The first time I tried Paco Rabanne Calandre I wrote it off as smelling of celery. It was only afterwards that I made the realisation that I was wearing Caron Yatagan on the other wrist and that it had coloured my view.
I tried Calandre again recently and was so glad that I gave it a second chance. With its mossy, green opening bursting with Aldehydes and bedding down into a powdery chypre, it has a definite 70s vibe to it. In fact, after about half an hour it smelled as if Guerlain made it.
Trying Guerlain Chamade on the other arm (more of which very soon), I could see definite similarities. There is a prickly, woody base to both of them, beautifully softened by powdery edges.
Calandre opens with Aldehydes, Roses and Bergamot, smelling not unlike Coty L’Aimant. However Calandre is greener and the green notes stay true right through to the end. The Bergamot keep it sharp, but it’s the Oakmoss, Amber and Vetiver that makes this deeply impressive in the last act.
This smells exactly like the kind of perfume my grandmother would have worn in 70s. Its elegant, smart, wears a brooch and always has a mint and a clean handkerchief in its bag. Although it is rumoured to have been discontinued, it is still available in Amazon UK for around £70 for 100ml and on Amazon.com for around $70. (prices subject to change).