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  1. #121

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    But the original question/thesis is not intended to be an exploration of sexuality or sexual preferences or even lifestyles
    You are the first person in the discussion to bring the subject up. There are probably better ways to state that you aren't interested in what people with sexual preferences and lifestyles other than your own might have to say on the subject.

  2. #122

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I think the answer is pretty simple: a lot of the way people distinguish "masculine smells" from "feminine smells" or vice versa is directly related to perfume marketing that we've all been exposed to.

    For example, most people take it for granted that Brut, and all of the fragrance notes it contains, is a masculine scent. That's how Faberge wanted to market it: as a machoman scent. Consequently, other perfumes that have similar notes as Brut will often be regarded as "masculine".

    Now what if they decided to market Brut as a woman's fragrance? If it turned out that women wore Brut, it would have become a hit, and I believe our ideas of what a "feminine" scent is could have been turned on its head.

    Again, I picked Brut as just one example.

  3. #123

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I don't think it's a matter of what we play with or are drawn to, as much as WHAT WE DO WITH THEM that develops the associations. How we act with those those things (wood, flowers, tobacco were mentioned), are certainly socially driven by both gender and personal propensities. I'm not totally against genderizing perfumes (that's a marketing strategy), but I AM against genderizing fragrances or scents themselves.
    Last edited by Nymphaea; 1st April 2010 at 09:10 PM.

  4. #124
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Here is what is "sensible" - Wear what you want to wear, and don't worry/care about what someone else wants to wear - because it ain't none of your f'ing business.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  5. #125
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Most boys like playing with sticks, like carving wood with pocket knives, love climbing trees, love chopping wood when camping etc.
    Most girls love sticking flowers in their hair, picking flowers, smelling flowers, making those interminable daisy chains with real daisies.
    Most boys and girls like eating oranges and drinking lemonade.

    Most men wear woody scents, or scents with a significant woody component.
    Most women wear floral scents, or scents with a significant floral component.
    When wearing unisex scents, until recently most men and women went for citrusy scents.

    Amazing coincidence is it not?
    I think some things are just innate in this world.

    Despite the best efforts of some teachers trying to enforce their gender neutral philosophy in schools, boys still climb trees and play with wood, and they might give making daisy chains a try every now and then, but they'd still prefer a Daisy BB Gun.
    Cheers,
    Renato
    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    Most, perhaps... but a large number of boys and girls do NOT enjoy the things as labeled (I was one of them, as was my tom boy sister).
    I agree mrclmind. However, I do like to play with wood.
    Last edited by petruccijc; 1st April 2010 at 10:06 PM.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  6. #126

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Young men these days should want to smell like video game controllers.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  7. #127

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I'm going to play the resident contrarian for a bit, okidoki?
    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    I guess I ought to start out by saying that although some folks will insist that it is all "in the nose of the beholder," and others that there is no difference whatsoever...
    Not just a question of some folks insisting... it's a plain & simple observation. Fact. Some "read" certain aromas and fragrances as feminine, some "read" the very same thing as masculine.

    if we start with the idea that words have meaning and that we actually can communicate something of significance to each other by respecting those meanings...
    That's fine & good, but in that case, please provide working definitions. I can guarantee you we'll be arguing until the cows come home otherwise.

    then the fact that words such as "masculine" and "feminine" even exist implies that there are real differences between the sexes
    That does emphatically not follow. The only thing it illustrates is the human desire to neatly categorize. To see patterns. To designate value, meaning and yes: gender to genderless objects/concepts.
    To put it differently: the existence of a philosophical concept does not necessitate the indisputable physical existence of the concept. (Not to go all religion-and-politics, just an illustration of the afore-mentioned: supernatural beings do not necessarily exist simply because we have a philosphical concept of them)

    and that these words describe characteristics and preferences associated with gender that are almost universally perceived across many cultures.
    Eh, that's just short-sighted.

    So....it follows then that some notes, some fragrances, must bring to mind aspects of masculine and feminine in ways that other fragrances do not...and much more readily. Some notes must resonate more with masculine sensibilities than others; and some more strongly with the feminine.
    Actually, I don't really disagree (much) with this, it's just the arguments leading up to this one that get my goat.
    Where we differ, I think, is that I very much doubt the existence of the objective standard that you seem to be arguing exists. Then again, here you seem to acknowledge it's not the same for everyone:
    For me, I associate wood and metal and smoke and leather and whisky (no "e") with the masculine; and food smells, flowers, and to a lesser extent, citrus, with the feminine.
    Quote Originally Posted by NYCBoy View Post
    Men: Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails

    Women: Sugar and spice and everything nice
    *Giggle*
    Oopsie, math is *hard*. Lemme go file my nails.

    ..Did you really just go there?
    Last edited by Morgaine; 1st April 2010 at 09:43 PM.
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  8. #128

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    I think the answer is pretty simple: a lot of the way people distinguish "masculine smells" from "feminine smells" or vice versa is directly related to perfume marketing that we've all been exposed to.

    For example, most people take it for granted that Brut, and all of the fragrance notes it contains, is a masculine scent. That's how Faberge wanted to market it: as a machoman scent. Consequently, other perfumes that have similar notes as Brut will often be regarded as "masculine".

    Now what if they decided to market Brut as a woman's fragrance? If it turned out that women wore Brut, it would have become a hit, and I believe our ideas of what a "feminine" scent is could have been turned on its head.

    Again, I picked Brut as just one example.
    I agree that it's all marketing.

    I think the original poster has already spoken his views on this before and in numerous threads, so I will say again (as some other posters) that scents, IMHO, do not really have a gender. It's all marketing.

    Some aromatherapists call jasmine masculine and rose feminine. Go figure. Some will say jasmine is extremely feminine, being a flower. Tell that to a man from history who was a formidable duellist (both pistol and sword, thank you) and bare-knuckles boxer--who happened to be 6'3" and over 200 pounds--the Comte d'Orsay. He covered himself in jasmine.

    In the early part of the 20th century, many scents marketed to women were leathery chypres and some had tobacco notes. Think about Chanel's Cuir de Russie and Caron's Tabac Blond.

    The nature of women and men never changes (and vive la difference, I say), however, the promoting of fragrance does.

    The "genderfied" marketing of perfumes is really a late 19th and 20th century phenomenon.

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    Here is what is "sensible" - Wear what you want to wear, and don't worry/care about what someone else wants to wear - because it ain't none of your f'ing business.
    I could not have said it better myself, petruccijc.
    Last edited by Primrose; 1st April 2010 at 10:12 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  9. #129

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I agree mrclmind. However, I do like to play with wood.
    Me too. It's a very different type of tree climbing.

    Let's please also start talking about Creed here.. I really, want to see this thread be a big one!
    Last edited by mrclmind; 1st April 2010 at 10:16 PM.

  10. #130
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    I guess I ought to start out by saying that although some folks will insist that it is all "in the nose of the beholder," and others that there is no difference whatsoever...if we start with the idea that words have meaning and that we actually can communicate something of significance to each other by respecting those meanings...then the fact that words such as "masculine" and "feminine" even exist implies that there are real differences between the sexes and that these words describe characteristics and preferences associated with gender that are almost universally perceived across many cultures.

    So....it follows then that some notes, some fragrances, must bring to mind aspects of masculine and feminine in ways that other fragrances do not...and much more readily. Some notes must resonate more with masculine sensibilities than others; and some more strongly with the feminine.
    This conversation is getting old here on Basenotes, but let's show new members some respect, and look at it one more time.

    Let's see... how do we make this clear?

    There are differences between the sexes. Some are inborn, and some are learned.

    Our bodies and our hormones are what we've come into the world with. Sex roles and preferences in perfumes are conditioned responses to cultural stimuli.


    The perfume stereotypes you mention are inculcated by the industry for their exclusive profit. They take common cultural stereotypes and use them in advertising to manipulate the market. If you want to be part of that, fine for you. Many of us don't like that game, however, and so we don't play by those rules.


    It seems that many people need to reinforce their gender identity by seeking social validation through conformity to sex role stereotypes. If that makes them comfortable, I suppose there's no harm in that... until people assume that it's the only truth and beat others over the head with it.


    If you're convinced you're right, and that there's only one way to be a man, be happy there. That universe is just too small for me.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 1st April 2010 at 10:44 PM.
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  11. #131

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Commercial, big business perfumery is an abstract, irrational, emotional invention, that reflects the conventions of its time. A clear cut division of masculine and feminine traits is also an abstract, irrational and emotional invention. I think many here know that Old Spice was originally created and marketed as a women's fragrance.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 2nd April 2010 at 01:39 AM.

  12. #132
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Canoe by Dana was also originally marketed to women, but it didn't sell well. When men started to buy it, the sales took off and it was then formally marketed to men.

  13. #133

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCBoy View Post
    Canoe by Dana was also originally marketed to women, but it didn't sell well. When men started to buy it, the sales took off and it was then formally marketed to men.
    Who here is old enough to remember the TV Commercial "Do you Canoe?"

  14. #134

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I agree mrclmind. However, I do like to play with wood.
    No doubt there's variation - I hated climbing trees (it's high up there).
    But I loved whittling with a knife, or hitting wood with an axe - something about that nice smell of wood.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  15. #135

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    No doubt there's variation - I hated climbing trees (it's high up there).
    But I loved whittling with a knife, or hitting wood with an axe - something about that nice smell of wood.
    Cheers,
    Renato
    That sounds like the kind of stuff my sis was into actually!

  16. #136

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    I know you won't agree but I don't think conditioning has anything to do with it. As if we were entirely receptive to brainwashing and could not ever transcend it. I think we come into this world with certain innate character traits and characteristics. And certain propensities--likes and dislike, as who should say.. So many "untoward" notions spring from the proposition that we are a product of our conditioning that I am surprised anyone even takes it seriously anymore.

    There is an old saying (and old sayings tend to be condensed bits of real wisdom) ...that "the hand that rocks the cradle controls the world." If conditioning were the answer, we'd all like just what our mothers liked.
    Just think of the conditioning that would be required to set up one multi billion dollar industry - flowers and florists.
    When was the last time that you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was your birthday, and the girlfirends, wives showed up with a nice big bunch of flowers as a gift for you?

    Just think of the conditioning that would be involved in setting up another trillion dollar industry - the hardware industry.
    When was the last time you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was her birthday, and you showed up with a power saw (or any other hardware item) as a gift for her?

    Just think of all those flower arranging classes, all over flowing with men, right?
    Or of all those woodworking classes, over flowing with women students, correct?

    Anyhow, that's why I think some things are innate, and that flow across to scents and some scent components. Manufacturers and marketers stand to lose a lot of money if they fight against the ingrained flow.
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 2nd April 2010 at 01:03 AM.

  17. #137

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Just think of the conditioning that would be required to set up one multi billion dollar industry - flowers and florists.
    When was the last time that you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was your birthday, and the girlfirends, wives showed up with a nice big bunch of flowers as a gift for you?

    Just think of the conditioning that would be involved in setting up another trillion dollar industry - the hardware industry.
    When was the last time you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was her birthday, and you showed up with a power saw (or any other hardware item) as a gift for her?

    Just think of all those flower arranging classes, all over flowing with men, right?
    Or of all those woodworking classes, over flowing with women students, correct?

    Anyhow, that's why I think some things are innate, and they flow across to scents. Manufacturers and marketers stand to lose a lot of money if they fight against the ingrained flow.
    Renato
    A lot of those gender roles have been breaking down for quite a while now. I think it really depends on what part of the world you live in.

  18. #138

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    That sounds like the kind of stuff my sis was into actually!
    Oddly enough, my wife was more into climbing trees than I ever was.
    But on the few occasions I've bought her some feminine woody scents (Black Cashmere), she's asked me why I bought her something that made her smell butch.
    Renato

  19. #139

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    A lot of those gender roles have been breaking down for quite a while now. I think it really depends on what part of the world you live in.
    No doubt, circumstances create some change, and hardware stores now carry lots of kitchen items, and some have lots of plants and plant stuff.
    But the only men I've ever seen regularly receiving flowers, were of the deceased type - on their caskets.
    Renato

  20. #140

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    No doubt, circumstances create some change, and hardware stores now carry lots of kitchen items, and some have lots of plants and plant stuff.
    But the only men I've ever seen regularly receiving flowers, were of the deceased type - on their caskets.
    Renato
    You haven't spent much time around my friends. Some of the top floral designers in SoCal are men, BTW.

  21. #141
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Stereotyping--that strikes me as one of those old bugaboos used to scare small children and uncertain personalities. I don't prefer "masculine" scents because I lean toward one stereotype or another. I prefer them because I prefer them. Evidence? I'm 64 years old. I've been working with leather all my adult life. It doesn't pay...not enough for me to gratify a stereotype. I do it because I love the smell, the feel, the sensuousness of leather. (I also was a florists apprentice for several years...I like flowers and I like natural science but arranging and the constant suffocating perfume didn't inspire).

    I have been turning wood for 15 years. I work with pewter a bit and silver and ivory.

    I drink Laphroig Quarter Cask--one of the peatiest, smokiest whiskys in the world and I damn sure don't like it because it's necessarily smooth or fits a stereotype.

    Question...Which comes first the hat or the cows? Answer...it doesn't make a damn bit of difference.

    I suspect that one of the reasons this question gets so much resistance...and a careful reading of my original post might suggest that I didn't intend for it to take this course...is that down deep we all know that there are hard, objective, scientifically validatable differences in the sexes. The way we think; the way we make decisions; the impulses that motivate us. And that knowledge makes a lot of people uncomfortable if for no other reason that it's not a popular point of view.

    This is the "Male Fragrance Discussion." Why make the distinction at all if there is not some resonance? If this question keeps coming up it is because no one wants to deal with it squarely. If it keeps coming up and it keeps getting put down with politically correct cant, it only serves to diminish the credibility of those posting here.

    Bottom line...I don't give a damn if a person wears feminine fragrances...not my cup of tea...I don't give a damn if a woman would, in her deepest heart, rather be "one of the boys" or if a man feels more comfortable in the presence of other men. That's the joy of being human...variety and the ability to transcend even (some) genetic programming. I do, however, see it as a bit disingenuous to assert that such differences and fundamental sensibilities do not exist.

    It's "spitting" into the wind.
    Last edited by DWFII; 2nd April 2010 at 01:31 AM.
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  22. #142

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    I guess I ought to start out by saying that although some folks will insist that it is all "in the nose of the beholder," and others that there is no difference whatsoever...if we start with the idea that words have meaning and that we actually can communicate something of significance to each other by respecting those meanings...then the fact that words such as "masculine" and "feminine" even exist implies that there are real differences between the sexes and that these words describe characteristics and preferences associated with gender that are almost universally perceived across many cultures.


    So....it follows then that some notes, some fragrances, must bring to mind aspects of masculine and feminine in ways that other fragrances do not...and much more readily. Some notes must resonate more with masculine sensibilities than others; and some more strongly with the feminine.

    What are those notes?

    For me, I associate wood and metal and smoke and leather and whisky (no "e") with the masculine; and food smells, flowers, and to a lesser extent, citrus, with the feminine.

    Yes, there are differences between the sexes, but it's a little bit conditioned, forced contemplation to say that notes are associated with sexes. This happens because fragrance has lost it's luxury and art side and has become a commodity, something that one uses, but not really understand. I think that saying that some notes are more masculine or feminine is like saying that some colors can only be used by boys and some colors can only be used by girls, which is insane and fossil. We must stop thinking fragrance as a gender guided and start to interpret it as an art, and art hasn't sex. A proof that your association doesn't make sense is there is a lot of 80's feminine fragrances very leathery and fierce, fragrances with smoky accents that were very famous between girls - like Tabac Blond for Caron. I'm not saying that you have to use fragrances marketed, but I don't think is clever approach separating fragrances by their accords. Espeacially because a great fragrance uses great materials in a manner that breaks this commercial non-sense approach. If you are just a fragrance user, the gender approach is fine to you. But if you really like and wants go beyond, this is something that only hinders you on your perceptions.

  23. #143

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    DWFII, I do agree with you. But labels are tricky: Dior Homme feels femenine (floral and gourmand) while Cabochard by Gres feels masculine (leather). As a matter of fact, I feel more comfortable wearing Cabochard than Dior Homme.
    I fully disagree about dior homme being feminine. There is a big leathery and lavender base surrounding the gourmand accent. It can be a more delicate fragrance. I feel comfortable wearing dior homme, it's delicate but strong at the same time, as a man that are not affraid to hiding himself at a fake super macho thing. But I have days that I like my fragrances rough too, so Cabochard must suits me weel too.

  24. #144

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Just think of the conditioning that would be required to set up one multi billion dollar industry - flowers and florists.
    When was the last time that you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was your birthday, and the girlfirends, wives showed up with a nice big bunch of flowers as a gift for you?

    Just think of the conditioning that would be involved in setting up another trillion dollar industry - the hardware industry.
    When was the last time you or any of your male friends were going out on a date, or it was her birthday, and you showed up with a power saw (or any other hardware item) as a gift for her?

    Just think of all those flower arranging classes, all over flowing with men, right?
    Or of all those woodworking classes, over flowing with women students, correct?

    Anyhow, that's why I think some things are innate, and that flow across to scents and some scent components. Manufacturers and marketers stand to lose a lot of money if they fight against the ingrained flow.
    Renato
    Yes, there are rules, but they only apply for those who wish to submit to these rules. They are not natural, you cannot proof scientifically those things. You can accept them, or you can be critical about it. It only depends on you wanting to stand out and think for yourself or following the crowd. Following the crowd is easier, but also automatic and boring two.
    I'd love to receive flowers by a woman, it'd shows that she commited to buy something different and took risks.

  25. #145

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    ...is that down deep we all know that there are hard, objective, scientifically validatable differences in the sexes. The way we think; the way we make decisions; the impulses that motivate us. And that knowledge makes a lot of people uncomfortable if for no other reason that it's not a popular point of view.
    As pertains to tastes in fragrances, we'll just have to disagree about these impulses.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  26. #146

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Would it be possible to bracket the stuff about the role of biology itself in preference, agree that for whatever reason there are smells we love--for the sake of argument--because we are men, and go ahead and do some speculating about which those are? There's a lot of interesting and useful stuff to be said about perfume and identity, even if we can't agree about the causes of identity or the most meaningful ways of categorizing identity.

    Gotta say, the frags that make me feel most like a man aren't the frags that feel most earthy or dirty but the frags that I associate with masculine elegance. I really love wearing AdP Colonia, for instance--the rosemary/rose accord against the dry, restrained lemon/moss accord suggests a very restrained but powerful form of masculine consciousness. Makes me feel like the man I want to be. As I think about it that way, Colonia doesn't seem masculine to me because of any one note but more because of a set of tensions. To me it says something about the constant sense of wanting to be very physical and active and having to rethink, wait, restrain. I associate that with being a man, and specifically being a good man. Or at least, for the time being, a domesticated one. Not saying anything about biology here, just sharing.
    Anyone else want to play?
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 2nd April 2010 at 03:01 AM.

  27. #147
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    Would it be possible to bracket the stuff about the role of biology itself in preference, agree that for whatever reason there are smells we love--for the sake of argument--because we are men, and go ahead and do some speculating about which those are? There's a lot of interesting and useful stuff to be said about perfume and identity, even if we can't agree about the causes or identity or the most meaningful ways of categorizing identity.
    That's the kind of thing I had in mind...
    Tight Stitches
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  28. #148

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Are the majority of fragrances discussed in the "Male Fragrance Discussion" board those that are marketed to men? I think so. To read these gender threads you would think that the majority of scents discussed here are Joy and L'air du Temps. I'm not trying to be argumentative at all, it just surprises me that this is such a common topic on these boards, and usually it's brought up by men who don't like to wear fragrances marketed to women (not necessarily this case in this particular thread by the way). I'm not being critical at all, just observant.

    But on topic to your original question, it's not only notes, but combinations of notes and fragrance styles that are often considered "masculine" For instance the fougere category and the lavender category have been very popular "masculine" scent categories throughout the 20th century. It is in the Chypre and Oriental categories that the gender lines started getting crossed the most frequently.

    Citrus and EDC type scents have been considered unisex for quite a long time.

    Those are my 2 little ole cents for what they are worth.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 2nd April 2010 at 03:21 AM.

  29. #149

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I'm not settled about how I see my masculinity but it is important to me, and it's useful to talk about it. I very much like that the emphasis on Basenotes is on expanding and blurring notions of gender--I'm from a background that defined masculinity in really constricting ways. But I still find 'masculine' a good and useful word, maybe in part because--like 'beautiful' and 'good'-- it's an evolving question for me.
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 2nd April 2010 at 03:34 AM.

  30. #150

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    Yeah, but there's a difference between talking about a 'masculine' frag and talking about masculinity.
    See the addition to my post above... Sorry, I hit save before I finished...

  31. #151

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    I guess I ought to start out by saying that although some folks will insist that it is all "in the nose of the beholder," and others that there is no difference whatsoever...if we start with the idea that words have meaning and that we actually can communicate something of significance to each other by respecting those meanings...then the fact that words such as "masculine" and "feminine" even exist implies that there are real differences between the sexes and that these words describe characteristics and preferences associated with gender that are almost universally perceived across many cultures.

    So....it follows then that some notes, some fragrances, must bring to mind aspects of masculine and feminine in ways that other fragrances do not...and much more readily. Some notes must resonate more with masculine sensibilities than others; and some more strongly with the feminine.

    What are those notes?

    For me, I associate wood and metal and smoke and leather and whisky (no "e") with the masculine; and food smells, flowers, and to a lesser extent, citrus, with the feminine.
    I'd like to play and think of what ingredients I think smell "masculine," but I don't know if ultimately doing so isn't confirming notions that I sincerely don't believe in.

    Conversationally here on the forum, I'm ready to say things like YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is so macho it'll grow hair on your chest, and that musk scents are Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance heel macho scents, but really when I say those things I'm playing a game--grafting an image onto an odor, or talking about an image that odor grafts into my brain. In each case it doesn't seem at all anchored between the two (the scent and the image I associate with it), it seems like a game of the odor trying to wear the scent and as a game, effectively, and thereby "play" the macho role. Such associations and choices seem like so much pretension to me. Conversationally I'll indulge in using such associations, but I don't ultimately believe they have meaning. No more meaning than advertising images.

    I'll make another post as I can get the thoughts together in my brain.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  32. #152

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    Would it be possible to bracket the stuff about the role of biology itself in preference, agree that for whatever reason there are smells we love--for the sake of argument--because we are men, and go ahead and do some speculating about which those are? There's a lot of interesting and useful stuff to be said about perfume and identity, even if we can't agree about the causes of identity or the most meaningful ways of categorizing identity.
    Hmmmm. For the sake of argument, scents that we think we like because we're men. Hmmmm. DWFII makes an interesting and compelling list from his history with leather, wood, and whisky, and maybe that's a good list example to use. The problem for me is that I'm not sure there are smells I particularly go for in my life that ARE associated with my manliness. More, they'd be scents I pick up as seasons change, as I make things in the kitchen, the smells of fountain pen ink when I spill it, and none of those do I associate with my being a man--to make such a list seems more like a "what other smells in your life/world do you like?" thread.

    But I'm going to think some more.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  33. #153

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I think a much more interesting discussion regarding scent and gender has to do with how the gender roles in fragrance have changed and morphed through the years. Just like clothing styles have changed quite a bit. What was marketed to men as "masculine" in the 70s doesn't sell as well today. Why? because sensibilities change over time. Historically there was a time when all perfumes were fairly gender neutral. Look to the scents in the 18th and 19th century. Nobility and aristocracy were really the only ones who could afford such precious luxuries. They didn't have masculine and feminine notes. In the 20th century things started changing due to how things were marketed. Long gone were the days when men wore wigs and fancy buttons (a very distant memory, yes but things moved much more slowly in centuries gone by than they do now). Gender identity and fashion started to become very fixed, and the fragrance industry was just starting to really grow with the advent of so many new synthetic fragrance molecules and aroma chemicals which made fragrance much more affordable to the masses. But even then the gender associations with fragrance were quite different than they are today. Both Jicky and Mitsouko could easily out butch Dior Homme. Things change, but studying the trends of fashion do in fact give a great deal of insight into any given culture at any given time. I don't think that history however supports the notion that "flowers are for girls, and woods are for boys." Even a very cursory study of the history of perfumes, or the study of perfumes of cultures other than the west, don't support such statements in my humble opinion.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 2nd April 2010 at 03:41 AM.

  34. #154

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Yeah, you make a really good point, Chris. What does it mean to love a smell "as man" as opposed to some other way? I wouldn't want to push too hard on this notion that in some way we experience the world with different aspects of identity.
    On the other hand, there are things that I love as a songwriter that I don't always love as a reader or a listener. I've been really preoccupied with Moby-Dick in the last year. At times it drives me crazy as a reader and a thinker, but as a writer myself I'm really inspired by the bigness and newness of the project, how much of himself he's able to access and catalog as he assembles the novel. Makes me feel like a great deal is possible, even though there are days when I really don't want to actually read the book.
    Similarly when I notice a particular perfume while considering myself as a man--which maybe a more free or evolved person wouldn't much do, but which I do--then the perfume becomes a way of finding certain kinds of possibilities and margins. Lately I've learned some stuff (that it would probably be really tedious to hear me try to explain) about masculinity from L'Heure Bleue.

  35. #155

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    [I have to point out, because this thread mentions that this is a Male Fragrances Discussion forum, and a thread that was similar to this one that we had last week did also, that it's also a forum where Fragrances Worn by Men are discussed. The forum is for male fragrance discussion and the discussion of fragrances worn by men.

    Just so all readers are aware, there isn't a failure, a tangential deviation, or a diminution of purpose, or a loss of focus, because, for lack of a better way of putting it, fragrances that don't include "for men," "uomo," or "homme" on their labels are discussed.]

    [I use brackets because I want to make background comment, not derail the already present direction of the thread.]
    Last edited by DustB; 2nd April 2010 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Added the brackets.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  36. #156

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Yeah, mrclmind, it does seem true that a lot of stuff connecting gender to smell is culturally constructed. I'm just saying that however we got to this historico-exististential-olfactory moment, here we is.

    Edit: But for me it makes a big difference that we talk as individuals. Seems to me that most anything we might say about men or women as a class will be as false as it is true.
    Last edited by Strollyourlobster; 2nd April 2010 at 04:11 AM.

  37. #157

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Men are more about strength and power, hence many smells but not all them will be more masculine. Masculine in my eyes is a fragrance with strong notes like leather, tobacco, woods. Women are more about delicacy, daintiness and are more inclined to have a sweet tooth. Hence many frags for women are floral and sweet/fruity because they are more feminine smells. Many women will admit this, though I think smelling fresh and clean are unisex smells and there is middle ground. If you notice the sweet/ floral frags for men usually are either stronger and have some sort of masculine smell in it ( woods, leather, tobaco) or unisex smell so it can pass for masculine. Don't get me wrong I have certain colognes that could easily pass for unisex or even female frags. Nonetheless, in frags I believe there are many that either gender could wear but if they fall heavily into the aforementioned well you know how it is. Men and women are distinct in many ways, women have more sensitive noses than men do when it comes to smell so in many cases they can pick up in smells better not to mention with them being more emotional creatures than men they will tie these smells to specific things and remember smells with images in my opinion better than us. Bois du portugal for example to me is very masculine and no middle ground involved it is a man's frag. Sticking to gender roles whether it be natural or not (i think some is and some is not) in this case is not the point the point is it makes things much easier and there is no questioning as to who does what and who is who. I am a man, masculine and a strong protector which usually equals to a strong and manly frag like Fahrenheit, a woman bring more dainty and delicate would equal something more subtle and feminine like a fragrance predominantly floral or sweet. Just my opinion.

  38. #158

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    Conversationally here on the forum, I'm ready to say things like YSL Pour Homme Haute Concentration is so macho it'll grow hair on your chest, and that musk scents are Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance heel macho scents, but really when I say those things I'm playing a game--grafting an image onto an odor, or talking about an image that odor grafts into my brain. In each case it doesn't seem at all anchored between the two (the scent and the image I associate with it), it seems like a game of the odor trying to wear the scent and as a game, effectively, and thereby "play" the macho role. Such associations and choices seem like so much pretension to me. Conversationally I'll indulge in using such associations, but I don't ultimately believe they have meaning. No more meaning than advertising images.
    I'm in this same camp. For me "Which scents do you FEEL are masculine" and "What scents ARE masculine" are very different questions. I can casually answer the former without giving it much thought, but when some form of the latter comes up, I can't help but feel it's another way of trying to give an objective meaning to something that seems to be extremely transient and subjective given how widely interpretations vary throughout the world and through history.

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    The problem for me is that I'm not sure there are smells I particularly go for in my life that ARE associated with my manliness. More, they'd be scents I pick up as seasons change, as I make things in the kitchen, the smells of fountain pen ink when I spill it, and none of those do I associate with my being a man--to make such a list seems more like a "what other smells in your life/world do you like?" thread.
    Agreed. I can look at my collection and say "Aoud Cuir d'Arabie is a more traditionally masculine fragrance than Diorissimo", but I wear the former because it smells like a certain mixture of leather, oud, and rose, and the latter because it smells like jasmine, muguet, and oakmoss, not because one or the other triggers a gender-association.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBond007 View Post
    Men are more about strength and power... Women are more about delicacy, daintiness...
    This doesn't fit with the tendency of women's fragrances, on average, to be stronger than men's. Things like Angel or Poison mop the floor with wimps like Azzaro PH and Yatagan!

  39. #159

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Nice, Galamb. Yr last point is particularly interesting to me.

  40. #160

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    Nice, Galamb. Yr last point is particularly interesting to me.
    Me too, GB. Thanks.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  41. #161

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    I think a much more interesting discussion regarding scent and gender has to do with how the gender roles in fragrance have changed and morphed through the years. Just like clothing styles have changed quite a bit. What was marketed to men as "masculine" in the 70s doesn't sell as well today. Why? because sensibilities change over time. Historically there was a time when all perfumes were fairly gender neutral. Look to the scents in the 18th and 19th century. Nobility and aristocracy were really the only ones who could afford such precious luxuries. They didn't have masculine and feminine notes. In the 20th century things started changing due to how things were marketed. Long gone were the days when men wore wigs and fancy buttons (a very distant memory, yes but things moved much more slowly in centuries gone by than they do now). Gender identity and fashion started to become very fixed, and the fragrance industry was just starting to really grow with the advent of so many new synthetic fragrance molecules and aroma chemicals which made fragrance much more affordable to the masses. But even then the gender associations with fragrance were quite different than they are today. Both Jicky and Mitsouko could easily out butch Dior Homme. Things change, but studying the trends of fashion do in fact give a great deal of insight into any given culture at any given time. I don't think that history however supports the notion that "flowers are for girls, and woods are for boys." Even a very cursory study of the history of perfumes, or the study of perfumes of cultures other than the west, don't support such statements in my humble opinion.
    I concur with mrclmind in that historically, scent/perfume was gender-neutral. It was often citrusy, floral, spiced, or laced with musk. The Comte d'Orsay, whom I mentioned in post #24, had scented kid gloves covered in eau de jasmin. I am sure he did not find the jasmine girly, as this same glove might be thrown in a man's face to issue a challenge to duel, one the adversary was sure to lose. The Comte, his wife and mother-in-law all were fond of orange flower water.
    Last edited by Primrose; 2nd April 2010 at 04:44 AM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  42. #162

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    I hypothesize that these questions about a definable link between masculinity and perfume are hard for many of to thoroughly define because we are already living well outside the stereotypical "masculine" norm just by being this interested in and open-minded about fragrance.

    I would be interested to hear what someone who barely wears fragrance (and unlike many of us, would never ever wear a woman's perfume) thinks about what notes are masculine and why. I'm sure there are some subconscious male/female preferences, but for most people the answer would probably boil down to learned cultural values:

    "What do you think about floral scents?"
    "Flowers are for girls"
    "Why are flowers for girls?"
    "Because girls like flowers"
    "Why do girls like flowers?"
    "Because they are expected to"
    "Does liking flowers correlate with liking the scent of flowers?"
    "You lost me"
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  43. #163

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    This doesn't fit with the tendency of women's fragrances, on average, to be stronger than men's. Things like Angel or Poison mop the floor with wimps like Azzaro PH and Yatagan!
    Yes, a loud, attention getting fragrance falls squarely into the greatest clichéd notions of femininity of all time, from The Whore of Babylon to Madonna. Clichéd masculinity is characterized by the discreet and quietly strong: From Jesus to George Clooney. Let me out of this cage.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 2nd April 2010 at 07:03 AM.

  44. #164
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Gender studies are very interesting, DWFII, and shed light on the difference between "gender" and "sex". It's a great foundational resource for forming arguments related to marketing versus biology! I recommend the books of Bell Hooks, Sandy Stone, and Germaine Greer if it's a subject you'd care to explore.

    Firstly, I, for one, wholeheartedly agree that boys do "boy things" and girls do "girl things", and that it's almost humorously irrepressible. It's not by any means universal (I, myself was always an "boyish" adventurer-type, and I love to play with wood.), but I have seen some compelling literature (especially supporting chromosomal assignment for hermaphroditic babies, rather than random assignment) and had the most profound experience of raising a total "boy" -- cue "VROOOOMM!!" "POW, You are dead, Mommy!" -- despite my more pacifistic, more "free-form" parenting.

    However, I have grown to understand what other things societies on this earth (not just marketing, mind you) have ascribed to one gender or another, that do not necessarily bear upon chromosomal distinctions. In fact, sociologists observe many gender codes indeed seem almost "universal" (especially with the modern "global canopy" effect). That is not to say they are indelible, timeless, or grounded in "solid" biological reasoning. E.g., "manly" men from many modern cultures worldwide may claim to love a hard, rough whiskey (without acknowledging any marketing or societal influences), but that is not to say that the same whiskey would strike any male-identified Yanomami Indian or African Bushman as appealing, "hearty", tough... or particularly gender-specific for that matter.

    Gender-versus-biology becomes "hairy", to be sure , but two things are certain: gender training is universal, and gender perceptions are extremely powerful...


    With regard to "the senses", I agree wholeheartedly with Ruggles.... That the senses don't innately veer towards particular preferences with regard to SEX. And that liberation from that sort-of thinking is gorgeous! However, the gender issue (Primrose, I'd argue that marketing mirrors society with regard to gender attribution.) is CLEARLY another matter. And in 20th century Western Societies gender-attributions became a key element in marketing. And savvy merchandisers looked to already extant delineations that would or could support their products' claims of a "natural" gender bias! And DWFIII, you are totally right! Leathers and bourbons and rough-hewn, "forester" smells (These mirrored the modern societies' gender roles.) were very quickly applied to a new, very-divided fragrance market! And for several decades certain associations to notes as well as formulae (Florals were for women and Fougeres were for men.) informed generations of fragrance buyers and comfortably reflected our all-important gender ideals.

    For reference: another sense-related example, which is strictly the product of gender training: Hungry Man soups for men and chocolate-covered cherries for women... It's true that the custom of Western men is to gift women chocolates and that many working class men are poor and eat soup, but how does this unequivocally imply that persons with vaginae don't like stewed beef or that persons with penises don't enjoy chocolates? We must be careful!

    It is important to observe, as a newcomer to fragrance, too, that gender associations are rapidly shifting in prasens... And that a lot of the knowledgeable connoisseurs here at bn as well as the more exciting perfumers today are at the forefront of these changes! What's old is new, and what was butch is femme! It's such an interesting time to study scent! And it's even very delightful for some of us to "look back", with the awareness of more diffuse gender lines, at the silliness of past "rigid gender-attributions that are --sometimes-- almost anachronistic-seeming to their fusty, old claims!

    With this in mind, I also agree with you, DWFII, that some of us folks here can be indeed a tad "disingenuous" in response to many gentleman who are simply looking for fragrances that "fit" into gender categories -- however old-fashioned -- that we for the most part, damned well understand...deeply understand.

    Because gender is such a POWERFUL experience as well as social reality, and because we ALL --each one of us -- have defined ourselves somewhere within it's myriad gamuts. And I'd further argue we all understand even the most mainstream attributions and marketing trends as they relate to gender very intimately (whether we reject them, detest them, or digest them) because we as humans are naturally very aware of others gender identities as well as eager to define ourselves! And for those people who have comfortably defined themselves within the auspices of convenient, mainstream guidelines, I'd argue the smell of a aromatic fougere (Sure, folks, a few women's scents were also fougere-like, but we know Quorum does not smell like Joy.) is as comforting and untroubling as a plaid flannel button-down. And that's not crime, however frustrating it is for us more adventurous, unfettered sensualists!

    Finally, I for one, try to be heedful of the requests of gentleman who care to stick to -- however passe -- strict, fragrance gender ascriptions. And if I do suggest the occasional women's fragrance to fellows I perceive thusly, you can be sure it's one I honestly, actually think smells pretty "masculine", like Cabochard. I have even seen some guys grow into an "easiness" experimenting with broader ranges as their love of the scent world expands, btw. It frustrates me to some degree, but I don't actually feel compelled to "shove" my dogma down their "throats".

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Hillaire; 2nd April 2010 at 05:50 AM.

  45. #165

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    With this in mind, I also agree with you, DWFII, that some folks here are indeed a tad "disingenuous" in response to many gentleman who are simply looking for fragrances that "fit" into gender categories, however old-fashioned -- that we for the most part, damn well understand...deeply understand.
    I guess the thing here is that I often really DON'T understand. I don't see why Lauder for Men is considered by so many men to be "butch", when it uses an aldehydic accord I've smelled in many older women's fragrances, or why many a powdery lavender concoction for men is considered removed from the powdery lavender concoctions my grandmother always favored. It's not some covert plot to advance a genderless society by way of fragrance recommendations, it's that nine times out of of ten I truly don't "get" what the person wants in terms of masculine ( because women rarely ever worry about this topic - see JaimeB's excellent post on that subject ), and the more I experience of the same accords being used across men's, women's and unisex, the less I "get" it.
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 2nd April 2010 at 05:55 AM.

  46. #166
    Hillaire
    Guest

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I guess the thing here is that I often really DON'T understand. I don't see why Lauder for Men is considered by so many men to be "butch", when it uses an aldehydic accord I've smelled in many older women's fragrances, or why many a powdery lavender concoction for men is considered removed from the powdery lavender concoctions my grandmother always favored. It's not some covert plot to advance a genderless society by way of fragrance recommendations, it's that nine times out of of ten I truly don't "get" what the person wants in terms of masculine ( because women rarely ever worry about this topic - see JaimeB's excellent post on that subject ), and the more I experience of the same accords being used across men's, women's and unisex, the less I "get" it.
    I actually thought of you among some others when I wrote that, and I think your advantage is generational. And I think you are always sincere.

    I also put disingenuous in quotes, as I understand it more as willfully progressive'' and a GOOD thing. I may have not come across properly. I have a tongue-in-cheek style that sometimes seems literal when I least hope so.

    As for women not voicing these concerns so often, PM me that I might direct you to a different, female-dominated site that will open your eyes to that fallacy. In fact I removed my reviews from there after several hate mails that disparaged my presumed-sexuality, based solely on my vocal adoration of men's fragrances. The small group of women who tune into to scent here at BN are blessedly-brilliant and enlightened, and by no stretch a microcosm of the fragrance loving female population. I PROMISE!

    Jaime's post WAS excellent. As I have said before, he's my favorite writer here.
    Last edited by Hillaire; 2nd April 2010 at 06:21 AM.

  47. #167

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    For me, it seems to be about notes. For instance, I wore Kenzo Amour EdP yesterday and really enjoyed it. At no point did I think of any gender aspect to it. I really dislike floral notes, with the exception of powdery iris/orris and small amounts of common notes sometimes found in "men's" frags, but I wish I could enjoy them. In my "theory" of human smell appreciation, most floral notes are too "horizontal," and so should be used in small amounts but others like this quality to a greater degree than I do, while others wear the frag for others and don't care about this. Men's frags often have a "rough" edge, such as leather, wood, and herbs as dominant notes, but there are plenty that do not (or it's so minor that many women would wear it if it were marketed to them). Women's frags tend to be "rounded" and "smooth."

  48. #168

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillaire View Post
    I actually thought of you among some others when I wrote that, and I think your advantage is generational. And I think you are always sincere.
    Thank you! I really am trying to match the right scent to the right nose when I make my recommendations here on Basenotes, I just often have a hard time perceiving gender in a fragrance. ( As a good example, a recent poster mentioned that he perceived Farenheit as the ultimate "male" fragrance, yet I can't make heads nor tails of its gender either in terms of traditionally male notes or my own subjective vision of "maleness" - it's totally neuter to my nose ).

  49. #169

    Cool Re: gender sensibilities

    I should think that the stereotype today is to insist that there are no inherent differences.

    I believe there are, but as much as I enjoy reading books on sociobiology,--as they can excuse anything I care to do--well I just feel it's not masculine nor honorable to do some of them; Oh, say anything that involves stealing an old lady's purse, for example.

    ( Even if one had an irresistible urge to smell Dior Pour Homme at the moment )

    Then it's hard to think of a man's fragrance a woman could not wear. Some quite feminine ladies have posted on how much they enjoy Azarro PH, Vintage Tabarome, Givenchy Gentleman, etc. On the other hand, the reverse does not appear to be true. Perhaps because many women's scents are so overpoweringly floral that it reminds me of the old Rita Rudner joke: " Why smell like a flower if you want to attract men? I got a great perfume. It's called new car leather interior."

    Quorum to me is in the same category as Bandit for women----why on earth anyone would want to wear these caricatures of macho is beyond me. But, live and let live. Not all men who wear Brut sport leisure suits and gold chains either---I think. Even if Disco Stu is conjured up in my mind.

    I must say that I disagree with Renato on two points, though. I always craved an AK-47 over a Daisy BB gun, even as a child. (Well, it was de rigueur in Cuba ) And as far as camping--my idea of "roughing it" is a black and white TV or a martini without olives.

    Yes, I've been to Yellowstone, Yosemite, The Grand Canyon and so forth, and thank whatever gods may be for 5 star hotels and the money I had back then. Where did it all go?

    I agree this it is all Oliver Creed's fault.

    Give me some time and I'll work out the syllogism.

    Pax,

    Mario
    My Wardrobe

    Reviews: http://www.basenotes.net/reviews/30

    Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

    My Antaeus can beat up your Armani.

  50. #170

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I'm in this same camp. For me "Which scents do you FEEL are masculine" and "What scents ARE masculine" are very different questions. I can casually answer the former without giving it much thought, but when some form of the latter comes up, I can't help but feel it's another way of trying to give an objective meaning to something that seems to be extremely transient and subjective given how widely interpretations vary throughout the world and through history.



    Agreed. I can look at my collection and say "Aoud Cuir d'Arabie is a more traditionally masculine fragrance than Diorissimo", but I wear the former because it smells like a certain mixture of leather, oud, and rose, and the latter because it smells like jasmine, muguet, and oakmoss, not because one or the other triggers a gender-association.



    This doesn't fit with the tendency of women's fragrances, on average, to be stronger than men's. Things like Angel or Poison mop the floor with wimps like Azzaro PH and Yatagan!

    stronger because they are made with eau de parfum instead of eau de toilette. Angel to me is more subtle than azzaro ph which is way stronger but remember they have changed things recent. Angel is a newer frag and it might have strength but what does it have? Chocolate, vanilla, honey most of these scents even though i personally love them ( a*men, and other gourmands i own) are still more feminine smells than masculine not to say a man would lose his masculinity wearing them ( like i said i own many, like le male ,etc) but they arent blatantly masculine. Nonetheless one can appreciate and even wear sometimes opposite sex frags if it suits them ( i like the dreamer and i think it is more suited for a woman,same as prada amber).

  51. #171

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    I hypothesize that these questions about a definable link between masculinity and perfume are hard for many of to thoroughly define because we are already living well outside the stereotypical "masculine" norm just by being this interested in and open-minded about fragrance.

    I would be interested to hear what someone who barely wears fragrance (and unlike many of us, would never ever wear a woman's perfume) thinks about what notes are masculine and why. I'm sure there are some subconscious male/female preferences, but for most people the answer would probably boil down to learned cultural values:

    "What do you think about floral scents?"
    "Flowers are for girls"
    "Why are flowers for girls?"
    "Because girls like flowers"
    "Why do girls like flowers?"
    "Because they are expected to"
    "Does liking flowers correlate with liking the scent of flowers?"
    "You lost me"
    I honestly think not all but a majority of women like floral scents,it can be rose, lillys,etc. Many florals in my eyes have a sweet type of smell and many women have a sweet tooth, i think more so than a man. Therefore many perfumes appeal to what many ( not all) women do like. Many men ( not all) enjoy a strong type of smell like a tobacco, leather or woodsy type of smell. I know i am generalizing a bit but it would take me all eternity to do things case by case. Just for the record as said previously i have sweet gourmands which could probably be considered female smells, same as a few florals but adding in the lavender, patchouli or tar with the mix, even musk ( depending on the type) can give these a masculine vibe. Just my 2 cents.

  52. #172

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    There seems to be a spectrum of orientation: on one extreme exists the belief that no gender associations to fragrances exist, while on the other extreme lies the belief that very clear cut gender associations to fragrances exist (much like the old Kinsey scale IMO). Few of us here seem to actually live in either of the hard-core extremes. Trying to get someone else to join us on our exact piece of this rainbow is fruitless at best. If and only if a person is inspired to move to another point on this spectrum, it is something that I believe occurs internally as a natural process in becoming more educated in what fragrance is and studying it more extensively; trying to force the issue does none of us any good.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 2nd April 2010 at 07:27 AM.

  53. #173

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    There seems to be a spectrum of orientation: on one extreme exists the belief that no gender associations to fragrances exist, while on the other extreme lies the belief that very clear cut gender associations to fragrances exist (much like the old Kinsey scale IMO). Few of us here seem to actually live in either of the hard-core extremes. Trying to get someone else to join us on our exact piece of this rainbow is fruitless at best. If and only if a person is inspired to move to another point on this spectrum, it is something that I believe occurs internally as a natural process in becoming more educated in what fragrance is and studying it more extensively; trying to force the issue does none of us any good.
    I do get a sense these things are quite pointless after a while... Interesting discussion occurs, but never any definitive ANSWER that solves everyone's queries. I mean, how often does this come up? Weekly? Daily?

    I think there should be a "Guys wearing women's frags" sticky that the mods can graft all of these conversations on to when they come up.

  54. #174

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I do get a sense these things are quite pointless after a while... Interesting discussion occurs, but never any definitive ANSWER that solves everyone's queries. I mean, how often does this come up? Weekly? Daily?

    I think there should be a "Guys wearing women's frags" sticky that the mods can graft all of these conversations on to when they come up.
    I was just commenting to someone that every-time I respond to these threads I feel like I have just fallen off the wagon. I don't know why I let myself come into these discussions... they are always so very circular, and I never add anything of value to the discussion, just more blah blah blah about something that everyone is already set in their beliefs about.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 2nd April 2010 at 07:42 AM.

  55. #175

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    I was just commenting to someone that every-time I respond to these threads I feel like I have just fallen off the wagon. I don't know why I let myself come into these discussions... they are always so very circular, and I never add anything of value to the discussion, just more blah blah blah about something that everyone is already set in their beliefs about.
    Still a bit foolish after all these years, I believe that people are not quite as set in their beliefs as we assume at first. Perhaps it's the result of my work or inclination, but I need to hope that human beings can learn to question and think rather than blithely accept all they think they know. I agree that it seems a losing battle and many will hold on to what they have been taught, but others, perhaps with more open minds, begin to at least ask new questions--even if they don't have the answers.

    For what its worth, this http://www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/e...gendersex.html
    may prove stimulating to some. Butler is much too convoluted, so I'd advise against confronting her work directly. The aforementioned bell hooks is an easier read.
    Last edited by Forlorn; 2nd April 2010 at 01:14 PM.

  56. #176
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, Anne Moir, David Jessel

    Here's four pages or so by way of introduction...

    http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Sex-Diff...der_0385311834

    Finally rather than bore anyone further...

    Last edited by DWFII; 2nd April 2010 at 03:22 PM.
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  57. #177

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Galamb_Borong View Post
    I do get a sense these things are quite pointless after a while... Interesting discussion occurs, but never any definitive ANSWER that solves everyone's queries. I mean, how often does this come up? Weekly? Daily?

    I think there should be a "Guys wearing women's frags" sticky that the mods can graft all of these conversations on to when they come up.
    Good suggestion...or a "Women who wear men's fragrances" sticky...
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  58. #178
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    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    they are always so very circular, and I never add anything of value to the discussion, just more blah blah blah about something that everyone is already set in their beliefs about.
    This is an astonishing remark if only because if you think about it, every discussion on this forum falls into that category...some folks detect celery in Yatagan, some do not. some think Kouros is animalistic some think it elegant. Nothing is ever solved nothing is ever resolved.
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  59. #179

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
    This is an astonishing remark if only because if you think about it, every discussion on this forum falls into that category...some folks detect celery in Yatagan, some do not. some think Kouros is animalistic some think it elegant. Nothing is ever solved nothing is ever resolved.
    But few of the Yatagan discussions cause as much emotion as the gender conversation.

  60. #180

    Default Re: gender sensibilities

    This seems a bit like trying to define "good." By trying to define it, you place constrains on that beg to be argued. But we all know it exists.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

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