Perfume Directory

Calvin (1981)
by Calvin Klein


Calvin information

Year of Launch1981
Average Rating
(based on 115 votes)

People and companies

HouseCalvin Klein
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchMinnetonka

About Calvin

Launched in 1981, 'Calvin' was Calvin Klein's first masculine fragrance.It contains notes of bergamot, geranium and sandalwood.
The packaging is blue-black, with silver text and has a retro feel.
Although discontinued in 1990, Calvin was relaunched worldwide on 4th October 1999 to celebrate the millennium. Its a limited edition launch, so grab it now if you are a fan of this retro scent.

Reviews of Calvin

The original formulation of Calvin was prescient, predictive of many seminal riffs one would see down the line, through Drakkar Noir and numerous spicy fougeres later on. Calvin's main problem was it was too strong; it took a serious effort to spray on as little as possible. A full spritz was noxious, but just the right amount was a wonderfully zippy bergamot, yet coriander-like, musky idiosyncrasy.
22nd August, 2017
Genre: Fougère

Calvin’s opening maneuvers are pretty conventional: tart lemon, sweet bergamot, and lavender that presage a classical fougère formula. A strong anise note and additional aromatic elements emerge to establish a spicy central accord that reminds me very much of the classic Azzaro pour Homme, though decidedly softer and sweeter. The foundation is predictably heavy on coumarin, and mercifully free of the crude woody amber basenotes that mar so many newer fougères.

While Calvin is much less loud than some of its contemporaries, it is not a retiring scent. It won’t enter the room before you do, but you’ll always know you’re wearing it. Calvin’s spicy-aromatic heart is relatively quick to deconstruct, so that within two hours of wear what remains is a much more bland, and rather sweet, traditional fougère of medium intensity. I’d prefer it if Calvin retained its spicy edge for longer, since the extended drydown is disappointingly dull. "Businesslike" is how I would describe this scent, and decidedly conservative, in a style that, while perfectly attractive, is not the current fashion.
11th June, 2014
Hope you dont mind and i do recognize this product has been discontinued but looking for a bottle or two. Appreciate where they can be found.

Negative aspect is that I cant find it and trying to buy. Feel free to recommend where it can be found.

be safe...

Pros: Stands alone in its class and what the fragrance portrays to others compared to what is being produced these days.
Cons: Its unique"

13th October, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Discreetly traditional

The top notes are the traditional mix of bergamot, neroli, lemon and geranium, but chamomile and artemisia give it a bit of and unexpected twist. Later patchouli comes into the foreground, which on my skin is quite controlled and not particularly harsh. Later in the base sandal and a restrained musk are added, but the latter phase is very close to my skin. Silage and projection are all right in the initial stages, which are the most interesting to me. I get a complete longevity of three hours. One of CK's most gentlemanly and least vacuous scents, and definitely on the traditional side but nonetheless with a creative element. One of my favourite CKs.

I am not sure about the age of the juice I am reviewing and which edition it represents.

28th September, 2013
Beautiful fragrance and long lasting. One of the BEST CK's EVER!
21st December, 2012
Roby Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I managed to buy an un-opened 100ml bottle of this from e-bay recently for £25 which I was happy with as I understand it's been discontinued.

The box and bottle are very nice - only issue is that as the bottle is dark black it's tricky to see how much is left unless you hold it up to the light.

The scent is pretty old-school. The opening notes reminded me a lot of the classic Ralph Lauren Polo (Green) that Slick Rick mentioned wearing in his "Ladi-Dadi" track. It's also very similar to Colonia Essenzia by Acqua Di Parma.

It's basically a very nice mixture of florals with bergamot, spices, wood and vanilla. It's very fresh initially with great projection. I put three sprays on my neck before I went to work and it was still going strong by the afternoon. It has a powdery dry down which I was still aware of nine hours after applying.

The fact that Calvin was launched in 1981 means it is slightly dated but don't let that trick you into thinking it's an old man's scent - it's not. It would be suitable for anyone from early 20's up to their 60's. It's pretty classy and exudes confidence. Calvin is a fragrance of it's era but not one that should be forgotten.

I'd put this right up there with Obsession and Contradiction as the top men's fragrances from the CK stable.
20th June, 2012

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