Can you really pick one best Calvin Klein cologne for men? After all, each scent from the well-regarded American fashion house has a signature feel to it that may or may not match your particular style.
So instead of convincing you of which CK cologne is our favorite, we’ve decided to bring you the best of all worlds: An ultimate guide to the 5 best, most popular Calvin Klein Colognes available today.
In these reviews, you’ll find history and interesting facts about the New York perfumery’s most popular scents, as well as full aromatic profiles — and a suggestion for who should wear each scent, and during what season.
Whenever you’re ready to find the perfect Calvin Klein scent for you, please do read on.
The 5 Best Calvin Klein Cologne For Men 2021
Each of the following colognes has been chosen after careful consideration of their popularity, availability, and appropriateness for a wide variety of men.
Calvin Klein’s best cologne overall is also one of their most recent, debuting in September of 2019 as an updated version of their wildly popular 1989 “Eternity for Men”. Simultaneously robust and refined, masculine and sensual, it’s an exercise in balance and subtlety that wears well on just about anyone.
The pronounced green color of the cologne in its bottle gives a hint as to its aromatic profile: Woodsy, with a pleasant fresh spice of apple and sage. Mandarin and geranium soften a strong attack, while cypress rounds out the middle and a soft suede grounds it to match with any man’s natural skin odor.
In its special edition, Calvin Klein Eternity Summer, additional bergamot and sandalwood combine with coconut water to transport you to a scene of the waves at dawn. In fact, we’re of the opinion that it just might be the best Calvin Klein cologne for summer.
Top notes of mandarin, lavender, sage, and apple
Middle notes of cypress, geranium, nutmeg, and basil
Base notes of suede, sandalwood, rosewood, and amber
Inviting men to “reach beyond their limits” and “experience intense desires”, CK’s Euphoria has been well-reviewed since its launch in 2006. Designed to provide a fresh, exotic fragrance reminiscent of East Asian flavors, its understated packaging hides a powerful aromatic presence.
Any cologne that lasts the test of time is sure to have something special about it, and in the case of Euphoria, this is based around the use of an exotic Asian citrus known as Sudachi. Similar in appearance to a cross between lemon and lime, the sudachi is a native Japanese citrus with a much more pungent aroma than American or European citrus fruit.
Freshly grated ginger and cracked pepper accompany the bright citrus to produce a memorable aroma from first application. As the cologne develops on your skin, expect a growing warmth of patchouli and basil. While the full fragrance lasts shorter than many other Calvin Klein colognes, its enticing initial burst is ideal for date nights.
Top notes of ginger, sudachi citrus, and black pepper
Middle notes of black basil, sage, and cedar
Base notes of amber, suede, redwood, and patchouli
Calvin Klein was one of the first of the major fashion houses to begin offering a scent designed for both genders: CK one. Launched in 1994 to rave reviews, it’s been a favorite of couples ever since for its ability to be shared between them and any of their friends.
Universally appealing thanks to its complex but approachable aromatics, Calvin Klein’s ck one does a wonderful job of balancing bright and deep aromas. Fruity notes of pineapple and orange play against deep amber and musk, mediated by violet and rose; cardamom and lemon are enriched by sandalwood and complemented by the tiniest hint of nutmeg.
Equally versatile for use at any time of day or night, ck one is one cologne that I never want to be without. When every other scent seems a little too much of this, or not enough of that, ck one always satisfies.
Top notes of pineapple, greens, mandarin orange, bergamot, cardamom, lemon, and papaya
Middle notes of jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, orris root, violet, and nutmeg
Base notes of musk, amber, cedar, oakmoss, and sandalwood
By far the most intense of the Calvin Klein scents covered in this review, Obsession has been attracting legions of devoted wearers since its debut in 1986. It’s an unapologetically masculine scent, filled with warm notes from top to bottom.
Created for “the man driven by his passions”, it was so popular in its first year that it won the coveted FiFi Awards for Fragrance — the so-called “Oscars of the fragrance industry”. Since then, it has also given rise to a nighttime companion in Calvin Klein’s Obsession Night.
Immediately recognizable by its explosion of fresh citrus top notes, Obsession goes on strong but mellows quickly. Within just a few moments on the skin, it shows a distinctly floral characteristic before developing into the warm, sweet, deep layers that last all day.
Rarely imitated due to its staggering complexity, this cologne is an excellent scent choice for men that want something unique, assertive, and attention-grabbing.
Top notes of mandarin orange, lime, bergamot, grapefruit, cinnamon, coriander, and lavender
Middle notes of pine, sage, jasmine, berries, rosewood, carnation, nutmeg, and myrrh
Base notes of sandalwood, musk, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, and amber
Men looking to make a statement with their cologne
Eternity, our top pick cologne from Calvin Klein, is such a fragrance icon that it has spawned a whole range of variations. Eternity Aqua, released in 2010, was developed with the express purpose of showing the cooler, woodsier side of Eternity in a scent more appropriate for modern men.
From the first nosing, the deeply hydrating and green scent of fresh cucumber clues you in to Eternity Aqua’s purpose. Complemented by citrus, it quickly morphs into a mild plum and pepper sweetness before mellowing to classic patchouli.
Tailor made for a hot summer day, Eternity Aqua is a fantastic complement to many of Calvin Klein’s richer, deeper scents (like Obsession, above). It develops quickly after application, and quickly fades away; consider packing a bottle in your bag when you head to work, so you can reapply before heading home or to the bars.
Top notes of cucumber, citrus, greens, and lotus
Middle notes of lavender, cedar, plum, and Sichuan pepper
Base notes of guaiac wood, musk, patchouli, and sandalwood
We know what you’re thinking: All of these descriptions of top, middle, and base notes sound great, but can you really smell each of those ingredients in a Calvin Klein cologne?
In short, yes! You definitely can learn to pick out each and every one of the notes described under each cologne. So if any of the ingredients listed above caught your attention, you can be almost guaranteed that particular cologne will smell great to you.
For a fuller explanation, consider it this way: Smelling colognes is a lot like developing your tastes with food, wine, or craft beer. The first time you try a new product, the foreign and unfamiliar nature might turn you away. But given enough time and exposure to different scents (or recipes, or wines), you’ll develop a keen appreciation of which ones suit you best — and which ones are better left behind.
Understanding how long any perfume or cologne will last is a trickier question that it might seem. Let’s take a closer look at three things that will change your experience with a Calvin Klein cologne:
How concentrated is your fragrance? Parfum is the most expensive and concentrated style, requiring just a tiny amount of spray to smell great all day. More commonly, you’ll find eau de toilette — half as concentrated as parfum, you’ll need to apply more of it more frequently to get the same effect.
What size of bottle are you buying? Common sense dictates that larger bottles will last longer, but the amount that any particular guy uses can vary widely.
How long does it last on your skin? Each of us has a different natural odor, and our skin compositions will interact differently with fragrances. What may last for days for one man, could be gone within a few hours for another.
Which Calvin Klein Cologne Smells Best?
Ah, if we could pick just one Calvin Klein cologne to wear all the time, our lives would certainly be simpler. But the truth of the matter is this: Just as there is no one food that is always best, there isn’t really any single cologne that will always be better than others.
If you do have to pick just one cologne to try, ck one is a fantastic standby that seems to work well for nearly everyone, year round. From there, you could consider branching out into two scents: A light and airy one for warm weather, and a warm and spicy one for the colder months.
In the end, though, you may just find that loving one cologne tends to lead to another, and another, and another — until you have a wonderful collection to choose from for any occasion.