Richard Madden on the New Calvin Klein Defy Fragrance


Entering a new chapter in their scent portfolio, Calvin Klein introduce their latest Defy fragrance. Transcending a sense of timelessness—like a classic jean and white t-shirt combination—it evokes clean, masculine prowess. Its daring contrast of fresh citrus and lavender absolute is met with rich vetiver oil and amber, marvellously marrying together as a metaphoric reminder of the sole ethos of the fragrance—to be daring, courageous and to defy boundaries.


Debuting in his first fragrance campaign is Marvels Studios Eternals star Richard Madden. Here,  he shares his first experience with a Calvin Klein fragrance, what Defy means to him and his favourite way to wear perfume.



What was your first reaction when you were presented with the opportunity to be the face of the new Defy fragrance? 

It’s really exciting working with Calvin Klein! I always admired the brand, and the first fragrance I ever had was the CK One. I remember meeting the team from CK in New York to discuss what we can do together, what kind of message we want to send across, what we want to create and then we threw around some ideas and that’s really the concept for Defy was born from.

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What are your earliest memories of Calvin Klein fragrances, are you a fan?

I remember getting the CK One as a Christmas gift. It was a small little bottle and I remember treasuring it. I remember putting on way too much the first time—nearly having a nose bleed and learning the hard way that that’s too much. I really treasured it  because it felt very special. 


How did the Defy fragrance resonate with you personally?

The whole concept of Defy is what really drew me in. This idea of defying yourself, defying your own boundaries, your own limitations and the expectation you have on yourself—that was something that I related to a lot as an actor. That there is a constant push and pull with your own self-doubt and with your own expectation of what you can and can’t achieve. This whole campaign came out of the idea of defying your limitations, of giving yourself the confidence to push past your own boundaries that you set for yourself and that’s something I very much relate to.

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What is your favourite note or attribute about the Defy fragrance? 

I love the warmer amber notes that come through and the citrusy elements too. It doesn’t feel too heavy in the daytime for me but I very much like a woodier and warmer smelling fragrance—and the Defy has got all those elements in it. 


How do you wear the Defy fragrance? 

I do like to wear this during the day and at night—I like it in the morning as it makes me feel fresh and it wakes me up. But when i’m going out in the evening, I like wearing it then too because it brings you back to those smouldering woodier tones, which I really like. 

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In terms of application, I try to do a two spritz rule. Two spritzes, otherwise, you might annoy everyone around you if they don’t like your fragrance!