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Which masculine scents can be worn by a woman?

11 years ago
I really think that a slightly masculine scent is very nice on a very feminine woman. and vice versa. I think the contrast is intresting.
11 years ago
Today I went for lunch with a female friend of mine. And someone smelled slightly of a masculine scent (fresh aquatic, might have been Issey Miyake or something like that). I'm actually not sure if it was her. It felt strange, wouldn't have suited her. I was looking around to see if someone else (a guy) nearby wore this scent. Strange, isn't it?
On the other hand she's not a "girlish" person, but a very energetic, self-confident woman. And I could imagine her pull off a nice vetiver like sycomore.
I think it is all about associations. Scents that are marketed to men and are very well-known, somehow feel masculine although they don't necessarily smell very masculine. That's a reason I personally would avoid scents like cool water or Fahrenheit. But no problem with scents like Arsène Lupin Dandy, which is not less masculine, but far less known.
11 years ago
"Nightflight" -- the old version
11 years ago
All AdP : " Intensa" , " Essenza" , " Assoluta"
11 years ago
All AdP : " Intensa" , " Essenza" , " Assoluta:eb616747d7]

Yeah, I do own the Intensa, which I like the most - the most masculine in this list imo.
11 years ago
The marketing has no effect upon me, I simply go by the notes that I like at the time. Nevertheless I have always liked Encre Noir but cannot stand the one pour elle, and I love R'oud Elements amongst others ShockedLaughing
11 years ago
Balmain "BalMan"

Fragonard "Zizanie"

CSP "L'Eau du Gouverneur"

CSP "Safran Sultan"

I can think of lots, actually!

Cool
11 years ago
Also Caron "le Troisième Homme" and "Pour un Homme"

Cool
11 years ago
I got Chanel Egoiste when R. White died (he was a parfumisto who befriended lots of us on Fragrantica). It was the last scent he listed himself as wearing. I feel like I'm honoring him when I wear it, and it smells good on me!

One of my favorites - Fendi Fendi - is always listed as being for women, but it's in the style of some men's scents of the era, such as Aramis 900.

I like a lot of smoky scents. Cumming is listed as for men, but Lonestar Memories is listed as unisex. No idea why, but I love them both.

So - sometimes I smell like a flower, other times like wood, sometimes spices, sometimes leather, sometimes citrus fruit, sometimes grasses... We're so fortunate to have these choices!
11 years ago
I Don't Believe in the Gender roles in perfumery i Where what i Like
and that is it Plain and simple
My List Includes

(pre reformulated Brut Cologne Splash,
Old Spice Original Splash,
Polo Ralph Lauren for men,
Terre d'Hermes Hermes for men,
La Nuit de l`Homme Yves Saint Laurent for men,
Calvin Klein Obsession for Men
Not in Database Cigar Aficionado Cologne Spray
Aramis,
Hermes Bel Ami,
Tom Ford Men,
Oriflame Demarco,
Azzaro pour Homme,
Cool Water for Men,
Moschino Uomo.
11 years ago
Today I'm Wearing Hermes Bel Ami
11 years ago
Lola82:
Today I'm Wearing Hermes Bel Ami

Great choice!!!
11 years ago
I just discovered Prada "Infusion de Vétiver"

another wonderful unisex marketed to men!

Cool
11 years ago
Wrong question! It should be: which masculine scents cannot be worn by a woman?

As far as I can see, many women are just fed up with sweetish, amiable, floral and fruity scents that go as feminine. So, they are looking for alternatives.

And this has been understood by the industry. Take a look at Terre d'Hermès: Hermès issued the two Pamplemousse rose variants, labelled it unisex and now sell it to women. Or look at Serge Lutens: much of it are decent male fragrances that have been spoiled with vanilla.

What we do not see that often - quite masculine fragrances that are labelled as ladies's scents: "Jicky", "Coriandre". These can also be worn by men.

I think there are rather few, very much testosterone-laden gent's fragrances that I would not like to smell on a woman. I doubt if aromatic fougères like Kouros, Azzarro pour Homme or the spicy men's perfumes by Halston would fit to a woman.
11 years ago
Apicius:
Wrong question! It should be: which masculine scents cannot be worn by a woman?

As far as I can see, many women are just fed up with sweetish, amiable, floral and fruity scents that go as feminine. So, they are looking for alternatives.

And this has been understood by the industry. Take a look at Terre d'Hermès: Hermès issued the two Pamplemousse rose variants, labelled it unisex and now sell it to women. Or look at Serge Lutens: much of it are decent male fragrances that have been spoiled with vanilla.

What we do not see that often - quite masculine fragrances that are labelled as ladies's scents: "Jicky", "Coriandre". These can also be worn by men.

I think there are rather few, very much testosterone-laden gent's fragrances that I would not like to smell on a woman. I doubt if aromatic fougères like Kouros, Azzarro pour Homme or the spicy men's perfumes by Halston would fit to a woman.

Good point, Apicius!

As for the list of perfumes you'd not like to smell on a woman:

How about Dior "Fahrenheit"?

Cool
11 years ago
Dlane1953:
Elixer de Melveilles is a wonderful fougere fragrance that I think would be wonderful on most women in general. I have a sample and I think it's spectacular. Definately worth a try. (Do not confuse with Eau de Melveilles, they are very different frags.)

Isn't Elixir marketed to women? Anyway, yes, it's wonderful!

Very Happy
11 years ago
Njdeb:

I do agree that the woman = flowers, men = woods is just a manufactured dichotomy, but we were asked to make some kind of distinction between masculine and feminine in this thread. I wonder how others are making this distinction. Is it simply what you think smells good on you?

I hope nobody minds a guy hijacking the thread for a moment.

Njdeb, agreed. But if I might be so bold... it seems to me men have far fewer fragrance options than women because of cultural stereotyping and social norms. These constraints not only effect the variety and quantity of fragrance choices men have but the quality as well. I'm thinking largely of mass market fragrances in this regard.

Looking at this in terms of fashion, the western world is very accustomed to seeing women in masculine styles of clothing. The same can't be said of men's clothing choices. We have what amounts to a selection of uniforms and the closest men's clothing comes to feminine are pastel colors and paisley prints.

Extrapolating this to fragrances and returning to the topic of the thread, I can't imagine anyone having a problem with a woman wearing an overtly "masculine" fragrance. Even if someone noticed I don't think they'd give it a second thought, much less make assumptions about the woman wearing the fragrance.

On the other side of the coin, I don't think men would find the same level of social acceptance wearing an overtly feminine scent. I would bet that many men and women taking notice of a man wearing a "women's" scent would see it as fragrance cross dressing. What's sad is that I find it difficult not to listen to the same self limiting voice in my own head when it comes to selecting fragrances for myself.

The biggest floral I wear is L'Ombre dans l'Eau. I must admit, I wouldn't be surprised if one day someone asks if I've used my wife's perfume by mistake. I don't feel self conscious wearing it but I'm also aware of how it may be perceived by others. So I'll keep gently pushing the envelope little by little until I evolve more. In the mean time I'll be envious of my wife's selection of superior Chanel "feminine" fragrances, wish I could pull off #19 but settle for wearing her Sycamore and Cuir de Russie which are just masculine enough.
11 years ago
My understanding is that the question relates to the marketing of the perfumes. So, for example, today I am wearing Caron "Le 3eme Homme" ("The Third Man"), keyword: homme. Clearly this fragrance is intended for men, but women can and do wear it.

I am probably the only woman who owns and wears Juicy Couture "Dirty English", which I purchased in the men's fragrance section of a store after having tested it. For some reason it does not smell "dirty" on or to me!

Cool
11 years ago
Greysolon:
Njdeb:

I do agree that the woman = flowers, men = woods is just a manufactured dichotomy, but we were asked to make some kind of distinction between masculine and feminine in this thread. I wonder how others are making this distinction. Is it simply what you think smells good on you?

I hope nobody minds a guy hijacking the thread for a moment.

Njdeb, agreed. But if I might be so bold... it seems to me men have far fewer fragrance options than women because of cultural stereotyping and social norms. These constraints not only effect the variety and quantity of fragrance choices men have but the quality as well. I'm thinking largely of mass market fragrances in this regard.

Looking at this in terms of fashion, the western world is very accustomed to seeing women in masculine styles of clothing. The same can't be said of men's clothing choices. We have what amounts to a selection of uniforms and the closest men's clothing comes to feminine are pastel colors and paisley prints.

Extrapolating this to fragrances and returning to the topic of the thread, I can't imagine anyone having a problem with a woman wearing an overtly "masculine" fragrance. Even if someone noticed I don't think they'd give it a second thought, much less make assumptions about the woman wearing the fragrance.

On the other side of the coin, I don't think men would find the same level of social acceptance wearing an overtly feminine scent. I would bet that many men and women taking notice of a man wearing a "women's" scent would see it as fragrance cross dressing. What's sad is that I find it difficult not to listen to the same self limiting voice in my own head when it comes to selecting fragrances for myself.

The biggest floral I wear is L'Ombre dans l'Eau. I must admit, I wouldn't be surprised if one day someone asks if I've used my wife's perfume by mistake. I don't feel self conscious wearing it but I'm also aware of how it may be perceived by others. So I'll keep gently pushing the envelope little by little until I evolve more. In the mean time I'll be envious of my wife's selection of superior Chanel "feminine" fragrances, wish I could pull off #19 but settle for wearing her Sycamore and Cuir de Russie which are just masculine enough.

Perhaps the problem is that women's perfumes tend to have bigger sillage? So it's much more obvious when a man wears a "feminine" fragrance than when a woman wears a "masculine" fragrance.

What do you think?
Confused:
A matter of evasion 11 years ago
Sherapop:
Perhaps the problem is that women's perfumes tend to have bigger sillage? So it's much more obvious when a man wears a "feminine" fragrance than when a woman wears a "masculine" fragrance. Confused:
Sherapop, the thought with the silage is interesting.

The olfactory is not very far away from the gustatory sense. Let us look at how gender is treated in food and compare it to perfumery.

Usually, we are not aware that gender is reflected by food, but it is! Somehow, I have the impression that light, delicate, tender or sweet food is rather aimed at women - at least by the industry and their ad campaigns - whereas stronger, more robust food is aimed at men. For instance, there is a food magazine in Germany that targets an exclusively male audience, and its title is 'Beef'. - Chocolate for ladies is being advertised as very light, maybe filled with some yoghurt cream, whereas chocolate for men must not be too sweet at all: it has to be bitter and pitch dark (In Germany, we have such a product named “Herrenschokolade”!). And you have to admit – eating a cone of raspberry ice cream usually doesn't look very butch. Wink

Maybe you can say that sweet / light/ tender is considered to be feminine, and salty / strong / robust can be regarded as masculine.

Now – who wants sushi, light salads and sweets all day? I can easily drop the sweets for savory or salty food, but I would loose my appetite very soon if I'd had to eat nothing but sweets.

Back to perfumery: It is OK to wear a feminine white musk and vanilla scent (= yoghurt) as a dessert, but not all day. However – white musk is quite sticky and will not leave you so soon. It can be the same with amiable flowery fragrances that have some longevity but are of average quality. After having them around for some hours you desperately want a matie herring or a savoury pickled cucumber.

This is IMHO the main reason why men hardly wear ladies' fragrances – next to being afraid of cross-dressing. Many unisex and male fragrances suit the olfactory sense better in the long run than an average feminine floriental or a sweetish gourmand. I disagree with Greysolon: it is not that men have fewer fragrance options, and that cultural restraints prevent them to buy Chanel No.5 – they simply do not want to wear the feminine fragrances (including me). To create a really grand feminine fragrance that overcomes all these obstacles must be the highest level of perfumery, and we should look out for any of those exceptions.

But there is more to it: Overapplying a floral-fruity feminine scent it riskier than doing the same with a gent's perfume – people might comment on it as 'Nuttendiesel'. (I leave the translation to you) Women who overapply a ladies' scent are treated by far less respectful than men who do the same with their gent's cologne. Back to Sherapop's question: I think, feminine scents do not generally have more silage, but they might be more difficult to use.

Overapplying a feminine scent or wearing a strong ladies' fragrance, of course, can emphasize the wearers femininity – up to the point where, due to such 'vulgarity', some other women get annoyed and many men get afraid. We all know that after several decades of women's lib offensive, strong femininity is still not really accepted in most of our societies. (I always have to grin if I see a really handsome guy being accompanied by an ugly duckling who lacks make-up and perfume).

This has influences on the concept of lightness and / or softness in perfumes. As women have good reason to fear insults by wearing an offensive perfume, lightness and softness have become linked to ladies' fragrances as part of the concept of femininity. Nevertheless, it sometimes appears to me as an evasive movement similar to the evasion into unisex and masculine scents.

I want people to have a positive attitude towards their own gender, and I want them to express that by the perfumes they wear. This is why I want women to wear Vivienne Westwoods "Anglomania" rather than Martin Margielas "(untitled)". Of course, it is OK and necessary to have something discreet an unoffensive in the wardrobe as well. But I despise people like Serge Lutens who I suppose are very well aware of this context but still make their profit by creating olfactory burkas. They stand on the other side of the barricade. Wearing a certain kind of perfume does have political aspects.

So, women wearing gent's colognes – is that evasion from one's own femininity or just from overly sweet and soft perfumes?
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