Genre: Woody Oriental
Few scents from Calvin Klein appeal to me, but Truth is more interesting and pleasant than most. It also smells very, very familiar to start with, but I can’t place it. Herbaceous green and citrus top notes smell so much like something I know. What? What???? Wait, I know! The top notes are Annick Goutal’s Le Chèvrefeuille. In fact, Truth’s opening gambit echoes the signature Goutal citrus and green floral motif that appears in varied form in Folavril, Eau du Sud, and Eau de Ciel, as well as Le Chèvrefeuille.
Truth sweetens and becomes more opaque over time, as powdery amber, vanilla, and discreet woody notes establish a relatively lightweight oriental motif beneath the green floral accord. Properly engineered, this gambit of juxtaposing two apparently incompatible olfactory constructs can establish exceptional vibrancy and sustained interest in a fragrance. Angel, Tubéreuse Criminelle, Aramis, Sublime, and Yohji Homme all work their own variation on this trick with great success. Scents that get the balance wrong wind up as train wrecks – Montale’s Aoud Ambre comes to mind. Truth manages quite well, maintaining a highly charged, yet ideally poised balance between its bitter, herbaceous green floral and sweet woody oriental components. There are times when Truth can smell a bit chemical, but it is never boring.
While by no means a shy or ephemeral scent, Truth is tactfully modest in its power and projection. Carefully balanced potency works very much to Truth’s advantage, as a more aggressive stance would risk emphasize the somewhat chemical quality of its green floral accord. As executed, Truth is clever, engaging, and good company all around. It also strikes me as no less gender-neutral than Calvin Klein’s determinedly unisex CK One.
Let’s start with scent and truth. Bamboo? Wet Woods? Silk tree flower? Seems a bit insincere from the start, I’d say. If you’re going to list ridiculous note without a trace of botanical truth, why not branch out from botany and list notes like fractiousness, regret, serenity or stasis.
But I love the way Truth smells. It shows a wonderful and converging use of synthetic tones. There’s a green woody sappiness and a tart fruit/musk combination that both extends and redefines the ‘freshness’ that defines the middle of the road of designer fragrance. The result is a beautiful ambiguity without a hint of tension.
As with all fragrances, I tried this one on a couple of times before buying it.
I have now learned that it is NOT always the most reliable thing to do (although it still beats the alternatives, of course).
Perhaps I should have tried it in more than one shop, because clearly their bottle was aged or something. The drydown was much more to my liking than it is now that I am actually wearing it from my own, brand new bottle.
I love the opening: it's so fresh and sprightly, with those joyous citrusy notes! It reminds me of a big, happy smile - fresh and sweet, not cloying and contrived.
Then, after 10 minutes or so, comes the part that I love the most.
I am not sure which note it is that produces it, but suddenly it all settles down and morphs into a glorious chrysanthemum scent - still very fresh, but in a pleasantly composed, "ladylike" manner, not unlike the smile of La Gioconda. ;)
Personally it reminds me a LOT of the middle phase of Donna Karan's DKNY, only it has a whiff more of substance.
This phase lasts for about an hour.
Then, the fragrance gradually develops into a sweeter and more vanilla-like drydown, with a distinct "greasy", oily undernote.
I am not too crazy about that part. I don't HATE it, but I am not sure I would have bought this scent if I had smelled the same drydown on the two occasions I tried it in the store.
Still, I am not sorry.
Its sillage could be better, but it's certainly good it's not obtrusive.
Its longevity is OK, but of course I would have preferred that middle note to be present for longer.
I would also have preferred CK to use the traditional nomenclature. Their current composition sounds contrived and is no more descriptive than the "old fashioned" way.
Still, it is a very nice and remarkably versatile fragrance. Perhaps not one of the greats of all times - but it's certainly much more appealing to me than 90% of the perfume production in the last decade or two.
I must say this was an interesting and unique choice by Calvin Klein when they created this fragrance. I love that this scent is complex and forever changing from citrus to spicyness to freshness.
From the beginning the lemon note is very prominent and strong, with the notes of patchouli and bamboo lingering in the background. It takes a certain person to enjoy these top notes, preferably someone who enjoys their fruity/citrusy scents.
However the scent mellows as it transcends into the heart of the fragrance which is gentle, flowery and fresh. The feministic aspects of this fragrance are portrayed through the lushness of the lily, mimose and peony combined.
I detect a certain spicyness when I smell this in contact with my skin. This creates a warm and sensual scent which I rather enjoy.
The lasting strength is quite good and the packaging, although simple, is modern and tasteful.
Truth is a fragrance that will grow on you. The love might not happen after first sniff but give it a few more tries and you might be surprised.
Smells like light pink and light green in the morning. Does that make any sense? Okay...
Truth is a very nice fragrance. It's nothing to scream about but I find it's rare to see such distinct similarities between the masculine and feminine versions of a fragrance, and I love the men's version. This, the original, has the same green, crisp, and dewy-wet feel to it but is also pink floral and just lightly powdery. Many claim the men's take on this comes across as generic cologne and these same people are likely to call this one little better but I can't help but enjoy it. Another noteworthy similarity between the two sides of the Truth is they are both deceptively strong for something that smells so watery.