Contradiction by Ann Gottlieb for Calvin Klein 1998

Heya Posse. Contradiction was never on my radar. I had not put even a millisecond of thought towards it. That is until a friend of mine told me it was the only fragrance she ever wore and found everything else awful. She was heartbroken that it had been discontinued and she couldn’t find it anywhere. Now this is a woman known for her great good style and so immediately I perked up my nostrils to search her out some. Fortunately it wasn’t really discontinued, rather it had changed venue; making the leap from store to discounter. I can’t tell you how excited she got that her great love was not only still available but about 1/5 the price she used to pay. So I ordered a bottle myself.

Contradiction Woman by Calvin Klein 1998

Contradiction by Ann Gottlieb

Contradiction Calvin Klein FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lily, Lily-of-the-valley, Orchid, Mock-orange, Peony, Rose
Heart: Pear, Blackberry, Eucalyptus, Lilac, Jasmine
Base: Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean

The bottle looked very stylish and I like the way Contradiction was advertised. The ad movie (below) was an interesting idea (poorly executed in my eyes) that had me really wondering what this fragrance could be smelling like. The print ads were interesting too, seemed to be showing the model laughing goofily in every shot.

contradiction Calvin Klein Ad

Wet roses in the dewy morning sun, a cool watery opening that has a slightly metallic touch. Sadly this fabulous opening is gone in a couple of minutes. What flows through then is a lily/lily of the valley/peony wash with rose and berries. It’s sharp, bright, pretty and warms through as the heart takes hold. Surprisingly during the heart I get the scent of a fresh cut Nashi pear, the brown ones from Korea. It’s surrounded by flowers but quite distinctly present. The pear makes me smile in happy reminiscence because Jin will bring home Nashi pears, skins then and cut then into slices. Even though it’s really good for us they are absolutely decadent. You don’t have the common pear problem of them going from hard as wood to custard mush overnight, a 4 hour window of perfection. Nash pears are perfect for about 10 days. The heart also features some lovely herbs & spices and the eucalyptus accord is pretty fun too.

Dry down is not so excited but quietly pleasant. Amorphous woods with clean musks that are still lightly tinged with the wet floral bouquet. 100% wearable, comfortable scent that is much nicer than its current price tag.

Contradiction Ad: Calvin Klein

I could easily imagine Contradiction being your spritz & go fragrance. Good longevity, moderate sillage and projection. Currently the price is excellent too so you won’t break the bank. Really easily accessible modern aquatic rose.

FragranceX has $13/10ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3/ml

Did you wear Contradiction in its day? Do you still?
Portia xx

This is interesting too!

10 Comments

  1. Nashi pears sound wonderful! When I first fell down the rabbit hole, I was briefly obsessed with older perfumes I hadn’t smelled that were super cheap at discounters – and there were many online discounters at that time. I tried Contradiction at that time and it is still to date the only perfume my husband recoiled from; to him it smelled like bug spray with rotting fruit. His reaction was so strong that I don’t even remember what I thought.

    • Hey Rosarita313,
      I sprayed this today to let my frag buddy Scott smell it and he did a pretty good recoil too. After a few minutes though he came back for a sniff and didn’t hate it completely.
      I can’t put my finger on why I love it but I do.
      Portia xx

  2. Howdy, Portia! This never made it onto my radar either, but it does sound nice (and that sleek bottle is a beaut!). And the Nashi pears are making my mouth water. Thanks!

    • Heya Ann,
      While it may never reach the Best Of lists it has me respritzing heavily. I’m pretty sure it’s a terrible fragrance but we can’t choose who or what we love.
      Portia xx

  3. I purchased a large 3.4oz bottle (cheap) a few months ago based on a vintage packaged sample set I found at an estate sale. It was love at first sniff. That bright opening is addictive. And I agree that I wish it lasted longer. It’s one of those scents that’s interesting but not overly challenging so it fits well into the days My nose and brain can’t handle anything to complex. The bottle is also really beautiful and feels good in the hand. The metal cap reflects that cool opening. It’s certainly worth getting your hands on a bottle. And a bit off topic, I recently purchased a bottle of the 2010 release of Halston’s Amber for women. It’s gorgeous!!! Wondering if anyone else has tried this hidden gem.

    • Hey Meliscents,
      Yes, it is totally wearable, not taking over your mind, allows you to go about your day.
      Never tried the Halston, sounds great.
      Portia xxx

  4. I did actually have a bottle of this at one time…probably a gift. I don’t remember what it smelled like, so I guess it did not make that much of an impression on me. The bottle is cool.

    • Hey Maureen,
      HA! Isn’t it weird how we can forget. I bet if you sniffed it again it would take you back immediately.
      Portia xx

  5. I have never heard of Contradiction. When that came out, Obsession, CKone was all they rage. This was back in the mid to late 90’summer while I was in high school.

    • Heya Eldarwen22,
      It was an interesting offering at a time when the aquatic craze was starting to wane. Everyone had started to become bored with 1992s L’Eau d’Issey and were looking for the next big thing. I think it slipped under everyone’s radar.
      Portia xx

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