Scents marketed to the other gender - which ones do you enjoy?

Borzoi

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
In my head, any scent is unisex. If the wearer enjoys it, then who is to judge?
Even so, I mostly enjoy traditional “for men” scents, but I also find great joy in finding “for women” scents that fit me perfectly.

Now I want to hear your experiences!

Men: which scents “intended for women” do you enjoy and wear most?

Women: which scents “intended for men” do you enjoy and wear most?
 

Borzoi

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
Some of my favorites:

Dior Diorella & Eau Fraîche - both gorgeous citruses that are very unisex. I think every Eau Sauvage fan who hasn’t tried Diorella is missing out, big time!

Estée Lauder Azurée - beautiful citrus leather with a bunch of aldehydes and patchouli, like a leathered up Aromatics Elixir or a flowered up Aramis

And of course a lot from the classic Guerlain lineup, that LVMH has apparently decided is only for women now :LOL:


Also worth mentioning is that my mom wore Grey Flannel all the time when I was a kid; I asked her about it a while ago and she said she didn’t know it was a perfume marketed towards men, she just loves violets and she liked the little pouch she got it in :love:
 
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Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
I tend to wear fragrances marketed to men more. For what I collect, it's more even, but the fragrances marketed to women tend to be for trying once or twice, and then storing for future reference. The ones I wear the most tend to be the most famous, most classic ones:

1. Chanel No. 5
2. Miss Dior
3. Shalimar
4. Chanel Cuir de Russie
5. L'Heure Bleue
 

Borzoi

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
I tend to wear fragrances marketed to men more. For what I collect, it's more even, but the fragrances marketed to women tend to be for trying once or twice, and then storing for future reference. The ones I wear the most tend to be the most famous, most classic ones:

1. Chanel No. 5
2. Miss Dior
3. Shalimar
4. Chanel Cuir de Russie
5. L'Heure Bleue

I miss Sweden. I lived in Lulea for a semester in the 90s.
Great picks! Haven’t tried Miss Dior actually, what do you enjoy about it?

And how on earth did you end up in Luleå? It’s beautiful up there though, no doubt. I’m originally from Stockholm and hope to move back there pretty soon instead of living in the south
 

Nom de Guerre

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2020
I tend to prefer scents that steer clear of being overly "masculine" or "feminine" (in my distorted perception).
The only fragrances in my collection with clear distinction in the title are Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT and Fate Woman – love them both.

The ones from my collection that are/were marketed as for women per Fragrantica:

1. Helmut Lang EDP from 2000 (the updated version is marked as unisex)
2. Mitzah by Christian Dior
3. Bois des Iles EDP by Chanel
4. Coromandel EDT by Chanel (the EDP is makred as unisex)
5. Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle
6. La Pausa EDP by Chanel
 

justfoxie

You smell nice
Basenotes Plus
Oct 23, 2018
I'm also on the side of removing gender from perfume marketing. The more that's offered in a "unisex" way, the better and I'm really really pleased that a lot of the recent offerings, especially from the indie & niche sides, are going down these lines.

Some things I have and love which are marketed to men:
Penhaligon's - Endymion (*high five @tdem1961), Lothair & Duoro
Beaufort - Vi et Armis
L'Occitaine - Eau des Baux
Knize Ten
 

slpfrsly

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
In my head, any scent is unisex. If the wearer enjoys it, then who is to judge?
Even so, I mostly enjoy traditional “for men” scents, but I also find great joy in finding “for women” scents that fit me perfectly.

Now I want to hear your experiences!

Men: which scents “intended for women” do you enjoy and wear most?

Women: which scents “intended for men” do you enjoy and wear most?
Great thread idea.

Personally, I feel quite strongly that there are masculine and feminine scents, and then there are those that are neither. I think it's much easier for women to cross that divide towards the 'masculine' realm than it is for men to do the opposite.

Guerlain's Fleurs de Cedrat is apparently a female/feminine scent however I feel it is truly universal and I love it. It doesn't smell feminine to my nose.

To mix things up slightly, although I don't wear it, I think the nominally-masculine Tom Ford Noir Extreme is one of the greatest feminine fragrances I have encountered. It is gorgeous and I think it is a lovely, sensual aroma that is ideal for a woman in the right setting.
 

CompassRose

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2012
I'm non-binary, so there's no opposite here. I tend to avoid fragrances marketed as heavily "feminine" though, as I've got very acid skin that can alter some fragrances dramatically, and particularly loves to chew on sweet/floral notes - I either sour them, or turn them into overpowering insipid soap. I have better luck overall with scents that are either unisex or "masculine" (although I'm not generally fond of the clichéd masc "blue" and aqua notes either).

Of my collection, House of Matriarch Vanilla Caviar is probably the most stereotypically femme, although it's marketed as unisex. I have and wear a few things considered masc, including my recent acquisition of Encre Noir a l'Extreme, which I was amused to see described in a review as "far too butch for a woman" (it doesn't strike me as outstandingly butch at all), and Aveda Pureformance Men.
 

FiveoaksBouquet

Scented.
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
Two scents marketed to men that I enjoyed wearing are Guerlain Arsène Lupin Le Dandy and Giorgio for Men. I tend to wear a lot of scents considered gender neutral, as well as traditional women’s scents. Interesting side note, the men’s and neutral scents far outnumber those marketed to women in compliments received.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
Great picks! Haven’t tried Miss Dior actually, what do you enjoy about it?

And how on earth did you end up in Luleå? It’s beautiful up there though, no doubt. I’m originally from Stockholm and hope to move back there pretty soon instead of living in the south
Vintage Miss Dior edt is like a mashup of Chanel No. 5, Chanel Pour Monsieur, and Givenchy Gentleman, in a good way. My school did exchanges with the Högskola (High School / University) of Luleå.
 

eosphore

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2021
I find the subject of gender in perfume endlessly fascinating.

During my sample searching expeditions, I started to ask about unisex fragrances, and more often than not I was met with "All (niche) perfumes are unisex!", but there were a few times when the saleperson either looked at me with utter disapproval (like the time I got AdP Leather, she really didn't want me to get it), or deliberately ignored my request and presented me feminine marketed perfumes instead. I didn't expect to hear the phrase "Oh, but it's a bit masculine for you, don't you think?" this much.

There are a few scents specifically marketed towards men that I really like:
BL Cœur de noir, all time favorite
Acqua di Parma Leather
Eau des Baux
Kilian Dark Lord

Other than that I'm most comfortable in unisex fragrances, as I fear I'm not "feminine" enough to wear typically feminine marketed scents, but I'm trying to overthrow this self consciousness - which is a whole other story
 

Opiate

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2010
Some of the feminine fragrances I enjoy wearing:

-Chanel Coco edt (edp is okay too).
-Chanel 19 (I particularly like the vintage edc and edt).
-Shalimar (preferably the extraits and pure Parfum).
-Vol de nuit
-L‘heure bleue
-Miss Dior parfum / le parfum (although I don’t really wear this outside the house as it’s a bit too sweet and fruit-chouli, but I adore the way it smells).

I’m down to wear any women’s perfume really, as long as it’s not overly sweet/gourmand, or too heavy on the aldehydes.
 

justfoxie

You smell nice
Basenotes Plus
Oct 23, 2018
Other than that I'm most comfortable in unisex fragrances, as I fear I'm not "feminine" enough to wear typically feminine marketed scents, but I'm trying to overthrow this self consciousness - which is a whole other story
Yeah. This starts to raise the whole question of who is "enough" of anything and that's really really toxic. You are enough exactly how you are. Whatever version of woman you are (or even if you want to identify another way) is 100% fabulous. Wear the scents/clothes/shoes that bring you joy and leave the rest.
 

_Nicolas_

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2021
There are quite a few feminines I enjoy but wouldn't wear out because they're simply incongruent with my personality and style. I really like wearing things like Chanel No 5 and Rive Gauche on a morning or evening spent indoors just like some would enjoy a short film, I suppose. But I find Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue EDP and Mitsouko EDP very wearable as quite a masculine man, especially the former which is in my Top 10 fragrances of all time! Ones I also adore but simply can't afford (largely due to expenses relating to all my other hobbies) are Coty's Chypre in its original formulation and Guerlinade.
 

relus

Well-known member
Mar 21, 2019
Cardin de Pierre Cardin
Cialenga Balenciaga
Versaces and Armanis 1st womans scent ( both roomclearers, maybe too sweet for a guy, dont know, , but i respect the Art behind it, the scent, bottledesign and that timeperiod are in these scents...)
Alain Delon L'air du Temps: what a scent woooow
Givenchy 3
Trussardi Donna ( vintage off course)
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
I wear a lot of men's scents, primarily because I don't care for many florals and women's scents lean so heavily in that direction. I wear with regularity:

Eau d'Hermes
Eau Sauvage
Havana by Aramis
Yatagan by Caron
Third Man by Caron
Bel Ami by Hermes
Boucheron pour Homme
Declaration Essence
Encre Noir a L'Extreme
Halston Z-14
Rochas Moustache 1949
Or Black, Pascal Morabito
Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme
Guerlain Vetiver

There are lots of women's scents I wish that men would wear more often, like Miss Dior mentioned above, but especially the original Lolita Lempicka EDP. Its ivy, anise and vetiver smell so good on a man.

I think that very often the girlish packaging of a perfume can be a deterrent to men trying it, of which the Lempicka is probably a prime example.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
My wardrobe contains too many vintage feminines to list. Femininity in fragrance didn’t use to mean fruity-floral sugar bombs, unisex didn’t use to be a big thing, and masculines were a small category until relatively recently, so most of the action in “classic” perfumery was on the women’s side.

If you want to know anything substantial about perfumery in the first half of the 20th century (and earlier), you have to delve primarily into feminines.
 

mrcologneguy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 2, 2009
No qualms at all about wearing female-marketed scents. I’d be slow to wear Chanel No. 5 to a formal business meeting, but on my own time, bring it on!

Some of my favorites:

Mitsouko EdT
YSL Opium
many Chanels
Cabochard EdP

Much of my niche collection might be female-marketed, but I kind of lost track of all that. If I like it, I wear it.
 

JBHoren

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 25, 2007
There are lots of women's scents I wish that men would wear more often, like Miss Dior mentioned above, but especially the original Lolita Lempicka EDP. Its ivy, anise and vetiver smell so good on a man.
Lolita Lempicka au Masculin EDT is one of my favorites. I bought it after searching for an afterscent to complement my Cyril R Salter Almond shaving cream (it works wonderfully!). I've neither tried, nor smelled, the women's version... and wonder if/how it differs from the men's.
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
-Miss Dior parfum / le parfum (although I don’t really wear this outside the house as it’s a bit too sweet and fruit-chouli, but I adore the way it smells).
I'm guessing you already know the wonderful Miss Dior ('Original'), which could never be described as sweet?
 

Kotori

Can I borrow your odorant?
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
During my sample searching expeditions, I started to ask about unisex fragrances, and more often than not I was met with "All (niche) perfumes are unisex!", but there were a few times when the saleperson either looked at me with utter disapproval (like the time I got AdP Leather, she really didn't want me to get it), or deliberately ignored my request and presented me feminine marketed perfumes instead. I didn't expect to hear the phrase "Oh, but it's a bit masculine for you, don't you think?" this much.
I can relate! I remember this happening a couple of times— Barney’s for example (RIP) on a day my favorite SA was off— a female SA knowing I was looking for woods/tobacco/leather and presenting me with floral after floral. I was so confused. I tried telling her I wasn’t looking for something that feminine to help her find a reference point, but it didn’t land. The next suggestion was a violet. I much prefer to be able to just interact with the bottles myself and hate the gatekeeping some stores and SA’s engage in.

To the thread question, I enjoy wearing:

-Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie
-Chanel Allure Homme Blanche (SO owns)
-Cartier Declaration (SO has mini)
-Dior Homme Cologne (SO owns)

I would say anything I really like that’s citrusy and marketed to men ends up getting claimed by my husband, so then when it’s in his closet, not mine, I tend not to go out of my way to wear it too often, but I enjoy it when I do. If we had them, I’d also wear:

-Eau de Baux
-Dior Homme Intense
-several Amouage masculines such as Tribute

I’ll also take the opportunity to note here that I’ve been wearing unisex fragrances since cKOne, cKBe, and Gieffeffe. A lot of my favorites are unisex and I wish more fragrances were marketed that way. It’s only in the last few years, really, that I’ve actively sought out florals of specific types. Living in the American South has given me an appreciation for magnolias, specifically.
 

Kotori

Can I borrow your odorant?
Basenotes Plus
Aug 17, 2006
The Merveilles series should've been a unisex series, really.
I agree. But I also think most perfume should be that way. So take it for what it’s worth.

I always think it’s funny, though, to see what stores that have the perfumes divided along gendered lines do with unisex offerings. For example, Sephora always puts the unisex Hermes in the men’s.
 

ClockworkAlice

Cakesniffer
Basenotes Plus
Jan 3, 2019
I like it that there are designated 'feminine' and 'masculine' fragrances, because it makes it easier for many people. These labels are useful for normal people, they're not for enthusiasts with peculiar tastes.

That does not mean that I'm against choosing anything I or you want - I do agree that scents do not have gender per se; but I do admit that most of them do lean some way, too. All depends on what vibe do you want to achieve - or what you personally enjoy, too. (Sweet fruitchouli might be a daring choice for a man or a hard leather might be a statement "don't mess with me" fragrance on a tiny girl; and of course there are so many women who aren't into gourmands or florals or men who are bored by fougeres or marines)

Anyway, my favourite masculine-marketed scents I'd gladly wear (and some I already do) - some of them are more traditionally "masculine", and some of them could be called unisex easily.

Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
Tom Ford Noir Extreme
(is Tom Ford private line all unisex? Haven't checked, but I'd wear all those leathers if I could afford them)
Lalique Encre Noire Extreme
Hermes Terre d'Hermes (and flankers)
Dior Eau Sauvage
Dior Fahrenheit, Fahrenheit Parfum & Fahrenheit Cologne
Dior Homme Intense
Chanel Egoiste
Zara Rich Warm Addictive
Zara Vibrant Leather Warm
L'Erbolario Ginepro Nero (probably the most "traditionally masculine" fragrance in this list, but the juniper here is so calming to me, I wear it as a soothing scent)
CK One Shock
Burberry London
Teo Cabanel Kasar
Narciso Rodriguez For Him
Narciso Rodriguez Bleu Noir
Bvlgari Man in Black
...there could be more (especially the warmer tobaccos, sweet tonkas, incenses, some leathers, bright citruses and vetivers) if I tested more masculine-marketed fragrances. Too many of them have that metallic-showergelly "traditional-masculine-cologne" opening that I dislike so I don't really cross the isle that much.

By the way, to my nose CK Obsession for men smells more feminine than CK Obsession for women (doesn't matter here as I dislike both).
 

fjord

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2007
I always find it funny when people misread the intended target gender of the scents I'm wearing, for some of them pretty often (looking at you, Black Orchid).

Although I tend to stick to masculine-marketed fragrances in general, some of my favorites are ostensibly femme ones :

Shalimar Eau de Cologne
Caron Narcisse Noir vintage EdT
Habanita La Cologne
Givenchy III vintage

I also quite enjoyed vintage Diorella and Vol de Nuit but don't have them anymore. And I would take Cabochard over Aramis given the choice.
 

Opiate

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2010
I like to imagine what it would be like if fragrances were never marketed towards men or women and everyone just wore everything.
It would certainly be a lot more fun, and fascinating to see what people chose to wear.
It would also be quite interesting to see what fragrances we’d have if perfumers created them without any thought of gender, or whether or not a fragrance needed to smell masculine or feminine.

I just find it curious. I’ve never once smelled anything outside of perfumes in this world and thought “that smells masculine, or that smells feminine“.
A flower has never smelled feminine to me, it just smells like a flower.
Same goes for… a cupcake, or fresh cut wood, or a campfire, or a lemon. They just smell like what they smell like and I enjoy them the way they are.
We all do.
But with fragrance, it’s like i’ve/we’ve been programmed and conditioned to think it either smells feminine or masculine, and need to choose accordingly.
It’s just… strange. I do have hope that in the future that will all go away, much like the gender constraints we’ve pushed thru over the past 40 years or so.
I know it’s something that some fragrance companies are pushing for as well.
Like more and more fragrances being labeled as unisex, Chanel using Brad Pitt to market No°5, some of the French online perfume retailers not even listing gender and just categorizing their fragrances by concentration, etc.

I like it and hope to see more of it.
 

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