Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979




Hello vintage lovers,

Arriving in the post yesterday from eBay and on my skin ever since is a 30ml old, old bottle of Metal. As I opened it I thought I’d give myself a spritz and sadly the sprayer sends most of the juice down the bottle and what little comes out smells broken and nasty aldehyde turn, GRRRR. I’m going to give it a soak in white vinegar & disinfectant.

Metal by Paco Rabanne 1979

Metal by Robert Gonnon


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Basil, Green notes, Hyacinth, Lemon
Heart: Cyclamen, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Chypre! Metal is a chypre. The opening is all about galbanum and some citrus fizzed up by aldehydes. I thought my bottle had turned but a few spritzes without the dodgy atomiser and the scent smells pure, clean and fresh, while also not smelling of any of that because chypre. I am thoroughly surprised at how gorgeously it’s kept.

After only a few moments I can already smell the oakmoss furriness that chypres give me. It’s a cool comfort and it makes me feel safe and invincible. If CHANEL No 19 gives you backbone then Metal will give you armour and weaponry.


Funnily I don’t really smell metal, no, that’s not exactly true….. maybe the smell of sharpening a Wiltshire knife in it’s plastic casing. The floral bouquet is a beautiful whole and I can’t pick any of the notes because underpinning the heart is this luscious oakmoss with hints of oily vetiver and a touch of salty brine that I’m attributing to the ambergris and vetiver.

Longevity is good and the baseline lasts hours. It hums away quietly in the background but if I change rooms suddenly I can smell it all over again. Fabulous.

Further reading: I Smell Therefore I Am and Black Narcissus

Do you love the chypre genre?
Portia xx


12 comments on “Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979

  1. Lillibet says:

    Hmm… *eyes perfume shelf* …Mitsouko, No. 19, Diorella, Bandit, Aromatics Elixir, Bottega Veneta… Yes I think we can safely say I LOVE chypres 😉

  2. Jackie b says:

    Still exploring chypres but think I have to be in a certain don’t mess with me mood.
    Paco Rabanne must like metal stuff, I bought vintage Eau de Calandre…car radiator apparently, it’s really good!
    Happy Mardi Gras x

  3. Gina Tabasso says:

    What is this secret soak concoction to get sprayers to work???? Vinegar and what? Is it bleach? I am not sure what a disinfectant is other than spray ones that we have like Lysol. Thanks!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Yeah, I think Lysol is like our disinfectant Gina. If you remove & soak the nozzle overnight it will sometimes remove all the perfume build up and you can spray again.
      Does NOT always work.
      Portia xx

  4. Neva says:

    Oh Portia, it’s so great that you mention Metal. I remember it to be a really fresh floral, I remember the lily-of-the-valley and the rose but probably the initial freshness is gone with the age. I’d love to smell it again in all its beauty. I love chypres and today I’ve tried two of today’s gems of this genre: Zoologist’s Civet and Roja Dove’s Diaghilev. I think I’m in love with both!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Heya Neva,
      Lovely to see you, as always.
      YAY! So glad you love Metal too.
      Those two are very hot. Super chypres?
      Portia xx

  5. Claudia says:

    I remember Metal! I was in college, mid 70’s. My boyfriend was a bit older than me and I had him wear Metal for awhile. Drakkar Noir, too. Those were the days-so fun! And yes, I adore chypres 💝

  6. Holly says:

    Major chypre fan here! I love Metal, and wore it often in the seventies as a flight attendant whilst hurtling through the skies in a metal vehicle. It offset the smell of burnt coffee and cigarettes rather nicely.

  7. Malmaison says:

    I adore Metal! My mother bought it in Paris in the 70s and added a touch of glamour to rural New Zealand when she returned to waft around leaving a beautiful trail of aldehydes and galbanum and flowers. It sat on the bathroom dresser for ages – my sister and I would steal it – and I still have both that bottle and my mum today. I can confirm that the perfume has not turned at all, it is a stunning classic beauty. Perfect for Sydney’s heatwave I would imagine!

  8. Ingrid says:

    I don’t know Metal (yet) though I’m a chypre lover and collector. Have to get a sample of it because one can never have enough chypres.
    Back in Germany I used pure alcohol from the chemist to clean spray nozzles, but they don’t sell it in Australia. Perhaps rubbing alcohol works just as well.

  9. Anna Maria says:

    I love these stories of vintage buys Portia, you are taking a risk, it’s the fun of the game.
    Yes I also love Chypres eg aromatics elixir and mitsouko.

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