Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Eternity for Men by Calvin Klein

Total Reviews: 160
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 or aquatic 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.

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 and 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), as almost everyone loves lavender, sandalwood, 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. Anyone familiar with the Aramis take on the genre known as New West (1989) will instantly understand what an enduring calone note is like, and can already predict half of this juice's performance.

All the other ingredients here, however natural and reassuring, surf on a shimmering wave of 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, since it marked the final days of their favorite aromatics, musks, or powerhouses; it caused a death further eulogized by the 2011 IFRA restriction on oakmoss. 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 Paco or Drakkar, 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. Eternity is a spring or summer inoffensive office scent, and it's honestly not a bad choice. 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 more as a reaction rather than an initiative, and reactions often beget more reactions, and after 30 years of ripples, here we are.
01st February, 2018
Just a nice pleasant old school fresh scent, still like it after all these years!
08th January, 2018
TeeEm Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I first wore this 1990 to 1991 and love it.
It has an unusual sweet smell.
I bought it in 2017 out of nostalgia and I secretely kind of like it... I do not know though, whether this has been reformulated since the nineties or I purchased old (out of date) stock because its longevity is poor... I remember ETERNITY lasted for ages
For me 5/10
06th January, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

This smells just like how I remember.
Maybe the original formulation was even better, but it's been awhile, and as things are, it smells the same to me.
It's a light smelling fragrance compared to what was in fashion before it. This has a sexy, seductive quality to it, but there's a little classy, sophistication to it.
I'm not really prone to wearing this with shorts and sandals, but you could. I think it suits a slightly more formal occasion though.

Longevity is weird. Some days it's gone in like 3 hours, others days it lasts about 6.

I'm surprised that this cologne is as maligned as much as it is. It's easily one of my favorite fragrances of all time.
19th August, 2017
And safe and good for any occasion. A bit nostalgic for those of us who were young enough to remember this when it first launched and every popular guy in high school was wearing it.

You can't go wrong with this classic.
17th June, 2017
I had first tried this in a holiday sampler pack that came bundled with this as well as Obsession, Escape, and CK One. While I liked them all this was probably my third favorite of the bunch behind CK One and Obsession. This one starts out sort of smelling like a glade plugin air freshener. The longer you wear it it gives way to a kind of green and woody scent. This one is kind of a sweet and sour cologne. Some days I can get this one to last longer and on those days it retains it's sweet scent other days it gets a little sour and the scent fades faster. Overall a decent fragrance considering you can get a small bottle at Walmart for under $25. I think it lasts longer and is best suited for warmer days.
04th May, 2017
Whatever reformulation Coty or whoever owns Calvin Klein fragrances has done willfully and successfully killed this fragrance. Vintage bottles are going over $100 online and I can't stand to pay retail for a true branded bottle that smells like a knock-off. Someone should pay dearly for messing up this fragrance.
08th April, 2017
This is a shadow of what it used to be. Back in high school, every guy had a bottle of this and the halls were filled with clouds of Eternity. Why? Because all the high school girls loved it - including my girlfriend (who is now my wife).

25 or so years later, I picked up a bottle for some nostalgia. It's almost unwearable now in its reformulation but there's still a ghost of the original lying here and there underneath. For this reason I keep it around if we want a trip down memory lane.
28th February, 2017
A great scent from Calvin Klein! Eternity definitely is noticed by others whenever I wear it, and I've been complimented several times.

Eternity is a classy, pungent cologne that has shimmering layers of spiciness, aquatics, citrus, and warmth from the lavender and geranium. One friend commented on smelling Bay rum in the fragrance; it's not in the official scent triangle, but I think he was on point.

I haven't smelled the vintage vs. newer formulation, so I can't make any comparisons as other basenotes have so aptly done. But overall, Eternity is an understated legend that's worth a try.
11th January, 2017
I'm sure it's been reformulated, but I can't stand this one anymore. Definitely bitter/sour scent. I couldn't even wear it because I hated the scent. Gave my bottle away to Goodwill.
09th July, 2016 (last edited: 05th August, 2016)
Long ago I avoided reviewing this and several other fragrances simply because they had plenty enough reviews already. Now I feel compelled to throw in my two cents because of how my perception has changed over the years. Until now I never quite realized how very 80's the heart and base are, losing myself in the lavender and calone opening. But the bitter greens and white florals, on closer inspection, are more akin to scents like the original Burberrys than the wave of herbaceous aquatics that followed Eternity's release. Heck, I never even noticed there was vetiver in this composition until today. I have always liked Calvin Klein despite their many shortcomings (CK Free and Encounter spring immediately to mind), and Mr. Klein and I share a birthday (Yippee!), and I feel this release deserves its level of fame- It is synthetic yet potent, a bit screechy if over-sprayed, but is layered and nuanced in a way which seems to be fading from the common release. My one caveat is that the current version in production is -maybe- 65 percent the strength of the original.
Thumbs up for the original creation and a watered down neutral for the schlock currently on the shelves.
27th May, 2016
This is a classic scent in my book with the citrus and lavender, but I find it a bit too synthetic. At first, I was a little surprised how much this one jumped off my skin, but, in the end, I got just average performance with this. Of course, if you wore this in Summer, it could probably be too much.
24th March, 2016
Current drugstore formulation is a cut-down, outdated sour concoction. Stay away no matter the price.
09th December, 2015
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

A one more example of the fragrance that is ruined by a reformulation. Both longevity and sillage has gone. So I'm reviewing the vintage Eternity for men which I have purchased several bottles. That's the original CK Cosmetics version and somewhere in the mid 2000's the Unilever version. (the reformulated current version being the Coty Prestige one.) Ca. 50% of my purchased bottles had turned bad, and I'm left with 3 good vintage bottles. They smell amazingly good and different from the current formula. Much more potent! Based on my own experiences, i'd say Eternity turns relatively easily bad - a word of warning to any other possible vintage hunters.

I find this a refreshing and comforting woody aromatic which has especially very nice sort of sharp top citrus notes (lemon, mandarin, bergamot). The lavender is excellent here. The citruses are not at any phase too dominant. Aloof, clear, sharp, herbal, aromatic. In the middle notes I find an aspect of beautiful sadness/melancholy. Don't know where it exactly comes from, maybe the lavender-other florals-vetiver combo (?). Corresponds well with the name Eternity. For me this works best as a good needed change after some heavier, sweeter, powerhouse fragrances. The times when one needs lighter, refreshing, comforting, cooling, maybe even a bit sporty fragrance. It's not aquatic though, which is a big plus for me. For those who search for compliments, this one works in that sense. Strictly masculine, I find nothing unisex or feminine here. The base woods are vetiver, sandalwood and rosewood.

I go with 3-4 sprays of which one to the arm(s), the rest to neck-chest area. As for vintage Eternity, there's no need to spray more, you'll get noticed by others - and in a positive way! One extra spray from long distance to shirt, or spray to the air and "walk through the mist" is a good idea. Works well as an office scent. Afaik it's not so popular any more (versus in the 90's) - it may offer a certain amount of individuality.

04th October, 2015
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I never liked this when it came out but I was recently given a sample and I thought I'd give it a try. After a full day, I have to say that it is okay--synthetic and oddly harsh, in its light, fresh fougere way. Eternity is not horrible but also adds nothing to the genre (which it helped popularize). I wore it on a slightly overcast day at the beach (where I rarely wear anything) and it fit in well enough while I knocked around and did some errands. Calvin Klein's scents just elude me--I have never found one I like and some I actually strongly dislike. It is nice, occasionally, to retry things on the off chance that you will discover a new-found love or at least to confirm your earlier impressions. Impression confirmed.
25th August, 2015
Desperately bad on every level. Basically a musky citrus-lavender fragrance smelling like a fizzy warm burp after drinking cheap Limoncello. Deadly everlasting persistence. Gross and discomforting.

4/10
25th May, 2015
Salutation.

ETERNITY is my favorite fragrance of the CK in my coleection.it is my fragrance while i was in the university and all friends were loving me because of my lovely aromatic fougere and i still love it.

In my opinion the fragrance smells so different.it is a kind fragrances a man should wear it with chic style.not sharp fruity for me It opens with a fresh scent with some mild citrus noses.

I think it is suitable for every age and every taste because it is really clean and beautiful scent..delightful composition and perfect for spring days and very long losting.

7.75/10
13th May, 2015
Eternity used to be one of my main fragrances in the early 90's. As I began to learn about fragrance diversity and expand my collection, I wore Eternity less and less and finally threw out the remaining bottle, which was almost gone anyway after 15 years. As other reviews have stated, Eternity is just too bland and boring in today's marketplace and there are so much better safe office scents available that are more intelligent and interesting.
25th March, 2015
A few years ago, in the nascent stages of my interest in fragrances, I purchased a Calvin Klein sampler that included 0.5 oz bottles of Obsession, Euphoria, Eternity Aqua, and Eternity. While I instantly fell in love with Obsession and labeled Euphoria and Eternity Aqua boring but wearable, I disliked Eternity from the beginning. I knew nothing about synthetic ingredients or olfactory pyramids then. All I knew was that I didn't like how it smelled in the bottle and that it was the near opposite of what I wanted to smell like. It was bland and I remember thinking that it smelled like someone who didn't know what they wanted. Watery and slightly feminine--but not in a lovely, desirable way--but decidedly made for men. I tried wearing it twice but scrubbed it off after a few minutes.

Now, I know that it's a light fougere. That it inspired a generation of generic fragrances based on the "lavender top notes, citrus/green/floral top-to-mid notes, sandalwood/vetiver/amber base notes" formula. That it is still widely used and that it really is just as boring as I originally thought. That I got ripped off and should have just bought a bottle of Obsession instead of the sampler with three other bottles of juice that I have not worn in years.

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't stink. It smells clean in a vague synthetic way. I'm sure that it is an acceptable smell for many older men or even younger conservative ones. It's just not for me nor is it a good fit for those who are looking for something unique. Something that makes a statement.

Rather than being called Eternity, it should have been called Conformity.
24th December, 2014
Genre: Fougère

Eternity is as close to “generic” a men’s fragrance I’ve smelled in a while. The composition is so bland, so faceless, that I’m not sure I can describe it in terms of notes and ingredients. Etermity’s top notes are a vague, undifferentiated citrus (dihydromyrcenal?) and Calone, as blatantly chemical as any store brand shower gel, and its core smells like the lowest common denominator of every stereotypical “fresh” fruity-aquatic fougère since Cool Water. Ideally, any scent so little distinguished from its peers in terms of composition should exhibit outstanding quality to justify purchase. Eternity for Men does nothing of the sort. It’s not only trite, but shoddy to boot. Not worth another line of text.
13th June, 2014
This was my signature scent in the mid-'90s. And smelling it now brings back that era--light and woody with hints of citrus and a great vetiver. I could wear it easily and it seemed to work for just about any occasion. I still think it's a good fragrance. I finally just tired of how synthetic it was (which maybe was also why I liked it in the first place). I think perhaps I got a bit older and my taste changed to heavier fougères. But still many good memories of this one.
11th May, 2014
Well I fell in love with Eternity in 1992. It has a special place among other fragrances I use. My now wife liked the scent before we even met. Somehow it does work on me, although lately they have been experimenting and it looks like thy have toned down the cologne. I still like the lavender in it. Good for daily wear.
09th March, 2014
Very blah! Not a fan at all...
16th February, 2014
Hard to like and hard to dislike. Eternity starts out smelling like a nice green fern that is pleasant but it gets very synthetic and irritating as it settles into a synthetic mess of lavender, moss and vetiver. You can see what Dinand was trying to do but the cheap materials ruin the batch. Now that it's been rejuiced to lessen the Oak Moss load, it's practically unwearable. In place of Eternity for Men, I'd recommend getting Lancôme's Miracle Homme L'Aquatonic or Esencia Loewe.

4/10
09th January, 2014
Not into eternity

Well its a classic ! Point made but...

But it is a transparant scent for me in a neutral way, fresh and calming but not very interesting.
OK i think there are not many men (and women) who will dislike this one on a person wearing it but ...
If i may give a tip for a better alternative try Lanvins Homme

Its in the same vibe.

I used to like the version from the early nineties better as this version had some extra edge which the current formulation lacks .

The 90's Eternity had a better sandalwood/lavender composition with the greens running around.

New formulation is soul-less

Thats why i give this one just 1 decade instead of eternity.

Pros: Clean and soapy
Cons: Thin reformulation without a bite."

12th September, 2013
Worthless reformulation by Coty

Coty reformulated this juice so that it's just a weak version of its vintage self. And that's after at least one prior reformulation by Unilever.

The vintage is a rich bourbon in color; current production looks more like Budwiser on ice. Instead of spending a fortune to market Eternity and Obsession spin-offs like Eternity Aqua, Eternity Summer, Dark Obession and Obsession Night, Coty would fare better by not watering down the original, highly successful formulations.

Two knock-offs I know of that come close to vintage Eternity for Men are Very Sexy for Men by Victoria's Secret and Séx?al pour Homme by Michel Germain. I've compared Very Sexy, Séx?al and current Eternity, on skin, side-by-side.

Séx?al pour Homme has the best longevity, though it's hardly what I would hope for. Very Sexy has almost no longevity at all; it feels as though it's gone in ten minutes. Current Eternity for Men falls somewhere between those extremes.

Plus Séx?al pour Homme holds a bit more spice and sweet bite in the drydown than either.

So, though it's not all that well-known, I rely on Séx?al pour Homme for every day usage. Meanwhile, I keep a bottle of Very Sexy displayed on the vanity for the ladies to admire ... as well as for refreshing Séx?al pour Homme while at home. I leave the lame Coty reformulation of Eternity for Men to gullible shoppers in the mall.

And I keep an eBay search on for vintage Eternity for Men juice ... though I am more likely to find a live unicorn for sale first.

Suggestions regarding in-production substitutes for vintage Eternity for Men would be readily welcomed.

12th July, 2013
Eternity by Calvin Klein

While the fresh soapy opening and lavendar mid notes are appealing, it dries down into a typical woody spicy fragrance that is rather typical and dated. Still some people will really like this, but us fragrance snobs have been treated to much better options out there.

29th May, 2013
I can't stand it... It gives me headache... still is...
11th February, 2013
This is one of the scents that I started on as a teenager. I wore it because my dad wore and still wears it today. I agree with the people that say that no woman dislikes Eternity for men because I have yet to meet one that does. That being said it's pleasant enough and inoffensive. Nothing spectacular really and it is synthetic smelling. There's something in it that makes me sneeze which is why I stopped wearing it in the first place. It does have good longevity for especially for the price. Not something I would consider buying again though.
27th January, 2013
I felt compelled to add my review of this in answer to the "no woman dislikes this fragrance" reviews.

Well, this woman dislikes this fragrance. It starts off pleasingly enough with a nice fresh herbal, but those notes run for the exit immediately, leaving only a synthetic, unpleasantly aquatic soap smell behind. No masculinity, absolutely no sex appeal. Actually, I'd prefer Irish Spring on him. At least it's honest.

The only way I could enjoy this on my husband is if I stand next to him in the morning while he sprays it on and then leaves the house for the next eight hours. Yes, on him, it has shocking longevity.

Unfortunately, I think I'm the only one that feels this way. He always gets lots of compliments when he wears it.

26th November, 2012