Obsession (Calvin Klein)

At times, I think that history is a distinct liability. It informs us, yes, but it also saddles us with luggage that does not belong to us. Just as we received it, we likewise pass this battered suitcase full of conventional wisdom into the hands of those who follow us. Each generation in turn judges it by its exterior-- the scratches, the bash marks, the motley travel stickers. Would it kill us just to open the damn thing and see what's inside?

Search for blog reviews of Calvin Klein Obsession and find me one, just one, that doesn't mention Giorgio, Poison, shoulder pads, big hair, Eighties culture, or the words "guilty pleasure". (Jesus, even mine just did.) From the way perfumistas of the Common Era speak of it, you'd think Obsession is a fabled prehistoric beast trapped in the La Brea Tar Pit of perfumedom -- a victim of extinction cemented firmly in the past and permanently unsuited to the present.

But I'm wearing Obsession right now, as we speak. It exists on my wrists this very minute-- not sometime thirty years ago. The culture it supposedly represents is decades dead and gone. I don't feel like an anachronism wearing it; nor is there a single particle of guilt or shame mixed into the pleasure I'm currently deriving from my pulse points. Why on earth should there be?

If you believe that Obsession has no relevance today, go ahead and pitch a couple of cheap shots in its direction. You might regard the behemoth as an easy target, something slow-moving and feckless that can't defend itself. But you'll see. This fragrance can bench press the planet. It will outrun and outlive us all.

Scent Elements: Bergamot, mandarin, peach, orange blossom, jasmine, rose, basil, coriander, lavender, marigold, armoise, galbanum, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, amber, cashmeran musk, castoreum, civet, vanilla, incense, spices