Perfume Directory

DK Collection Chaos (1996)
by Donna Karan


DK Collection Chaos information

Year of Launch1996
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 110 votes)

People and companies

HouseDonna Karan
PackagingStephen Weiss
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies > Aramis and Designer Fragrances

About DK Collection Chaos

Chaos was originally launched in 1996, but discontinued in around 2002. The fragrance became highly sought after and fetched considerable sums on eBay. The original pre-discontinuation bottle was designed by Karan's late husband, sculptor Stephen Weiss. The current packaging is a black cylindrical bottle.

In 2008, Donna Karan relaunched the fragrance alongside Fuel for Men (AKA DK Men) and Donna Karan as part of the Donna Karan Collection.

Donna Karan say:

Inspired by the hectic pace of the modern woman's world, Chaos was created to reconnect with our own natural creativity and balance. This fragrance is a blend of calm and serene notes such as sage & coriander, combined with spicy and warm exotic woods. This serene fragrance inspires the wearer to embrace life's unpredictability.


Reviews of DK Collection Chaos

If you think vintage Idole Lubin EdT is a masterpiece, give vintage Chaos a try and you will never look back.
17th February, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Reviewing the original formulation:

The blast is drop-dead gorgeous! After a brief fresh bergamot second opening a bright spice trio of cardamom, clove and saffron arise, and the combined effect is nothing less than stunningly beautiful and truly original. In the drydown I get some wood added, mainly sandal, and a herbal undertone gives it an additional and unexpected twist.

The base development is founded upon a warm, glowing cinnamon, which has been growing in intensity for a few hours and is now the centrepiece of the last stage in the development of this marvel, with additional accents of chamomile tea complimented by lavender and, towards the end, by a mild, nigh-sweetish ambery note, which fits in beautifully with the tea note.

The perfomance is excellent, with strong sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A stunner, well blended whilst beautifully well structured and composed of high-quality ingredients. An iconic autumn scent. 4/5
04th December, 2015
Genre: Woody Oriental

Chaos is a warm, fruity, spicy oriental with prominent notes of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom at its center. There’s something medicinal in there, too: myrrh, perhaps? Or maybe the agarwood (oudh) that’s listed in the scent pyramid? For all of its apparent depth, Chaos is a very sheer and luminous scent. Could this be because there’s very little that I’d call floral in the structure? Instead Chaos is bound together by prune-like dried fruit accord and a syrupy, though light, amber.

Perfume critic Luca Turin is right in comparing Chaos to Sheldrake/Lutens compositions (Arabie comes to mind), but this is a more buoyant and transparent scent than its cousins in the Serge Lutens line. It becomes intensely sweet in the drydown, with a strong suggestion of fruitcake alongside a dusty sandalwood and some very soft and mildly animalic musk. There’s plenty of sillage to be had from Chaos, and it projects well away from the body. The scent lingers for hours as well. If the idea of a sweet, fruity oriental appeals to you, but you find today’s ubiquitous fruity feminines too crude and the Serge Lutens orientals series too ponderous, Chaos may be your fragrance. (This review applies to the 2008 reissue.)
11th June, 2014
bogsc Show all reviews
United States
Smells to me like the love child of DK Gold and Black Cashmere. While I like and own both of them, I love Chaos. And it's affordable again due to the relaunch, so I'm definitely getting my hands on a full bottle soon! :)
11th November, 2012
So why did Donna Karan gave Chaos‘ label for her fourth perfume?

It’s not the scent but the original flacon that represent the CHAOS’ label. Stephan Weiss (her husband) has done a wonderful job to make this Post Modernism flacon. He refused the symmetry design & choose the disharmonious concept to create a shaped like a tall stalactite’s crystal. I know that the reissued chaos which was released in 2008 has the same smell as the 1996 edition, but the 2008’s flacon that use the same chaos’ label is meaningless now. A “niche wannabe” flacon that is sold only in selected store & labeled it as exclusive essences.

Well, let’s stop about this architectural design non sense & talks about the scent...

Chaos’ notes are all about spice, spice & spices. Coriander has the main role for the opening blast of the scent and its smell just like Comme Des Garcons with a half power of projection. While CDG is a linier scent with overdose coriander mixed with other spices on my skin, on the other hand chaos still used the classical three-phase perfume structures. I can smell the smooth transition from the top notes to the heart notes, the coriander enter the heart note accompanied by the main note saffron. Both of them play a good role for the scent development, when the coriander fade away slowly, then comes cinnamon to give extra vibe to the saffron note. After half an hour finally I could not detect anymore the coriander note on my skin.

The heart note is the best part of Chaos. The king of all spices: Saffron , this one put a smile on my face. You may call me freak… but my nose is 0,3mm from my arm, I take a deep breath to feel this smoothness’ note and breath it out slowly . More than 10 times I did this “abnormal” activity :). And again, the warmth of musk covered the saffron (which become so light) on the transition from the heart to the base. For about 5 hours, the saffron & a hint of musk still lingering on my skin.

The Longevity & sillage of this scent are moderate but the scent development is marvellous & the original flacon is masterpiece.
24th June, 2012
I am at a loss of understanding as to why Donna Karan discontinued many of her earlier fragrances. Thankfully she has brought them back in the form of limited releases in selected stores. I feel incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to try both Black Cashmere and Chaos before they disappear off the market for good.

Chaos, to my nose, is a clean, unique and somewhat soapy, sandalwood based fragrance. It's complex, distinctive and expensive smelling.

It's not too heavy, like some woodsy scents tend to be. You could possibly get away with wearing this in the Summer and Spring months. I find the scent to be very relaxing, non-gender specific and thoroughly enjoyable.

The hints of oriental spiciness throughout the composition does bear some similarities to Black Cashmere, just perhaps not as rich, sensual and dark. It's a beautiful fragrance, particularly one that will appeal to any lovers of intense woodsiness and understated mystery.

The 'chaos' comes from its slightly animalistic tone, which I find rather arousing on both men and women. This is not a fragrance for the faint of heart or those who consider themselves refined. A hint of carnation every now and then fools you into thinking this is pretty and feminine until the woods force you to think otherwise.

Some reviewers are saying incense, and while it is spicy and smokey in some instances, it is not entirely incense to my nose. Regardless of what people describe it as or perceive it to be, Chaos is a truly hauntingly beautiful fragrance that deserves to be around for a long time.
04th April, 2012

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