Perfume Directory

Crave (2002)
by Calvin Klein


Crave information

Year of Launch2002
Average Rating
(based on 229 votes)

People and companies

HouseCalvin Klein
PackagingFabien Baron
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchUnilever

About Crave

This CK scent is designed for the gadget obsessed 15-24 aged male youth of today. The packaging is made completely of plastic and was inspired by mobile phones and bleepers. The scent is described as fresh and sexy (well aren't they all!) and is launched worldwide in autumn 2002.
Crave has the distinction of being the first male CK fragrance to be launched prior to the female version.
[Update May 2005]: Less than three years after launch, the fragrance has been discontinued by CK.

Reviews of Crave

There was a series of shrill battle-cry ozonic scents released into the early 2000's with woods, florals, and fruits racing to the fore in order to reclaim the space taken by the vapid "blue" aquatics. Crave by Calvin Klein was one such fragrance, and attempted to be loud, fresh, sophisticated, sexy, and distinctive... but to the late GenX or early Millenial crowd that was obsessed with complexity for the sake of it. The problem here with this is all the pop and flash worked into the scent, it's packaging, it's advertisement, and even the official name of it's notes ("Fluorescent Fresh Accords" means what exactly?) that it comes across like unapologetic pandering to the demographic it attempts to serve. The all-plastic bottle looked like the disturbing love child of a Windex bottle and a pill planner used to track one's medication, but was supposedly inspired by mobile tech such as cell phones. Naturally, the same tech-savvy generation that would potentially enjoy this scent is also individualist enough in it's self-expression that this sort of "direct" marketing would come across as vulgar, regardless of how it smelled, making this fall flat on it's face in discontinuation after just a few short years.

Hipster culture isn't the death of this scent however, as a few others like Kenneth Cole New York and even an eau de toilette creation by Axe would prove: it just wasn't time quite yet for the aquatic to let go, and the most popular male scents still remained aquatics until nearly the end of the decade. For instance, Ralph Lauren released it's Polo Blue flanker in the same year as this, with much the same shrill chemicals and sweat opening, but retained the overall "cool" accords one would expect from something in a blue bottle from this period, and it remains in production. It's not to say that Crave was a bad scent; when I wear it I get a huge blast of chemically-augmented grapefruit and melon right up front that fades in time to something more like white musk and light spice, with wisps of that grapefruit/melon Kool-Aid mix resurfacing from time to time. It's a hallmark of early 2000's male perfumery to keep top notes around for as long as possible, and this certainly achieves that end. It's a good scent for hot summer if you're tired of aquatics and mossless modern fougères, but only if you're a huge fan of a sweaty missing link between 90's ozonics and 2000's gourmand scents.

Funny that young men from the generation known for high-tech living and bucking tradition ended up siding with tradition against the hip, neon-bright and radioactive fruit salad offerings that were given to them in this period, instead just sticking with the stuff from the 90's their older brothers or upperclassmen wore, rather than reaching up to grab their plastic bottle-within-bottle photon torpedoes and "embracing the future" that this splendid failure of a scent offered them. I owned a bottle of this and even re-bought it once after, but I see it now for what it really was, and perhaps it's just nostalgia for this that kept it in a good light for so long; it was one of the first designers to replace my starters-Avon stash at the time, and I ironically have repurchased all of them but not this one, which I also never really reach for anymore. I've developed past the mindset needed to appreciate this, and the youth of today are back into dark and rich masculines with Oud replacing the moss in most instances, so they wouldn't like it either.
17th December, 2017 (last edited: 18th December, 2017)
Pungent, musky, fresh and playful...these describe my initial impressions of Crave, the now discontinued scent from Calvin Klein in that weird, unique plastic cell phone container! (My how times have changed...)

Crave seems to echo scents like Perry Ellis Man, Paco Rabanne XS, Perry Ellis 360 Red and other spicy-green-musk type fragrances. IMO, Calvin Klein tried too hard to make Crave ultra-modern and complex (check out that fragrance triangle...egads!!). That may have led to its being discontinued in the end.

It doesn't strike me as a very distinctive nor memorable cologne, but Crave is pleasant to wear - seems most suitable for warmer weather and for younger wearers.
24th December, 2016 (last edited: 02nd March, 2017)
vadim Show all reviews
Russian Federation
One of 'em spicie-freshies for the upwardly mobile crowd. And what a name! Too bad they stopped short of Crotch or Cleavage - Crave somewhat dilutes the marketing message. This one has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
14th January, 2016
Crave is a bold cross between Yohji Homme and CK's Truth for Women, and its death knell was trying to be both at once. Anyone who is familiar with Royal Copenhagen's Viking will recognize a vaguely pleasant yet overly misdirected jumble of notes which almost pan out yet drydown to a great mess. It's fruity, watery, herbal, and refreshing and quite androgynous in the CK manner but it quickly becomes quite cloying. It is almost a good idea but really better left dead.
01st September, 2015
A pleasant marine aquatic, Crave is different from most on the market but not so different or prohibitively expensive to be difficult to wear. In the salty, citrus, semi woody category that leans toward Tom Ford Costa Azzurra or Creed Erolfa, but does not really mimic either of those luxury fragrances. Crave is slightly more citrus than either of those.

While it may be polarizing due to uniquely being at the intersection of the "out at sea" and "beachy" subcategories of aquatics, its relative uniqueness in this sense makes Crave all the more intriguing, and it occupies its own space between the citrus and coconut beach fragrances and the salty, woody marine fragrances.

For a summer EDT, Crave's projection and longevity are both strong, especially its opening. It becomes a skin scent within a couple of hours but does last beyond the 6 hour mark.

There is some inconsistency in the listing of one of the top notes, as I've seen either "starfruit" or "starfish" but never both. I'd assume the fruit and not the animal, but I'm not sure I'd know how to detect either. Same goes for the lichen, as I'd expect animal products to be avoided, though this fragrance is now 13 years old.

As another side note, the spray bottle is slightly cumbersome (I find this to be the case with the off-center sprayer of Nautica Classic / Blue, as well), but that's separate from the scent itself.

In conclusion, this is worth a try if you're in the market for a warm weather fragrance.

7 out of 10
05th May, 2015
After 5 seconds of those same windex + grape drink topnotes you smell in everything, it quickly settles down to salty basil and overheating plastic sitting next to a swimming pool, but with a strange out-of-phase citric quality to the plastic smell.

By focusing on basil instead of dumb fruit, it hints at a smartness missing from your average aquatic, but then it blows everything by drying down to a toxic mix of ginger and bleach. It kind of makes me think that someone at Calvin Klein called for a scent "like Acqua di Gio, but more mainstream". Meh - there's nothing noteworthy here unless you just want to smell like every other interchangeable men's scent that comes and goes at Macy's.
01st May, 2015

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CRAVE CALVIN KLEIN EDT 40ml, Discontinued, Very Rare,New in Box

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