“It he was to
His third stab at it changed everything. “The name Obsession is big, like a movie poster for this era,” the designer told about his amber floriental in 1985. It was illustrated with ads so sexually charged they were parodied by SNL and reportedly caused stores to sell out of the perfume before it even hit counters.
The embodiment of the brand, Klein mirrored his life stages in his scents. “It started with Obsession when he was running around and going to Studio 54 and doing drugs,” says Ann Gottlieb, a fragrance consultant who has worked with the house since the beginning. “He then got married and the ring he gave Kelly inspired the ring that formed the neck of [Eternity’s] bottle. So that, in theory, represented a romantic, slower life stage.” Eternity’s lighter, fresher scent ran counter to the overthe-top ’80s “potent oriental” juices, which reflected the decade’s “carnality and aggressive pursuit of money and success,” says Vosnaki. “It used a huge slice of Galaxolide, a synthetic musk used in laundry detergents and fabric softeners,” she says, which explains why the original Eternity smelled of clean white linen. It was also in line with the period’s movement toward “family values and a neo-conservative stance” that had gained momentum during the Gulf War and the AIDS epidemic, Vosnaki adds. Meanwhile, 1994’s CK One— with ads featuring stringy-haired, androgynous models—was sold in record stores, racked near the Nirvana and Pearl Jam albums, a sign of the grunge movement’s vise grip on the early ’90s.
Eternity Now (from $78) aims to secure a spot in the hearts of millennials. The his and hers fragrances— a blend of lychee, quince sorbet and peony for women, and coconut water and spicy ginger for men—are backed by a Cass Bird-lensed campaign that features models Jasmine Tookes and Tobias Sorensen, a reallife couple with plenty of Instagram selfies to prove it. And, surely, the name hints at the generation’s need for immediacy, fuelled by real-time apps like Snapchat and Periscope.
Only time will tell whether millennials look back on Eternity Now with the nostalgia Generation X has for CK One and whether its staying power will match its most popular predecessors. “CK One still resonates with a lot of people,” says Harry Fremont, the perfumer who concocted it. “My youngest daughter is 30 and she wears it. She says it’s fresh and smells very clean—those values are still right for today.”
AD REEL PAST CAMPAIGNS AND (FAR RIGHT) THE FACES OF ETERNITY NOW, REAL-LIFE COUPLE/ MODELS TOBIAS SORENSEN AND JASMINE TOOKES
CK ONE ($74), ETERNITY ($98) AND OBSESSION ($98)