Thursday, November 04, 2010

Paco Rabanne- Calandre

One of the interesting things about Paco Rabanne's 1969 Calandre is how this pleasant aldehydic floral was considered edgy when it first came out. While there were plenty of flowery perfumes on the market (with or without an aldehydic opening), and green chypres were also quite popular, there was something about Calandre that registered differently and is a little harder to decipher today.

The first 20 minutes or so of this Paco Rabanne creation has what my husband refers to as a "vintage accord". Can you tell he's not generally a fan of aldehydes (or florals, really)? Truth be told I wasn't sold on Calandre the first time I gave it a full wearing until the green notes started to emerge. I also suspect that the citrus in the top notes in one of my older bottles are no longer in their prime, as I seem to remember Calandre as a little more lemony and only slightly bitter. But it all changes ones a very green hyacinth kicks in with something hay-like on its footsteps. It's softer than one would expect, probably because of the abundance of other flower in the heart, especially a dry rose. Paying attention to the perfume at this stage reveals just how masterfully its blended and how fitting it was with the Paco Rabanne fashion line.

As a chypre, Calandre has less of an oakmossy kick than some others. It actually dries down to an almost skin scent, just a bit green. It's not very strong but utterly satisfying if chypres are your thing. There's a casual elegance to this scent, as though you picked the bottle simply because it was there and it just fits with whatever your plans are for the day. I can see how at the time it was a great first date perfume, very appropriate for the office but never ever boring.

Calandre has an interesting history and back story. You can read more about it on this Perfume Shrine review. Please note that a few months after Elena wrote her post, Calandre was, indeed, discontinued and confirmed so by Puig, the company that owns the Paco Rabanne perfume license. Since then the prices online have been climbing up, though it's still possible to find a bargain here and there.

Calandre 1971 ad-
Paco Rabanne fashion photographed for French Vogue, 1969: (probably NSFW)


  1. My mother wore Calandre in the early 1970's. I have a vague memory of something green and "perfumey" in a small bottle. I never would have guessed she was edgy!

  2. I love it that you are doing some reviews of vintage frags--and the photos!

    When my sister was planning her trip to Paris, she asked me if there was anything she could bring back for me and I asked for Calandre. She brought back Caleche, a huge disappointment at the time, but I never let on because I knew it had cost her some dough. I still wish for that Calandre, though!

  3. I love your taste in perfume, even though it is so different from my own ( I am a blonde after all ;))
    I read through your entire archive over the last weeks, it is an incredible resource and a joy to read, thank you.

  4. I have loved Calandre as a soft green perfume. I have not worn for it for some time due to my partners allergies but I MISS IT.


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget