BEHOLD: The world's sexiest fragrance that's literally made from hot sex.


Fact: there’s a 94.76 per cent chance you’ve either bought, gifted or been given a bottle of the Paco Rabanne 1 Million fragrance.

That stat is entirely made up, but stay with us.

Widely known as the ‘sexiest scent on earth’, Paco Rabanne 1 Million and its recognisable sleek gold bar bottle sits pride of place in bathroom cabinets and on department store shelves around the world.

The traditionally male cologne is a classic noughties scent – masculine, flamboyant, heady and a little bit much.

Side note – here’s how to make your fragrance last on your skin all day, so easy! Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

If you’ve ever wondered how fragrances become signature scents, allow us to take you behind-the-scenes of how Paco Rabanne 1 Million (100ml for $135) came to be.

You see, the world’s sexiest fragrance is made from… sex smells. Really.

We know what you’re thinking. As if someone would want to make a perfume out of my post-coital sweat… right?

When we asked the creator of 1 Million by Paco Rabanne how she went about designing sex in a bottle, turns out that’s really not that far from how it, erm, went down.


Johanna Monange, Founder and CEO of Parisian perfumery house Maison 21G, worked as a ‘nose’ (a professional perfumer) designing cult fragrances for some of the world’s top luxury brands for more than 20 years. She started work on creating Paco Rabanne 1 Million in 2006.

The brief? “Make the sexiest scent you can.”


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how many loves do you have? « just 1 Million » _ ⁠#1millionpacorabanne #pacorabanneparfums

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“The scent of Paco Rabanne is super masculine and sexy. It is really powerful, and the more often you wear it the more you like it. This is what we call an addiction. But the process of making 1 Million took two years,” Monange told Mamamia.

“There were countless versions of the fragrance, I would say over 2000. When we were testing it, I would always hear, ‘Johanna it needs to be more powerful, I’m not getting enough compliments!'”

And so, it was Monange’s job to decide what sexy actually smells like. That’s when she came up with the idea to basically bottle up the scent of a man’s skin after he’d had sex. Rather than take a cotton swab or have a good whiff of the sheets, Monange used a technology known in the fragrance world as a headspace.

“Headspace technology shines a light on odour compounds present in the air, and can be used to analyse scents,” she explained.

In other words, Monange created a scent profile made from the fragrance in the air of a room in which sexual activities had just occurred. Yep.

You can learn more about different fragrances and how to pick one that suits you in this episode of You Beauty below. Post continues after audio.

The next step was to mix this sexy molecule with other scents to create the 1 Million fragrance you can pick up off the shelf today. Monange chose amber, a powerful, woody, masculine and sexy molecule (proper name, Amber Xtrem).

Monange added, “The combination of Amber Xtrem and my headspace of a man’s skin after making love was overpowering. 50 per cent of people actually rejected it. To fix this, I added orange blossom notes, which smell clean, very pure and virginal. The contrast worked perfectly.”


And thus, Paco Rabanne 1 Million became the signature scent of single men (and some women) around the world.

As for why Monange believes the fragrance is as popular now as it was when it first hit the market over a decade ago, she thinks it comes down to the common desire almost all humans share: the desire to be thought of as sexy.

“Everyone wants to be sexy. When you smell someone wearing 1 Million, you can follow the person. But also, like many trends, the fragrance first became popular through young people wearing it, which in turn meant their partners liked it, and before we knew it, everyone was wearing 1 Million.”

So the next time you walk past someone and catch feelings, know they’re definitely, probably, might be wearing Paco Rabanne 1 Million.

Now, it all makes perfect scents.

To learn more about Johanna Monange and how you can create your own bespoke fragrance, visit the Maison 21G website. If you’re based in Sydney, you can also create your own Maison 21G fragrance in-store at the brand’s boutique  at the Hyatt Regency Sydney.

Feature image: Instagram/Paco Rabanne Fragrances.

Do you have a favourite signature scent? Tell us yours in the comments below!