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The scent of another on your skin

Obsessed much: Calvin Klein Obsessed For Men and For Women mixes memory, desire, and gender, with a masculine accord for her and a feminine accord for him, available at fragrance counters nationwide and online at Lazada and Zalora.

Obsessed, Calvin Klein’s modern take on its 1993 fragrance, Obsession, could very well be called “About Last Night.” Instead, its name is designed to recall the OG hit scent fronted by Kate Moss in a campaign shot by her then-boyfriend, Mario Sorrenti.

“If one thing summed up Calvin Klein for us visually, it was Mario Sorrenti’s Obsession campaign with Kate Moss,” says designer Raf Simons, chief creative officer at Calvin Klein. “It lived in our heads for so many years and became a touchstone of sensuality when we arrived at Calvin Klein.”

In 1993, Calvin Klein sent the 18-year-old Moss and 20-year-old Sorrenti to the British Virgin Islands sans art director, and let budding photographer Sorrenti shoot what he would of his model girlfriend. The resulting black-and-white photos are stunningly intimate, almost voyeuristic, and yes — incredibly sensual — with Moss in various stages of undress, hair tousled and wet, looking fresh from a shower or perhaps a roll in the hay. Not only was the camera in love with its subject, it was obvious that Sorrenti was obsessed with Moss.

“We thought about a scent that could reflect such an idea of memory and desire for today,” Simons says. “Of male and female, of the memory of somebody else on your skin.”

Hence, Obsessed For Women is surprisingly crisp, playing on the traditionally masculine formula of a fougère — a fresh, herbal, woody mixture of notes to mimic his lingering scent on your skin after a close encounter with you, while Obsessed For Men is unexpectedly feminine — a sensual oriental that owes its lushness to dark vanilla — to imprint him with an intimate olfactory memory of you.

This kind of gender subversion and role reversal is nothing new to Calvin Klein, whose CK One became the defining unisex scent of the ’90s. Up until today, a bottle of CK One is bought somewhere in the world every 10 seconds, according to Celeste Valencia, CK‘s brand manager at Luxasia, the local distributor of Calvin Klein fragrances.

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Simons’ idea behind Obsessed is a clever one, and the scents themselves are so wearable that a perfumista like myself will throw gender completely out the window and decide that, why not? I can wear both Obsessed for women and for men — layered, on alternate days, or whenever I want to recall a special night.

 

 

 

 

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Calvin Klein Obsessed is available at fragrance counters nationwide and online at Lazada and Zalora.

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Follow me on Facebook (Therese Jamora-Garceau), Twitter @tjgarceau and Instagram @theresejamoragarceau.

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