Calandre fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, Galbanum
  • Heart

    • Rose, Jasmine, Geranium, Orris, lily of the valley, hyacinth
  • Base

    • Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Amber, Musk

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Latest Reviews of Calandre

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Calandre by Paco Rabanne (1969) is the futuristic designer's first foray into scent, and was composed by Michael Hy a year before he would team up with a young Jacques Polge to create Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent (1970). There to be sure, a little bit of Calandre to be witnessed in Rive Gauche, particularly the metallic soapy sheen and bitter oakmoss bite, although Calandre is more focused on muguet than rose in this case, while the opposite is true with the YSL fragrance. Both sport metallic motifs, as the idea of sheer and smooth shapes, Brutalist buildings, electric shaver-like automobiles, and the overall vibe of Syd Mead was all over pop culture, fashion, and funcitonal design of the 60's/70's cusp. This is of course in stark contrast to the conflict brewing in Vietnam, the counterculture movement of young baby-boomers seeking to return to a more-Bohemian and free society, with the knee-jerk away to more-naturalistic sex-dripping musk-based perfumes that would bring in the 70's. Wearing this at that time would possibly get you labelled as a "mod" or "square", depending on company.

In that sense Calandre, much like the earlier Y by Yves Saint Laurent (1964), was in danger of feeling old and outmoded, and it was overshadowed by the mean and green chypre set just over the horizon with fragrances like Chanel No. 19 (1972) or Givenchy III (1970). Of course, styles like this would live on in the lower-tier mass-market of brands like Bourjois, Avon, and Prince Matchabelli for some years yet, so the style wasn't likely to disappear, and clean white florals would come back around again by the time of White Linen by Estée Lauder (1978). The opening of Calandre goes on smooth and fresh, with a typical bergamot, aldehyde, and galbanum pattern. The muguet really is the star of the show here, supported by jasmine, hyacinth, and only a bit of greening rose, quite possibly just geranium in a ballroom mask in this case. Orris quietly build a soapy backbone, while a creamy sandalwood musk prevents the oakmoss and vetiver from making Calandre too bitter and sharp in the later stages. Make no mistake though, as the dry-down here is indeed woody, and the overall demeanor of Calandre is neutral like the beige interior of an unfurnished apartment.

Performance of Calandre is not a gang-buster in any format, although there was a perfume and a lighter "Eau de Calandre" made later, alongside the release of Eau de Metal by Paco Rabanne (1986). Lauren Bacall is reported to have worn this as her signature for a number of years, by then already in her 40's and returning mostly to Broadway work at the time of Calandre's release. Calandre then seemed suitable for a more-mature woman, as younger ladies were veering either into hippie musks or the sharp green "boss bitch" chypres that today feel more unisex than anything. In all honestly, with the prevalence of soapy iris fragrances in the men's segment since the mid-2000's, something like Calandre may also feel unisex to modern male noses, as it is above all things, a soapy-woody white floral fragrance with little sweetness to offer. The then-modern optimism of Calandre is more evocative of the late Paco Rabanne's vision in my mind than the "club bangers" that have since stolen the show, although I understand the importance of that statement dwindles more as the march of time continues. Thumbs up
20th July 2023
This should be a unisex fragrance. The current iteration doesn’t last very long, once applied, but the scent is delightful, like sinking your nose into your grandmother’s fur coat, if your grandmother wore a classic perfume and a lot of face powder.
9th February 2023

Paco Rabanne's flagship fragrance, Calandre, is unfairly absent from the discussions celebrating the great aldehydic green floral classics, overshadowed by iconic beauties such as Chanel No. 19, for which Calandre predates it by a year. It opens with a verdant sparkle, aldehydic, with a steely sheen and spring floral crispness. A few minutes in, there seems to be a pairing of neroli oil and rose, feeling nearly metallic, like Calandre's monolithic bottle. It reminds me of a utopian futurism, where the cold architecture of a metropolis is now covered in gardens and green spaces. All the roofs are covered with trees and greenery, the bees and birds now reign supreme, while the humans focus more on  growing turnips and tomatoes while weaning themselves off the vice of technology.

The merging of green and silver is felt in Calandre's heart, as a muguet, cool, pure, and damp, reins in the aldehydes and lichen, celadon-color synesthesia lights up my receptors. In the bottle I have, a 90s version if I am not mistaken, there is a fleshy, creamy, granular orris back note that has this gorgeous interplay with the oakmoss, simmering down into a Provence triple milled-soap woodsy affair, with soft green undertones. The arc of sharp vigor smoothed over in the base is the thrill of Calandre, one that we seldom experience in mainstream perfumery, especially with the reputation Paco Rabanne gained with its fragrances of the 21st century. Indeed, a number have their own merit in the zeitgeist of their release dates, but fragrances like Calandre are treasures that truly reflect that aesthetic and vision of the designer and are ripe for rediscovery.

RIP Paco Rabanne (1934-2023)
6th February 2023
If vintage Calandre and modern feminine Paco Rabanne's fragrance like 1 Million were women and girls,this would be the perfect beauty from tip to toe who is always nice,always pretty,always happy,etc.someone who is too perfect, but in a good sense. 1 Million would be the girl who is not ugly but not always pretty either,she would be sometime nice and fickle on other days,her face a little bit uneven, her mood a little bit unbalanced.if i had to define what a french scent smelt like this would be it. sophisticated,classy,and chic.she smells like tubes of Dior lipstick;like fragrant, luxurious powders,like expensive,all natural french bars of waxy all perfumes of yesteryear,it has a soul.very classic, very 70s.for sure not a scent that you would find on the shelves of a modern department me this perfume runs along the same lines as Chanel 19,Crystalle,anything clean and classy.

In today's youthful market of fragrance, the opening notes are the stars and the big attention grabbers. before the opening notes were considered vital to the selling of a fragrance,the middle and dry down, but especially the dry down was the key.these opening notes of aldehydes, citrus were quite typical of many a perfume.the floral heart reveals a bouquet of rose,geranium,jasmine,lily of the valley,and orris.because of that rose and orris partnership,the perfume's middle stage is softer and less sparkling. it's as soft as powder or a tad soapy like floral scented bath products. however it is still very floral and smells as realistic to the flowers that are depicted.the dry down stage is a showy oakmoss.there is also musk and woods.there is something that is sharp, like the mind of a fine intellectual,there is also something saying "see me take me seriously".it reminds me of Ma Griffe.Calandre is cooler,breezier,a little more aloof and Ma Griffe has a warmth that Calandre doesn't.totally proud and dignified with a confident air,yet very feminine.
24th January 2022
So, supposedly Lauren Bacall wore this, which makes sense to me. I remember the first the time I saw her ("The Big Sleep," which I hazard is how most people first saw her) I was so taken, she seemed something so new, so strong, so appealing. A kitten with a gangster lean. Now whenever I see her in a film, I think I have a clearer understanding of her for what she was: a studio creation. Someone picked up and molded into something, then handed a bag of tricks and taught how to use them. And told to stick to them. And she used them well. And there's a value in that kind of acting, in that kind of persona creation and projection. But my heart doesn't go out to it anymore. It leaves me a little aloof, holds me at a distance, and I don't particularly care to bridge it. All this to say, this is kind of how I feel about Calandre: a vintage-ish vibe with a slight modern tint, pretty and appropriate, a little tantalized by danger, or by the performance of it, but ultimately too orderly and straight to really go for it. It'll chat up Bogie and call it a day. To each their own.
6th April 2021
Galbanum, rose and hyacinth are the tree nites that dominated the opening phase on me. A delightful hyacinth, a good rose blossom with a green and leafy side developing with time, and a galbanum that is deep and multi-layered and brightened up by some bergamot.

The drydown adds a nice muguet, a traditional jasmine, as well as s deeper orris that adds additional depth. The florals are well-balanced and never really sweet.

The base is an earthy affair, with a vetiver continuing to adds more depth, with a good soft oakmoss together with an ambery set of white musks continuing the earth and deeper base notes. There is a wood note in the background, a pale and weak sandalwood.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, as well as a tremendous longevity of thirteen hours on my skin.

A rich, confident, and complex scent for spring evenings, composed of ingredients of a very high quality. A rich, satisfying and confident composition. 3.75/5.
3rd December 2020
Show all 40 Reviews of Calandre by Paco Rabanne