Paco Rabanne Pure XS is kind of a flanker in the XS line of fragrances. But also a kind of stand-alone fragrance because it doesn’t have a lot in common with other fragrances in this line. Also, it has spawned its own flanker in Pure XS Night. Actually, Paco Rabanne has two fragrances named XS. The first one was released in 1994 and the second one in 2018. Pure XS itself was released in 2017. There’s also the Black XS line, so it all gets a little confusing.

I’m just gonna put it out there, I think Paco Rabanne is underrated as a fragrance house. Yes, they are very popular and they sell a lot of bottles. But they regularly come out with interesting and often trend-setting stuff. Which other house doesn’t have a fragrance inspired by Invictus for example? Whatever you think of that original scent. Also they tend to last a long time. To me you shouldn’t dismiss Paco Rabanne because of their popularity, just go out there and smell the stuff!

Pure XS contains notes of bergamot, ginger, vanilla, myrrh and woods. Anne Flipo, Caroline Dumur and Bruno Jovanovic are the perfumers behind this fragrance. It comes in a dark blue bottle that is shaped like a lighter. Actually on my bottle the lid is attached to the bottle with a hinge on one side and opens like a lighter. The lid is rather irritating because of this, it seems quite fragile. I think newer bottles have done away with this and now have a regular lid.

What Paco Rabanne Pure XS reminds me of

This fragrance reminds me of vanilla coke, or more accurately of a Bacardi and vanilla coke. It’s very sweet and has a syrupy quality with a bit of booze in the base. Luckily this scent lasts a lot longer than a Bacardi and coke, at least when I’m drinking one. The performance is quite good. What’s weird though is that the further in the dry down you are the better the performance gets. On my skin Pure XS is at its strongest about five or six hours after application.

Another scent that Paco Rabanne Pure XS reminds me of is Enigma by Roja Dove. That scent also contains notes of bergamot, ginger and vanilla, and adds notes of cognac and cardamom. Obviously the Roja Dove is much more expensive, I don’t own it and I don’t know it well enough to say anything about its performance. But they have the same overall vibe.

Final thoughts on Paco Rabanne Pure XS

I like Paco Rabanne Pure XS, honestly I like it a lot! Although I don’t really wear it that often. I think every fragrance wardrobe should have a place for a sweet and boozy scent. The thing is, and that says more about my lifestyle, is that I don’t often have an occasion to wear this fragrance. But if you have, go for it! It’s certainly cheaper than the similar Roja Dove Enigma.

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