CK One

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When I smell Calvin Klein, CK One (Calvin Klein 1994) I faintly remember guys in oversized plaid flannel shirts with bowl cut hair wearing Doc Marten’s, and girls who vaguely resembled Winona Ryder with dark lipstick and piercings. And, as I write this I realize that those fashion trends have almost certainly come back in pieces since the 1990’s, but of course, I remember when they were new and original.  CK One was new and original then too.  Very new.  Very Modern.   And, almost everyone wore it.

It’s clean. Super clean.  The green tea note is strong and lovely, as are the citrus notes.  It also smells somewhat oceanic. It was marketed as a unisex fragrance (hence the name “One”) and I can see why.  It’s so clean and almost defiantly crisp that it’s really an olfactory concept without gender.  It smells like a fresh spring day, but with a pop of something elegant and bright.

I especially remember one young woman (who is now probably in her 40’s).  I was riding in the back seat of our family car, as we drove through a quaint local mainstreet, quietly staring out the window when I saw her with her friends. They were dressed in very daring, fashionable grunge attire and even though she was clearly pretty she looked unbelievably edgy (at least to me at that very young age). They were jumping on top of fire hydrants, probably smoking, causing a commotion and just generally getting in trouble and getting attention. And, seared in my mind is an image of her face, a face filled with a paradoxical mix of hope, sadness, and energetic anxiety. Ever since then I’ve always associated all ideas about Generation X with those kids and that young woman in particular. CK One fits in well with that crowd, I think…

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