Calvin Klein Downtown: For Bright Young Things


This is a recent launch for Calvin Klein (September 2013) and it is intended for the young.  In which case, it is ideal.  Calvin Klein Downtown  caters for the current youthful preference for sweet, berry like fragrances.  However, it (thankfully) holds back from the ubiquitous Vanilla Bazooka that is blasted hither and thither today, and produces a decent enough daytime scent.

Reading the top notes of Lemon, Bergamot and Plum, I would have expected a fruitier opening, or at least a citrus opening, but it was sweet in a milky Vanilla way, like white chocolate.  Interestingly, Vanilla is not listed as a note, but the sweetness certainly hints at its shadow. Middle notes are Gardenia, Pink Pepper and Patchouli, but I found these notes indistinct and wouldn’t have guessed from a blind sniff.

downtown ronney mara

A few hours later and I’m sniffing my arm again.  It’s now become a milky musk, not a million miles from Just Cavalli.  Oh wait!  Here’s a faint hint of Gardenia. Better late than never.

As a scent for the young, it is a toned down version of all the fruity floral vanilla horrors I have previously reviewed (Taylor Swift I’m looking at you).  I wouldn’t wear it myself, but then, at 43, it wasn’t made for me. However, as a blessed relief  from the overuse of heavy handed ingredients currently en vogue, it fits the bill.

I found it a little non-descript, and borderline gourmand, but sometimes that’s better than “get out of the lift, she’s doused herself in that stuff again”.


The price is reasonable at under £30 for 50ml of EDP on Amazon UK or you can find it on The face of the fragrance is the beautiful Rooney Mara.


4 thoughts on “Calvin Klein Downtown: For Bright Young Things”

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      I quite agree. No timewasters please. If it’s not on the Wish List, it’s not coming in (to my dressing table).

      Your friend

      PS How wonderful to have Dandy banter again!

  1. I experienced the ‘Whoa, Nelly!’ effect of a serious dousing in vanilla just this evening when I encountered my 9-year-old daughter on the stairs. In fairness, it was vanilla I had bought her and it was decentish vanilla at that – Yves Rocher, which is not actually as sweet as some of the worst offenders. So yes, I can guess at their elevator-emptying power. Gah!!!!!

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