Cheetahs, jaguars, all big cats just can't resist Calvin Klein's Obsession cologne

Cheetahs, jaguars, all big cats just can't resist Calvin Klein's Obsession cologne

With notes of fecal and floral.

CultureApril 06, 2018 By Jahla Seppanen

A light spritz of a certain cologne or perfume may have the power not only to attract a mate, but a freaking wild panther. Yes, it’s been tested and yes, a few famous fragrances — most notably Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men — have been proven to attract cheetahs, jaguars and other big cats.

This was proven back in 2005 when captive male cheetahs at the Bronx Zoo were attracted to and spent about 15 minutes in contact with objects sprayed with Obsession for Men, as part of a scientific study by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Since, the bizarre phenomenon has been tested and proved successful for attracting panthers and other big cats in the wild. For instance, the Panthera organization that works to conserve wild cat species around the world dabs a cotton swab of Obsession on their hidden cameras to lure in and track elusive cats.

… damn, Calvin Klein, that’s savage.

At $99 for 6.7 oz, Obsession for Men calls itself, “Intense. Unforgettable. Provocative.” Adding, “Between love and madness lies OBSESSION.” A blend of botanics and rare woods, the perfume is a five-star rated smell on Macys.com, with commenters saying things like, “love the scent on me, so does my wife,” and “I love Obsession… more importantly my wife does too,” and “my husband loves to wear Obsession, he says women always tell him that he smells good.”

While ladies may love Obsession for its mandarin, bergamot, lavender and various spices, wild cats are more interested in the synthetic version of the chemical compound civetone — which is widely used as a perfume binder.

Civetone is a major active compound in natural musk (along with muscone), and one of the two oldest and most popular ingredients in perfume. Civet is, for all purposes, a smelly animal byproduct that works as an attractant pheromone. Our guess is that Brian Fantana’s secret weapon cologne, Sex Panther (there’s a knockoff you can buy on Amazon and is rated 4.5 stars), would in essence be pure civetone or musk. “Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.”  

Indeed, civetone in its natural form is derived from the civet animal, which looks like a mix between a cat and a raccoon. A reporter for Discover Magazine says, “Pure civet is a crude, buttery-yellow paste that turns darker with age. At full strength the tincture smells fecal and nauseating, but when diluted it has a radiant, velvety, floral scent.” They added that the synthetic replica kind will never be as power of the natural musk.  

But as studies have proven, synthetic civetone in perfumes like Obsession still attract panthers to its wearer. However, don’t be worried about wearing your cologne to the zoo and getting mauled. Biologist Allison Devlin, a research associate at Panthera, told Motherboard that even after dousing yourself in Obsession, a jaguar’s attraction won’t be strong enough for them to claw you to death. Instead they’ll look to “mark their territory by adding their own scent through cheek-rubbing.”

Calvin Klein’s not the only perfume maker to use the synthetic secretion (boy, that’s a nice word) in their men’s fragrances. Other colognes that may attract panthers ... and possibly women ... include:

•    Monsieur Lanvin
•    Gentleman Givenchy
•    El Arquisite
•    Noir Tom Ford
•    Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent