Reviews of cK be by Calvin Klein

Much better to me/on me than the blandness of unscented washing powder that is CK One, that's for sure. Though I thought I'd like it a bit more, especially according to the notes. Probably there's a bit too much lavender for me. Clean, simple, easy going, non-intrusive and never cloying daytime scent. Can recommend if you're searching for exactly that though - it has a great price, too.
14th October 2019
On my skin this comes across as a very clean, white variety of musk reminiscent of neroli, orange blossom, and lily-of-the-valley; a laundry fresh, white floral scent with soft citrus notes hovering directly over the male/female unisex divide. There's just a touch of spearmint hidden among the musk that lends a nice, albeit subtle accent to the composition. I kind of wish I discovered this before I plunked down $150 for MFK's Aqua Universalis, as I find them quite similar as far as their immediate effect (Gendarme as well). While there's no doubt Aqua Universalis feels a notch or two higher, quality wise, the smells are similar enough, and the quality of CK be is certainly sufficient to perform the task at hand--in this case, simply, to create a clean, just-laundered impression among its subject. Be nails it almost effortlessly here and what you're left with is an excellent budget alternative within the 'freshly showered' genre. Thumbs up, and absolutely worth the $20 if you're in the market for this kind of fragrance.
13th August 2019

Not something I would wear today but back in the 90's I actually used to prefer this over the original. I get berry's, powdery white musk and maybe vanilla. Decent staying power and a little bit 'different'.
1st November 2018
It appeared as though Calvin Klein had made some serious bank with cK One (1994), because they quickly followed with another unisex anchor fragrance in the name of cK Be (1996) and almost diametrically-opposed the original by making it a black bottle. Ann Gottlieb was pulled for composition duties with cK Be, and it looked like they tried to address big mainstream complaints lobbed at cK One with the design of cK Be. Namely, a lot of dyed-in-the-wool "manly men" still refused to try cK One because any trace of perceived femininity at all was a no-no, so the challenge was to make a unisex fragrance that appeared so not by balancing masculine and feminine elements like with cK One, but by not implying gender at all, so nobody could say it leans one way or the other. The other complaint was the "smells like nothing" facet of cK One. Ultimately, cK Be fails at the former challenge, as do all the subsequent cK One fragrance family members, including the third pillar cK All (2017), with the bizarrely abstract cK2 (2016) coming closest to true genderless perfume, but also being so artificial as to alienate everyone. It seemed cK Be succeeded with addressing the later "blank smell" concerns however, as Ann Gottlieb tried to make a unisex fragrance within the loose context of the familiar oriental/fougère style, a category of scent usually reserved for men and containing recognizable key notes, which would in theory kill two birds with one stone in addressing the perceived lack of male-friendliness in the first cK scent, and having some distinction so as not to smell like little else but musk in the finish. Going the fougère route naturally sways the scent more towards guys, because the traditional barbershop structure of bergamot/lavender/oakmoss/tonka makes cK Be intially smell like a lighter, crisper interpretation to any number of drugstore smells. Gottlieb then works against this bias by what she injects into the core of the oriental/fougère formula itself, and the result is something indeed more friendly to the die-hard colognoisseurs, but at a palpable cost to neutrality. If cK One was the unisex scent that seemed more favored among women, cK Be is it's equal opposite that is more favored by men, which ironically makes them a sort of "his and hers" pair like any other major designer release.

The opening of cK Be is it's most masculine part, which does wonders in convincing the neanderthal nose to give it a try. From this bracingly clean masculine opening, cK Be pulls a bait-and-switch into more feminine heart notes before bringing the left foot and the right foot together in the base. The dry down of cK Be is indeed more distinct than the original cK One, which itself resorts to ending in simple androgynous laundry musk a la Alyssa Ashley Musk (1968), but also not as powerful in the projection department. However, if I were to say which one is truly more unisex, it would definitely still be cK One, since synthetic musk implies nothing in a sexual context, while cK Be's oriental/fougère finish is just too traditionally entrenched in the male mindset despite it's brightening by Gottlieb, making it mostly likeable to men, but also enjoyed by women who love women's lavender/barbershop stuff like Chanel Jersey (2011) or the niche Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal (2009) but don't mind a sandalwood twist at the end. I'm not saying this is as good as them, but a much cheaper alternative that you can spray away without guilt. Bergamot, mandarin, mint, and lavender really set up the barbershop opening of cK Be, with juniper as the only somewhat feminine pull here. The heart is where the pendulum swings back, with peach, magnolia, and a light dusting of nutmeg making it smell a bit like a feminine gourmand, however brief. The base reinforces the barbershop accord of the top but brings in the oriental elements with sandalwood, opoponax, tonka, oakmoss, and musk, but the applications of each are thin and stretched compared to something like say, Canoe (1936) or Égoïste (1990), so it brings us back to neutral territory rather than re-asserting the masculine start. The whole composition feels like the very feminine heart was given the widest berth by the top and the bottom, since the magnolia and peach shine very bright in this during the middle phase, with the rest of the composition just layering those two notes in a thin crispy shell of masculinity, but it's enough to make Mr. Cologne Guy put down his bottle of Kouros (1981) and give it a go. Above all else, cK Be is just clean clean clean, so regardless of who you are, if you're looking for an admittedly synthetic but safe scent that few will label or recognize, this is as close to perfect as it gets.

The later cK Gold (2016) would revist a peach-like middle but even stronger (although ironically because it's a ghost note and not actually present like it is here), so fans of this element in here can go seek that one out as well while it's still somewhat easy to come by. I really enjoy cK Be just for the simple fact that it is one of the lightest and crispest oriental-inflected fougères I've ever encountered, with that glorious peach heart just being the juicy flirtaceous center of what is otherwise a clean masculine staple reinterpreted for consumption by both sexes. Plenty of women enjoy this too and even though it never climbed to the monolithic heights of the original cK One, it is the second most-successful pillar, but also one that oddly never got the army of flankers and seasonal flavors that cK One receives. For ladies who haven't tried anything in the series, or for something arguably more sensual, the sweet and rich musk of the original cK One is still best, but for something cleaner for work, or for men a little more shy to the "deliberate unisex" phenomenon of the cK series, I'd say cK Be is a better place to enter. Performance of cK Be is probably also the weakest of the series, with only a good 6 hours tops of longevity, so don't be shy and get the larger 6.7oz bottle if you intend to make this a daily, since reapplication will be needed. Simply put, if something like Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010) is the high-end men's barbershop revival for the business elite guys who get their hair cuts from places like Jordan's, then cK Be is the progressive, refreshingly-unassuming and welcoming LBGQT+ friendly barbershop for everyone else not needing the pomp a la Rudy's Barbershop of Seattle. Guess you guys know where I get my cuts now huh? Whoops! Anyways, for a nice squeaky lavender peach and sandalwood soirée you can wear to casual events or work without getting noticed too much, this is a great option, whether your stow it in a purse or messenger bag.
28th May 2018
I got this from Kohl's 50% off. I guess I know now why it got marked down. Don't get me wrong, I really love the way it smells, and it lasts a decent amount of time (considering that that's a problem with anything from CK), but it has no projection whatsoever. I have to bury my nose in the crook of my arm to smell it. It's a serious disappointment. I usually stick to one or two sprays with any other fragrance, but you just might need to use the whole bottle for this one.

I got the deodorant stick from Marshall's, and I loved the scent so much that I knew I had to get the EDT if I saw it. It smells a lot like clean clothes just after they get out of the dryer. Light lavender and faint citrus riding in on musk- it doesn't sound very manly, but this is definitely the more masculine of the CK ONE/Be duo.

This is nice to put on at the end of the day, just before bed, but I would not buy this again just for the fact that it's so hard to smell.
6th July 2017
Resembled a slightly over-ripened banana smell to me! cK Be is just as polarizing (maybe more so?) than cK One, but for me it's hard to connect with.

24th December 2016
It's ok scent but weak in both longevity and sillage
15th August 2016
Bergamot, Lavender, Mint, Juniper, Mandarin, Menthol, Green Notes.
Jasmine, Orchid, Freesia, Herbs, Magnolia, Peach.
Cedar, Amber, Vanilla, Musk, Sandalwood, Opoponax.

When I finally purchased a bottle of CK be at my local TJMAXX, I had never had the opportunity to wear it before. Another blind buy and another chance to be disappointed. The odds aren't all that good, considering that Calvin isn't exactly an impressive fragrance house to purchase in this fashion. There are some CK releases I like, some I don't, with the remaining ones falling into the "who cares" category. CK be lands in the middle somewhere. It's pleasant and unremarkable. Sound familiar?

That said, the price point for this 100ml. bottle justified my leaving the store with it. In spite of my now finding it somewhat innocuous, I would buy it again for the price I paid. I suppose my biggest beef with CK be is it simply doesn't last long enough. The opening is enjoyable and the transition, revealing the rendition of Opoponax, is definitely to my liking. However, it seems to travel light and doesn't stick around to pay the check.

The opening is a good salutation of blended Citrus, Lavender, Freesia and a subtle green aspect. I can't say I experience a legit menthol quality because I don't, but the initial 10 minutes does afford me the 2 transitions that embody CK be. The heart, base and beyond see a balsam, mild spice, ongoing Freesia and a mix of Lavender-Vanilla-Musk evolve. This accord has substance without volume or presence. That would be satisfactory if it simply had longevity. Sadly, it does not.

CK be dissipates much too quickly into an extremely close skin scent. As not to exaggerate, I would feel good in stating approximately 1.5 hours of longevity before morphing into a nose-to-skin situation. Now, it could be that my skin drinks this up like a sponge, but I'm persuaded that it just lacks strength. This opinion is after applying rather heavy sprays.

Sillage is moderate and I've already covered its deficiency. CK be smells pleasant and harmless, but has no teeth. Neutral rating from SS with a strong suggestion to sample before purchasing.
1st March 2015
Smells like a bubble bath to me and is a nice light scent to put on for bed time. The biggest issue I have with it is it's the worst for longevity. I'm lucky if I get 2 hours from this so I'd never use it as a day scent.
18th May 2014
I think this is one is a gem at its price point. It's perfect for a casual get-together with friends. It's light, fresh with just a hint of complexity. I love the minimalist bottle which is really more like a giant back jug of juice. Really great and you can wear it to a casual work place. For some reason I can still smell it on myself after 10 hours but it's not a projection beast, someone would have to almost lean in your direction to get a good whiff of it. It's subtle.
6th December 2013
Pleasant, unremarkableMy Mom can't resist a bargain, and bought me a 100 ml bottle of this - untested. Cute. Thanks Mom. OK, she could have done worse. This is pleasant, one of those scents where it's hard to pick out any note in particular, smells a little like clean laundry. But does it emerge from the pack of nice-smelling frags? I don't think so.
25th October 2013
Awesome Fragrance I bought this perfume from Its really Awesome...Pros: GreatCons: no negative comments
2nd July 2013
Remember the Hefty Bag's ad about 20 years ago??

"Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy",

that's what this fragrance is all about. doesn't last but a couple of hours, sillage is minimal, and the scent is nothing to write home about either.
White Musk by The Body Shop does a much better job on the same idea, and it is cheaper.
What a disappointment
30th March 2013
Good smell, good price, average projection and good longevity. Great for everyday use.
20th November 2012
This is one of the most AMAZING fragrances we have available to us today. Its a real SHAME that it doesnt get the respect that it would if it were sold wihtin the Frederic Malle house of scents.

Few things I own bring back the memories, and evoke happiness the way this does. But aside from my own personal emotional attatchments the scent alone is masterful. I've smelled nothing like it after all these years it is still captivating.

13th September 2012
Incredible how much it reminds me of Emporio Armani Him. I don't find this fragrance unisex at all, but quite masculine. There is this sharp, synthetic-technological smell about it, slightly sweetened. Albeit not unique altogether, and just because former mentioned Armani fragrance, scent will get noticed and be regarded as something smelled a lot in the neighbourhood or wider.
7th September 2012
I really enjoy this. Very muted and it is truly unisex. It does not smell like 'cologne'. It has a very casual vibe to it. Works well in hot muggy weather too, which is a plus. There is a diet Pepsi thing going with it though, you know when you drink regular Pepsi, then the diet version you can immediately tell there is a lack of...crispness maybe? Whatever it is, it works well here, just don't wear this with a suit, unless you are going to a museum or something.
7th August 2012
This is a very different fragrance and certainly unisex. I love unisex fragrances because they're not pushed into a genre. I like wearing this at night. In the day it just doesnt feel as nice maybe because it's relaxing and calming.

Very nice over all.
24th July 2012
I have a bottle of lavender cologne (500 ml for 5 bucks). Whenever I put this on, my sister notices immediately and compliments it.

When I put cK be on, it fades away in a few minutes o.O. There is no projection and longevity on me and nothing special about this smell. C'mon, seriously!
31st January 2012
It is a nice clean scent. Reminds me of cotton. I'd consider it a night fragrance, something best meant for clubbing or bar hopping. I've never completely fallen for this one, finding it a fragrance for the right time or place, and not for everyday use.
30th January 2012
nice clean scent! not the best with projection....longevity is moderate ( 6-7 hours)! Just something to wear around the house or to get some coffee around the corner! Then again it will do well with watching a movie with the honey (at home or the theatre) The only unisex fragrance in my collection since i think it's more to the male side while ck one is more to the female side!
P.S. Nobody should pay full price for this since it's been in the bargain bins for years!

It gives me whiffs of lavender and a lasting musk which i like.
12th December 2011
Something great about this... My first time trying it was in 96 when I was just a little kid. Everyone complimented me on it, and still do to this day. Although not too much wear from it the past few years...
10th July 2011
There is something incredibly relaxing and calm about this fragrance. It is comfortable and light while maintaining a certain presence that is both charming and ideal.

Unisex it certainly is. While the opening is rather masculine, and in some ways similar to Bvlgari Black, the drydown is quite floral and clean, but not at all feminine. CK Be is somewhere in between, something that would smell sexy on a man and pretty on a woman.

CK Be is mysterious but certainly not dark. There's an element of cheerfulness behind this fragrance and it is quite refreshing.

I sense a subtle rubbery note intermixed into the notes which gives this fragrance that little something. The rubber combined with smokey woods and sweet floral notes really makes this fragrance worthwhile.

The lasting power is quite good and the price is fantastic for such a quality scent. I recommend for both sexes.

5th June 2011
Calvin Klein's fragrances catch more than their fair share of critical flak for being too synthetic, too trite, too weak, and all kinds of other complaints. But one thing has always bothered me about these scents and the reactions toward them - even in the worst cases, any given scent from the line is 'almost' good, usually a sound (if safe) idea marred by one or two critical shortcomings. Ck Be smells good. Really good, in fact. If you've ever tried the men's version of Jovan's White Musk, this is the concentree. But in light of (and paradoxical toward) this assessment, it has absolutely no lasting power. Even on fabric the magic has come and gone before you know it. This is truly a shame, as I feel this, while still a moderate commercial success, could have been a real word-of-mouth contender and a sound addition to most collections. As it stands, Ck Be joins the ranks of other flash-in-the-pan beauties like Corduroy, Dirty English, and Calvin Klein's own Obsession Night. If I had disposable millions I would donate some to their R&D department just to prevent another 'Free' from further damaging their already tenuous reputation.
13th April 2011