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Thread: anti unisex

  1. #1
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default anti unisex

    Am I the only one that feels fragrances should be well separated by gender? I have tried many unisex fragrances but I always fail to find it appealing on me. I have been hooked and attracted by powerhouses and I am still regardless my new fragrance journey thanks to basenotes.net

    In fact, looking in retrospective , I feel that the world of fragrances failed me the moment they began to created unisex fragrances, lets say CK and onwards. I do understand that many unisex fragrances are great but on me, or at least in my mind, they do not work, they do not satisfy me or give me the pleasure manly fragrances do.

    Perhaps that is why struggle to fully appreciate some niche houses when they claim "unisex". I do appreciate the fragrances itself, do not get me wrong, I just dont fancy it on me. For example Black Orchid , I find it intoxicating, sexy and delicious but I just can wear it. I totally understand that I am the minority because most people wont hesitate in wearing and enjoying unisex juices.

    IMHO the unisex trend did more wrong than good to the perfume industry because the perfumistas deviated from developing new "powerhouses" to the creation of unisex which to my eyes are easier, less complex and very generic. In fact unisex and "aquatics" seem to go hand by hand. Just my two cents.
    Last edited by Basteri; 11th September 2009 at 09:14 AM.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  2. #2

    Default Re: anti unisex

    I think so too ^__^ The thing is many unisex scents are really good (Musc Ravageur ...) . The reason why i dont really like the unisex fragrance idea is because i dont want my GF to smell like me !!!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    IMHO the unisex trend did more wrong than good to the perfume industry because the perfumistas deviated from developing new "powerhouses" to the creation of unisex which to my eyes are easier, less complex and very generic. In fact unisex and "aquatics" seem to go hand by hand. Just my two cents.
    I prefer distinct fragrances on the heavier, denser side. I don't care if these are marketed towards men or women, although I tend to avoid what I consider to be super fruity and floral fragrances for my personal use.

    I blame modern business/marketing in general and not the move towards "unisex". The problem is that super low ingredient budgets and super safe directional choices lead to watered-down fragrances.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    I rather like unisex fragrances, and I don't think Cedre, Dzing, Tea for Two are very aquatic either. I don't know a lot of mainstream unisex fragrances but the ones I think of are the aquatic ones, but in niche I don't think most unisex lack personality or depth.

    I had to check my wardrobe though to see what fragrances are unisex in there because I really don't pay attention to what label is slapped on my smellies by other people.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    Currently wearing: L by Lolita Lempicka

  5. #5

    Default Re: anti unisex

    My attitude towards it is somewhere right in the middle- while I usually prefer to emphasize my masculine side, there are unisex scents I actually like.
    Currently wearing: Worth pour Homme by Worth

  6. #6
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    Am I the only one that feels fragrances should be well separated by gender?
    To do this separation, do you look for the genetalia on the bottom of the bottle or inside of the cap?
    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

  7. #7

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    To do this separation, do you look for the genetalia on the bottom of the bottle or inside of the cap?
    I wish some people were marked "for Men" or "pour Elle". Gender ambiguity pronouns wouldn't be a problem.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    I happen to enjoy the heavier powerhouse scents, unisex, and those specifically marketed for women, on myself, be it niche or designer. As a bonus, I have been complimented by male and female friends when I wore ladies' fragrances.

    Edit: IMO many niche scents marketed as unisex are not aquatics (I do realise that a lot of newer designer ones are)... Take your recently purchased Chergui for example, hopefully it will give you a positive experience
    Last edited by MFJ; 11th September 2009 at 01:27 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    I wish some people were marked "for Men" or "pour Elle". Gender ambiguity pronouns wouldn't be a problem.
    This would avoid many embarrassing social situations!

    On the fragrance side, I am pretty much omniscentual...I wear any scent I like, gender label be hanged! Some of the sugar-y girly stuff, though, puts me off my food.

    In the end, it's all marketing...yes. I am not deterred by the label.
    Last edited by Primrose; 11th September 2009 at 01:35 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    On the fragrance side, I am pretty much omniscentual...I wear any scent I like, gender label be hanged! Some of the sugar-y girly stuff, though, puts me off my food.

    In the end, it's all marketing...yes. I am not deterred by the label.
    Very well said! This is also how I feel.

  11. #11
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    It has nothing to do with gender so please do not take my observations into that arena. I am only talking about my personal taste and preference about fragrances and not about who wears it and why.
    I have smelled men wearing women fragrances and it was fine however I do not feel comfortable myself, it does not work for me.

    Niche unisex are most of the times far from aquatic I was referring to designers unisex then there is a serious relationship between unisex = aquatic.

    (English is my second language and I cannot express as I would like)
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  12. #12

    Default Re: anti unisex

    I would like to add a little anecdote to this discussion. I was working at Bath & Body Works when Black Amethyst came out. Now, I believe that Black Amethyst is similar to, if not an exact copy of, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. However, when I demonstrated Black Amethyst to customers, a significant minority of women responded with, "Ugh, it smells masculine."

    What this illustrates to me is that whether a particular note is perceived to be masculine or feminine depends upon cultural assumptions, the personal preferences of the individual, and perhaps even factors that have nothing to do with the sense of smell (the design of the bottle, the name, the logo, et cetera).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    Am I the only one that feels fragrances should be well separated by gender? .
    Apart from those opinions shared at Basenotes, it is my feeling that the majority of people share a similar view to yours. Unisex scents seem to make many comfortable who otherwise would not be wearing a particular scent.

  14. #14
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Oh yes, I am waiting for Chergui I just felt that it deserves a fair try and hopefully its place in my collection.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  15. #15

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    Oh yes, I am waiting for Chergui I just felt that it deserves a fair try and hopefully its place in my collection.
    Basteri, maybe you should have started this thread before the thread about Chergui?
    Last edited by Trebor; 11th September 2009 at 03:11 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Why don't you try this Basteri?

    Gather a bunch of samples of masculine, feminine and unisex scents. Have a friend decant them into blind vials, marked A, B, C...etc. so that only they know which is which. Then smell them. See if you can tell which one is masculine, feminine and/or unisex only using your nose, without prior information.

    I think you'd be surprised at your results.

    MANY feminine scents are wearable by men. Yes, of course, you may not feel comfortable wearing a lot of them, but perhaps you just haven't smelled/worn the right feminines and/or unisex scents.

    Slightly off topic: I smell MANY feminine fragrance these days, that when they dry down smell JUST like masculine fragrances. The new Circus Fantasy by Britney Spears is evidence of this trend.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Well argued, everyone. I believe the unisex frag movement was marketing-driven, creating scents that are safe and inoffensive to either gender, which translates into bigger market and hopefully higher sales. Unfortunately, perhaps more often than not, they fall into the boring uninspired category. And there are consumers who would avoid any scents labelled as 'unisex'.

    I'd rather if they just leave fragrances 'ambiguous' and in gender neutral bottles, WITHOUT labels like pour elle, or pour Homme, or unisex. Much like what some niche houses like Serge Lutens are doing with theirs. Let the customer judge a scent's 'wearability factor' instead. 'cuz I do believe that the so-called masculinity or feminity of a scent depends very much on the person wearing it. Angelina Jolie with Drakka Noir would still be feminine, no?. So to put it in another way, it should be us wearing fragrances rather than fragrances wearing us, KWIM?
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 11th September 2009 at 04:50 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Agree with diamondflame. I wll judge if I like a scent not a company. I don't like anything floral at all but that's my choice. I look up lots of my wifes scents and have same notes as male scents but it's in a pink bottle. You either like ia frag or not, who cares what they call it. I think the better question and maybe what was ment is, do you like all the sweeter scents that keep comming out.
    I post lots from my I phone so if this looks like a text message that's why ( :

  19. #19
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Honestly, I can't really speak about designer unisex fragrances, because I haven't tried that many and unisex isn't a popular designation in stores here - things are still very divided along gender lines, even when the juice in the bottle isn't. The only unisex designer I know I've tried is Bvlgari Black, which wasn't amazing to my nose but was quite wearable and not at all aquatic.

    Personally, the majority of my favorites are unisex creations from houses like Serge Lutens. Frederic Malle, Comme des Garcons, etc. But I wear both men's and women's fragrances, too. I go by notes and genres rather than the gender on the bottle e.g. I like civet, cloves, tuberose, galbanum, orientals but rarely anything with mint or aquatics.

  20. #20

    Default Re: anti unisex

    I do not really think that there is such a thing as a unisex fragrance. The same way that there are no masculine nor feminine fragrances. Because fragrances have NO GENITALIA.... So the question of gender specificity is just a question of esthetics and marketing at the time of production. I am sure most women under the age of 40 would be horrified by vintage feminine fragrances heavy on civet. They would wear Aqua di Gio far more easily than Jicky. And not because they 've lost their feminity but because esthetics have changed. Especially for people who enjoy and research perfumes I think it is irrelevant and self-limiting to think in these terms. And this is coming from someone who enjoys equally masculine powerhouses of the 70's and 80's as well as some feminine scents. Given the popular trends in designer fragrances today I have noticed that people around me feel more comfortable when I wear Sarassins applied with caution than when I wear Anthracite.
    Last edited by cpk; 11th September 2009 at 06:54 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Why don't you try this Basteri?

    Gather a bunch of samples of masculine, feminine and unisex scents. Have a friend decant them into blind vials, marked A, B, C...etc. so that only they know which is which. Then smell them. See if you can tell which one is masculine, feminine and/or unisex only using your nose, without prior information.

    I think you'd be surprised at your results.

    MANY feminine scents are wearable by men. Yes, of course, you may not feel comfortable wearing a lot of them, but perhaps you just haven't smelled/worn the right feminines and/or unisex scents.

    Slightly off topic: I smell MANY feminine fragrance these days, that when they dry down smell JUST like masculine fragrances. The new Circus Fantasy by Britney Spears is evidence of this trend.
    If more people did this, many more scents would be discussed instead of flatly being scoffed at and disregarded just at the name.

    The blind test method has never has worked for anyone I've tried it on. I ask people to smell x-sample and the first questions always one of these, "what's it called?", "what is it?" or "gee whiz, Steve, stop sticking your hand under my nose".

    Almost always the response to them sniffing is "it smells musky." Yeah sure, there's no musk in it, silly! Another response I get is "that's a men's cologne?!" They assume it's a men's cologne because I'm wearing it.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Perception has a way of interfering with reality. A few months ago I tested TM's Angel and I thought it smelled amazing. But when I found out it is marketed as a female fragrance my enthusiasm was dampened somehow. It really takes conscious effort on a reviewer's part to ignore the labels and the gender-biased designs/ads and just focus on the scent development. As a bottle collector this has not been easy.

  23. #23

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    Default Re: anti unisex

    The other day I tried two fragrances... vintage Hermes Bel Ami on one arm and Dior Dolce Vita on the other. I loved them both equally for different reasons. For one to predispose herself, or himself, to not liking a fragrance just because it's stereotypically feminine really limits you in the wide world of fantastic fragrances.

    Olivier Durbano's Black Tourmaline is marketed (at least on the BN database) as a feminine... I'm hoping this was done intentionally by the creator to break down these barriers.

    All of that said - yes, I can acknowledge the stereotypical male fragrance has a certain smell to it and the same goes for the stereotypical female fragrance... I just simply don't care anymore, really. And as a bonus, many feminine fragrances come in really pretty bottles!

  24. #24

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Why don't you try this Basteri?

    Gather a bunch of samples of masculine, feminine and unisex scents. Have a friend decant them into blind vials, marked A, B, C...etc. so that only they know which is which. Then smell them. See if you can tell which one is masculine, feminine and/or unisex only using your nose, without prior information.

    I think you'd be surprised at your results.
    In an elevator the other day, a female co-worker went on and on about how amazing I smelled. She asked what I was wearing because she wanted to buy it for her husband. She blanched when I told her it was Youth Dew.

  25. #25

    Default Re: anti unisex

    i think unisex "ideology" fails totally... always is oriented by one side, ,.. in fragance case, im anti - unisex..

  26. #26

    Default Re: anti unisex

    Quote Originally Posted by spooneb View Post
    In an elevator the other day, a female co-worker went on and on about how amazing I smelled. She asked what I was wearing because she wanted to buy it for her husband. She blanched when I told her it was Youth Dew.
    You, Sir, are my hero!

  27. #27

    Default Re: anti unisex

    I have long since discarded the notion that a fragrance belongs in one gender category or another. The only categories I respond to now are good and bad.

  28. #28
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    There are fragrances that one can like but would not wear, in my case I like some/many feminine or unisex fragrances but I chose not to wear them because I do not like how they project or smell on me.
    It has nothing to do with lack of appreciation or sensibility towards a gender fragrance it is purely a question of personal preference at the time of "wearing" and not just "smelling it".As they say "what ever float your boat" :-)

    I totally respect and even envy men that can wear ,lets say, Shalimar, I just cant. Reading some of your wise and welcome comments I sense certain "political fragrance correctness", I hope I am mistaken.

    Some people like strong wines some others do not like wine at all and many rather have a soft well spoken wine. In my case I tend to like 90% of the time strong, powerhouse, masculine fragrances, with strong sillage and longevity. I get the feeling ,or certain feeling , that my personal fragrance preference is seeing by some with stereotypical eyes.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Hear Hear !!!!!!
    How niceley put mister B

  30. #30

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    Default Re: anti unisex

    Well said - there certainly is an aura of fragrance political correctness. Within the industry the most respected noses will create something based on a concept, not taking gender into consideration. I think there are various philosophies which clash too often on it and restrain us from using language or making observations that will offend others.

    There are plenty of fragrances labelled "Pour Homme/Monsieur" or "Pour Femme/Madame" that I appreciate and can't wear... the one common denominator of difficulty in wear for me seems to be tuberose and some of the white florals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    I totally respect and even envy men that can wear ,lets say, Shalimar, I just cant. Reading some of your wise and welcome comments I sense certain "political fragrance correctness", I hope I am mistaken.

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