try me: ck one
If you haven't heard of CK One by now, where have you been? CK One is Calvin Klein's new unisex fragrance, for the "us" generation (the Nineties), rather than the "me" generation (the Eighties).

Blanket advertising featuring mega laid-back slouchy models has already coined the term "very CK One", and young things everywhere have been cultivating the round-shouldered, unfussed look. Most, though, haven't tried the scent apart from frantically rubbing their wrists along the scented panel in glossy magazines.

We decided to carry out a test of the fragrance in the offices of this newspaper. Three men and two women were targeted and descended upon by myself and the Fabien Baron-designed bottle. They were duly enveloped in a cloud of CK One and left to their own devices for 24 hours.

The first female tester, KH, found that her female friends were most approving, coming up with comments like "It's really fresh," or "What's that gorgeous smell?" Her male friends were a different story. One said, "Should I be able to smell anything? Is it sweat?" and another said, "You smell like grass, it's really unfeminine, and not flowery enough." The other female tester, MA, said, "I felt like I had nicked my teenage sister's perfume, it is a really youthful smell. I like it, but I don't know if I will buy it."

The most interesting comments came from the men. The first male tester, NC, went home to no reaction at all from his loved one. None, that is, until the following morning, when suddenly she asked, "What is that sexy smell?" Upon telling her he was trying out CK One, she was astonished. "I didn't like it on me, but it's great on you. It's interestingly masculinely floral, and quite fruity. Mmmm."

The morning-after theory was compounded by MS, who said, "It definitely smelt far better and muskier on me the following morning. My female friends liked it on me, but I think I prefer it on them; it's more girly."

Male tester number three was DJ, who claims, "I gave up cologne and aftershave 25 years ago, when I gave up wearing a watch. I've had no need for time or tang ever since." He went partying in his CK One cloud. Unfortunately, the party was full of people with an olfactory preference for scotch and cigarettes. One conversation was uplifting though:

He: "What do you think of my perfume?"

She: "Oh, that's lovely, D."

He, "It's that new CK One."

She: "Is that what it is? Well you've got my vote."

The results of this small test can be summed up in one simple piece of advice. Borrow a squirt from a friend or perfume counter, and see what you think for yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised, you may not - but it's worth a try, even just to get the reactions of your friends.

CK One eau de toilette is available from all good department stores. Prices are pounds 16.95 for 50ml, pounds 28.75 for 100 ml, and pounds 42.50 for 200 ml.