gee that sounds really nice! Too bad it didn’t turn out that way for me!

    “In these mid notes you are somewhere between a migraine and food poisoning. But hold on, this ride is not over, not by a long shot…” haha!

    “The Rip Van Winkle of fragrances…” Lanier, you killed me with this.

    • Better to be killed by my prose than a whiff of 1 Million. I am so glad you got a kick out of it. Over at Fragrantica the fan boys are foaming at the mouth. Isn’t that exciting? LOL

  5. Tee Hee! Love the story and review. Clearly sir, this is not meant for a gentleman like yourself. Egad that bottle is horrendous!

    • Oh but I know a few gentlemen who love the stuff! So there you go. But that bottle! Yes it is hiddious.

  6. Great review! Hahaha. You creative beast you!
    Interesting how you get straight up bubblegum, I have sprayed this on my skin once and hated it but didn’t get bubblegum (although I do get sweet) – however, I needn’t try it again as no joke, I smell this allllll the time. Customers at work (I always say “One million….” and they’re like “OMGODZZZ YEH! <3"), and so many people on nights out, it literally reeks in the air and I can spot it a mile off without having ever sniffed it properly. I find it really really gross 😦 I don't quite see the appeal. But there we go.
    Kudos to you for taking the time to write about it.

    • It had to be done Freddy, it just had to be done. A person has to stand up and be counted when it comes to the mega frags like 1 Million and Aqua di Gio. I am glad you enjoyed the carnival of horrors.

  7. I love it when you deliver the red hot SCATHING review — oh Mr. I am still laughing…!!!

  8. What a ride the first half is, I think everybody was Theo once in our lives and … and … well, I am a little not too fond of sweet a*Man sort of scent myself, and One Million … Sorry, I am speechless. In Brazil it is one of the dearest fragrances .. money can buy … together with the infamous Acqua de Gio.

    • Jose I can understand that both 1Million and Acqua de Gio are huge in Brazil. They are huge EVERYWHERE! For me sugar should be in my desert, not on my skin. There are some sweet scents I like but it has to be handled carefully and with a masters touch.

  9. Bravo Mr L
    You have taken us to the gates of carnival hell and delivered us into the hands of pure perfume evil in this tour de force!
    All the fake fun of the not so fair fragrance that is the truly execerable 1Million is here.
    This is a ghost train of a scent, tedious, tacky, ghoulish, cheap and tawdry… and yet it has them queuing around the block to sample its unsavoury delights.
    One can only imagine it is for the self same than the tunnel of love is so popular an attraction… the hope hope of a senseless fumble in a dark and semi public place!
    Now that you have done your duty with this, please, please treat yourself to something damn fine on your next fragrant outing.
    Thank you for creating Theo and introducing him to us all!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I am still reeling from the fumes of the masses. You have met Theo before…at “The Glamour Bowl”. I think he has a lot of stories in him.

  10. I DESPISE this scent, so am delighted to find this!

  11. I’m never averse to either tobacco nor cinnamon, but cotton candy anything…blergh! This perfume (and that tacky, tasteless bottle) is a horror that should have been exposed at birth. Which is never something I can ever say about your spectacular reviews!

    • Thank you my dear, you just maid My day!

      • Anytime at all, and the pleasure is always mutual! 🙂

  12. this review was beyond hilarious! I very much enjoyed reading it as I was one of those kids who would get quite ill from those tilt-a-whirl rides at the carnival! “this ride is not over by a long shot” fantastic! Too bad some of my beloved fragrances wouldn’t last that long on my perfume eating dry skin!

    • I know Brie! Why do the ones we detest last forever and most of the ones we love fade away like a dashing Fusilier’s promise of a twirl around the floor to an old maid at a country dance? Lovely to see you here as always.

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