Paco Rabanne Olympéa  



Ah Paco Rabanne!  That shy retiring wallflower of the fragrant firmament! So meek and subtle…you would barely know it was there…

Anyway, getting back to reality, Paco Rabanne, ( who are still getting dirty looks off me for creating 1Million), has launched another heavy hitter in the form of Olympéa.  I tried it today and I have to say that whilst there is a lot to respect and admire, it’s not my cup of tea or pot of jam.

Opening with a blast of creamy vanilla and white flowers, this is so thick, rich and heavy that I am surprised it is a summer launch.  I thought there was a miniscule droplet of Oud at its heart, but I was mistaken- but that might give you an inkling at how heavy this is.  Two hours later it has bedded down into a woody sweetness, that, were it not for the vanilla, I would possibly have liked more.  It’s faded a lot though in two hours, so I’m not blown away by its longevity- I had to sniff hard to find it. Vanilla isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so I guess I have to suck it up until it passes.

Nevertheless, Olympéa will do well on its own without my perfume dollar.  To me though, it was like extract of crême brulée with extra double cream and vanilla beans on top of that, covered with sugar with a heady bunch of jasmine next to it on the table, interfering with the food.  One bite is all I’d want.


Paco Rabanne Olympea is available from The Perfume Shop, Boots, and Escentual.

9 thoughts on “Paco Rabanne Olympéa  ”

  1. Strangely enough dear Sam, today i decided to try my sample of Olympea. First spray and for at least 20 minutes i felt a bit ill – Very sweet and cloying with a sour hint of something…. Then as i was concentrating on the drive to work i forgot about it and lo and behold about an hour later it had settled down lots – much more wearable whilst being still sweet, with the vanilla and a woody musky flower. 6 and a half hours later and i can still smell it – it has softened on me even more and not so much ‘in your face’! There are lots of nicer fragrances out there, so i too will not be spending my hard earned bucks on Olympea, but there are lots of folk on-line raving about it. Just as well we dont all like the same things! 🙂 x

    1. Hello Patsi- always lovely to hear from you! I’m glad you got more out of it than me. I was not fussed but nor did I hate it. Yes it has lots of online love, but as you say, it would be a dull world if we all liked the same things and my blog wouldn’t be half as much fun to write!

      warmest wishes

  2. Hi Sam,
    I have just discovered your wonderful site, and look forward to sharing perfume discoveries……
    My sample of Olympea arrived via the Discovery Club. I always try to assess new perfumes before finding out too much about them – I try not to read the blurb, so as not to be influenced by what I ‘ought’ to be smelling.
    All I got after spraying a little of this one on my arm was a massive hit of vanilla, underlaid by something nasty and raspy. (After reading the description, I guess this was meant to be the ‘salty’ accord.) I didn’t find any ‘freshness’ in it at all, and the ‘green mandarin’ completely passed me by.
    After two hours it was making me feel a bit sick, so I tried, not entirely successfully, to wash it off.
    It may be that it eventually settles down into something softer, but I don’t think it’s worth enduring the initial unpleasantness to find out! Definitely not one for my collection.

    1. Hello Miranda,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. That’s a brilliant description of Olympea- it wasn’t my cup of tea. I was hoping against hope that the “Let’s try something new with vanilla” zeitgeist had passed us by, but apparently not. What is your favourite? what are you wearing today?

      Warmest wishes

  3. Favourite? That’s an impossible question! There are so many scents I love…but if I had to choose one that I would have to live with forever, I’d probably say something that’s been discontinued, like Calandre, or Guerlain’s Parure. Don’t you always want what you can’t have?
    I should say that eventually, the overbearing vanilla aspect of Olympea did settle down, and I started to get the citrussy green mandarin and it all ended up rather lovely. Very similar to Patsi’s experience. However, I want a perfume that’s lovely right from the start, not have to wait several hours.
    Right now I’m wearing Loewe’s Aura Magnetica (I’ve just subscribed to The Fragrance Shop’s Discovery Box) and think it’s much more my thing. Have you reviewed this one yet? I’ll have a look and see…..

    1. Dear Miranda,

      I think you and I have similar taste in scent, The Fragrance Shop Discovery Box is a great way to try new stuff but I also recommend The Perfume Society Discovery Club boxes. They’re about ten to fifteen quid and they contain all sorts of hard to get samples. I love them!

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