Jaguars, Discriminating Ladies Love Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men”


The Wall Street Journal discusses a fascinating subject today: What kind of perfume do cats like? By cats, they mean the big cats — lions and tigers and cougars of the jungle or zoo-bound sort, not the 40-something ladies with a penchant for younger men who generally look nothing like Courteney Cox.

Zoos have apparently been spritzing olfactory delights on rocks, trees, and other zoo accoutrement for a while, to “keep confined animals curious” (we learn something new every day!). But the animals got crazy curious when zookeepers at the Bronx Zoo starting using Obsession for Men.

Pat Thomas, the curator there, decided to do an experiment, testing 24 fragrances on the cats. Get this:

Estée Lauder’s Beautiful (“Romantic, tender, memorable”) got a mere 2 seconds of feline attention.

Revlon’s Charlie (“Recommended use: romantic”) got 15.5 seconds.

Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps (“The perfect harmony of an enchanting elixir, the symbol of femininity and eternal youth”) captivated for 10.4 minutes.

Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men (“a masculine blend of botanics, spices, and rare woods reflect the determination and fire that drives men’s passions”) got an entire 11.1 minutes of cat-tention. (Which the WSJ reports is longer than the animals usually take to savor a meal.)

“Oh, yeah, he loves that scent,” Mr. Thomas said as Sasha blissfully cuddled up to a tree sprayed with Obsession for Men. “Just look at him.”

All of this is great for zookeepers, and for the big, cuddly cats. But what does this mean for those of us who are inextricably, powerfully, suddenly attracted to men doused with the fragrance?

Per Ann Gottlieb, who helped create the scent,

“It’s a combination of this lickable vanilla heart married to this fresh green top note — it creates tension,” she says. The cologne also has synthetic “animal” notes like civet, a musky substance secreted by the cat of the same name, giving it particular sex appeal, she adds. “It sparks curiosity with humans and, apparently, animals.”

Ladies, be careful.