Rebottling an icon | ck one Eau de Toilette review

The product: ck one (on-the-go packaging)

ck one has always smelled like a cologne to me, with its hard, fresh, too-synthetic edges. I mean, I do have quite a bit of respect for it (how could you not respect something so iconic, something that has changed the perfume world this much?), but it’s never really been up my alley, so to speak.

At first spritz, ck one is sharp and almost aggressively clean, with notes of bergamot, cardamom, pineapple, papaya, and green tea. I can’t imagine anyone not recognizing the scent–remember when it was everywhere, on everyone, for like, a decade?– though perhaps a generation of fragrance lovers who’ve never so much as heard of ck one is upcoming. I don’t get a lot of fruit out of it (the bergamot and green tea pop out the most, on my skin), but they’re tucked away in there.

Launched in ’94 and crafted by Alberto Moriallas and Harry Fremont, ck one was the first “big” unisex scent. The full-sized version (I’ve photographed the rather unique travel-size bottle), designed by Fabien Baron, features a screw-top lid and and an almost flask-like frosted bottle, which was – intriguing, to say the least.

The sharp top notes fade quickly, revealing a softer layer of florals (rose, violet, jasmine, and a nice, comfortable nutmeg) and a woodier base (musk, amber).

At the end of the day, I think what I respect ck one most for is that it made unisex cool. It was sort of the groundbreaker, the fragrance that said “I can smell like this because I want to smell like this,” you know? And that’s definitely something I can get behind.

ck one is, admittedly, not for me – and probably not for a lot of us. The nineties were a long time ago (can you believe that this scent is already seventeen, eighteen years old?) and fragrance trends have changed, but I still think it’s worth giving a sniff. To me, it’s one of those scents that every ‘fumehead needs to try, even if just for reference. It was huge, iconic, and I do think it’s still relevant to some degree. ck one is a classic; it’s the Shalimar of the Gen Xs and Ys, the Angel of the nineties tomboy.

Give it a try. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll love it.

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  • Reply mostlysunnybunny

    I might have liked this when I was living in Taiwan (hot and humid. You want to go really easy on scent), but now that I'm living in Europe I need something a bit "louder," just because you won't be able to smell it at all otherwise! Kudos for having stayed on the market for SO long though, CK One!
    My recent post Swatch & Review: Cargo Blush in Rome

    January 17, 2012 at 7:29 AM
  • Reply ines

    longtime lurker here – good to see some fellow canucks in the blogosphere!

    i found ck one intriguingly synthetic-fresh… owned a small bottle for a while, but just couldn't get it to work for me (everyone figured i was wearing my BF's stuff). worth a sniff and kind of unique for a mainstream scent if it works for your skin chemistry!

    January 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM
  • Reply BeautyReflects

    I remember this!! I thought it was so cool when it came out. And Eternity before it I also loved. They were my first grownup perfumes!
    My recent post I'd Go Back To France Just To Get This: Bioderma Crealine Lait

    January 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM
  • Reply Rocaille

    I remember my first contact with ck One was in an upscale restaurant in Zurich, where they just a had bottle lying in the restroom for their guests' convenience – I thought that was super cool :) And I quite like the original flacon too!
    My recent post The Battle of Chemical Exfoliants: AHAs vs BHAs

    January 17, 2012 at 8:23 PM
  • Reply BeautyReflects

    Hahaha you were FANCY. Me, not so much!! :) I remember girls I worked with on my first job wearing these, so that's why I bought them. Ahh, what I used to be able to spend my paycheques on!!
    My recent post I'd Go Back To France Just To Get This: Bioderma Crealine Lait

    January 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM
  • Reply jen

    Wow! such beautiful packaging! I’ve always luuurved CKone. this is another reason why I should love it more.


    January 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM
  • Reply BooBooNinja

    Wow, ck one brings back so many memories!
    I have never been a fragrance girl so I didn't wear it myself.
    However, I remember people at school wearing it. They were trying to be so grown up!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM
  • Reply macbella2

    I love this one. Hubby and I both use it. Digging the new on the go look! LOL

    January 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM
  • Reply Eden-Avalon

    I think because my aunt wears this, I'm a bit averse to it. I tend to go really feminine with my fragrances.

    January 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM
  • Reply Nina

    I like this scent. At first I also thought that it was too harsh but it faded quite good on me. Plus, I like that it's unisex and has such nice bottles. I always loved the full-sized version and this tiny one is really useful, it's always in my purse ^^

    January 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM
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