Thread: Men wearing Women's Fragrances?
On another note...
To follow on a thought I was just beginning to explore in the previous post...and continuing to over-think...
In my mind, and generalizing, men tend to want to project reliability and permanence--wood; the power of transformation--leather, whisky; or the elemental powers--smoke, fire, the ocean.
I can't speak to what women want but if I were to guess I would say that women tend to prefer notes that express and project images that are 180 degrees.
And that's why men like women...because they are not like ourselves...they are the "other." It's a matter of polarity.
Last edited by DWFII; 3rd April 2010 at 06:21 PM.
Last edited by mrclmind; 3rd April 2010 at 06:24 PM.
^ See post #88. I don't know any circumstance where kibitzing is considered polite.
Gents, it's perfectly possible to have some version of this conversation without either a) generalizing about all men, or b) seeming to prescribe norms of masculinity. I think many of the responses to this thread have actually avoided both of these--for me, anyway--pitfalls. Taking the question as an occasion to reflect on ones own sense of masculinity is useful for me. No reason it should be useful or even comprehensible to everyone. Plenty of threads that elicit no response at all from me and I just don't contribute to them. My blessings on anyone who can point out sentimentality or slavishness in my sense of masculine elegance.
The difficulty of this topic makes me think with some nostalgia of a different cultural moment when people were thought to have a 'private life' that was nobody's goshdarn bidniss. See ya'all citizens in the Agora.
Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 3rd April 2010 at 07:25 PM.
I was just trying to point out the absurdity of the idea that otherwise intelligent people somehow become slaves to advertising agencies when it comes to the issue of gender and perfumes. Of course marketing plays a role in reinforcing all kinds of stereotypes, but it doesn't mean that people can't independently come to the conclusion that something smells masculine or feminine, while others see no such distinction.
Last edited by sean-dt; 3rd April 2010 at 09:15 PM.
Facepalm at this thread
I am too exhausted from reading to make a long response...but I have two brief things to say.
First, gender conditioning is alive and well, not just in marketing. I noticed it when I was in school for physics/engineering, mostly among the students. The faculty, on the other hand, almost bent over backwards to keep women in the program. There is a widespread consensus that girls are "discouraged" against math and science from an early age, and there have been erudite studies on this topic. Some schools and workplaces are now trying to actively change that to be more diverse. Certainly this gender phenomenon applies to most other areas also (e.g., women do the cooking), all of which is culturally imposed. If women do the cooking, why are most of the top chefs men?
Second--to anybody who says I should only be wearing "women's" fragrances--don't tell me what I can't do.
As for this thread, the differences, whether 'real' or 'imagined' are here to stay. I say just wear any bl**dy scents you feel comfortable wearing. No need to preach to the unpreachable.
Last edited by Diamondflame; 4th April 2010 at 04:16 PM.
I am actually wondering, when a perfumer makes a fragrance, does he first chose the gender and work further from that decision or does he just compose some components untill he reaches a fragrance that is good to him?
I do believe that fragrances are clearly male or female, why would there otherwise be such a consensus on for example Dior Homme and Fleur du Male that it's more female? Something in our nature seems to recognise that a fragrance smells either male or female.
I have no problem with people breaking those "boundaries", but I am actually wondering if someone is smelling a fragrance on you that doesn't fit your gender, what that person will think of you. And yes, I know a lot of people on this forum don't care about that, but others do care a lot about that.
The biggest issue I have with wearing female fragrances, is that a person can recognise it.
I just don't want to imagine the embarassment when someone would ask me why I am wearing a female fragrance. Seriously.
The fragrance hobby is not the most heterosexual of all hobbies, that's why people are cautious about it.
I tested Gaultier² a long while ago and I got to say, I liked it a lot.
I just couldn't get over the female aspects of it, so I didn't buy it.
What puzzles me is how some men will only wear fragrances that say for men on the bottle, but don't mind at all (or even prefer) if the fragrance itself is a super girly powder puff of a fragrance. At the same time, they won't touch a butch chypre pour elle because it's a fragrance for women? The important thing here is clearly what it says on the bottle, not what the content smells like.
Posts 121 & 122 take this thread further away from the OP's intent but I, personally, don't think that we can or should try to dictate the direction a discussion can go, anymore than we can or should dictate what fragrances a person should wear--that's real tolerance.
So...I would say this again...since time began women have been in charge of raising children--"the hand that rocks the cradle..." If people are being conditioned into gender roles to the extent implied, why haven't the very people with the most influence over young minds, inculcated their children to take another direction and to embrace another perspective?
For the last 40,000 years gender roles have remained pretty static. And even in the face of people saying (whistling past the graveyard?) that it's finally changing I see no evidence that long term shifts in perception are really taking hold. This seems especially true when taken together with the amount of dissatisfaction being expressed regardless of any and all social restructuring. I suspect that the proportion of the population that is unsatisfied with gender roles is not significantly more nor less than it has always been. (although with the Internet and the media and the consequent societal self-absorption, we are undoubtedly more vociferous about it.)
Why is that? Why, in this day and age, can a person say that gender conditioning is still going on...and not wonder at the underlying reasons that make that possible...without pointing a finger at someone else? Why is it that the "rules" still apply, especially in this society, when it is women who bequeath the basis for either accepting or respecting those rules to their offspring...of both sexes. Male children are not ripped from the embrace of their mothers in this society.
I think JBL strikes a particularly sane note. And one that brings us back to the OP's original intent. Whether a person wears, or even prefers to wear fragrances that are marketed as masculine or feminine is beside the point. The idea that fragrances have no gender is probably, at least, technically correct...no one is really disputing that assertion. But if there are physiological and hormonal and even cognitive differences between the sexes that are observable and quantifiable then gender related preferences are not unimaginable.
Last edited by DWFII; 4th April 2010 at 05:43 PM.
I've made this is exact point before on the boards, and I'll reiterate it on this thread. I'm not in a position to voice a strong opinion on the topic, because only recently has my mind begun to be opened to alternative modes of thinking regarding human nature (in large part due to various college courses on anthropology, and more recently on political science and Marx's theory regarding human nature). I'd like to join the party in support for "wearing what you want" and thumb my nose at the "manufactured" gender sensibilities. But I know for me personally, that I have finite boundaries, to which I feel comfortable/uncomfortable, when it comes to fragrance. I'm a black/white person, I function along a logical path, avoiding most philosophical debates. Yet I can't simply do that here. I DO, believe (and honestly find it hard for anyone to debate in the contrary) that there are quite profound differences, biologically, between males and females. BUT, now, more than ever before, I'm starting believe more and more in the effects that culture has on us. IMO, the vast majority of our personal identities are socially constructed, and for the time being, I believe this INCLUDES our individual theories on masculinity/femininity. The easiest point I can make in defense of this opinion, is how the conception of masculinity (or femininity) has evolved over the centuries, there is no way that human genetics has adapted along with the ever-changing societal conceptions of gender, it's simply not plausible.
IMHO, the overwhelming majority (90%+) of how people will perceive the gender of a smell is derived from the bottle, color of the juice, name, and marketing angles. I don't think that the vast majority of people (even us BNers) can identify the intended gender of a fragrance from sillage alone. My mother is my go-to for fragrance opinions, because most others don't seem to give two shits. On MANY occasions, have I let her smell something that I found to be feminine, only to be told that it is "way too masculine for a woman to wear". Examples? Balmain Ambre Gris (listed as a feminine), L'Artisan Fleur de Liane (listed as a feminine), Tom Ford Black Orchid (listed as a feminine. AND, I got a cute girl at Sephora, to tell me when she smelled it, that it did indeed smell masculine, and she thinks it would be VERY sexy on her BF.), Serge Lutens Chergui (listed as unisex), Chanel Coromandel (listed as feminine), and the list continues.
You see DWFII, if you define your gender lines so narrowly, practically EVERYTHING is going to smell feminine to your nose. Can't you, yourself see the holes in your own logic? The only reason you view the smells you do, as masculine, is because culture has taught you to associate, your particular line of work (leather), with the people that you have worked with (men). For no other biological reason, do you associate the smell of leather with men, than because you have been subconsciously indoctrinated to make that connection. In the absence of society, IMO, the lines between men and women would be so close as to become blurred. There is no debate, there are differences between men and women, but it is society that realizes and exploits those differences.
Last edited by mtgprox05; 4th April 2010 at 10:12 PM.
Obsessions of the Moment- Kristiansand EDC, Green Irish Tweed, Zizan
Granted, we've known each other for some time. It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine. ~ Common Sense
Yes, male and female bodies have some different organs, hormones, etc. But are we not more than flesh and blood? If there is such a thing as a soul there probably is also such a thing as reincarnation. So, it's possible that we have lived in previous lives as different sexes. When I smell a fragrance that I like, I'm responding to it with my soul, not my testicles, which are above average in size.
Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 5th April 2010 at 12:07 AM.
Having said that, yes, I do think there are masculine notes and fragrances that seem more towards one sex or another. But ovbviously, it is my opinion, and subjective to say the least.
I think the biggest problem I have with these remarks is this:
Beyond all that, you admit that you are currently under the powerful influence of indoctrination yourownself--if human beings are so vulnerable to culture and conditioning a logical person ought to be highly suspicious if not downright restive about finding themselves in such a position. And/or buying into ideas that aren't supported in real life. It's almost like the syndrome that describes the way in which a kidnap victim will begin to admire and even love the kidnapper.
As I asked earlier...what comes first--the hat or the cows? This is a culture/conditioning question. And the correct answer is still "it doesn't make any difference" You wouldn't entertain either if you weren't genetically inclined to become a rancher. We tend to gravitate towards those things--personalities., lifestyles, etc.--that we are most comfortable with (an ancient Oriental philosophy)You see DWFII, if you define your gender lines so narrowly, practically EVERYTHING is going to smell feminine to your nose. Can't you, yourself see the holes in your own logic? The only reason you view the smells you do, as masculine, is because culture has taught you to associate, your particular line of work (leather), with the people that you have worked with (men). For no other biological reason, do you associate the smell of leather with men, than because you have been subconsciously indoctrinated to make that connection. In the absence of society, IMO, the lines between men and women would be so close as to become blurred. There is no debate, there are differences between men and women, but it is society that realizes and exploits those differences.
Moreover, it occurs to me that not only is culture a genetic construct...arising from, and differentiating according to, disparate human gene pools...but it creates it's own self perpetuating system--memes. (it's all kind of beautifully fractal, isn't it?) Memes, like genes resist change...they are carriers of information--code, as who should say. Change it and you break it. The meme for male/female polarity/duality hasn't changed since homo sapiens sapiens walked out of Africa. I don't think wishful thinking is gonna do it.
Last edited by DWFII; 5th April 2010 at 01:19 AM.
DWFII: What is your favorite EdT?
There are, I daresay, many people who are physiologically male but "metaphysically" female (and vice versa). I would postulate that people who possess a feminine spirit/soul will gravitate towards "feminine" fragrances. I have no opinion on that--like the yin yang symbol, I would not be so disingenuous as to deny the small circle of white surrounded by black within myownself--but I suspect it is as it should be.
But doesn't it beg the question? Having reached the point where one identifies his/her feminine/masculine soul...the fact that one then gravitates towards "counter-indicated" fragrances seem to give credence to the proposition that gender preferences are real.
Last edited by DWFII; 5th April 2010 at 05:24 AM.
I tried Monk...looking for that "masonry" cement, stone, note that the reviews said was there. And I found it. But IMO it is overwhelmed by something that I do not know how to describe except it is too sweet or perhaps aethereal for me.
Great. Wanted a break from all the philosophy lessons. Nice to see you like fragrances too.
Vintage Tabarome rocks.
That said, I guess I would have to say I would rather discuss philosophy than read a bunch of posts arguing whether Creed is the best or the worst. It's disheartening to me...obviously an opinion that is not universally shared...to see people quibbling about whether Yatagan has a celery note or not. Or whether is is offensively dirty or sublimely elegant. The correct answer is that it's both...on me...and I like it that way.
Well, it IS a fragrance forum. You can consider me a shallow moron, but I enjoy this as a hobby. I have no qualms with most of the discussions that come up in here, but you have written the equivalent of a thesis in this one thread. I don't give a crap about your number of posts, but it seems like a ton of them are all in here.
You're certainly free to continue as long as there are some who wish to debate you.
I'm busy figuring out what kind of scent a rock climber might wear.
Last edited by StylinLA; 5th April 2010 at 02:08 AM.