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    Default Feminism and Perfume.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    For 1st-wave feminism (post-suffrage in the U.S.A., 1920s) -- I would say Tabac Blond (Caron) or Cuir de Russie (Chanel)

    For 2nd-wave feminism (1960s-1970s) -- Probably Charlie (Revlon), at least as a marketing concept.

    I know young women today think we're in a 3rd wave of feminism, but I don't see a particular scent that embodies that idea.

    ChanelCuirDeRussieAdvert_1930s.jpg

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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    Back off, buddy!

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    For 1st-wave feminism (post-suffrage in the U.S.A., 1920s) -- I would say Tabac Blond (Caron) or Cuir de Russie (Chanel)

    For 2nd-wave feminism (1960s-1970s) -- Probably Charlie (Revlon), at least as a marketing concept.

    I know young women today think we're in a 3rd wave of feminism, but I don't see a particular scent that embodies that idea.
    Thoughtful answers.
    All I remember is the "natural" Our Bodies Ourselves scent promotion of the dirty hippy '60s.
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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    Thoughtful answers.
    All I remember is the "natural" Our Bodies Ourselves scent promotion of the dirty hippy '60s.
    Yeah, back in the day we liberated women eschewed perfume, cosmetics, hosiery, and bras. Those things were for the straights.
    Hey, let's be careful out there. - Sgt. Esterhaus, Hill Street Blues
    Currently wearing: Oyédo by Diptyque

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trilby Lark View Post
    Yeah, back in the day we liberated women eschewed perfume, cosmetics, hosiery, and bras. Those things were for the straights.
    Not me! And I was far from straight. All my friends were trying to look like Janis Joplin, and I was wearing double-breasted blazers, Twiggy eye makeup and Hermès Calèche. I was in San Francisco, but dreaming of being on Carnaby Street in London.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Not me! And I was far from straight. All my friends were trying to look like Janis Joplin, and I was wearing double-breasted blazers, Twiggy eye makeup and Hermès Calèche. I was in San Francisco, but dreaming of being on Carnaby Street in London.
    I bet you were the Bomb. (Probably still are!)
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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Fully agree with cook.bot.

    Charlie's marketing was clearly aimed to the working, independent woman (the model wore trousers and wasn't depicted as a seductress). Supposedly the first major brand to use such an imagery.

    And for the flapper era, Tabac Blond, reminiscent of tobacco, then a no for decent women. And Chanel, regardless of perfumes, had championed a more comfortable clothing style which allowed women to be free and even play sports.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    I was in my 20s in the 1970s and you couldn't go anywhere without smelling essential oils, especially patchouli. Almost every store, even bookshops, stocked racks of oils. People mixed them with abandon. I loved patchouli and frangipani! So, no, I don't think liberated women of that era eschewed perfume.. If anything, they do that now.

    Charley's marketing bugged me no end, it was so clearly (cynically, actually) intended to drive a sort of nondescript, uninteresting feminism I could never buy into. But I do think it came to embody (mostly by default) the ethos of that era.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    And then there's this....

    Very clearly a case for corn flakes and classics
    Currently wearing: JF by Floris

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I know young women today think we're in a 3rd wave of feminism, but I don't see a particular scent that embodies that idea.
    Maybe I should walk back my own words a bit.

    I just got this in my email. I'm not sure how feminist it is, but it's certainly bold.

    I might even say ballsy.

    https://www.beautyhabit.com/collecti...k10rxDoWpcpv73

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviatt View Post
    And then there's this...
    I have personal reasons for loving this, but as a feminist statement c.1979…maybe not.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    We need more threads like this one. Love it completely.
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously"
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    I always love Chanel perfumes esp Chanel 5. Thank you for sharing the pics

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    (I am going to avoid my personal opinions in this comment--rather what I've learned from others)

    Feminism, although one can wish, is not a simple definition and it does mean different things to women in different parts of the world and cultures.
    However, two things which I heard constantly in my travels across the world from Himba tribes to elite European circles, from the female gender were:
    - Respect, irrespective of their status in society
    - Freedom from repression (of any kind), independence or free will

    Now, if this is feminism-- well then humans as a species are a sorry lot.
    Because those are basic human rights.
    So any well-orchestrated perfume, at least to me, that declares its delightful arrival before you even see the wearer, is somewhat akin to a human being taking a stance of fierce independence. I always think of Poison (the original) or Ma Griffe (less loud but very present), or even Vol de Nuit (an all time favourite apart from Jicky).

    The thing is, in our world at large, things like softness, emotional vulnerability, lack of physical strength are taken as signs of weakness.
    That perception is so Wrong!
    As a physician, I take care of men and women equally, and I've found a resilience in women in times of sickness which is a bit mind-boggling.
    Also, the way women handle emotional and psychological crisis in families, we physicians rely on them as the backbone which is going to hold things together.

    An ideal world would be where feminists didn't need to exist but that is not the case... is it?
    Just like you shouldn't need Amnesty International to point out human cruelty and horrors, etc.
    I also feel societies where women are not given respect as a core of that community's ethics-- will eventually loose their moral compass.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Hello,
    Im very curious and completely ignorant; so, I will ask:

    Which is the perfume that represents Feminism as no other?

    Best,
    BruceB
    Hello Bruce,

    In my humble opinion, it is a close tie between Chanel No. 5 and Chanel Coco.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    I kind of feel that feminism eschews "classic" interpretations of femininity as a symptom of culture imposed by a patriarchal society, so a feminist perfume would come across masculine or unisex at best in it's effort to avoid coming across as stereotypically feminine. Something like Stash by SJP or My Heroine by MAC in mainstream circles, or literally anything niche that isn't explicitly gendered like Byredo or Diptyque.
    oh look, I have a signature
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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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  21. #21

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Not me! And I was far from straight. All my friends were trying to look like Janis Joplin, and I was wearing double-breasted blazers, Twiggy eye makeup and Hermès Calèche. I was in San Francisco, but dreaming of being on Carnaby Street in London.
    I am totally picturing this in smell-o-vision...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    I was in my 20s in the 1970s and you couldn't go anywhere without smelling essential oils, especially patchouli. Almost every store, even bookshops, stocked racks of oils. People mixed them with abandon. I loved patchouli and frangipani! So, no, I don't think liberated women of that era eschewed perfume.
    I think you're on to something here. There's this wave of 'natural is better' when it comes to beauty and cosmetics that coincides with a particular branch of feminism, at least I my environment. I get funny looks for my enthusiasm for scent and cosmetics, as if this is incompatible with me being a feminist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviatt View Post
    And then there's this....

    Oh dear lord this is spectacularly bad!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowtone View Post

    Oh dear lord this is spectacularly bad!
    So was Enjoli.
    How do you know what a French whorehouse smells like?

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowtone View Post
    There's this wave of 'natural is better' when it comes to beauty and cosmetics that coincides with a particular branch of feminism, at least I my environment. I get funny looks for my enthusiasm for scent and cosmetics, as if this is incompatible with me being a feminist.
    As I see it, patriarchal oppression of women takes the form of many orthodoxies. Earlier waves of feminism rejected those orthodoxies by supplanting them with other, ostensibly feminist ones, but replacing one orthodoxy with another isn't terribly liberating. The point, I think, is not to redefine femininity narrowly, but as broadly and openly as possible: it's about having at least as much choice as men have*, and respecting those whose choices aren't the same as yours. That includes cosmetic choices.

    (*Feminism also frees men from self-imposed orthodoxies, one of many reasons it turns out to be best for everyone.)

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    Back off, buddy!

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    As I see it, patriarchal oppression of women takes the form of many orthodoxies. Earlier waves of feminism rejected those orthodoxies by supplanting them with other, ostensibly feminist ones, but replacing one orthodoxy with another isn't terribly liberating. The point, I think, is not to redefine femininity narrowly, but as broadly and openly as possible: it's about having at least as much choice as men have*, and respecting those whose choices aren't the same as yours. That includes cosmetic choices.

    (*Feminism also frees men from self-imposed orthodoxies, one of many reasons it turns out to be best for everyone.)
    I love the way your brain works and the vocabulary it uses.
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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    I love the way your brain works and the vocabulary it uses.
    Thanks! It don't always working such goodosity.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    I think that what is orthodox or what is not, or which kind of choice women must have, is a matter in which we, men, should remain in silence or in better words (sorry for my english): Step aside.
    Of course that we can talk and think.
    But I have the feeling that our "silence" is the best; the opposite of mansplaining.
    We certainly need to listen more than talk, but silence reads too easily as tacit acceptance of the status quo. There's plenty of room between dictating from a position of masculine authority and nodding meekly in the corner.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    I feel like we're well past women doing traditionally manly stuff being shocking; that's not to say there's not resistance anywhere but no jaws are going to drop because Bertha drives a truck. In that line of thinking I don't think women wearing traditionally men's fragrances is very shocking either. Ombre Leather, ouds, tobacco, whatever is not that striking. That's not to say someone couldn't pull it off it or it works great on them. I think the most feminist thing you could wear is something that signals you believe and follow in traditional gender rolls not because society tells you that you have to (when in fact it does the exact opposite it exalts women for doing masculine things while also decrying womanly things), but because it's your choice. In that case Chanel No.5.

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    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWineMemories View Post
    I feel like we're well past women doing traditionally manly stuff being shocking; that's not to say there's not resistance anywhere but no jaws are going to drop because Bertha drives a truck. In that line of thinking I don't think women wearing traditionally men's fragrances is very shocking either. Ombre Leather, ouds, tobacco, whatever is not that striking. That's not to say someone couldn't pull it off it or it works great on them. I think the most feminist thing you could wear is something that signals you believe and follow in traditional gender rolls not because society tells you that you have to (when in fact it does the exact opposite it exalts women for doing masculine things while also decrying womanly things), but because it's your choice. In that case Chanel No.5.
    Of course we're well past any need to signal feminism with perfume, given not only the institutionalization of unisex releases, but also at least a century of "butch" feminines and the long history of women wearing men's fragrances. (Not to mention that "masculine" and "feminine" in perfumery are moving targets on the backs of ephemeral constructs, anyway.) In light of this, wearing Chanel No. 5 to signal rebellion is no different than wearing Fahrenheit for the same reason. The key, as you say, is, "because it's your choice." No particular fragrance (or lack thereof) is any more or less "feminist" than any other. That's why the answers from women above refer to fragrances that represent specific moments in and ideas of feminism, not the thing itself.

    And, in the case of the Enjoli ad, cynical appropriation that's enough to make Charlie commercials look like documentary shorts by Andrea Dworkin.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Feminism and Perfume.

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    As I see it, patriarchal oppression of women takes the form of many orthodoxies. Earlier waves of feminism rejected those orthodoxies by supplanting them with other, ostensibly feminist ones, but replacing one orthodoxy with another isn't terribly liberating. The point, I think, is not to redefine femininity narrowly, but as broadly and openly as possible: it's about having at least as much choice as men have*, and respecting those whose choices aren't the same as yours. That includes cosmetic choices.

    (*Feminism also frees men from self-imposed orthodoxies, one of many reasons it turns out to be best for everyone.)
    Sounds swell. I suppose you capture the essence of the times we live in, and It might be difficult for some (me) to imagine going back to some more constrained stereotyped way of operating regarding fragrance or anything else. But I think the future will surprise me if I live that long.

    One critique I could bring if anyone has any real goals with their "feminism" or whatever it might be, is that what you are describing is people's willingness to box things in and the natural formation of authority etc. So some might say that simply giving people the idea of "freedom" is like giving them nothing at all, it just cuts down the competition for power and those with particular strong desires in driving society in one direction or another are strengthened.

    So in the example of perfume if you say that we must respect all choices and views, then what about the intolerant views? Not that I'm sure people care anymore, but going forward let's say... Simply accepting and embracing that some think only certain perfumes should be worn by certain people at certain hours for certain reasons, isn't exactly making it harder for these competitors to your way of viewing things. At the very least I can see how making things very clear and precise, and describing specific intent, can be more persuasive to a lot of people compared to all-embracing of freedom and vagueness.

    Either way one definite constraint on people is reproduction. Those who reproduce will in ways determine the future, no matter if it's nature or nurture. Reproduction also comes with certain tendencies in behavior, and certain trends and cultural things coincide with the choice to reproduce I would assume. For example these days religion or some other sort of ideology that gives "resistance" to contraceptives would seem favored in the game of life. I'm not yet sure what those ideas will be - it might be many different things and even contradictory things - I'm sure perfume choice and trends could weave into it in some small way no matter how banal it might seem to us wise humans like myself who enjoy writing long posts about absolutely nothing.




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