Perfume Directory

Eternity for Men (1989)
by Calvin Klein


Eternity for Men information

Year of Launch1989
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 853 votes)

People and companies

HouseCalvin Klein
PerfumerCarlos Benaim
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchUnilever

About Eternity for Men

Still popular today, this fresh fougere fragrance inspired many wannabe's.

Eternity for Men fragrance notes

Reviews of Eternity for Men

I was never really a big fan of Eternity. It was just very fresh and quite nice. There was nothing to really dislike. I just found it kinda boring.
03rd December, 2018
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The overarching of Eternity is green and botanical for all eternity, or at least until the end. Additional freshness is provided initially by an infusion of an orangey citrus that is quite pleasant.

Soon a nice lavender arises, and together with a good touch of basil continues the green theme, occasionally with a slightly grassy touch.

The base has a nonspecific woodsy undertone, what seems to have become more generic over the years, and is suspicious of some reformulation over time. There is a slash of a slightly anaemic vetiver evident to brighten up the final stages.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

Overall an agreeable spring scent, which originally was composed of decent-quality ingredients. Having been a staple of mine for years, I could not fail to note a movement towards becoming blander over time, with the top notes deteriorating the least. 3.5/5 for the original impression, now 3.25/5.
03rd September, 2018
Well, I'm sure this has got worse over time. I remember it being extremely popular back in the 90s, no doubt due to that period of CK marketing when they could do no wrong. And there were some good scents, to be sure. However, this is now the smell of fresh laundry. And to be sure, there's a place for fresh laundry. But ... well, you can fill in the rest for yourselves.
25th August, 2018
This fragrance I still like to a degree.In my eyes as cheap as Eternity for Men is now? that's the logical price tag.$70 for this back in the day was offering an 'innovative' scent that while refreshing and good for sring,summer,casual,and formal wear showed itself also capable as being just as synthetic as cheap colognes.

From Eternity for Men I don't get any basil or sage...but I do vetiver.Very transparent citrus and white soapy lavender fizzed with a slightly aldehydic edge attacking the grassy vetiver and leaving their trail behind as they spread cleanliness throughout.Sandalwood compliments a faint warmth to this which I think without it? could show more edge...but it's a calming touch to Eternity.Something in the mid between the vetiver soapy side and the's fruity sweet and transparent.Comes off grape candy and/or melon's 'Calone'.Mixed thoughts about this synthetic note but the exact shaping of it doesn't make me think of something original of Eternity.This element I remember in Iron by Coty which pre-dates Eternity for Men.That was the first thought that hit my mind.

A decent fragrance but with how sharp but transparent it is through the citrus and calone it causes one to overspray because it doesn't one as potent.Go easy on this stuff because for some it causes headaches,for me it causes me to constantly swallow.Almost like an early detection sign of a case of acid reflux coming on.

11th June, 2018
Calvin Klein nearly has the ubiquity and brand appeal of Coca-Cola in the United States, and it's mostly due to this scent, both in it's previously-released original feminine version and this masculine variant that appeared a few years later. The name "Eternity" has proved apt, particularly for the masculine variety, as it's spawned countless flankers and is one of the most commonly-sniffed-in-public male fragrances around, even nearly 30 years after it's launch. Obsession for Men (1986) might be the romantic standard for the CK masculines, but Eternity is the nine to five workweek staple. Eternity wasn't the first "freshie" as perfume hobbyists like to affectionately call all things in this or it's adjacent categories, but it was the first of it's type with enough mainstream brand power to truly make an impact on the masculine fragrance scene of the late 1980's, setting up what would be a 90's revolution hotly contested on it's merits by collectors and fans of male scent to this day. In short, Eternity was the final push that started the big kill-off of all previous conventions in male-targeted perfumery. Creed's Green Irish Tweet (1985) is probably the first sufficiently-documented example of a fresh fragrance, but it was just too exclusive, too expensive, and too niche (at the time), but was followed up some years later by Davidoff's Cool Water (1988), which smelled as the name sounds and became a huge contrast against a backdrop of all the oakmoss and patchouli-heavy "powerhouses" that choked up offices in the decade. Even Cool Water wasn't indeed "for everyone" as some people just weren't ready for an out-and-out aquatic, nor did Davidoff have the star power behind it that CK wielded. Little did anyone realize what kind of a tidal shift in masculine fragrance paradigms this would cause, and that shift would only just start to fade in favor of yet another set of values after 3 decades. The secret to the success of this scent is unarguably it's resurrection of the time-honored lavender and geranium pairing seen countless times throughout the Victorian age, then again in mid-century drugstore cologne or after shave. These two elements became muddled and downright befuddled after the 1960's started heaping aromatics like spice rack greens, rose, carnation, pine, various woods, and musks, giving rise to the much more macho fougères that segued into the very powerhouses that this scent rendered extinct. Funny how it all comes full circle huh?

Eternity for Men entered the mainstream fragrance-buying market like a wrecking ball, with billboard ads and magazine inserts, commercials and samples galore. It wasn't just an aquatic or fresh scent; the third chapter in Calvin's masculine scent story was married to classic fougère notes, yet didn't contain tonka or oakmoss as was previously considered a prerequisite for the genre. Love it or hate it, Eternity is a clever smell made by an equally clever perfumer who's creations have molded the evolution of the craft, namely Carlos Benaim. Yes, we're talking the same guy who bequeathed us Ralph Lauren's iconic pine and moss blast known as Polo (1978), and also went on to make 4 more Polo flankers including a remake of the original, the also-icon Polo Blue (2002), and has for all intents and purposes remained a house perfumer for Calvin Klein to boot. He knew taking something deep-rooted and familiar, then twisting it with the new and the daring was the only way to ease the transition for people still clinging to their bottles of Kouros (1981). Almost everyone loves the aforementioned lavender, geranium, and other such barbershop staples. Eternity opens much as one might expect from this genre by now: a strong whiff of calone (under the guise of "green botantics") carries subtle orange and lavender notes, keying in a telltale sweet astringency anchored by just a touch of the familiar to keep it from being repugnant, before melting into layers of commonly-used herbs and florals in the middle, then finalizing with the aforementioned sandalwood, vetiver, amber, and rosewood in finishing touches. The high-contrast calone note is the real "eternity" of this one, despite being a top note, as it never goes away thanks to it's binding with lavender in the heart. Anyone familiar with the preceding Aramis take on the genre known as New West (1988) will instantly understand what an enduring calone note is like (even if New West is more melon-y), and can already predict half of this juice's performance. New West was just too sweet and juicy for the mainstream, and despite technically beating Eternity to the punch on the idea, isn't really quite as universally appealing, since it didn't try tying anything familiar into it's fresh formula. All the other ingredients here, however natural and reassuring, surf on a shimmering wave of said calone, a suspension of notes which comes to define Eternity for Men more than anything else about it.

There's a lot of sentiment attached to this one, in part due to it's insane popularity, and in part due to the changes in style it caused that made many a man mourn the loss of his previously-favorite fragrance. Like anything that causes a massive changing of the guard, there are those who resent it for abolishing the old ways, and those who embrace it as the start of -their own- set of traditions. For certain, it ranks up there with Acqua di Gio (1996) as one of the most-worn masculines ever. The antediluvian types will always throw stones at this as some sort of Antichrist in a bottle (indeed seeing the designer itself as such a devil), since it marked the final days of their favorite aromatics, musks, or powerhouses; it caused a death further asserted by CK's own continued foray into synthetics that started a 90's trend which made heavier scents taboo, then eulogized by 2011 IFRA restriction on treemoss and oakmoss. The house of Calvin Klein himself would seemingly become obsessed with the artifice on display here for years to come, creating what I call "The Age of Eternity" and using impressionistic "Kleinisms" in place of real notes going forward. Gen X'ers and Millenials who discovered this first will have the same nostalgia trip out of it that those older dudes get from a bottle of something from Paco Rabanne or Bogart, and I sit squarely in the middle because my tastes are far broader than the lot of them (as they are in most areas). I'll concede that it pushes a lot of most-common-denominator buttons, and Mr. Benaim was likely intent on having it do just that, but I'm not sure if it was the beginning of some scheme to convince guys "bland was better" to make it easier to sell more cheaply-made stuff for the same designer price. I just think it was a back-to-basics kind of scent with no expectation of the revolution it caused, and the trajectory of CK's designs going forward was just as much a reaction to the success of Eternity as designs from any other house in it's wake. Eternity is a spring or summer inoffensive office scent, and it's honestly not a bad choice because it's just such a simple lavender, geranium, and sandalwood composition once you cut out all the fluff. There isn't a lick of romance or scandal to it, but neither is there to most of the older barbershop fougères it plagiarizes. I see it too as more of a reaction rather than an initiative, and reactions often beget more reactions, and after 30 years of ripples, here we are, stuck in Eternity.
01st February, 2018 (last edited: 30th May, 2018)
Just a nice pleasant old school fresh scent, still like it after all these years!
08th January, 2018

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