Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Calvin Klein- Eternity (Revisited)

I actually used to really like Eternity.

I know.

I talked about it briefly before, but didn't spend much time re-sniffing or even wearing Eternity. Not enough to actually think about it seriously, despite having several old and older partial bottles around, including my last one from 1993, which is what I'm wearing right at this moment. I'm not sure that I'm having fun yet, but still, there's something about this Calvin Klein perfume beside the nostalgia.

It's funny that I used to perceive Eternity as a mostly white floral, when it's clearly yellow and sunny. Perhaps it was the combination of lily and muguet notes, or maybe the black-and-white ads that formed my idea of what this was all about. The best part of Eternity is the lush carnation bouquet surrounded by greenery and enhanced with marigold. It's realistic enough to be nose-singeing and cute at the same time. I get what I saw in it, but it's the rest of the flowers that were thrown in that I can now barely stand. It seems that in an effort to make the fragrance fresher, cleaner, and more watery it was infused with so much freesia that it's actually stomach-turning to my 2015 self.

Realizing that Eternity is an aquatic floral is quite a shock to me. No wonder that I didn't want to touch it much after the mid 90s. How did I even tolerate it before? The answer is perhaps in the light and cheerful woody-floral-musk dry-down and the unrelenting longevity that served me well on long days of work/school/travel during a couple of years that I lived out of a weekend bag. Still, the synthetic screech on my skin is alarming, and we're talking about juice from a really old bottle, so we can't blame the cheapening formula. In newer iteration the bold carnation have been tamed, but I haven't tried an Eternity from the last decade, so I can't comment on further changes. Believe me, the old stuff is unsettling enough.

How would I feel if I didn't have some good memories tied to wearing Eternity? Utterly disgusted, I'm afraid. The battle between the peppery carnation and the bilge water that makes the majority of what I smell on my skin is not pleasant. Musky florals tend to bore me, but I don't even get the luxury of meh in this case. Just a big old "what was I thinking?", and the urge to scrub myself to the bone.

You'll have to excuse me as I go to boil myself in the shower and then dab some MKK to soothe my soul.


  1. Had to laugh, because it reminds me of my reaction to Gucci Rush for men. The thing is as soon as the bad memories came back, there was nothing in it to keep me wearing it. I wouldn't dare use it again, but a whiff of it on a stranger sometimes takes me back to the good part. But that part is over.

  2. I have never used Eternity, but for me, it always brings memories from my earlier days in the States, circa october 1992. I remember my first trips to the Urbana (IL) Mall, where Eternity seemed very popular.

  3. To me it smells like the fragrance they used to scent ( or maybe still do, I only buy scent free now) Kleenex and toilet paper with.

    1. Thanks for the laugh and the memory! I had forgotten about that scented tissue smell!


  4. I wore Eternity as well when it first came out and have some incredibly good memories of wearing it on weekend trips to the ocean. I know I still have a bottle stashed away here somewhere...but do I really want to go find it and resniff it? I'm not sure I do. The hopelessly curious part of me does, but I also think that maybe I should just leave my memories of it protected by the haze of time. Safer that way. Am pretty sure there's a reason I haven't felt compelled to sniff it in almost two decades - can't say that about most of the other perfumes I've worn in the past and usually delight in rediscovering. As an aside, with her incredible classic beauty, Christy Turlington was truly the ideal model for the Eternity campaign. I wonder how much those ads swayed me in getting the perfume.

  5. I never had the guts to wear Eternity for Women, though at its release, I was really tempted. Ma would have flipped out/had a cow/scrubbed me herself......I was in my early 20s then. Haven't smelled it in years, don't particularly want to now.

    Lawrence and Rosa del Gata in soggy Ohio

  6. I remember liking it when it first came out, too. Probably because I'm a fan of carnation and muguet, though not necessarily together. Eternity was the last fragrance I wore before I stopped wearing perfumes back in the 1990s. (Perfume became a faux pas in my workplace and I just got out of the habit altogether.) I'm happily back to wearing perfumes now but my tastes have changed quite a bit and I doubt that I would wear Eternity again.

  7. Someone I used to know, who has severe reactions even to small quantities of perfume (I apply with a light hand, always), said Eternity was the perfume that pushed her over the edge, so that she never could tolerate any scents again. -- Amy/Annunziata

  8. I have always disliked Eternity, from the first whiff to the last. But the reason I despise it with passion is that a friend and roommate drenched herself in it in the late '80s/early '90s so that I was bombarded by it day and night. I have the same reaction to certain other fragrances for the same reason - initial dislike, then death by overkill (Tresor and Liz Claiborne come to mind - and now that I'm thinking of it, the latter was worn by the same offender.) Just seeing the bottles makes me shudder. But perhaps when someone's house, bedroom, bathroom, car, clothes, handbag, hair, reek of the same over-worn fragrance day in and day out, one would grow to despise it regardless.

    In the case of Eternity, it turned me off to Calvin Klein fragrances altogether as I recall (or maybe just feared) that his creations that followed have the same stomach-churning notes. That said, I wore both Obsession and Obsession for Men in the '80s (and wouldn't mine wearing either again, if only for a day) and there's likely someone from my past who I similarly tortured :)


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