Perfume Review: Calvin Klein’s Defy

Calling this a perfume may be a misnomer. It has the feel of a cologne like scent and I could very easily see it termed masculine. On occasion I like wearing scents that are termed masculine just as much as I like the ones officially decreed feminine. However in the week before father’s day this seemed like a bit more of an appropriate scent to review.

According to the product page this scent is…

Fresh. Masculine. Addictive.

Calvin Klein Defy is a daring contrast of invigorating freshness and powerful woods. For the modern man who breaks boundaries while exploring his authentic truths and the contrasts within.

The scent opens with an addictive citrus blend highlighting crisp bergamot and fresh lavender absolute. Rugged and earthy vetiver oil—responsibly sourced from Haiti—is the heart of the fragrance, connecting the vibrant textural elements with a rich and alluring base of amber notes.

Dare to Defy.

Top notes: Bergamot oil, mandarin oil, cedar leaf oil, Mid notes: Lavender absolute, sage clary oil, notes of violet leaf, Base notes: Vetiver oil, notes of amber, musk note

Calvin Klein

While Bergamot isn’t my favorite scent and you can tell that it is mixed into the scent, the cedar leaf is far more prevalent a scent. When first sprayed the top notes of bergamot and cedar are more present than anything else so at first I was very unsure. As it sits on the wrist however the vetiver, and musk come to the forefront. They don’t dominate, but mellow the scent.

While I like some masculine scents, I generally find them to be more warming and wintery for me. Wearing this Defy this week was an odd seasonal shift for my brain. I would smell the scent and want to get a fluffy blanket out to curl up with. The fact that the temps outside have hit triple digits and we are in the middle of a heat wave made me feel a little bit off balance.

I would say this scent is masculine and warm. It is the kind of scent I find appealing as the air becomes crisp and leaves begin to turn colors and spiral down from tree branches. It is not a summer scent. I do think Defy isn’t really appropriate. It smells classically male. It isn’t a ground breaking scent but something that someone fond of traditional scents would appreciate. It actually reminds me of my uncle. in fact if you added the scent of pipe smoke to this scent then you would get the scent of my uncle. While I would be willing to wear this scent when the weather cools, it is a scent i could easily see myself picking up for one of the men in my family. It may not break boundaries as the description claims, but I could see most of them enjoying the scent of Calvin Klein’s Defy.


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