Paco Rabanne Olympea EDP Perfume Review

Paco Rabanne Olympea

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

When I sprayed on Paco Rabbane Olympèa, I had no expectations. Well, I take that back. I thought it would be a generic  fruity-floral, a real disappointment for a perfume inspired by an unnamed Greek Goddess. When I sprayed on Olympèa I was confused! This was a weird fragrance that brought to mind beach town boardwalks.

I think there’s a lot of similarities between Olympea and Mugler Womanity. Olympea opens with a red berries and this savory, salty caviar and cotton candy accord. There’s more citrus in the opening of Olympea. In fact, it’s almost more like freshly grated ginger than it is mandarins. Olympea is savory gourmand but it’s also an aquatic floral. The heart is like cotton candy, caramel popcorn and creamy, tropical flowers that come across like old-school tanning oils. It dries down to warm, creamy (and salty) amber with driftwood. It’s a weird fragrance (I mean, an aquatic-gourmand, what?), but I think it’s less challenging to wear than Womanity (which I love).

There are some perfumes that claim to smell like a boardwalk – ocean, carnival food, suntan lotion – and they absolutely do not smell like it. Then there’s Olympea which doesn’t claim to at all and smells like Coney Island or the Jersey Shore. Olympea is a weird one which is why I love it. But, this means that it probably won’t do so well. I only say that because Womanity is currently almost impossible to find.

New Jersey pier

Notes listed include green mandarin, aquatic notes, water jasmine, ginger lily, salted vanilla, sandalwood, cashmere and ambergris. Launched in 2015. PERFUMERS – Loc Dong and Anne Flipo

Give Olympea a try if you like “weird gourmands”. Or perfumes like Mugler Womanity, Derek Lam 10 Crosby 2am Kiss, L’Artisan Amour Nocturne, Avon Far Away Infinity and/or Shay & Blue Salt Caramel. I love that Olympea is beach-y without being like so many perfumes that are marketed as beach scents.

Projection and longevity are average. There’s an EDT. I haven’t tried it. I’m reviewing the EDP concentration.

Olympea comes in a few sizes with prices ranging from $75 to $96 at Sephora. It can sometimes be found at discounters like

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONThe Jersey Shore. This is such a weird but wearable gourmand-aquatic-floral thing. I’m so surprised by how much I love it! I’m going to pick up a full-size bottle before it’s discontinued so I don’t have another negative “What’d ya do with the my Womanity” situations.

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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Vintage Atlantic City photo from Travel and Leisure. Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

19 thoughts on “Paco Rabanne Olympea EDP Perfume Review

  1. I wondered what you’d think of this! I encountered it as a scent strip in a magazine and took a cautious sniff–came across as amazingly strong (not usually the case with those paper sample strips) and yes, weird. But an intriguing weird. I’ll have to try a sample on my skin and see what happens.

    1. It’s a weird one. But, it’s still wearable (well, at least on me, I could see “salty” notes not working for everyone). I was so surprised by it. I didn’t expect a weird salty-gourmand-floral when I got my free sample with a purchase!

  2. We are so on the same page about this one too! It’s almost uncanny. I had the same testing experience. The sample arrived in a Nordstrom order. I sprayed it on my skin boldly, without knowing anything about it in advance or testing on paper. I love it too and it’s going to be a rare full bottle purchase… but that confession wasn’t supposed to happen until June Favorites

    I can see the resemblance to Womanity–which I found at Marshalls years ago and only got to wear once before both my hub and sis banned me from wearing it again–but Olympea is more wearable (I doused myself in the sample and haven’t been banned yet). I also see it compared to CK Reveal on Fragrantica, which I also own a small decant of, but that’s quieter and frankly blander to me.

    Olympea is definitely different, but surprisingly lovable for an aquatic.

    1. It was nothing like I expected! I was actually shocked when I wore it…but in a good way 🙂 I’ve almost drained my sample so that’s why I should buy a full-size.

      I love Womanity and I get mad at myself for not buying it up when it was dirt cheap (and everywhere!). But, like the other Mugler perfumes, it can be a bit “much”. I only wear it when I’m in one of my flashy moods. I think Olympea has what intrigued me about Womanity but is a little more “comfortable” to wear.

      I see that! A friend of mine always wore Reveal as her signature so I know it well (from a distance. Funny thing since it was “hers”, I’ve never actually worn it!). But, I think of Reveal as being more tame/subdued than Olympea. Like I think Reveal is less weird.

      In summary, I’m so surprised by how much I love this stuff.

  3. I don’t always love salty notes, but I like aquatics and I like weird. I may have to actually look for a tester of this one.
    I’m still not on speaking terms with my sensible, money-saving conscience for talking me out of that Womanity gift set at Marshall’s. I never thought Womanity would be hard to find and I always liked it and had planned on getting a bottle.

    1. Right?! Do you know how many cheap bottles/shower gels/body products of Womanity that I passed on because I thought it’d always be available?! Ugh, I still get mad at myself when I think about it. I just thought it’d always be easy to find.

      It’s worth testing. Now if I see this one one sale, I’m picking it up!

      1. Soooo, I still have the Womanity bottle – still in the wrapped box (I was wearing the last of a sample when I was forever banned from wearing it again). Would you (or MikasMinion) be interested in it? It’s in my Goodwill-box, but it might as well go to a loving home if I can find it! 🙂

  4. You are SO spot on! I sprayed this and was disgusted/delighted at the same time…which is totally how I feel at the Jersey Shore. I can’t figure out if I love this or hate it, but it’s super unique.

    1. OK, there’s now tea on my keyboard. Disgusted/delighted really describes the Jersey Shore perfectly!!!

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