The Black Narcissus



In his day,  Paco Rabanne was the Clockwork Orange of fashion: an iconoclast smashing the past;  futuristic, sci-fi; metal-fixated. The brief given to perfumer Michael Hy, therefore, for the edgy, yet ironically soon-to-be-classic perfume Calandre,  was to capture the feeling of a couple making love on a car: elegant, undressed bodies caressing and thrashing on metal (the name refers to the metal grille on the front), he picking her up chez elle;  white gloves;  leather seat;  the streets passing by, leisurely, but with purpose, to the pre-designated forest clearing.

Despite the shimmery and musky, low and erotic undertones in the base of this scent, though, there is nothing explicit or vulgar about Calandre: quite the opposite (which I suppose sums up the genius of French perfume). The man involved in this vernal escapade must have been really quite the seducer, and quite the dresser, too, I imagine, as the woman…

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7 responses to “SHUT UP AND DRIVE: CALANDRE by PACO RABANNE (1969)

  1. Lilybelle

    My mother wore Calandre wonderfully well. It was lovely on her. I tried it myself and it felt alien and synthetic on my skin. That was many years ago. I’m due for a retry. Things change. 😉

  2. Evocative and accurate. Thank you, N.

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