Calamus by Comme des Garcons, series 1: Leaves ~ brief review

Comme des Garcons Calamus fragranceAcorus calamus

I am in the mood for green today (please, please let winter end soon!), so I am wearing Comme des Garçons Calamus. Calamus is one of the fragrances in Series 1: Leaves, and was created by Bertrand Duchaufour. The notes are young bamboo leaf, celery grains, angelica root, and rose berries.

The top notes are earthy and slightly peppery from the celery seeds. The peppery notes fade gradually to a very green, slightly bitter smell of crushed leaves and stems. Farther on, it gets very soft and pretty, and takes on the slightly sweet smell of plant sap.

Calamus is an unconventional fragrance, like many in the Comme des Garçons line — Garage, anyone? There is nothing particularly masculine or feminine about it. I don't experiment very often with fragrance layering, but have played around with using Calamus to add a green background to relatively simple floral scents. It works nicely with Comme des Garçons Lily and Borsari Violetta di Parma.

It is not terribly long lasting. Just in case you were curious: the word Calamus refers to the plant Acorus calamus, aka sweet flag.

Comme des Garçons Calamus is available in 50 ml Eau de Toilette. For buying information, see the listing for Comme des Garçons under Perfume Houses.

Note: image is Acorus calamus, photo J.F. Gaffard, Autoreille, France, mai 2004, via Wikimedia.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Layering Calamus with Violetta di Parma is just perfect. I have tried VdP and have had an impression they are “sister” scents, with VdP slightly colder.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Violetta di Parma is another scent that lends itself to layering with almost anything….have also tried it with Diptyque Tam Dao, and that is a nice combination.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robin, have you ever smelled “Shiso” and “Mint” in this series? Because I have been unable to find samples of these discontinued scents, but I have found full bottles for sale, and I am hesitant to just buy the full bottles blindly, particularly given that I have read that all of these “Leaves” scents fade rapidly. (I am very familiar with what shiso leaves taste/smell like, and I love it, but I know that CDG fragrances are not always in synch with their names. Additionally—and unlike their Calamus—I could see them taking fragrances with either of these main notes (and particularly the shiso one) in a very feminine direction, which wouldn't work so well for me.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have not, sorry — only tried Calamus & Lily. There are a few reviews on MakeupAlley though. Neither sound at all feminine to me, although Mint is much better liked than Shiso.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Since I am just enjoying my samples from and one of them is Calamus I'd like to say something about it too:)) It is such a nice fragrance even though I didn't think I was gonna like it so much! It smells green with a hint of sweet, thanks to rose berries (I suppose). It must be such a gorgeous scent for the summer! As for the Leaves Tea, it is a bit more harsh than Calamus. I like it because it captures “the real” aroma of partially fermented oolong. It is a combination of the leafy-green scent of green tea, and a bit smokier, stronger tea. It is totally different than L'Artisan's heavy, smoky Tea for Two.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is perfect for summer — in fact, just wore it the other night, for the first time in some months & it was lovely. I wouldn't mind having a bottle of the Tea either, although agree it is a rather uncompromising rendition of tea.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to say something else about the “leaves” tea & calamus. Well, I have totally fallen in love with Calamus, I'm going to HAVE to buy a bottle now. When I first smelled it it just reminded me of something that I already liked very much but couldn't remember what it was… Now I know! Recently I was able to sample Rainkissed Leaves by Bath & Body Works (we have their big store here) and I loved it! I loved it far more than any of their other products and now I think that Calamus and Rainkissed Leaves share that very special green note that is slightly sweet, dewy not too “sour-green”. Very interesting and I love em both. For the Leaves Tea by CdG I didn't like it AS much as I liked Calamus. It was probably because of it's very harsh opening. It reminded me of… olives. Green, pickled olives straight from the little jar, bitter, harsh and sligtly green. I do love those olives but I wasn't sure whether I prefer that note in my perfume… perhaps when I waited about 30 minutes, the scent started to sweeten up just a little bit, and the tea note was coming out a little more intense – I liked that very much. Tea becomse a beautiful frag but just a little later, while Calamus screams my name all the way!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, I'll have to try that BBW scent. Their products are usually too sweet for me, but if it's anything like Calamus I'll give it a shot!

  9. Anonymous says:

    HELLO everyone! I know that there's a lot of rumors spreading around the internet that Leaves has been discontinued. I have personally contacted, they have personally contacted comme des garcons for me and it turns out: it is still in production. Even if it did get discontinued, luckyscent has lots of backup. Well I just wanted to clear up this confusion because I was worried about it, I just recently fell in love with Calamus. I am just so glad to know it is still in production!

  10. Anonymous says:

    You know, I knew that — just haven't known where to post it — and didn't post it here since this article doesn't say it's discontinued anyway. So thanks!

Leave a reply