Minimalism for Millennials: Calvin Klein Uncorks New Unisex Fragrance

It’s been decades since Calvin Klein made waves in the fragrance world with Ck1, the first widely marketed unisex scent. But it’s got a new androgynous aroma ready to launch in February, targeting the friskiest Millennials. 

Called Ck2 (although lower-case), Coty describes the new scent’s youthful product as “one gender-free fragrance for a man or a woman, without prejudices, to unite and create an experience that can be shared together in love, lust and friendship.”

But the ad campaign promises to be gender-full: It’s coming from Mother New York, which created the controversial sexting campaign for Calvin Klein earlier this year. Shot by Ryan McGinley, Coty says it focuses on four stories unfolding unexpectedly, “creating authentic echoes between glances and the kind of lust or attraction couples can provide.” Shot in Puerto Rico, it says the spots “play out the free spirited, raw and passionate narratives of today’s youth.” Plans call for social media to use a #the2ofus hashtag.

Describing the scent as “urban, woody and fresh,” it includes notes of wasabi, mandarin, and wet cobblestones.

Packaging also hopes to convey the Calvin Klein’s signature minimalism, with a clear container, sleek rounded bulb of glass, with two parts of the bottle it says are intended to “create two pieces perfectly in-sync and connected to each other, much like the connection of two people.”

Women’s Wear Daily, which reports the scent is scheduled to start exclusively at Macy’s before expanding to other channels, estimates it may reach $60 million in sales its first year.

The launch comes at a time when men and women are rethinking the way they use fragrances. Overall, sales of prestige fragrances (those sold in department stores) rose 3% last year, according to the NPD Group.

But as women are seeking lighter concentrations, with colognes showing three consecutive years of double-digit growth, men are buying more richer formulations, including eau de parfum. “By all appearances, it seems that men are establishing a new relationship with fragrance, and their level of experimentation and sophistication has risen,” the Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research company says. 

Coty plans to sell the new scent as an eau de toilette spray in three sizes, as well as a body lotion, shower gel, deodorant stick and rollerball.

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