One Thousand Scents

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One More: CK IN2U Him

As long as companies keep cranking out the same scents--the same as all the other companies, the same as they've done last year and will do next year--it's impossible not to keep complaining about them. They're interchangeable. They're boring. If you're addicted to scents and you live in a big city where you have access to boutique scents and niche lines, you're going to do fine, but the rest of us are stuck with the same damned thing over and over again, and it's maddening.

Calvin Klein used to be a master of the zeitgeist. His scents, starting with the original men's Calvin in 1981, have always had a strong sense of what people wanted and needed; they weren't bandwagon scents--they set trends. 1985's Obsession, of course, was one of the pivotal scents of the self-obsessed 1980s, and he followed that up with the romantic Eternity (just before the backlash against that me-ness hit) in 1988, the soft and dreamy Escape in 1991, and the groundbreaking CK One and CK Be in 1994 and 1996. (His men's scents were never as forward-thinking as the women's, but they were generally conceived to match them in style or intent, and while none of them is a favourite of mine, they're not, as a rule, bad. Not particularly interesting, but wearable for most people.)

A decade later, what's happened?

The two CK IN2U scents, with their tactile fetishy bottles and text-message names, were designed to appeal to the younger crowd; they're clearly a rather flailing attempt to recapture the magic of CK One and CK Be. What's inside the CK IN2U bottles isn't going to shake anything up; it's not trend-setting, not new in any real way.

CK IN2U Her is yet another fruity-floral, one of literally hundreds on the market: everything that's being sold to young women seems to fall into this category, and maybe if you're a thirteen-year-old girl who hasn't smelled hundreds of scents, this will seem novel to you, but otherwise it's the most done scent imaginable. That's all I have to say about that.

CK IN2U Him isn't a terrible scent, and in fairness, it isn't a carbon copy of all the unbearably tedious men's scents out there, but it also doesn't have a whole lot to set it apart from them. The official notes:

Tangelo, Lime Gin Fizz, Pomelo Leaves, Pimento, Shiso Leaves, Cacao, Cool Musk, Palisander Wood, Vetiver.

Top: fresh citrus notes. Check. Middle: green, slightly spicy. Check. Base: warm, woody, slightly chocolatey. Check.

The middle note has a suggestion of swimming pool about it, which is unexpected and pleasant. The scent overall isn't aggressive and forcefully "masculine", a nice change of pace.

But seriously: with all the other fresh semi-oriental men's scents out there, why again should anyone buy this?

Well, the bottle's pretty cool.

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