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Marketing Mistakes - arbitrary target group?

Marketing Mistakes - arbitrary target group? 9 years ago
Firstly, I've noticed that lots of men's fragrances with a corresponding female fragrance in the line are often priced significantly lower than the female version.

Secondly, I know that opinions about the masculinity or femininity of a fragrance can vary wildly.

So, my question is, which male fragrances, in your opinion, should have been marketed as unisex (or even as feminine) fragrances?
9 years ago
The first thing that came to mind is the wonderful Insensé. In fact, Christos had a nice piece on this very issue:

memoryofscent.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/givench y-insense-falling-through-genres/
9 years ago
Van Cleef and Arpel's Midnight in Paris; the bottle appeals to both genders too.
9 years ago
"Encre Noire" by Lalique. I wouldn't call it overtly feminine but definitely unisex - plenty of us ladies own this one. Although there is a 'femme' version, which I haven't smelled, it doesn't seem to get the positive reviews of the original.
9 years ago
I find the gender binary as tiresome in perfumery as everywhere else, but I'll play.
"Halloween Man" is very unisex, almost more feminine than masculine. A criminally underrated scent.
"The One For Men" is really the One for Anyone That Can Appreciate An Amazing Scent With Miserable Longevity.
Also "M7 Oud Absolu" and "Power" by Kenzo.
9 years ago
Cryptic:
The first thing that came to mind is the wonderful Insensé. In fact, Christos had a nice piece on this very issue:

memoryofscent.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/givench y-insense-falling-through-genres/

Can be filed under "Everyone Makes Mistakes"? Smile
9 years ago
Hayven:
Van Cleef and Arpel's Midnight in Paris; the bottle appeals to both genders too.

Nice example. Though Van Cleef & Arpel tend to be pretty affordable all around.

An example I found online with the sort of price discrepancy I'm referring to is Guerlain's L'INSTANT (the EDT).

For the gents, 4.2oz for $40
For the ladies, 2.7oz for $60

So my thinking is, if there are examples of price discrepancies like this, but where the men's fragrance could pass at least for unisex, there might be ladies who would buy the men's version instead of the women's.
9 years ago
MRoth:
I find the gender binary as tiresome in perfumery as everywhere else, but I'll play.

You're in good company, here, then. Smile
9 years ago
Triffid:
"Encre Noire" by Lalique. I wouldn't call it overtly feminine but definitely unisex - plenty of us ladies own this one. Although there is a 'femme' version, which I haven't smelled, it doesn't seem to get the positive reviews of the original.

And it looks like at least some men think the femme version is suitable for men too!
9 years ago
I know, MRoth, "suitable" is all in the whatever of the beholder . . .

This is the system I was born into, however flawed it might be. So please forgive my use of unevolved terminology. Wink
9 years ago
No no, it's not your terminology that bothers me, it's more the hypermarketing, the shop assistants that wrinkle their nose at women trying men's perfumes and vice versa. It's this whole cultural gender binary that I find incredibly tiresome... all that way down to parents that don't let their son play with barbies while girls aisles are filled with pink cleaning/motherhood toys. You know that pink used to be the 'masculine' shade? Anyway, I ramble.
9 years ago
The Obsessions by Calvin Klein. I don't think people really understand them. There is such a love/hate thing about them. But either of them are so heavy and can really be worn by either gender.
I agree with you too, Scarletting, about being pegged by marketing and salespeople. Lately, I cringe going into department stores to look at perfumes. At least in my area of the world. If you don't want to wear something "sexy" or "pink" or "overly girly", there must be something wrong with you. I walked over to the mens section one time, only to be asked repeated what type of fragrance did "he" like, even tho it was obvious I was sniffing for myself. Rolling Eyes The only place I'm really comfortable fragrance shopping is Sephora, where the ladies do "get" it. Then again, we've had conversations galore about wearing mens fragrances, because some of them do, and it's a genderless shopping feeling there.
I'd like to think that our world has evolved since I argued in kindergarten about playing with the matchbox cars instead of playing in the pink kitchen with my teacher and was punished for being obstinate back then. I guess it hasn't. What a shame. At least I know I'm doing my part when I attempt to educate in a friendly way.
9 years ago
I don't mind that people in general identify some scents as masculine and some as feminine. We live in a world of yin and yang, and masculinity and feminity are part of that. Lots of little boys love to play with trucks and toy soldiers, but very few girls do. There are innate gender differences that very evolved parents notice all the time, the type of parents who don't force dolls on girls or action figures on boys. Women talk more than men, and cry more easily. Men just want to fix problems and not discuss. I think it's futile to try to deny gender differences, whether they be physical or psychological. Equal pay for equal work, but aside from that, Vive la Difference, I say. It takes more energy to fight gender based preferences than just to embrace them and go with it. Who gets harmed doing that?
9 years ago
I don't mind that either, people should be free to identify with whatever they feel. It's those that proselytize the boundaries as finite rather than fluid that bother me. And it's very difficult to study how much of gender identity is innate and how much is instilled, even learned passively via a very gender-focused culture. As for who gets harmed by going along with the gender binary? Well, anyone that doesn't fit within it, to be honest. Intersex, transgender and third gender individuals, and to a lesser extent those that are cisgender but don't fit the prescribed cultural mould. So, to these people, breaking from a binary into a spectrum would mean a world of difference.
9 years ago
Proselytizing about what's supposedly right and wrong where gender is concerned is ridiculous and those people need to get a life. However, I don't think the majority should have to subordinate their feelings about masculinity and femininity, whether those feelings are innate or learned, just to make a minority feel more comfortable about their place in the world. That would be disingenuous and condescending.

My point is that it's okay to identify a scent as masculine or feminine or in between, and anyone who likes it can wear it, male or female or in between. There's no need to do away with 'masculine' and 'feminine' as descriptors, because these are some of the complementary but opposing primal forces constantly at play in the universe.
9 years ago
They're not being asked to. I made a point that people should be free to identify as they feel fit and of course that includes, say, a cisgendered female enjoying feminine things. Extending equality and understanding towards a minority doesn't remove anything from the privileged majority.
And at no point did I suggest we do away with 'masculine' and 'feminine'. It's the hypermarketing towards either sex, the reps that refuse to let opposite genders sample perfumes etc that I have issue with and I see as a symbolic binding and that's what branched into this secondary discussion.
9 years ago
I agree using descriptives such as 'masculine' or 'feminine' is useful. It points the way a fragrance is going. But when a consultant refuses to realize that a woman would wear a masculine frag, then gently pointing out the wonderful attributes of the fragrance and why it's enjoyed by both genders can only help the SA in their future sales. In some areas of the country, this is an unheard of phenomena. Sad, but true.
9 years ago
Dulcemio:
Hayven:
Van Cleef and Arpel's Midnight in Paris; the bottle appeals to both genders too.

Nice example. Though Van Cleef & Arpel tend to be pretty affordable all around.

That is true. I feel bad (well, maybe not really) for the people who pay full retail for it!
9 years ago
I think the perfume duo to end all gender discussions is Aromatics Elixir and Aramis 900. They are essentially the same perfume, Aramis 900 toned down a bit but as a result of this, more floral.

Another scent that has been targeted towards men and quite successfully is Pacco Rabane XS Black for men. Strawberry is the most prominent note I smell. Men have been very keen on this and I can't understand how they have been convinced to wear something smelling like this. Marketing works obviously
9 years ago
MemoryOScent,

Marketing sure does work. And PR Black XS is another example of pricing discrepancy:

For women: Black XS 2.7oz @ $44

For men: Black XS 3.4oz @ $37
9 years ago
Dulcemio:
MemoryOScent,

Marketing sure does work. And PR Black XS is another example of pricing discrepancy:

For women: Black XS 2.7oz @ $44

For men: Black XS 3.4oz @ $37

It only makes sense: men are more reluctant to spend on perfume so lower prices are required to lure them in. I think we all know by now that the price of a bottle, mostly in the category of Black XS, is at a last percentage arbitrary and covers cost of marketing and risk of investment.
9 years ago
Yes, and so we can fight the system by identifying scents marketed to men that could have easily been marketed to both men and women, and save some of that hard-earned cash of ours! Smile
9 years ago
And yet men are still the higher paid wage earners for the same job. They make more money, yet must be lured in by a lower cost. Women traditionally scrape by and will also traditionally pay higher for a perfume. And statistically what is the ratio of men to women as marketing execs? Hmmmmm......our world still is not equal and I wonder if it will be for my grandchildren or their grandchildren?
9 years ago
Dulcemio:
However, I don't think the majority should have to subordinate their feelings about masculinity and femininity, whether those feelings are innate or learned, just to make a minority feel more comfortable about their place in the world. That would be disingenuous and condescending.

I'm pretty sure everyone has problems with masculinity and femininity at least at some points in their lives, both with their own and other's - be it in behavioral roles (gender performativity Wink), vocational fields, child rearing (men are actively if not deliberately dissuaded from engaging in home or work engagement with children and thus wonderously don't feel comfortable with or responsible for them), household chores, ... being predominantly male or female is a lifelong struggle avoiding pitfalls (more so if you switch genders).

MRoth:
And it's very difficult to study how much of gender identity is innate and how much is instilled, even learned passively via a very gender-focused culture.

As for the innate traits, Cordelia Fine has composed an outstanding collection of studies and articles debunking gender myths called "Delusions of Gender". Similar feats can and have been undertaken for physical traits to some extent.

MRoth:
As for who gets harmed by going along with the gender binary? Well, anyone that doesn't fit within it, to be honest. Intersex, transgender and third gender individuals, and to a lesser extent those that are cisgender but don't fit the prescribed cultural mould. So, to these people, breaking from a binary into a spectrum would mean a world of difference.

Agreed! Personally I mostly refuse categorization and have made many a man (and some women) doubt their choice in bathrooms.

Dulcemio:
Marketing sure does work. And PR Black XS is another example of pricing discrepancy

An ex-girlfriend of mine loved the original Black XS for men Wink I also know women who love Joop! and Givenchy Pi, whereas I tend to prefer heavy orientals like Shalimar or Opium.

Sorceress:
And yet men are still the higher paid wage earners for the same job. They make more money, yet must be lured in by a lower cost. Women traditionally scrape by and will also traditionally pay higher for a perfume. And statistically what is the ratio of men to women as marketing execs? Hmmmmm......our world still is not equal and I wonder if it will be for my grandchildren or their grandchildren?

Yeah, marketing is responsible in a big way for the gender rift, starting at the "pink aisle" via the technogaming stuff girl's aren't allowed to look at to perfume marketing ... and a strong gender boundary reproduces gender bias in profession, income, career models, paternity leave agreements ...
9 years ago
Habanita and Homme ll by Molinard are extremely close and you could take one for the other. Habanita is more expensive.
I am also thinking about Prada , Infusion d'Iris.
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