Paco Rabanne Black XS has been around for eleven years. In perfume years, that gives it almost legendary status. When you think of how many perfumes have come and gone since 2005, it takes something special to still be around, and still be selling well.
The face of this fragrance is Sky Ferreira. Coming from Venice beach, she is achingly current right now. I expected a fragrance that would be too cool and modern for me to wear (and I’ll try anything, me). Blow me down if I didn’t fall for this beautiful, feminine scent straight away. Opening with sweet oranges, kept tart with cranberries, this citrussy opening soon surrenders to roses and orchids. The roses are especially noticeable, and have an air of dusk. Not too sweet, and with a hint of the night- the orchids give them a rich, dark twist- like adding sequins to a daytime dress. The basenotes contain woods, amber and a hint of vanilla. Thankfully the vanilla doesn’t go down the cupcake route, but retains a hint of “cosy” that complements the amber.
What I have left on my arm after a good few hours (and longevity is excellent) is a woody amber fragrance with touches of roses and a background of citrus like a good summer cologne. Surprisingly timeless for a scent so modern. I’ve been wearing it non stop.
With a Zippo like flip top lid, Paco Rabanne Black XS LA For Him opens with an aquatic burst of ocean, and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. What could be more Californian? Well, there is one scent that I always associate with my past visits to California and that’s cinnamon. It’s in the air of every cafe you pass: especially if they’re serving the ubiquitous and majestic Cinnabun. Who can resist them? Not me. But I digress. It seems entirely appropriate that cinnamon is the next note that appears in Black XS LA. Whilst it opens clear and clean like crystal droplets from a wave, it warms up almost immediately on drying. The Clary Sage emerges somewhere in the middle. This adds a touch of leathery/herbal gentleman’s cologne. That dot of cinnamon blends in nicely; not enough to overpower, but certainly enough to add a touch of warmth.
To my nose, Black XS LA has a hint of clean cotton in amongst the base notes. It’s almost like sun bleached, laundered denim. There is a blue tone to this scent, as well as to the juice itself. The face of the scent is Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis. So handsome he has four names. So cool he is just right for this campaign. But don’t let this youth put you off- this smells great on my husband and he won’t mind me telling you that he is fifty ( but doesn’t look it). He is cool too.
You can buy Paco Rabanne Black XS LA For Him and For Her from the Fragrance Shop online and in store. My bottles were kindly provided by the Fragrance Shop, for which, I am very grateful. Opinions are my own.