Perfume Reviews

Reviews of parfums*PARFUMS Series 1 Leaves: Calamus by Comme des Garçons

Total Reviews: 21
Comme des Garcons Calamus is a "bamboo based" green (or better...musky) concoction with a plain vegetal fleeting aura, a central mild-floral synthetic muskiness and a touch of soapiness. Frankly I dont find at all this juice refreshing (celery grains and angelica root fail in order to provide a veritable freshly botanic vibe) and on the contrary it seems to miss on my skin a really green-fresh or woodsy aromatic feel. I catch by soon the bamboo's "languid" influence (somewhat mineral, suave, mild, vaguely ozonic, floral, fluidy, "peaceful") which smells delicate, musky, vaguely lacteous-lymphatic and rosey. The greeness is just initial and it seems by soon floral and vaguely edible-culinary. My perception (after the ephemeral green opening) is by soon the one to catch anyway a typically synthetic/chic soapy-musky-rosey "atmosphere" (vaguely a la Eliee Saab Le Parfum) on my skin and a combination of synthetic ethereal (somewhat rosey) balmy notes, a touch of vegetal undiscerned "syrup" and patchouli. Is pretty perfect what rogalal writes before which I'm respectfully going to quote " It's naturalistic but doesn't smell like anything in nature. It's chemical but still smells like something alive". The dry down is flat and with a poor structure despite still suave and deliciously soapy-floral (a water-lily's presence?). Calamus seems a fragrance heralding a pure platonic love in the futuristic age of soul perdition, its aroma is evocative about left back diaphanous instants of purity emerging up from your fairy babyhood. Poor longevity on my skin.
23rd May, 2015
There's something about Calamus that's just indescribable. It's a green smell, but also very milky, giving the impression of breaking open an aloe vera or iceplant leaf, all filled with goo. But then, it's also surrounded by a haze of hot plastic, like the odor given off by an overheating piece of office equipment. And then it's also sweaty, juxtaposing the green leaves with an odd human component.

It's naturalistic, but doesn't smell like anything in nature. It's chemical, but still smells like something alive.

I just can't stop sniffing Calamus because I find it so intriguing, even though I don't particularly think it smells good. I guess I enjoy its confident chaos.
28th February, 2015
A most appealing simple scent – Calamus smells of the pith of something pale green and succulent, like cut aloe vera or a marsh reed. It’s soft as a whisper, it’s gorgeous and comforting, and has baby milk on its breath as well as the lightest of green herbals. The angelica in the notes list has the starring role but in such a fuzzy, airy manner, it merges into the languid chord this creation strikes and holds for its duration. Calamus seems to be the scent of a world at peace with itself, a version of green nature that is entirely without thorns, calm and reassuring.
Just the thing for a hot day, just the thing to wear at home and be untroubled. Its big problem is just how sheer it is; many will complain that it is too soft. But conversely, a more forceful presentation would likely have robbed it of its gentle character.
06th February, 2015
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Calamus is a really peculiar scent indeed, which I would have never defined "green" if it wasn't for the composition I read. What I smell is an odd, archaic but at the same time futuristic sort of dystopian odor of stones, abstract woods, cellulose, grass but not in a usual "rich/wet/freshly-cut" meaning, rather close to a sort of blurry souvenir of grass, the kind of smell that takes you back to a walk in the park or a nap on a lawn, simultaneously terrifically realistic but with a shade of "glow", like an old photograph. There is a grey and austere dryness all over, almost "zen" in a way, dry as the surface of a centuries-old polished stone. Poetic and gloomy. Not much else except a really subtle floral breeze which give a delicate sense of silky cleanliness, and a general, almost alienating feel halfway milky, mineral, abstract, grassy and lacustrine. However don't be afraid of smelling "weird"; Calamus is in fact really delicate and close to skin, a sort of grey-green version of other CdG's like Odeur 53, just less artificial. So even if it's a bit peculiar, basically only you will smell it. A really interesting work, but as a perfume "to be worn" I don't find it particularly great: it's much linear with basically no evolution, really delicate, not exactly (conventionally, perhaps) pleasant – as you basically smell of stones, grass and woods, in no "aromatic" meaning. In other words, after a while it gets increasingly boring and with not much to "tell", but nonetheless it is worth a try.

14th August, 2014
Genre: Green

Bertrand Duchaufour rarely composes a green fragrance, so Calamus is an item of particular interest to me. It comes on as a very bright green scent indeed with tart citric notes and just a hint of camphor. This opening is extremely refreshing - maybe even a bit sharp. The citric note, which I take for the rose hips listed in the pyramid, soon sorts itself out, and the central accord emerges as a brisk, unsweetened green that's simple, clean, and unpretentious. It's also blessedly free of the now commonplace ozone-aquatic notes. Calamus is olfactory minimalism of a high order and offers a pleasant alternative to all the vapid "fresh" scents crowding today's designer fragrance market. Delightful!
11th June, 2014
As a fan of green scents, I've long wanted to try this. I was deeply disappointed in it.
It starts with a very leafy and grassy note -- quite intense and more of an experience than an attractive scent per se. Then, and very quickly, it got intensely sweet, cloying, fusty, odd and unpleasant. I don't know what on earth it smelled like but whatever it was, I did not like it at all and had to wash it off.
26th July, 2012
I love both green and naturalistic fragrances, and this covers both bases nicely.
It's one of those frags I wear to 1) get in touch with the natural in me, especially in the dead of winter 2) smell pleasant but discreet in daytime situatiions, and 3) just for the smile it puts on my face, meaning it has kind of an uplifting, refreshing energy, somewhat clearing to one's aura, sort of an aromatherapeutic quality, which is a nice double-duty, considering many centuries ago, that was the origin and reason for people wearing fragrances - a far cry from the purpose of the perfume industry today.
15th July, 2012
Big thumbs up for Calamus! The first time I tasted it it was in 2000 when it was just released and totally got impressed. I got a bottle and used it daily for several monthes. After that I decided to move to other kind of perfumes and so I completely forgot about this frangrance since a couple of monthes ago when a good friend of mine came to visit me and was wearing Calamus. I didn't smell it since years but my reaction was the same I had 10 years ago: love at first sight! This is exactly my type of green scent (together with Victrix by Profumum). A great opening with dry bamboo surrounded by bitter citric notes and vivid green undertones. Very distinctive (it's not easy at all in this kind of scents) and unique but at the same time weightless and easy to wear. Honest and simple yet genuinely fascinating. A favourite!
06th March, 2011 (last edited: 28th October, 2011)
My positive rating is due to the success of the fragrance in fulfilling its mission. This is an quirky unconventional fragrance so may be best judged on its own merit, rather than in comparison to classically-styled fragrances. This is REALISM..the wearer brings his or her own romanticism to the equation. Others have described the green...and the grass...and the leaves. Yes. This thing floats on a field of dewy summer grass. But its main facet, I believe, is the grey-iris core with rain water hitting dusty stones. (flinty-mineral) That's a very fleeting moment in real life and is quietly captured here. It lasts quietly for a few hours on my skin. I find it incredibly evocative.
27th January, 2011
First, I have to confess that I'm reviewing this without the slightest idea of what a calamus leaf should smell like. Yeah, I'm that guy...

This is a pleasant and distinctive fragrance that does indeed smell strongly of leaves. They smell like the lightly bruised green leaves of a foliage plant. Not herbal, and not the bright, airy greenness of cut grass. The initial blast is pretty leafy, but it soon settles down to a powdery/milky base with notes of leaves and chocolate. In fact, it smells a lot like I would imagine instant hot cocoa mix would smell if you removed three quarters of the chocolate and added a few crushed leaves. Unusual, enjoyable, and very light.

I applied about 0.5ml from a sample vial, and the scent was only perceptible for about two hours. I'm a few more hours in now and it's all gone except with direct nose-to-skin contact. Even at the beginning sillage is pretty slight.
06th November, 2009
This one is a nice green, fresh and dry scent, which reminds me of fresh cut grass,
only for the first 15 or 30 minutes!

It changes very abrupt to a creamy (milky?), sweet, almost floral middle note.
(Is there a cacao note in it, too?)
I would not go as far as Calta and consider it as puke, but it's definitely no more fresh!
This sweet and creamy (it's subtle not intrusive) note lasts for about 3-4 hours and than fades away....

As a conclusion I would not regard this fragrance as fresh and green, but as sweet and floral.
One of the weeker scent of CdG.
15th July, 2009
The perfume of the sweet flag grass leaf written about in Walt Witman's Leaves of Grass collections. It is a green floral milky fragrance that would be great if you were surrounded by nature out in the middle of nowhere with just the grass and reeds buzzing in the wind. It's a nice smell.
13th June, 2009
The top notes are definitely green. I find that all the notes are an exceptionally accurate rendition. I smell the delicacy as others have mentioned and the base notes transport me to a time and place I cannot completely remember. I think about being a child, picking sweet-smelling winter berries growing on evergreen bushes in the snow.
This is one of my (so far) four fragrances that I would buy a full-size of. I like the quirky top notes and the originality of the dry down suits me. I would wear this with an eccentric whimsical type of outfit.
18th November, 2008
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This scent is built around an exquisite floral milky note which is almost gourmand in nature. The only other scent that does the same is Le Feu d'Issey Light. The difference being that the florals here are green rather than the gardenia/rose/violet of Issey's.
21st December, 2007
Its quite green, but dark green, it's a balanced natural mix of green aromas that really impress.
Instead to find it sharp I did find it quite subtle and dry.
23rd June, 2007
jrd4t Show all reviews
United States
It's ok.. it is what it is. It smells like what it is purported to smell like but nothing that excites or surprises. It almost seemed like it was going to dry down to something a little sweeter and more complex, but stopped short. Not bad though overall.
22nd June, 2007
At first it was a green grass scent but as soon as it dried it morphed and lost all of its freshness. Instead, there's a faint musty, murky, sweet scent clinging to my skin. I'm afraid it almost smells like puke, something rancid like that. I guess it's a good thing I don't like it since it's discontinued.
14th August, 2006
A delicate green fragrance that is very true to the natural smells of grass and small plants – the green is clean and fresh at first but then it takes on what the other reviewers call ‘milky green’ and I think that fits. The middle does smell a little like the sap from the milkweed plant—only sweeter. I get a very slight resinousness in the drydown. The resinous background adds a pleasant depth and complexity to the fragrance, without interfering with its delicacy. Calamus is natural, subtle, charming, and relatively long lasting. It must like me; it performs beautifully on my skin. Less dramatic and more subtle than LV’s Yerbamate, less lush and more discreet than Sisley’s Eau de Campagne, Series 1: Leaves: Calamus is an excellent delicate green offering that deserves serious consideration.
20th May, 2006 (last edited: 08th April, 2008)
This is a very green scent. The bamboo really stands out. This is another CDG winner.
03rd February, 2006
Calamus is one of the most natural smelling green scents I've ever smelled. Its a milky kind of green. I read somewhere that the calamus plant is one of those tall plants like those that grow on the edge of ponds. People used to chew on its roots and supposedly Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" was inspired by calamus.

I was expecting this Comme des Garcons fragrance to be really odd, but I was astounded at the positive comments by people who picked up the bottle and smelled it. They loved it. My brother wears it all the time. One friend was impressed with it and asked if it contained pheromones.

milky, powdery, and green like the dew on morning leaves- If you were an active child who loved playing outdoors in the grass, whacking your way through the tall weeds with a whiffle-ball bat, I promise you Calamus will be a very nostalgic fragrance for you.
15th January, 2006
smells like leaves, sure, but not in a good way.
28th December, 2004