If you were following over on Snapchat whilst I was in Rio, you would have noticed that after my day exploring the city, I experienced quite a whirlwind 24 hours with Paco Rabanne and their Million fragrance line – the reason for my trip to Brazil. Perfume brands, take note, this is how to launch a new fragrance.
Everything about my second day in Brazil was privé. I had a meeting place and time, but other than that, absolutely no idea what to wear and what my day would hold. I do love a good secret…
After belting up in our car on the way to our first destination, it was made clear that in order to discover the new fragrances, we would have to hunt down the stars of the campaign (or the decadent and adventurous one million couple), following a series of clues.
Our first stop was Brazilian jeweller H. Stern, because of course, Lady Million lives for diamonds. We took a tour learning about the precious stones found in Brazil and the rich history of the company, before our first clue was revealed to us. It was cryptic, but upon pulling up at our next stop, it didn’t take us long to realise what where we’d be heading next…
Up & Away
As soon as we stepped foot out of the car, the helicopter blades started spinning louder and faster. We were about to take the million couple’s preferred mode of transport to hunt them down. This was my first time in a helicopter, and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Before we knew it we were up in the sky, circling Christ the Redeemer and getting the best possible view of the marvellous city. It’s not everyday you get to photograph landmarks like this from the sky, and I stuck my lens out of the window to make the most of the opportunity.
We steered away from the city, and the sights below us changed from skyscrapers and favelas to turquoise seas and islands covered in palm trees. I had no idea that Rio had this side – the city had been swapped out for a green and blue paradise. And then our helicopter started to slow – were about to land on our own private island.
After lots of gasping, Snapchatting, and general dumbfoundedness that my wednesday at work was being spent on a private island in Brazil, it was time to learn about the perfume…
Lady Million Privé
It didn’t take long for us to be told that we had just missed the Million Couple, who had rushed off on a boat (I’m such a sucker for theatrics and love to play along!), but instead of speeding off after them, we should spend our time with French perfumer (or nose) Anne Flipo, the creator of the new fragrance, Lady Million Privé.
We learnt about how she came to create the new scent. Her inspirations began with chocolate, a symbol of seduction and something as addictive as Lady Million herself. Working closely with high-end Brazilian chocolatier, Q Chocolate, who pride themselves completely on the purity of their chocolate, Anne took inspiration from the production. From the fruity cacao plants that grow in Brazil, to the pure final product. It’s a smell so rich and recognisable.
To sweeten the fragrance, base notes of honey were added, along with earthy patchouli, brought through from the original Lady Million fragrance. The middle notes are equally as tasty, with vanilla, raspberry and heliotrope – a gourmand delight! On the top you’ll find crisp woody notes alongside orange blossom, adding something oriental to the mix.
At first I thought that the fragrance might be a little too rich for me, as it’s quite intense on first sniff, but after wearing it on the skin for longer, I’ve fallen in love with the scent. It develops into something warm and sensual, making it perfect for an evening, but remaining sweet at the same time – and that’s something I love in a perfume.
When our noses were full of fragrance and our bellies full of Q Chocolate, it was time to make our way to the next stop on the hunt for the million couple. And this time it involved getting on a boat…
1 Million Privé
After a short journey on a boat, we arrived at a bar on a secluded beach. Guess what? We’d missed the couple once again, but it was here we met the nose behind the 1 Million Privé fragrance, Christophe Raynaud.
Of course, whilst I don’t wear men’s fragrance myself, I’m always excited to learn about what goes into creating a final product, so sat back on the beach to listen.
At the heart of the intense fragrance is tobacco, so we spent some time learning about the history of cigar smoking, and discussing what the smell brings to mind. Something deep, leathery and earthy were our conclusions. Christophe explained how he added patchouli, tonka bean, oriental myrrh and blood mandarin, as well as cinnamon, to turn this into a warm, sensual and intense scent. I’m not formally trained in describing perfumes, but I can tell you that Miguel has been wearing it most days since I returned and it gets a big thumbs up from me.
The Copacabana Palace
The sun was setting and it was time for us to head back to to the helicopter (not a phrase I get to use very often) – but first we had one last clue. We were to head to the famous Copacabana Palace Hotel – perhaps here we would find the elusive couple?
After flying over the city at sunset and driving along the calçadão of Copacabana beach, we had reached our final destination. It didn’t take us long to locate the couples room – we opened the door to reveal jewels, leather jumpsuits and other delights that you might expect to find in this decadent couple’s hideout. And then they appeared from the balcony, the million couple, Hana Jirickova and Sean O’Pry, both with champagne in hand.
Whilst I would have loved to have stayed and sipped bubbly with the pair, my adventure on various modes of transport had to continue as I needed to get to the airport to catch my plane home. Wow, what a day.
You’ll find both Lady Million Privé and 1 Million Privé on sale in the UK from August, so keep your eyes peeled!
Thank you once again to the Paco Rabanne team for such a fantastic experience!
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