The bad thing about a good fruity-floriental is that it makes you want to eat yourself. {A completely logical Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria review}

The product: Calvin Klein forbidden euphoria (eau de parfum)

Marketed as yet another “fruity floriental,” I wasn’t expecting all that much from the latest euphoria flanker. And, okay, it’s more or less what I’d expected – but in some respects, that could be a good thing.

When you go with a generically seductive fragrance from a brand known for its pretty-but-mainstream offerings, you’re not going to find anything riveting. Which sounds terrible, but it works both ways: the more adventurous a brand is with their scents, the more likely it is that everything is going to end up in a terrible mess of overdone scent molecules and trying-to-hard sillage.

forbidden euphoria, like the classic it is based off of, plays it safe: it’s the kind of scent that most people will kind-of-sort-of like, but perhaps not love.

Launched September 2011, the bottle is a spin on the original just as much as the scent is: the same shape, and the same idea, but this time in a gorgeous, translucent berry. I could photograph this for ages – and, to some extent, I suppose I did. (It’s so easy to go overboard on photo-taking when you’re working with a product that looks like this.)

The Calvin Klein house describes forbidden euphoria as a younger interpretation of euphoria, which is a description I’d have to agree with. It lists top notes of sparkling mandarin, peach blossom, passion fruit, and iced raspberry; heart notes of  pink peony, tiger orchid, and jasmine; and base notes of cashmere woods, patchouli, and skin musk.

(And I’m sorry, but I cannot use the name “forbidden euphoria” without quotation marks or stylized text. I just can’t do it. Please, for the love of grammar, capitalize your bloody product names, industry; you’re driving me crazy.)


Silver to the sides, or silver to the front and back? The adverts say translucent facing forward, but I think the silver looks rather cleaner.

The bottom line

I get an indiscriminate kind of fruity from this scent; soapy and very sweet. (“Soapy” as in commercial soaps and shampoos, not “soapy” as in aldehydes and Chanel No. 5.) I think iced raspberry was a very apt description of it – it’s like someone theorized a raspberry syrup that you’d make a tasty (and extremely alcoholic) drink from, created an absolu, and infused it into forbidden euphoria.

If I had to sum this all up in one word, I think I’d go with “tasty.” (Because, seriously, it’s more mouthwatering than any fragrance has a right to be.) I doubt forbidden euphoria will be winning awards for innovation anytime soon, but it plays its strengths – and (god help me), I kind of find myself accidentally enjoying it every now and again.

It toes the line of headache-inducing and I definitely have to use a light hand with this one, but it’s also the perfect guilty pleasure. Let’s keep that between the two of us, though, yeah? ;)

P.S. The bottle featured in this post is the 3.4oz size, which retails for $80 US / $102 CAD. It’s also available in 1oz and 1.7oz, though, as well as a 200ml body cream, and (depending on where you are), a rollerball, so don’t fret if you typically buy smaller bottles.

(If we’re being honest, I wouldn’t recommend the 3.4. It’s rather too clunky in my tiny-person hands, and a little ungainly on my fragrance tray, despite the super-sexy shape.)

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  • mmmh, will need to give this a sniff… Although CK fragrances rarely appeal to me but we'll see…

    • It's quite a bit more lively than the other ck fragrances I've smelled recently – hope you like it! :)

  • Jamilla

    I'll give this a sniff at Duty Free!

  • mostlysunnybunny

    I have the euphoria EDP, but I can only use it in winter in Europe! I get driven nuts when product names are not properly capitalized too. The English teacher (yeah I did that for a while lol) in me gets me more than annoyed!
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  • your photos look better than the promos! i used to wear the original euphoria, still love it, but bad memories! :) x

    • Aww, thank you, Sophie! <3

      Maybe this flanker will be enough of a remix that you could wear it? :)

  • toyarosie

    I own the original Euphoria, and quite like it, but I don't think I want to smell 'younger' lol – sometimes I feel like my fragrance tastes are juvenile enough! You're right about the bottle, it is such a gorgeous color!! Great review and description, thanks!

    • I always smell too old, so forbidden euphoria's a good way for me to mix things up a bit :P And oh, that bottle!

      Glad you liked the review, lovely. Thank you!

  • I loved the initial scent of this, really sweet and fruity but the dry down didn't smell very nice on me. On the upside, the bottle's quite nice to look at :P
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    • Haha, I'm just the opposite – the top notes are okay, but I much prefer the drydown :P I do love that bottle, though!

  • I thought it was a bit too sweet for my tastes. It is another one of those fragrances that doesn't last very long at all on my skin – my body chemistry just doesn't agree with it. I like the bottle, if only because of the color.
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    • Hmm – I always spray this one on fabric, and the tenacity is astounding. I can get 2-3 days out of a spritz, if it's on a scarf or something ;o)

      But yes, I'd have to agree with your comment about the sweetness – it can be a little overwhelming, especially in the top notes!

  • Lily

    OMG… have to give this a sniff! You're such an enabler =)
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    • Now, that's what I hope to hear after a post well done! :D

      Hope you like it, Lily :P

      • Lily

        I just went to sniff and I'm still sniffing myself like I'm on crack. But I already have so many perfumes!! Oh no….! I don't need another lemming!!

        • Ahhh!! So glad you liked it, Lily :D (Er, that you really, really liked it.) Maybe go for the rollerball or 1oz size?

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