Calvin Klein (2002)


Average Rating:  63 User Reviews

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Crave by Calvin Klein

Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

About Crave by Calvin Klein

People & Companies

Calvin Klein
Fragrance House
Fabien Baron
Packaging / Bottle Design

This CK scent is designed for the gadget obsessed 15-24 aged male youth of today. The packaging is made completely of plastic and was inspired by mobile phones and bleepers. The scent is described as fresh and sexy (well aren't they all!) and is launched worldwide in autumn 2002.
Crave has the distinction of being the first male CK fragrance to be launched prior to the female version.
[Update May 2005]: Less than three years after launch, the fragrance has been discontinued by CK.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Where to buy Crave

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Reviews of Crave by Calvin Klein

There are 63 reviews of Crave by Calvin Klein.

This is a vibrant, spicy, peppery, citrus scent that I used to enjoy in my youth. I don't know if it's the tonka overload in the dry-down, but I just can't wear this nowadays - my tastes have changed drastically. I'm not going to discuss that starfish note marketing ploy nonsense. It was heavily marketed as a sports freshie, and it came in a plastic bottle to be chucked carelessly into a gym bag. Scent-wise, I never got the sportiness at all, but it's certainly geared towards the younger crowd, and more appropriate for warm weather.

Projection and longevity are both moderate at best.

Masculinity Level: The black & white CK ads weren't far off with that androgynous waxed young dude in his tighty whities.

Identi-kit Yoof scent - in sub-tropical style:
aggressive chilli, sweet cardamom, powder;
a slightly original palm leaf and herbs.

Piquant and bland,
all form and no content.

Plastic miniature and case,
which will still be floating around
long after the juice has become ancient history.

Crave - Calvin Klein
Lightweight and abstract scent, stripped of any kind of attachment or heavy burden, very freefloating and airy. Comes in with a splash of cold watery freshness that morps into a chalky-green tonality and dry-cool herbal waxy notes. Kind of reminds of the smell of cleaning out an aquarium, a transparent green lichen-like scent. Gets a note of soap, fresh sweat and a green pepperminty flavor thats really nice, showing great display of harmonic sour, bitter, and sweet tones. Dryout is a manifesto of clean soapy-musk with a fresh-indolic milky vibe and a green-vetiver one with a slight musty waxy-earthyness covered with a sandal-vanilla sweetness. Very refined and smelling almost just as lightweight and airy as the start, its fluffy and a bit misty. Its has a cool and sexy quality and radiates equal amounts of attraction and rejection. Crave is a little masterpiece, forgotten and overlooked, I think its brilliant.

There was a series of shrill battle-cry ozonic scents released into the early 2000's with woods, florals, and fruits racing to the fore in order to reclaim the space taken by the vapid "blue" aquatics. Crave by Calvin Klein was one such fragrance, and attempted to be loud, fresh, sophisticated, sexy, and distinctive... but to the late GenX or early Millenial crowd that was obsessed with complexity for the sake of it. The problem here with this is all the pop and flash worked into the scent, it's packaging, it's advertisement, and even the official name of it's notes ("Fluorescent Fresh Accords" means what exactly?) that it comes across like unapologetic pandering to the demographic it attempts to serve. The all-plastic bottle looked like the disturbing love child of a Windex bottle and a pill planner used to track one's medication, but was supposedly inspired by mobile tech such as cell phones. Naturally, the same tech-savvy generation that would potentially enjoy this scent is also individualist enough in it's self-expression that this sort of "direct" marketing would come across as vulgar, regardless of how it smelled, making this fall flat on it's face in discontinuation after just a few short years.

Hipster culture isn't the death of this scent however, as a few others like Kenneth Cole New York and even an eau de toilette creation by Axe would prove: it just wasn't time quite yet for the aquatic to let go, and the most popular male scents still remained aquatics until nearly the end of the decade. For instance, Ralph Lauren released it's Polo Blue flanker in the same year as this, with much the same shrill chemicals and sweat opening, but retained the overall "cool" accords one would expect from something in a blue bottle from this period, and it remains in production. It's not to say that Crave was a bad scent; when I wear it I get a huge blast of chemically-augmented grapefruit and melon right up front that fades in time to something more like white musk and light spice, with wisps of that grapefruit/melon Kool-Aid mix resurfacing from time to time. It's a hallmark of early 2000's male perfumery to keep top notes around for as long as possible, and this certainly achieves that end. It's a good scent for hot summer if you're tired of aquatics and mossless modern fougères, but only if you're a huge fan of a sweaty missing link between 90's ozonics and 2000's gourmand scents.

Funny that young men from the generation known for high-tech living and bucking tradition ended up siding with tradition against the hip, neon-bright and radioactive fruit salad offerings that were given to them in this period, instead just sticking with the stuff from the 90's their older brothers or upperclassmen wore, rather than reaching up to grab their plastic bottle-within-bottle photon torpedoes and "embracing the future" that this splendid failure of a scent offered them. I owned a bottle of this and even re-bought it once after, but I see it now for what it really was, and perhaps it's just nostalgia for this that kept it in a good light for so long; it was one of the first designers to replace my starters-Avon stash at the time, and I ironically have repurchased all of them but not this one, which I also never really reach for anymore. I've developed past the mindset needed to appreciate this, and the youth of today are back into dark and rich masculines with Oud replacing the moss in most instances, so they wouldn't like it either.

Pungent, musky, fresh and playful...these describe my initial impressions of Crave, the now discontinued scent from Calvin Klein in that weird, unique plastic cell phone container! (My how times have changed...)

Crave seems to echo scents like Perry Ellis Man, Paco Rabanne XS, Perry Ellis 360 Red and other spicy-green-musk type fragrances. IMO, Calvin Klein tried too hard to make Crave ultra-modern and complex (check out that fragrance triangle...egads!!). That may have led to its being discontinued in the end.

It doesn't strike me as a very distinctive nor memorable cologne, but Crave is pleasant to wear - seems most suitable for warmer weather and for younger wearers.

One of 'em spicie-freshies for the upwardly mobile crowd. And what a name! Too bad they stopped short of Crotch or Cleavage - Crave somewhat dilutes the marketing message. This one has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

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