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  1. #1

    Default Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    I was wondering if you could help me with some research i'm doing for a feature article, although i understand you must be very busy! (I'm a third year journalism student in London and this is for an assessment).

    I'm looking at the increasing numbers of women wearing mens perfumes, as well as how the perfume industry is producing more unisex scents.

    It would be really useful if i could get some expert knowledge on this field. If you could possibly give me a few lines or more on what you think about this trend and/or if you think there are particular reasons behind it

    Thank you very much, and i hope to hear from you soon!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    I didn't really know so I googled it and came across this article. Perhaps it will be helpful to you too

    I remember my aunt preferring to wear men's fragrances back in the day. Yes, she did turn out to be lesbian later on, but I think it's not the reason for all woman :-)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    Thank you Russel!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    When I was an young teen think 12/13 I always wore my big brother's Old Spice. I remember buying YSL Homme back in the day too. From my 20s onward I have always been the "I like it I will wear it no matter who it was aimed at" person. I am not gay, not that it matters.

    With the Creeds I started sampling this house actually preferred the male fragrances rather than the feminine, in fact took me a long time to find one of the latter I liked.

    Annick Goutal a number of her fragrances come in two different bottles one square plain for men and the women's more feminine looking. Strangely enough if you buy the male bottle its cheaper though the fragrance is the same.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    Now that's an interesting question! I personally see perfumery as a form of art. And like any creation, perfumes have their audience. Most of them might only be interesting to certain groups of people during certain periods of time (that's what mainstream fashion is all about, basically). But, there are perfumes that go beyond that. These creations live for centuries and are able to speak to all human beings.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    Esansh, The following link was posted by Gandhajala on the "Fragrance Industry and General Discussion" forum. It links to 2 articles from Le Monde. The second link goes directly to the first of the two articles which is an interview with Jean Claude Ellena. I translated one of Jean Claude Ellena's responses (below) which seemed apropos. Since I ran it through translating software I made some small editorial corrections.

    Nose of Hermès, Jean-Claude Ellena, 64 years old, son of perfumer, details the tricks of the trade. He is the author of Diary of a Perfumer (ed. Sabine Wespieser, 2011).

    Did you seduce men with Terre d'Hermes?
    Perfumes are not gender specific. The notion of gender in perfumery came about in the early 20th century, for economic purposes. (Today, we think like this MS spirit.)? In India, men perfume more than women; in the Middle East, the distinctions do not exist. My pride is that Terre d'Hermes is worn by both sexes, since 30% of our customers are women.
    Last edited by Symphonies; 15th April 2012 at 05:50 AM.

  7. #7
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    I didn't really know so I googled it and came across this article. Perhaps it will be helpful to you too
    Interesting article. Thanks for this.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    In my late teens I chose Jicky as my first real grown up fragrance. Jicky was the first modern perfume but was always a unisex fragrance before the time that word was used and before fragrance was genderised.

    My boyfriend of the time wore Femme. This was in 1981 so maybe we were simply ahead of the curve.

    Would a more interesting article include the idea of men wearing scent aimed at women?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    Interesting topic. I'd have to think that the internet has played a huge part, by creating a space for people to exchange thoughts and info about perfume, and by creating a means by which people can get their hands on perfumes they might otherwise not have had access to. It's exposing people to more scents in general.

    But to question your first premise, I wonder if it's true that increasing numbers of women are wearing men's perfumes. Do we know that? Or is it just that because we now have more public forums for discussion, we're just hearing about it more? Sorry if this is going over old ground, but I had to ask!

    Also, there's been lots written lately about changing gender roles in American society. The Atlantic did an interesting piece a few months back called "What, Me Marry?" that explored this. It might be online. I'm not sure if there's anything of relevance to you in that stuff, but it's there...

    Another thing that occurs to me is that it seems like men are more and more becoming the victims of the beauty mafia that has beset women forever. Thinking of muscle implants, the proliferation of skin care products and regimes by cosmetic companies, the rise of the metrosexual, etc.

    And a final point: you said you were looking for expertise. I think it's important to define just what you mean by that. This community has an incredible wealth of knowledge about perfume--in that regard we're certainly not representative of society as a whole. But we're not social scientists (though some of us may be!), so while we can all postulate about why this or that may happen, the evidence won't be robust.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    When I was a very young child, both parents wore fragrance when groomed. My father wore scents marketed to men, and my mother wore scents marketed to women. However, they would both share their fragrances with me. If my mother was dressing for her day, she'd let me wear what she was wearing; if I watched my father shave and apply fragrance, he'd let me splash on some of what he was wearing.

    As one article notes, scent "gender" is cultural. To a child, fragrance is fragrance, and what is pleasant has no gender.

    Today, I use that rule to guide my fragrance preferences. I simply wear what I enjoy.

    Historically, Jicky makes an interesting case. It was a daring fragrance from the beginning in 1889. It was made for women, I understand, but men took it up because it was so controversial; it was not the soliflore violet or lilac expected of a proper Victorian woman. It was a rich, abstract scent, the first of its kind. In the case of Parfum D'Orsay's Dandy, marketed to men, it was the women who made it their own. (The marketing story about the company namesake being a perfumer is pure fiction. See Nigel Groom's "The Perfume Handbook," 2nd ed.) Flappers of the 1920s took to wearing Dandy so it became a women's scent. Ads from the early 20th century bear this out.
    "The sunset is deeper and longer. The scent of the jasmine is stronger." Miracles. Pet Shop Boys

    "Thick dome of jasmine
    (Under the dense canopy where the white jasmine),
    Blends with the rose,
    (That blends with the rose),"
    "The Flower Duet," Lakme by Leo Delibes, 1881

  11. #11

    Default Re: Women wearing men's/unisex fragrances

    If you read about Andy Tauer's fragrances, he has quite a few unisex fragrances. But, the most interesting thing to me, about his perfumes, they seem to be Really suited (apart from maybe 2 0r 3) to both sexes, without thinking whether they are unisex or not. They just seem to FIT both sexes, especially if you choose one you like in particular. I really loved one particular one of his fragrances, and was surprised it was listed as unisex. And I have a male friend, who chose this scent as well, and was also surprised it was listed as unisex. So, he really has a flair, to make them, how would I put it..universal. Maybe that's what a lot of the niche perfumes really are...universal!
    Currently wearing: L'Autre Oud by Lancôme

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