Shock, Horror!CK One Shock for Him & For Her Perfume Review

CK One Shock

Ahh flankers, there is nothing within the glorious world of perfume more guaranteed to make my eyes roll. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty good flankers on the market, take Guerlain’s Shalimar Parfum Initial or Chanel’s No 5 Eau Premiere for example. But on the whole the majority of flankers stink (see Marc Jacobs Bang Bang), they are a cheap way of marketing a new fragrance without having to come up with a new name or bottle and tend to carry no ingenuity whatsoever.

CK One Shock for Him and for Her are the latest in a long line of flankers to Calvin Klein’s iconic Unisex fragrance CK One, originally launched in 1994. With CK One Shock they have released “Two sassy new fragrances that flaunts youth innate sense of provocation” [1] Calvin Klein has proved to be the king of flankers over the years, the majority of which have been pretty terrible so I did not approach these two with high hopes.

Last week my good friend Cara and I spent an evening discussing concepts in fragrance as part of her Instability-in-Stability project, if we’d had more time we would have definitely discussed the concept behind CK One Shock for Him & for Her. I find it baffling that CK would launch masculine and feminine flankers to a unisex fragrance, it just doesn’t make sense and is further proof that neither of these fragrances have anything to do with the original, they share nothing but the name.

CK One Shock For Him

CK One Shock for Him

The Notes

Mandarin, Cucumber, Red Bull Accord, Pepper, Cardamom, Tobacco, Ambrene, Musk and Patchouli [2]

How Does it Smell?

CK One Shock for Him isn’t as awful as I thought it would be, in fact it’s fairly decent (there’s strong emphasis on the ‘fairly’ there). The top notes are full of vague citrus notes, followed by the obligatory pepper note, because lets face it, you cannot release a fragrance at the moment without including at least some pepper.

The notes list above mentions a Red Bull Accord, and yes this did send my eyes rolling again, yes they are starting to feel pretty sore by this point, and no I don’t really detect it, which is good because as far as I am concerned Red Bull is pretty disgusting. There are hints of tobacco, dark chocolate and patchouli throughout Shock for Him’s development but the main problem with the fragrance is that there is a HUGE synthetic amber standing in the way. In this care the material used is Ambrene and it adds a rich, warm and creamy quality, that whilst being pleasant it is just too prevalent within the formula for the other notes to be noticed.

The ambrene does die down towards the end and what’s left is a relatively nice blend of sweet amber and warm musk. All in all, CK One Shock for Him is a nice fragrance with some decent qualities but it certainly isn’t worthy of the CK One name and it wouldn’t be something I would feel the need to own.

CK One Shock for HerCK One Shock for Her

The Notes

Blackberry, Peony, Poppy, Cocoa, Narcissus, Jasmine, Vanilla, Patchouli, Amber and Musk [3]

How Does it Smell?

Truly terrible. That may sound a little harsh but CK One Shock for Her joins the legions of sickly sweet and candied fruity florals that have flooded the market over the last few years. Shock for Her starts with a barrage of blackberry, it comes out of the sprayer thick and tooth achingly sweet. My initial thought when trying Shock for Her for the first time was ‘This smells like Gummi Bears’, and it does, personally I don’t mind eating Gummi Bears, but the prospect of smelling like one doesn’t fill me with joy.

There are flowers here but they are indistinguishable, the general impression is ‘floral’ but again they are amped up to their optimum level of sweetness. The candied sugar never really dies out but it does soften considerably as the fragrance dries down. The base predominately features a sweet, synthetic smelling musk of no real interest and it rounds off what I would consider a pretty terrible fragrance.


CK One Shock for Him & for Her are available in 50ml, 100ml and 200ml Eau de Toilette, they can be purchased from most department stores and online retailers and prices range from £23 to £48.


This review is based on samples of CK One Shock For Him & For Her provided by


[2] & [3] Now Smell This

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