Reviews of Paloma Picasso / Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso

I have no idea what the current version of this perfume smells like but I have a vintage bottle and the scent that issues from it is of a 1980s heavy-hitter looking nostalgically towards releases far older than that decade. Paloma Picasso combines heady florals – hyacinth (almost Chamade-like), ylang, jasmine – with the softer, civilizing influence of roses, rising from the wearer’s skin first as a kind of exotic floral liqueur (there is a slight boozy-woozy aspect to the opening) before the maturity of the base (mossy and woody) shows through to really make those flowers bloom. It is rich, ‘perfumy’ and indulgent, a bit of a throwback in terms of style, but brimming with confidence and, more importantly, pleasure.
11th June 2023
Okay, I officially feel like I was born in the wrong decade. Sure, I like and enjoy… even love some modern fragrances. But when something from the past resonates with me, it just hits different, and strikes up a feeling that is so strong within me that I cannot even believe something this amazing… this beautiful… exists. I mean that’s somewhat hyperbole, but this is absolutely remarkable. And sexy! It’s weird for me to describe a fragrance as sexy, but that’s truly what comes to mind. It feels feminine, and raw, and a little bit raunchy in a very good way. This is not prim and proper, or demure. It’s dripping and oozing sensuality and seduction.

As far as the notes go, I definitely smell hyacinth and rose, along with civet, a touch of green galbanum, and honey. Everything else is present but not as forward. And I can’t pick them out without seeing the notes. The longevity is amazing, and the sillage is a touch softer than the smelling directly on the skin, which has a tiny bit of a sharp quality, but not on a negative way.

I don’t normally like civet. And hyacinth, though I do like it, is usually presented in a very prom and proper and sort of uptight way. This is not uptight.
24th January 2023

I am not one to be so low-brow as to label as "beast mode", but holy Mary, mother of God, Paloma Picasso EDP (vintage at least) is one that really socks you with the soap bubbles up your nose aldehydes, a bellicose coriander that uses you to mop up a floor bursting out with larger-than-life carnations, roses, and hyacinths that tease you about your fallen pedals like those acerbic blooms in Alice in Wonderland.

It's not only pedals that are dropping, though. Drawers and knickers are dropping down after this bombast, as the heart exposes more than just ripe florals, someone or something's hind quarters have sat in the flower patch. I almost hear "ANIMAL! ANIMAL! ANIMAL!" from the eponymously named Muppet as he flails his bandy arms and bangs on the drums. The notoriety of Paloma Picasso EDP has come into full view, and it's enough to make one blush.

Yes, the note breakdown shows a cute little civet and an industrious, fussy little beaver, but there seems like there are other little whiffy, furry creatures here getting their oozing bums into a mess of trouble, barely kept in check by the woody, mossy guardians of the forest. So all of you who feel safest with vanilla, praline, caramel, chocolate, raspberry, strawberry with sprinkles and sugar cubes and ambroxan ennui must steer clear of this. You could not handle this. It's just too sexy. Too damn sexy.

Nobody will accuse the wearer of being donned with a niminy-piminy, delicate scent of pink feminine sensibility. A woman who would wear this would be my kind of woman. A man who would wear this would be my kind of man. Did I just come out as bisexual? Yep. Now you know...
9th March 2022
Ahead of its time without a doubt. A wonderful floral chypre, is like being surrounded by a field of fragranced hyacinths. Paloma Picasso blends over the florals with woody notes; is warm, welcoming, resinous, creamy and with moderated almost unnoticeable aldehydes; earthy patchouli, and vanilla for sweetness. The freshness of the top notes vanishes gradually without rushing, and at the end, the scent ends in an explosion of fineness, elegance, and luxurious notes. I simply, absolutely adore it! what a masterfully blended fragrance! and the body cream...oh Lord! it leaves your skin wonderfully scented and velvety . Believe it or not, Parfums de Marly Lippizan is very close to it. Feminine but unisex for daring men searching for extraterrestrial experiences.
9th November 2021
I currently own the EDT in the gold bottle. My roommate in college wore the EDP version in the late 90s. I remember it as being a warm intoxicating scent but not something I wanted to wear. (even though I'm a fan of Chypre scents) I decided to pick up the EDT which I assumed was a lighter version of the EDP. The EDT brings back no scent memories so I'm thinking it smells different than the EDP. At first spray I instantly thought this could be my signature scent. It packs a punch right out of the bottle. I agree with other reviewers that this is a dynasty, shoulder pads, boss lady scent. However, it dries down to become more of a skinscent. While I can still smell it throughout the day if I actually raise my arm to my nose, it is not the powerhouse I thought it would be at first spray. And I'm not complaining about that. I'm tempted to pick up the EDP for comparison. I think this scent is a year round scent for me. I'm wearing it in the heat and it's not overpowering b/c it sits so close to the skin. For sure would be a great scent in the winter when wrapped up in a coat.
22nd July 2020
My little mini of PALOMA PICASSO in the vintage EDP came in today. I've been wanting for aeons to try it, as it had passed me by in the 80's, when it came out. And yes, it's amazing. Call it a dark Aromatic/Floral/Chypre with a generous animalic base. It's definitely herbal/aromatic, not a Green.

I can't get over how many of the notes within it are obviously natural essential oils... jasmine, ambrette seed, oakmoss, bergamot, ylang, patchouly, angelica, coriander, all exquisitely natural. The castoreum and civet might even be the real-deal, too. Now this is the sort of thing they still did back in the 1970's and 1980's: $40 would buy you an EDP just brimming with authentic natural oils. Today, you won't find a complex EDP with loads of naturals for under $200. Anything below that is likely to be all-synthetic, or have a great preponderance of synthetic components.

This scent reminds me, in its curious medicinal herbality, with things like Balmain IVOIRE or Marilyn Miglin PHER'OMONE. Some have called it "the feminine YSL KOUROS" (though, for me, Schiaparelli SHOCKING holds that particular honor). It could be the heavyweight cousin of Clinique AROMATICS ELIXIR, or like a concentrated extrait version of Myrurgia MAJA. I had expected PP to be austere, sharp and cruelly chic like Piguet BANDIT, but no, the floralcy, buried as it is in herbs and animalics, is still quite "pretty", and a certain tart/citrus fruitiness never lets the scent become too imperiously austere.

For being a "1980's Dynasty shoulderpad" "power" scent, it does not have a wild and invasive sillage, but sits rather concentratedly on the skin.

I agree with others-- this scent is a modern masterpiece of its type. This is oldschool French perfumery "comme il faut", the way "they don't do it anymore". I don't think a woman today under 40 would, in her wildest dreams, wear a scent like this. Which is a shame, maybe.

Definitely ultra-glam stuff... opera, classy soiree, pearls, expensive shmattas, your good shoes. Not a PTA, church, office or grocery store fragrance at all.
23rd June 2020
My two penn'orth on this one is that I find it a smoother and more accessible musky oakmoss scent. It's not as overpowering as Tabu or Aramis 900 for example. I like that the fairly astringent opening dies down to a nice warm and creamy but nonetheless musk-laden perfume for the remainder of it's life-span on my skin. The sprayer on my bottle fires it out like a gun, and this is no meek juice so I have to be careful. The patch here is not too strong but rather gives a subtle backdrop to the main players' animalic antics. To me the various floral and citrus notes, along with the Civet and Castoreum, give a classic but relatively restrained overall scent. But it has great performance and that floral musk keeps going until a mossy, grassy, woody-amber base gradually creeps in. Civet is king here though and remains at the top throughout on me.
19th February 2019
This feels VERY vintage. Smell this if you want to know what “dirty” civet smells like. It's all over the fragrance, from the opening to the late (oh so late) dry down. Flowers and savory spices are well present as well. Beautiful and original, but I can't go past the dirtiness. Sample first. It might not be for you. It isn't for me. Sillage is awesome.
13th November 2018
Epitome of the 1980's. Deep, dark, mysterious and sensual. A resinous liquid of euphoric delight. Deep rose offset with wooded smoky nuances and a candied honey. Oakmoss and patchouli add depth and sensuality while citrus and coriander add sparkling elements throughout this ethereal creation. Perfectly suitable for a man or a women, and it draws compliments from many. This ranks up in my top ten of all time scents, and the newest version is as faithful as it was when launched. *Also a real bargain on the wallet in this world of overpriced same-same fleeting scents.....
21st May 2017
Met my wife, she was wearing Chanel 5. Platinum Blonde in Black, Ivory and Gold. Chanel Flats.
Her next for daily wear was Paloma Picasso perfume. It seems to me that it was more Civet driven in the Late 80's early 90's. It had an over the top Honeyed Piss note like Ho Hang Club. Loved it on her.
Seems that it is still a bit skanky and has lost the bloom. Still available and discounted often.
19th February 2016
TJMaxx had the EDP on sale today, and I'd been curious about it because I love the big, opulent fragrances of the 80s - what a great purchase! It's a marvelous blend of florals, with the dark heart of a chypre; indeed, it's reminiscent of Magie Noire (as others have said), but more of the floral notes are apparent to my nose in PP than MN. It begins with a big citrus blast, then a bitter bloom appears in the midst of a bed of patchouli, and finally dries down to a powdery but exotic floral. If you like Magie Noire, Youth Dew, Obsession, Poison and their ilk, chances are you'll appreciate this one - not that any of them smell alike, but they're part of a grand tradition that continues to resonate.
22nd November 2015
From the heart of dark florals comes a blast of rose liqueur and a plasticky jasmin that create a weird dissonant harmony. Surrounding this odd ball delight are cocktail bitters, plastic wood veneer and a sweet dry dust that go head to head for the soul of this dark gem.

With a foundation of patchouli, vetiver, a slightly caramellic amber and moss, it builds into one assertive eau de parfum. It's forceful, with impressive staying power. There's not a weak bone in its body.

It adds up to an unsweet, slightly oily, deep ruby floral than makes a good edgy masculine.

This creation (by the otherwise unknown Francis Bocris) echoes the severity of the rose-oud, but in place of Noble Rot it pairs the sheen of rose with a textured chypre base. It doesn't appear in long white robes - but the austere elegance of black lace; austere - but never cold - Mine is a proud and passionate perfume.

Some 40 years old, and rather overlooked, Mon Parfum deserves to be better known - like The Great Gate of Kiev by Mussorgsky.
23rd October 2015
Current formulation is fantastic and you basically can't get anything else like this, of this quality, for so little money. Don't bother hunting after the old stuff unless you just happen upon it, it's not necessary. As with the current Magie Noire, if this were packaged with a Serge Lutens label it would be acclaimed as a stunning animalic throwback. Paloma smells very much like itself and nothing else--sour soapy floral chypre over woody honeyed animalic base. Great on a guy, great sillage, great longevity. Go to TJ Maxx and get it.
2nd October 2015
OMG, this has GOT to be in my Top 10 of all women's fragrances! I wear it mostly in the colder winter months when it can really radiate with your body heat. This bottle sits alongside YSATIS by Yves Saint Laurent, another fragrance I reserve for winter because of its warm ambery tone. It used to sit alongside my Fendi EDP, until I used that up and Fendi decided to make the STUPID move of discontinuing their classic namesake fragrance. Balenciaga also did that with their namesake men's EDT (Balenciaga), which was a classic in my opinion. I just don't understand how companies can discontinue their namesake original fragrances. I was disappointed when Gucci discontinued Gucci Pour Homme (with the Italian ribbon design). NONE of their subsequent fragrances even came close to their namesake fragrances. When will the madness end? Leave well enough alone. Nonetheless, I hope Paloma Picasso is never discontinued because it is one of the last of the "classic" fragrances still available. A+!!!
1st September 2015
A sensual,almost dangerous fragrance where the dark hue of a forest at dusk is paired with aloof and proud florals. PALOMA PICASSO is a feminine,sexy and confident you either love it or hate it. whether you are in jeans or a gown,this draws forth your feminine sensuality as nothing else drives the men crazy with its seductive scent.gorgeous,dark, sensual,rich,classic,mystreious,strong and provocative.

A strong blend of bergamot,corinder and carantion meld over a rich heart of patchouli,ylang ylang,mimose and jasmine while a deeply sensual and animalic marrige of civet,oak moss, amber,sandalwood and musk provide depth nd a elemnt of mystery in the dry down as makes an elixir of pure womanly seduction.this is very enticing for evening wear.perfect for autumn and one word timeless.
15th May 2015
Paloma Picasso is a quite respectable modern chypre, perhaps a tad tacky at the opening, but good and compelling enough. It shows a soft and mellow feel of sweetness which makes it somehow more lively, cozy, relaxed and juvenile than other dirtier, more austere or more "adult" chypres, together with an overall green-floral breeze (heliotrope too?) which cleverly contrast the classic chypre notes - "heavy" flowers, vetiver, oak moss, tamed-down castoreum (I don't get much civet). These are basically the strengths of this scent – the balsamic-fresh and slightly minty breeze, and a silky-sweet feel halfway floral and resinous, really pleasant and warm. Both features manage to blend with the classic chypre structure, at the same time contrasting it, and that is what makes Paloma Picasso appealing and "safe" for any fan of chypres, yet quite unique, and as I said, overall brighter and more playful. Somehow, it smells like a "watercolour chypre", if you want, yet vibrant and sharp. Not a masterpiece and not even a "must" in my opinion, but a nice and well-executed fun variation on a classic theme.

4th November 2014
A pleasant, but unremarkable floral chypre that opens big (with a blast of menthol), then quiets down to a coriander/rose projection, dry yet fragrant.

I just don't get all the hype about this scent - my sample is an edp.

Barbara Herman was impressed - "green, floral, woody, spicy, mossy, animalic" and dubbed it a 1940s type chypre with an overdose of castoreum. Turin gave it four stars and dubbed it simply, a "floral chypre," noting it reminded him of Cabochard and Givenchy III. [I do not find that similarity.]

Top notes: Coriander, Rosewood, Bergamot
Heart notes: Rose, Geranium, Tuberose, Jasmine, Muguet, Ylang
Base notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Amber, Musk, Civet, Castoreum, Benzoin, Oakmoss

Impressive on first meeting as a celebrity scent, but unable to keep up its interest over time.
29th July 2014
Genre: Chypre

Paloma Picasso opens on a big, brash accord of green jasmine, patchouli, peaches, and bergamot. The scale is huge and the intent is clearly to impress, then dominate. A rich rose note soon arrives to underscore the jasmine, while moss and labdanum base notes tie the bergamot into a recognizable chypre accord. In both its sheer mass and its basic structure, Paloma Picasso smells like a jasmine-based variant on the rose chypre style of its mid-1980s contemporaries Paris, Beautiful, and Knowing. Which is to say that it's completely at odds with the current trend of minimalist chic.

While no fan of olfactory minimalism myself, Paloma Picasso's flamboyance probes the boundaries of good taste. It aims at glamour but winds up smelling garish, and I can't help feeling self conscious when I'm wearing it. A few hours with Paloma Picasso leave me craving a nice, brisk eau de Cologne. Or a shower. Paloma Picasso doesn't smell especially bad - it's just that unlike Beautiful, Paris, or Knowing among the rose chypres, Opium among the monumental orientals, or Boucheron among grand scale florals, Paloma Picasso doesn't quite have the elegance or grace to offset its heft.

As you may deduce from my comments so far, sillage, projection, and endurance on the skin are all enormous, so Paloma Picasso's in no danger of going unnoticed. The big, bold floral chypre doesn't develop so much as (very slowly) fade away into a soapy rose, moss, and amber drydown that clings to the skin well past Paloma Picasso's already lengthy active lifespan. I can understand the affection this scent garners, but I don't enjoy it much myself.
23rd June 2014
A great opening of lemon mixed with a delightful hyacinth, quite unique. A floral drydown with a rose and coriander that is nice, but the base in truly simple but good - honey sweetness mixes with an edgier patchouli spiciness. Remembering the original, my latest sample is flatter and less deep and less rich - the newer version gets the neutral score. Good silage and projection with five hours of longevity. For elegant evenings.
20th March 2014
Paloma Mon Parfum was my signature scent from 1984, until a few years ago, when it was reformulated. It has lost its' soul and I feel like I lost a good friend. Wish I could have a bottle of the original formula - what a dream that was.
22nd October 2012
I think it may have been the bottle design that had me running in the opposite direction for many years due to its very 80's style. Now that I'm older I've found some great respect for those classic 80's fragrances, so as would be expected, Paloma Picasso was on my list of scents to try.

If you like heavy fragrances like Dior's Poison, CK's Obsession or Jean Patou's Joy, this could quite possibly be in your collection already.

Paloma Picasso is one of those rich, heady, potent florals. Although dated, this fragrance has sex appeal. In a way it's a power scent, something that one can spritz on and instantly feel in control and defined.

I'll agree that this is not a fragrance for young girls or the light of heart, Paloma Picasso suits a woman with guts. The dryness, an element from its chypre quality, makes this fragrance all the more likable and all the more mature.

This fragrance is a sillage monster, there is no doubt about it. It screams, "I'm here, I'm proud, I'm wild and I'm a real woman."

Paloma Picasso is a scent that piques your curiousity. I am still discovering this fragrance with its many layers and complexities. If this re-formulated version is supposed to be less complex than the original, I can only dream of how wonderful the pre-formulated Paloma Picasso must have been.

24th September 2011
I am very, very new to this; I don't know many frags yet and don't have a good basis for comparison. But I got a mini of this after hearing about it in several threads about green chypres. My current favorite is Niki de Saint Phalle, which is variously described as a green chypre oriental leather, has made me want to try other things with those descriptors to figure out how all those scent ideas work.

So far, of the 40 scents I've seriously tried, Paloma and Ivoire de Balmain are indeed very closely related to NdSP. All go through similar stages on my skin: green opening with various strong players popping up and stepping back, not all of which I recognize, but all of which are interesting to me; early drydown (after 15-30-45 minutes) I start smelling the "oriental" wave, which I gather are the spices and perhaps the beginnings of the woods; then the long-term drydown -- after an hour and as long as it goes, which varies -- the part I love most. Wisps of the opening greens, smoke-rings of the decadent spices, and the base. Oh the base. I am still buying samples and reading largely because I want to understand that base. Is it the much-mourned, now nearly banned oakmoss? Is it an interplay of oakmoss and other tenacious basenotes as mixed by master noses? It's the drydowns that are most related to alchemy for me.

Paloma is close to NdSP, not in detail but in overall shape. But its drydown is not as enchanting to me. I like it -- I smile when I catch a whiff -- but it doesn't make me excited to smell more, and talk about it, and get to the bottom of WHAT IS THAT INCREDIBLE SMELL?! as I do with NdSP (every time).

Ivoire de Balmain is a little different, a little sharper, a little more assertive. I do like it, but it lacks some of the roundedness and balance that I think both NdSP and Paloma have. It keeps a slightly irritating, maybe attention-grabbing, character throughout. Ultimately, though, its drydown is disappointing to me, staying with the nose-clawing sharp greens and soapiness, never letting in the spices and -- the thing that might be what makes me love NdSP so much -- the completely different type of bitterness and warmth that comes from tagetes (marigold). Ivoire is one my husband asks me about, in his hesitant and deeply respectful way, because he doesn't much care for perfume that smells like PERFUME, if you know what I mean, and he came close to asking me to scrub it off. It certainly projects the most of any green I've tried yet. I may try it again in extremely small amounts and see what he thinks as well as what I think.

Ultimately, I guess that just being a green chypre doesn't guarantee I'll like it. They are remarkably similar in many ways, and I expect they smell mostly the same to people who aren't interested in perfume.
5th June 2011
A perfume for night or when I'm feeling particularly feminine. The coriander and patchouli amp on me, but the honey and hyacinth make it lush. I can't smell any rose, and I swear there's jasmine in there.
20th May 2011