Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Secret Obsession by Calvin Klein : Perfume Review

We should definitely try to coin a new term for those fragrances that manage to produce an instant smile on our faces upon first sniff. The best I can come up with right now is “perfume smiles”, which is not as clever as I would like, but nevertheless is an adequate description. Secret Obsession is a perfume smile for me, a smile upon first sniff, complete with eyes closed and head thrown back for maximum visual effect. As you probably already know, Secret Obsession is Calvin Klein’s newest fragrance, and one that already has significant buzz surrounding its name: a banned commercial, a tasteful advertising campaign with the absolutely glorious, sensual Eva Mendez, as well as having not only its own webpage, but a fan-page on Facebook as well.

Secret Obsession’s opening is just beautiful, with the sweet, mellow, honeyed scent of dried plums and dates. It manages to leave an impression of a well-rounded alcoholic drink, like a dark, luxurious fruity wine, or a viscous aged liqueur spiced with the warm, resinous aroma of mace. Delicate accents of rose petals add a whole new dimension to the fragrance, but they make only a brief appearance and are soon missed. I find it quite hard to describe what comes next, not only because there is so much going on in the middle stage of Secret Obsession’s development, but also because the elements sound contrasting when put into words. I will do my best however, and you will have to trust me when I say that the result is indeed not only harmonious but also very beautiful. Right in the middle, we have a core that’s comforting, yummy and earthy, smelling like a freshly cracked walnut. It is surrounded by the sensuous scent of amber, which in turn is flecked with orange blossom petals and traced by the mere hint of jasmine’s warmth. The topmost layer can only be described as a contradiction, an ebb and flow that reveal a green soapy scent and a deep, sexy animalic one alternatively. And... Does Calvin Klein have a secret? Cause the drydown smells so distinctly mossy I am baffled! I’ve always resisted the idea of the “Modern Chypre”, even as so many others embraced it in their terminology. Finally, having smelled this, I am ready to lay down my guns. Well, not all of them, but still. This could be it. Musky, earthy, green and sensuous, the drydown of Secret Obsession is not at all what I expected from the official notes. It is the creaminess of what a modern chypre should be, if there is such a thing. And I hope there is...

Images: www.secretobsessioncalvinklein.com


25 comments:

Jenavira13 said...

I've had this on my to smell list for awhile and well it still remains there (sometime soon I will get to the mall for this). Really this sounds lovely.

Anonymous said...

I think you ended up describing it really well after all :o)

Christine

Anonymous said...

I have really been looking forward to getting a whiff of this, your review has made me more so inclined to smell this soon. Very soon. Sounds like the perfect new fragrance to own for Fall. But that bottle... please tell me it looks a little better in person?! It really puts me off, so much so I think I would put it under the counter or decant it into something else! BTW, I LOVE your blog! Your reviews are worth reading daily!

Arhianrad said...

*TACKLES BACK!!!!*

I'VE MISSED YOU TOO!!!!

and you've made me want to try this...

ScentScelf said...

Oh, dear. I was simply enjoying your lovely description of your encounter with Secret Obsession. And then you played the "successful modern chypre" card.

Blast. I guess I will stop regretting adding my contact information to the marketing troll pool when I requested my sample online...

The Daily Connoisseur said...

What a great review! I'm looking forward to trying it.

Ines said...

I'm obviously behind with information. Is this already available? Because I haven't yet seen it anywhere here (although that's not surprising, we're usually behind) and it sounds very interesting. :-) And if it's not yet available, when might it be?

Divina said...

Dear Jen, I hope you're gonna like this. I think it is SO much better than anything else CK has released in the last years.

Divina said...

Christine, the middle notes did feel like a hurdle, but I guess it ended up alright!

Divina said...

Anon, that's such a lovely comment! Thank you sooo much! I am very glad you like Fragrance Bouquet and I hope to see you here often :)

Divina said...

Juvy! You're here! *HUG HUG HUG* Girl, how is the study going?! :) I know everything must be going awesome, it's a gut feeling :)))

Divina said...

Scentscelf, I've no idea what exactly you mean. But I will have to tell you that the "modern chypre" characterization is entirely my own. Calvin Klein is marketing this as Floral Oriental.

Divina said...

Dear Ines, I've no idea when this will be available in Croatia. I know that it is already available in some European cities and that the official North American launch is in a few weeks time, on the 15th of September or something. I hope this helps a little bit!

Divina said...

Daily Cannoisseur, thank you :) I hope you like this as much as I did! I was wearing it all day yesterday and then reapplied when I went out - my friends loved it and found it really sexy, so I confirmed it has quite an appeal :)

Ines said...

Thanks Divina. It really gets frustrating after a time when you go into a store and ask the sales girl whether they have sth or will get it soon, and they have no idea what you're talking about.

P.S. I'm going to Paris in October for 2 weeks so I believe that will help me deal with all the frustration. :)))

Linda said...

Dear Divina,
This is a gorgeous description! Amazingly, I sniffed this about two weeks ago (it's in all the stores here) and loved it: it's not at all like the original Obsession is it? Thnak you for the excellent post and for mentioning all the notes in the fragrance! I'm definitely considering a purchase - it is absolutely right for autumn...
Hugs,
Linda

Divina said...

Ines, ooooh, you said the magic word, Paris. I hope I can go sometime later this year as well.. My plans to go last spring fell through. Then it was supposed to be this September, but now I can't. Maybe in spring, or June... How lovely. You are gonna have the best time, I know it!

Divina said...

Linda, dearest so nice to see you commenting again :) I've missed you. I'm glad you liked this one too. I have a craving for it right now so I'm gonna spray some on actually before bed. Yes, I had heard that it was everywhere in the UK and I was impressed! Only one place carries it over here at the moment, they often get exclusives or things earlier than the rest. I'm talking about Bijenkorf, btw, for anyone trying to find it... (At least the one in A'dam has it, not sure about the ones in R'dam and Den Haag - maybe one of the Dutch readers that live there can chime in)

ScentScelf said...

Oh my goodness! I understood that you came up with modern chypre, an idea which I liked...that, plus many months of enjoying your blog and coming to trust your judgement, is what made me drop my reserve and go to the CK website and request a sample.

My comment about the marketing "trolling pool" was a reference to the data collection protocol at the CK website; I was asked my real & e-mail identity in order to get a sample, so now marketers have that info for their data base.

Do I make more sense now?

Divina said...

*hides her face in her hands* I completely misunderstood your comment, you know... Thank you so much for clarifying for me, and please forgive my dumb moment. *hugs*

ScentScelf said...

Hence my horror! Never intended to challenge or offend...'twas my own awkward phrasing that started it all.

Big hugs back!! :)

julie said...

Hi Divina. I've been failing miserably trying to find a winter scent that I like. I've struggled with orientals. I usually enjoy half of it, but find the other half cloying and too sweet. I just purchased Secret Obsession, and think it's lovely. Yin meets yang. A "floral oriental" I think is accurate. For me, it starts out slightly dark and sweet.....and finishes lighter and fresher. I have no idea what I'm talking about with perfume (LOL), but just wanted to throw my 2 cents in! Your review did this scent justice.

One flaw - I'm disappointed with the sillage. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

The video is really great. have a look at http://www.secretobsession.fr

Divina said...

Julie, when I first got Secret Obsession it was all I wore for a couple of weeks! I love it :) I hadn't worn it in a while, so I had to do some tests again to be able to answer your questions. Yes, you are totally right, Secret Obsession does not have a strong sillage. I did a comparison test with Agent Provocateur's Eau Emotionelle which I consider a light perfume that still 'packs a punch' and the one that was constantly wafting to my nose was Eau Emotionelle. It does have longevity though, cause most of the time I can still smell it on my skin the next day and it lasts even longer on clothes. Don't forget that if you spray close to your face (like on your neck) you won't be able to smell the perfume soon after because the nose gets fatigued.

Divina said...

Hi Anon. Thanks.