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NickZee

The usefulness of the masculine/feminine distinction

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Quote Originally Posted by NickZee View Post
In my humble opinion, the Masculine/feminine distinctions in perfumery are a useful guide about the characteristics of a fragrance, what one might expect to feel or project. Just like with clothing - a man can wear women's clothing and claim the gender distinction is a marketer's concoction, but it doesn't stop him looking silly 95% of the time.

I have tried Shalimar and Chanel No.19, often described as unisex, but I would not give them a full wearing in public. Not because I can't pluck up the courage, but because they just don't suit my tastes nor do they project the image I want to convey to those around me.

Many argue that it should not matter what others think. I admire that rebellious attitude but I also value the ability to communicate to people through fragrance, clothing and grooming so that they have a better understanding of who I am without me having to tell them in words. In fact it is precisely because it would be awkward to describe myself in words that I prefer to do it with these other forms of communication.

Interestingly, I find Dior Homme Intense perfectly suited to men, despite constant suggestions that it leans feminine. I should explain. Dior Homme Intense is a sexy evening fragrance suited to romantic occasions. It is meant to be inviting to the woman you have chosen to spend the evening with so it must appeal to her, but that does not make it feminine, if anything it makes it ultra masculine. What virile male does not use every tool in his arsenal to impress his woman?

For day wear I am especially attracted to fougeres, tobaccos, leathers and woody citruses, all regarded as traditionally masculine. These notes/genres tell people I am comfortable with my masculinity, I take pride in my presentation and people can expect me to be a gentleman, not a fabulous diva.

Unisex fragrances are typically artistic works in perfumery, to be appreciated. They often smell great but are not useful for conveying your identity to others unless you are a particularly creative individual, which I am not unfortunately. I am a tax advisor.
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  1. David Ruskin's Avatar
    Surely You "convey your identity" by being there, by wearing what you wear, by saying what you say and by behaving in the way you behave. How you smell will be a minor part of that whole picture. I would have no trouble in regarding a man dressed in an expensive suit, with an expensive watch, sitting at an expensive restaurant as someone who is successful enough to afford such things; that he smells of Tuberose would be part of that. One should wear what one is comfortable with, but it is only smell after all. You can convoy your identity in so many different ways, and can convoy many different identities at will. I think a tax advisor who smells of Shalimar would be marvellous.

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