digging (into) vintage: Paco Rabanne Calandre, 1969

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(image, 1969 Rolls-Royce)

Perfumer Michael Hy

I get the comparison between YSL Rive Gauche and Calandre, and I love to put one on each wrist just for kicks. It’s fun to watch them both unroll over time. Contrary to general consensus, I find Calandre both ligher in weight and darker in feel that Rive Gauche. Yes, Rive Gauche’s rose is dark where Calandre’s grill is bright. And, yes, Rive Gauche has a dark resinous opening underneath its blast of aldehyde, but the resins grow sweet over time. In the end Calandre has a sharp, green, chypre facet that Rive Gauche doesn’t: this is Calandre’s darkness.

There’s another comparison, though: Estée Lauder’s White Linen and Calandre. Though Rive Gauche and White Linen don’t feel particularly alike, the comparison of each to Calandre shows much in common. If Rive Gauche is to Calandre’s left, then White Linen sits on its right. I suppose that makes Calandre some sort of Goldilocks of floral aldehydes.


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