Calyx, The '80s Cult Scent Is Back

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calyxinnerPhoto: Courtesy of Clinique.
As we float in a sea of fruity florals, it's hard to believe that at one point, the concept of putting guava and grapefruit in a fragrance was practically unheard of. Go back 27 years though, and the most popular scents were thick, rich, spicy concoctions — think Obsession, Poison, Giorgio. The fragrances mirrored the over-the-top fashion of the decade, when a "more is more" mantra reigned. It was the '80s, after all.

Then, in 1986, Sophia Grojsman developed Calyx, a like-nothing-else perfume that shook up the status quo with its lightness and greenery. Calyx delivers a swift rush of citrus at first sniff. The florals that develop afterward are lush, fertile, green, energetic, vivid. (Perfume writer Chandler Burr has gone so far as to call Calyx "viscerally alive.")

Calyx was originally under the Prescriptives umbrella, where it lived until the brand disappeared from counters in 2009. Along with the cosmetics, the fragrance became available only online, where — let's be real — few people were likely to discover it. This month, though, Calyx returns to counters. Now owned by Clinique, it retains the same formula as it did in 1986, and it somehow still stands out from other fruity florals. Everything old is new again, and we couldn't be happier.
Clinique Calyx, $52 to $69, available at Clinique.

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