Colbourne's Review of Calvin by Calvin Klein

I will not say this is essential to add in one's collection—I for one happened upon it and spent merely a pittance for it, but I am pleased with the results. It's an 80s aromatic with a somewhat sunnier disposition than its contemporaries, and I say this as I listen to the Cure, it seems rather apt. This is the Cure to Jacomo de Jacomo's Bauhaus. There is melancholy and some gloom but its opening chords are winsome, citrus, neroli, and herbs, and a curious chamomile and if my senses serves me well, its an almost apple-skin like roman chamomile. Then again, my mind could be playing tricks on me.

The transition to its heart reveals similarities to Tuscany Per Uomo, perhaps with the high estragole content on its tarragon accord. Estragole is sweet, a bit sharp, phenolic and anisic, and happens to make up nearly 75% of tarragon oil, giving it its characteristic scent. Tarragon just so happens to have a dazzling synergy with oakmoss, capable of lifting its qualities, and that is evidenced here: the oakmoss seems to come through quite early on.

The dry down is the greatest gift from Calvin, as it has sheer, almost smoky musk in its base, very little in the way of any growl that may be expected from a men's release from 1981, but compelling nonetheless. I wouldn't say this is a "must have," then again, I never want to say any fragrance is a "must have" and thereby fuel the FOMO engine. However, if found at a price which you find affordable, one might find this a delightful wear as I do. 

  1. Colbourne

    Basenotes Member From Boston, MA
    • Messages
    • Reaction score

Recent Reviews of Calvin by Calvin Klein

“Was my signature fragrance from the moment it came out. Got tons of kudos for it and it sat well on …” Read More
“This smells fairly typical of men's perfume in 1981, meaning it's good. A couple things crossing my …” Read More
“Ponderous woody bergamot in orange and brown.…” Read More
Brian Buchanan
“Calvin opens with a sharp bergamot laced herbal green mix of sage-like artemisia and oakmoss rising …” Read More

Recent Reviews by Colbourne

Show more reviews by Colbourne...

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...