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.




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