Contradiction fragrance notes

  • Head

    • peony, rose, lily, lily of the valley, orchid, philadelphus
  • Heart

    • pear, blackberry, eucalyptus, lilac, jasmine
  • Base

    • musk, sandalwood, tonka bean

Latest Reviews of Contradiction

You need to log in or register to add a review
Contradiction is a contrast of the Spiteful and the Sentimental; like cool metallic Envy with a sweet powdery undercurrent.

Envy came out the same year - so it's hard to be sure - but the idea was probably Maurice Roucel's (Envy is a version of his favourite theme - magnolia) and not thought up by Ann Gottlieb - who is a famous art director, or Daniela (Roche) Andrier - who composed this.

Envy is a bitter and sour tour-de-force, and giving it a sweet side with Contradiction just feels like a ploy searching for mass appeal.
Something the Gucci never lacked by the way.

But, whatever the in's and out's of it might be...
in these post-pandemic times, when suits are going out of style, this kind of hi-tech office scent looks more and more redundant as people work from home in their pyjamas - or what not...

I'm sure there -are- those who feel sentimental about the office, but there are many others that don't.
7th November 2022
I love this frosty rose, once described by the legendary Portia Turbo as like holding a cold spoon in your mouth. This is a cool woody rose with a cold heart and I LOVE it. Thanks Portia!
18th January 2022

I was given a generous carded sample (maybe 2.7 ml or something) of this when I was 16 or something and I cherished it.

It was my most grown up, sexiest, classiest and coolest scent I had. I dabbed it very frugally on occasions, and so this sample lasted me many years, guiding me through various dates, parties, nights in the clubs and so on and so on. I liked the name and the idea of contradicting elements in one scent. I liked the cool, metallic eucalyptus and warm drydown, and it felt classy to me. It was "my" scent - but no one knew me by it as I dabbed it rarely and just in tiniest drops. I still have some perfume left in that sample!

Now of course, I couldn't afford it as a teenager or student myself (concert and festival tickets and new leather combat boots were my top priority for my savings these days), but later on, when I started making more money, I sometimes wondered if maybe I should get some perfume for myself some day instead of just using whatever I got as gifts from relatives. So I thought that maybe I could get this one if I saw it somewhere. But of course I didn't. Contradiction was already several years old when I got a sample, and perfumes just don't eternally sit on the store shelves unless they're really popular.

Fast forward several more years, I finally become interested in fragrances, I find Basenotes, I find out about discounters, and browsing through one of the sites I actually find Contradiction, boom!
Naturally, it was one of my first perfume purchases.
It still smells the same, after all these years - both just like I remember and in reality, as I found my old sample in old boxes to compare. When I wear it, it takes me back.

It really contradicts itself - it starts out metallic and almost hairspray-ish, and then gradually gets warmer, smoother and more inviting. It feels like a summer day in the city with metal carcasses all hot in the sun, sand in your lungs and a breeze in your window. Or at least that's how these slightly sharp and very blended floral notes, eucalyptus and a warm woody-musky-tonka base show themselves to me while reminding me of my summers past.

By the way, when a friend was casually sniffing through my assorted collection of various bottles, she took this exact bottle and said - "This is the best one, this is the one I would wear if I had to choose. It smells classy and expensive." I smiled and told her this is actually not expensive at all, and she replied that it doesn't matter as it smells good. So that's how you know that various people around you will like it, too.

But I don't love it anymore, and I don't think it's my most bestest scent, and I wouldn't buy it again. I am spoiled of choice already. And I don't like the top notes and I have to suffer through the hairspray start for an hour or two until I'm left with the drydown I truly like - I never had to experience the top notes back then as I was just dabbing it from the sample.

It is my nostalgia scent, my madeleine while in search for a lost time, and as a true nostalgia scent, it brings me more sadness than joy. But that sadness is rather bright.
22nd January 2021
Contradiction has been one of my favorites for the past five years. I didn't start studying perfume construction until recently, though, so I had no idea what it was "supposed" to smell like. To me it always smelled like salt and suntan lotion. I assumed it was a coy reference to the Seinfeld episode where Kramer comes up with an idea for a perfume that makes you smell like you've been at the beach.

I still cannot identify any of the notes mentioned; I guess maybe I can pick out an abstract floral and a bit of powder, although it's a salty, masculine powder, not usually what I would call powdery. I can't find any eucalyptus in there. But salt, suntan lotion, and hot sand are good enough for me.
29th April 2016
Discovered today that this has been re-released for Xmas 2015. Not normally a Calvin Klein fan but tested it anyway and I have to say I love it. I'm personally not getting any of the negative points that has been experienced by other contributors, another reviewer reckons it's chemistry dependent, maybe. All I am getting is delightful florals and a lovely powdery scent with none of the metallic sharpness noted by others. Defo one to try before you buy, seems people either love it or hate it.
11th November 2015
You don't hear too much about Calvin Klein's Contradiction these days, as it is often overshadowed by newer releases like Euphoria, CK IN2U and CK One. While I don't find it to be anything overly amazing, I fear that it may be the first fragrance to be discontinued in Calvin Klein's current collection, which would be such a shame.

Contradiction is a pleasant enough blend of delectable florals and powdery woods. The eucalyptus note in the heart, is possibly what causes some to refer to this fragrance as being metallic. I quite like the uniqueness of the eucalyptus note. I'm an Australian, from the country, so this particular note reminds me of home and the bush, which perhaps in turn makes me a fan. Escape for Men also gives me the same nostalgic feeling.

There is a definite powderiness to this fragrance, which is a good or bad thing depending on each person's personal taste. One review of this fragrance on MakeupAlley, likened Contradiction to the scent of a warm photo-copied sheet. I quite like that description, I think it is very apt and truthful.

I'm on the fence with Contradiction, while I like certain aspects of it, particularly the floral powderiness, the woodsy notes just don't work for me, neither does the lasting power which is relatively poor.

After a while, Contradiction becomes tiring and somewhat generic. The eucalyptus and the odd paper smell, is what keeps this fragrance alive and different. Every now and then it shows some similarities to Armani She.
22nd March 2012
Show all 22 Reviews of Contradiction by Calvin Klein