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Way Off Scenter

Gender Benders : Three Dozen Great “Feminine” Fragrances for Men

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I tend to concur with perfume critics Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, who wrote somewhere that “fragrances have no genitalia.” Nonetheless, there are social and cultural norms around fragrances. By and large, western men are uncomfortable wearing soliflores – lavender and some roses excepted. Women rarely appear in public wearing aromatic fougčres. That said, there are plenty of fragrances marketed to women that I, as a fifty year-old, relatively straight-laced, married man am perfectly happy to wear in public. I offer a sampling here in the hope that adventurous men may find some fragrances that they enjoy, and might not otherwise have tried. While gender-appropriateness in fragrance is highly subjective, I have tried to arrange the list in approximate descending order of “androgeny,” with those I imagine most challenging for the conventionally minded man to wear appearing last. Be brave, guys, and give some of these a go!

1. Givenchy III
2. Bois des Îles
3. Cristalle
4. Bel Respiro
5. Bandit
6. Silences
7. Femenité du Bois
8. Le Chčvrefeuille (Annick Goutal)
9. Yendi
10. Plus Que Jamais
11. Mitsouko
12. 1000
13. Private Collection
14. Futur
15. Le Temps d’une Fęte
16. Rosa Flamenca
17. Vol de Nuit
18. Aromatics Elixir
19. Odalisque
20. Chaos
21. Tommy Girl
22. Envy
23. Chanel No. 19
24. Cabaret
25. Lolita Lempicka
26. Parfum Sacré
27. Portrait of a Lady
28. Le Parfum de Thérčse
29. Chanel No. 18
30. Epic Woman
31. Opium
32. Shalimar
33. Ma Dame
34. Donna Karan Gold
35. Tubéreuse Criminelle
36. Carnal Flower (Use the “Brume pour Cheveux,” one spray.)

Anybody else have some favorites? Additions are welcome!

Updated 15th July 2014 at 12:48 AM by Way Off Scenter

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Comments

  1. EricC's Avatar
    A really interesting list. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this delicate topic. This may well effect the next perfume present I buy for my wife :-)
  2. Way Off Scenter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by EricC
    A really interesting list. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this delicate topic. This may well effect the next perfume present I buy for my wife :-)
    Yes, well, there's nothing like sharing. (My wife and I both use Carnal Flower - I in the Brome pour Cheveux formulation, which is considerably quieter.)
    Updated 13th July 2014 at 11:28 PM by Way Off Scenter
  3. Way Off Scenter's Avatar
    As an afterthought, I should probably add Amouage Memoir Woman, which I find quite gender neutral and far more enjoyable than Memoir Man.
  4. Way Off Scenter's Avatar
    A couple more that I forgot about, and ought to go closer to the top of the list than the bottom:

    Magie Noire
    Mystčre
  5. CapriDog's Avatar
    Thanks for the list Mr. Way Off Scenter. If there were a list of 50, would Fate Woman make it on the list?
  6. Way Off Scenter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CapriDog
    Thanks for the list Mr. Way Off Scenter. If there were a list of 50, would Fate Woman make it on the list?
    Funny you should ask - the list started out at 50 and got pruned down. I actually compiled the original list some time ago, before Fate Woman was released, so it wasn't included. However, like its ancestor Opium, I could certainly see wearing it, if applied modestly!
  7. miracleborgtech's Avatar
    Love this topic! I routinely wear scents that are marketed as being for men, and there are plenty that are for women that I feel men should wear, especially Bandit as it is one of my all time favorites. Definitely agree that fragrances should have no gender - wear what you like and be adventurous!
  8. uxorious14's Avatar
    Clarins Eau des Jardin

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