Perfume Directory

Claiborne Sport (1997)
by Liz Claiborne


Claiborne Sport information

Year of Launch1997
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 97 votes)

People and companies

HouseLiz Claiborne
PerfumerJean-Claude Delville
Parent CompanyRevlon Inc > Elizabeth Arden Inc
Parent Company at launchClaiborne Cosmetics

About Claiborne Sport

Claiborne Sport is a masculine fragrance by Liz Claiborne. The scent was launched in 1997 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean-Claude Delville

Reviews of Claiborne Sport

Jean-Claude Delville is likely not one of the better-known French perfumers of recent history. He hasn't been showcased by Frédéric Malle, hasn't really worked in the "illustrious" niche perfume industry, and has his name associated with some of the more "banal" mainstream masculine fragrances of the 90's, if you listen to the online tastemakers that is. Delville delivers a mostly fresh, clean approach and uncomplicated style, which made him a go-to in particular for Liz Claiborne, and his sweet lavender-forward fougère accord from the smash hit Curve for Men (1996) literally became the basis for all masculine Claiborne scents until well into the 2000's, even when worked on by other perfumers. Claiborne Sport (1997) is the first example of this "make everything smell like Curve" mentality, which would be an eventual downfall for the house when actual Curve flankers appeared. The re-use in Claiborne Sport would be followed by Lucky You for Men (2000), Mambo for Men (2001), and Bora Bora for Men (2003) until that well ran dry. Claiborne Sport seeks to make a fresh fougère featuring some of the key notes from the original Claiborne for Men (1989), a groundbreaking ozonic white floral chypre for men that had its day in the sun but was quickly surpassed, and as a samey flanker of it did little more than continue carrying the name of Claiborne at the counters since it rode dangerously close to the preceding Curve for Men.

The opening for Claiborne Sport is strikingly similar to both Curve for Men with the pillowy blending and Calvin Klein Eternity for Men (1989) in the way a sweet rounded lavender and geranium opening surfs on a thin veneer of calone molecule, effectively replacing a stiff bergamot as found in most classic aromatic fougères. The comparisons sway closer to Eternity than Curve thanks to the noticeable geranium, with a speck of tomato leaf to green up the composition. The heart exudes elements of the original Claiborne for Men with cyclamen and white florals, joined by coriander, ginger, and sage to reassert the fougère spiciness. The drydown moves away from the light and bright, sort of betraying the "sport" nomenclature of the fragrance by heading into musky amber and coumarin with a puff of oakmoss (evernyl in later batches) to stabilize the fougère finish. The result is a paler and lighter fresh fougère that trades rounded fruit and spice tones for green transparency, but without the sharpness of a traditional green fougère, being a midway point between something like Paco Rabanne XS Pour Homme (1993) and the parent of Claiborne Sport's core accord, Curve for Men. This was delivered in cologne concentration so it's meant to be sprayed liberally, but Claiborne Sport makes up for any sillage deficit with good longevity of 8 hours plus. This stuff is the poster child for casual male 90's fragrance, and although it is not so distinct like the bigger boys on the market at the time, is still a recognizable trail you've nonetheless already smelled dozens of times on subways, buses, and on street corners.

Fans of pre-90's vintage masculines (aka the macho or dandy stuff), or niche-o-philes will see this as a throwaway fragrance from a throwaway house that was nothing more than an exploitation of a name from the start, but the same can be arguably said of anything released by younger designers not from Europe (and thus no perfume heritage). There is nothing super artful about it, nothing novel, and nothing noteworthy besides the painfully 90's graphics on bottle and box. I still think Claiborne Sport makes a great inexpensive dumb reach casual or work grab if you're not top dog at a law firm or executive at a PR company, because there isn't anything unlikable about it besides the abuse of the fundamental core from Curve for Men, and like most things from Claiborne in this era, is safe around strangers, which is a compliment. If you're particularly nostalgic for this apologetic era of mainstream perfume, Claiborne Sport is a fun time in a bottle, but if your tastes have evolved since then or your scruples have forbidden you the guilty pleasures of the past, this will come across as store brand vanilla ice cream among a myriad of more gourmet options. I find no fault here for this unashamedly being what it is, so I give it a passing grade, but Claiborne Sport is neither a "sporty" scent nor anything more than a faithful old workhorse still ploughing the fields. Thumbs up.
22nd August, 2019
To me this smells alot like Calvin Klein Eternity for half the price. Longevity is pretty solid and just an all around pleasent every occasion frag. It does draw in quite a bit of compliments as well, cant go wrong at this price point.
04th July, 2019
I didn't like this one and found it to be the lamest 'sports' fragrance...

You just go nuts with the sprayer on this one trying out pick up something from the transparency. This is just a big wall of an ozonic note. Sniff a little closer I thought I smelled hints of yellow jasmine. Sniffing harder I get kind of a musk combined with a sort of sweetness.No refreshing citrus to my nose or anything. It might as well be lightly scented soapy,citrusy,or green hints...Claiborne Sport is just lifeless.
27th February, 2019 (last edited: 14th June, 2019)
I really enjoy Claiborne fragrances. Even being just Eau De Cologne strength, the company and brand puts out quality, non-offensive and masculine scents that last longer than EDT's from bigger names.

'Claiborne Sport' is an instant classic in my book. It has that typical musky base note like most other scents from the brand, but still maintains a unique character. And at a price you can easily risk blind buying without a second thought.

The initial blast is a musky, somewhat sporty tone of amber and subtle woods. The best way to describe the smell is to take Calvin Klein's 'Eternity' and mix it evenly with Claiborne's 'Curve' and you get 'Claiborne Sport'. Boom. Its literally that simple.

The middle notes of cardamom and greens pick up and carry the base musk notes further, and it starts really smelling amazing here. The drydown carries into full on 'Eternity' and 'Curve' mode, but less synthetic. Definitely more natural.

With a liberal ten sprays (neck, wrists, shoulders and chest), I am getting easily 8+ hours of longevity, with good projection and fairly good sillage, especially for a EDC concentration spray. After the first six hours, it becomes a natural skin musk that lingers and smells wonderful. Lasts several days on clothes and fabrics.

For the super cheap asking price, there are not very many fragrances that perform this well and smell this good or unique. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys 'Curve' or 'Eternity', but wants something different that isn't those two well known fragrances.
24th May, 2017 (last edited: 21st April, 2018)
Nice and light, pleasant scent for casual wear. I think the Sport tag fits this one, definitely a t-shirt with shorts/jeans scent. Has a bit of 90's cologne and dryer sheet mixed together in the base but the citrus up top really helps make it fresh.
25th March, 2016
Opening notes of this green aromatic fragrance are a combination of somewhat "soapy" like lavender mixed with an herbal, green leaf type of component. Then it starts going downhill with mid-notes of a stiff woody/ginger type but to me what ruins it is an artificial, almost chemical influence that dominates the mid and bottom notes. It ends with notes of mellow, man-made wood and dark forest amber but again, with an artificiality that really takes away what could be a "nice", if rather pedestrian but adequate scent that doesn't stand out or set itself apart from the rest of the green aromatic genre except for it's distinctly the scent of a fake and is a man-made chemical mess.
30th January, 2016

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