No brand defines classic minimalist quite like Calvin Klein, and the best Calvin Klein colognes are no exception. Much like their clothing and iconic ad campaigns, their fragrances combine sex appeal with sophistication, which is actually pretty hard to do. Inherently, Calvin Klein colognes for men are clean, fresh, and refined. Who wouldn’t want to smell like that?
Knowing how you want to smell is easy, but choosing from their 140 fragrances isn’t as straightforward. More than one of their scents has swept the market since the 80s. Monikers like “award-winning” and “best-selling” are attractive, but they don’t make the selection any easier. What it really comes down to is the vibe you want to project.
Ultimately, each Calvin Klein cologne has a distinction, something that sets them apart from the rest. Some are bright and energetic, leaning on green and citrus notes, while others are spicy, combining floral vibes with musk. And some of their most popular colognes are unisex, offering simple sophistication for all.
I’m here to break down what makes each of these colognes so delicious. Keep scrolling for my top six picks. And remember, nothing can come between you and the best Calvin Klein colognes.
The best Calvin Klein colognes strike the delicious balance between fresh, sweet, and spicy. Easily the most approachable is Calvin Klein Eternity, a top-selling aromatic fragrance with mass appeal. It combines citrus, floral, and woody notes for the ultimate fresh and irresistible scent.
Top Notes: Sage | Middle Notes: Lavender | Base notes: Cedarwood | Size: 1, 1.6, 3.3oz
There are ages, and then there’s Eternity. Of all the best Calvin Klein colognes, this is the one you’ll hear people say they’ve been wearing for 20 years. This is probably because it’s a refreshing scent that suits relaxed, mature men as much as it does easygoing young guys. It pretty much defines classic in its aroma profile.
A light, crisp opening, thanks to lemon, lavender, and bergamot, dries down into spicy and herbaceous territory for an overall grounding, earthy effect. It’s an aromatic scent that combines the right amount of citrus with wood and floral. This is what gives it that irresistible deliciousness everyone seems to love.
But perhaps its best attribute is reliability. Some scents change with season, body chemistry, and atmosphere, but Eternity is consistent every time. It’s easily one of the best colognes for men in general.
Top Notes: Clementine | Middle Notes: Black Pepper | Base notes: Tobacco | Size: 3.4, 6.7oz
None of Calvin Klein colognes for men are overly heavy, but CK One Shock masters dark and masculine. With the sweetness of dried fruit, it combines woody and spicy in a way that garners attention while still playing it safe.
Shock opens brightly with clementine and cucumber top notes that lead into an herbal spiciness thanks to black pepper and basil. Where the scent really shines is its lingering aspect. Enriching tobacco and musk combine with a hint of cherry for a dry down that stays on the skin for over eight hours.
Yet another example of sweet and fresh with the right hint of spice, it’s great for shoulder seasons. Masculine yet balanced, it’s approachable enough for both day and night.
Top Notes: Mandarin | Middle Notes: Sage | Base notes: Amber | Size: 2.5, 4, 6.7oz
Rich and enticing any time of day, it’s easy to become obsessed with Obsession. It was this scent alone that put Calvin Klein colognes on the map upon its debut in 1985, garnering awards along the way. To this day, it still sells extremely well.
Where most Calvin Klein colognes are simple, Obsession is rather complex. Rich notes of nutmeg, vanilla, and amber provide warmth and a cinnamony spice with some seriously impressive sillage. It certainly has the sweet, floral aspect of the best Calvin Klein colognes, but it’s subdued rather than juicy.
A final smoky, balsamic element gives it a cozy feeling that’s perfect on a crisp winter’s day. Don’t overspray, however. This mature scent does its work in just a few spritzes.
Top Notes: Cucumber | Middle Notes: Jasmine | Base notes: Sandalwood | Size: 0.67, 1.6, 3.4, 6.7oz
More ozonic than aquatic, Eternity Aqua is one of the best Calvin Klein colognes for summertime. Akin to Polo Blue, it possesses that watery crispness that’s a go-to for warmer months. But this is Calvin Klein, after all, so expect a hint of spice that’s refreshing rather than warm.
An initial blast of cucumber and citrus is to be expected, but a pairing with green notes leaves this scent feeling more sporty than oceanic. At its heart, Sichuan pepper, lavender, and plum combine to add that signature spice. The dry down is light and clean with an almost powdery aspect. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying Eternity Aqua.
While it’s certainly an attractive scent, a dab behind the ears won’t sweep you away. Overall, it’s a clean and reliable fragrance that shines during sunlight.
Top Notes: Papaya | Middle Notes: Nutmeg | Base notes: Amber | Size: 6.7oz
Easily the world’s most popular fragrance, CK One is iconic. Released in 1994 as the brand’s first unisex cologne, it embodies the revolutionary spirit of the grunge generation. It was the first fragrance I bought myself 15 years ago while modeling in Japan as a teenager, after loving the scent on both girls and guys. Thirty years on, the scent still feels contemporary.
With green, floral, and citrus notes, CK One is a fresh, clean scent that makes sense for both day and night. Things start off with an intriguing sweetness from notes of papaya and pineapple with a peep of sharp citrus during dry down. You can thank lemon, mint, and green notes for that. Nutmeg at its heart with sandalwood and amber at its base warm the skin. Maybe I’m biased, but CK One has the best sillage.
Overall, CK One maintains an impressive balance between calming and invigorating. Clearly, it’s a youthful scent, but I imagine a few spritzes on a mature guy will fare just fine.
Top Notes: Ginger | Middle Notes: Cedar | Base notes: Suede | Size: 0.67, 1, 1.7, 3.4 oz
Sexy, spicy, and fresh, Euphoria is preferred during close encounters. Even though it contains masculine elements like woody notes and smooth suede, Euphoria is playful at heart. It’s the ideal cologne for the free spirit. Perfect for the young guy on a romantic night.
Right from the jump, you’ll notice an oriental emergence with a kick of pepper and ginger that gives the best Calvin Klein colognes its signature spice. At its heart, Euphoria is woody and herbaceous, thanks to basil, sage, and cedar. But what you’ll really notice is the warm glow that stays on your skin. Amber and patchouli add a musky richness.
With so much fresh, attractive energy going on, you’d think Euphoria would be perfect for the club. Unfortunately, it’s not very long-lasting, so unless you’re keen on carrying it in your pocket, I find it’s most suited to a sexy date night.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Calvin Klein Colognes
One of the most alluring aspects of Calvin Klein colognes is their price point. For a luxury brand, they offer some seriously iconic scents that have sold extremely well for decades. While some are more expensive than others, most won’t set you back more than $100 for 3.4 ounces. The best Calvin Klein cologne for the money is CK One, which is perfect because it’s a youthful scent.
The most important aspect of any cologne is the scent profile. Overall, the best Calvin Klein colognes are clean and fresh with that signature hint of spice. Even the Crisp Eternity Aqua brings that energetic touch of zing. The most approachable Calvin Klein scents have citrus elements with woody, floral, and herbal notes for total balance.
Is it long-lasting?
The best Calvin Klein cologne for men should linger on the skin for at least six hours (besides Euphoria, which gives you five). A good scent should last as long as you need it to and then some. CK One Shock and Obsession are both long-lasting masculine scents that people truly love.
While all the best Calvin Klein cologne for men smells amazing, Calvin Klein Eternity is arguably the best. Eternity embodies that simplicity in a classic way and is highly approachable for all occasions and ages. Even if Eternity doesn’t become your go-to, there are plenty of well-balanced scents to choose from.
The best Calvin Klein fragrances are sexy yet refined with delicious citrus, woodsy, and floral combination. Above all else, Calvin Klein’s scents are clean and fresh.
Obsession is first and foremost an amber cologne. However, nearly all of the best Calvin Klein colognes, from CK One, CK One Shock, and Euphoria, contain the warming hints of amber that glow on the skin.
Debuting in 1981, Calvin by Calvin Klein for men was the very first scent by the luxury brand. Shortly thereafter, the world was introduced to Obsession in 1984.