There was a nice article by Chandler Burr in Sunday's New York Times Style Magazine. Burr, author of The Emperor of Scent, discusses changing ideas about what makes a scent masculine vs. feminine. As a woman who "borrows" quite a few fragrances from the men's counter, I found some of his remarks interesting:
Many houses make no secret that their "masculines" are worn by women. Women wear everything from Givenchy Pour Homme to Dior's Fahrenheit. I sometimes think more women wear Guerlain's Vetiver than its intended customers do.
Perfumes were shared by both sexes until fairly recently anyway, and even Guerlain Jicky was originally developed for men and adopted by so many women that apparently Guerlain gave up and marketed it as a women's scent. One of my favorite quotes from Serge Lutens:
For a start, the word 'unisex' is not very pretty. I believe that perfume is, simply, for men and for women who like perfume. In any case, perfume, as it is seen today, is a very recent idea. This separation of perfumes for men and for women is a socio-cultural product which flourished after WWI. In the nineteenth century perfumes were perfumes. If a man liked to perfume himself with rose or lavender, he used rose or lavender. And it was very elegant. If he was elegant. If he was not elegant in himself, applying rose water would not make him any more elegant. The same for a woman. If the woman is elegant, she perfumes herself with elegance, with precision, with personality. But if she has no elegance, then perfuming herself will not render her so. Perfume is the reflection of what you are yourself. No matter what perfume you apply - even rose - it will be an expression of your personality.
For me, perfumery is timeless. It's like in Morocco, where there are perfumes, or essences, and they are worn by women or by men, without segregation. It is a fundamental error to separate men and women.
You can read the rest of that interview here.