Many of us don't worry about gender designations in fragrance — we wear what we like. I think this is especially true for those of us who wear fragrance primarily because we want to smell something good (or interesting, or thought-provoking) as we go through our day, or, as Tania Sanchez so nicely phrased it in Perfumes: The Guide, because it's "a substitute for having an orchestra follow you about playing the theme song of your choice".
Every so often I have to stop and remind myself that that is not why the vast majority of consumers wear fragrance. Most consumers wear fragrance to smell good to others, or to attract the opposite sex. If that is your aim, many of my own personal favorites (Monocle + Comme des Garçons Scent One: Hinoki comes to mind because I happen to be wearing it right now, and it isn't exactly what I'd choose as a weapon of seduction) might seem perverse, to say the least.
I don't know if Scent: One: Hinoki has a gender designation, but if it did, it would probably be masculine, and it isn't something I'd recommend for a first-time borrower — that is, someone who was just starting to explore the concept of wearing fragrances intended for the opposite sex. So for interested neophytes, let's start a list of fragrances that are "easy" to borrow, or that can be easily layered to "tilt" the gender scale in the right direction.
I'd start off with two men's fragrances that have been "borrowed" successfully by women for years, and that were in fact two of the first men's fragrances I ever bought: Christian Dior's Eau Sauvage and Guerlain's Vetiver.
There, I took the easy ones, you guys add the rest.
The Body Shop Activist. The first thing I ever bought from a Body Shop was a little bottle of Activist oil. I had no idea it was aimed at men-it's rather sweet.
Annick Goutal's Duel was originally released for men, but can be easily worn by anyone.
I love wearing men's scents, Eau Sauvage and Vetiver were two of my favorites, also Gentlemen and Monsieur, both by Givenchy.
Also love Dune for men, and I adore Terre d'Hermes. I love the mineral/herbal/earthy notes. Excellent staying power.
I would suggest Balenciaga pour Homme that's been discontinued for a number of years. It was a gorgeous soft spicy fougere-ish sandalwood type frag. Definitely could have been a woman's frag as well. My dad used to wear this. I loved it and borrowed it often.
Currently I like to wear Chanel Pour Monsieur and Old Spice deoderant. Now back in the day (highschool), my younger sister used to wear the Halston Z-14 and Drakkar Noir.
I would go with L'Instant pour Homme (Guerlain). I really prefer it over the women's version.
I 'borrow' my husband's Fleur du Male and Habit Rouge, neither of which seem all that masculine to me. I bought and love l'Homme Sage, and I have no idea why Terre d'Hermes is marketed to men only.
L'Artisan Fou d'Absinthe, although it may be technically genderless, it has a really bracing opening that has me lugging my decant to work occasionally to perk myself up.
Also, when I've had a hard day, I've gotten in the habit of splashing myself with my boyfriend's Old Spice before bed. It's surprisingly calming. Maybe it's just the familiarity.
Gosh, Fleur du Male is about the least masculine “men's” fragrance I can think of. I hated it at first but wore it again last weekend and I'm actually warming up to it. I'm surprised you could get your husband to wear it — I wonder how it sold or is selling. It would take a confident straight guy to pull it off, I think.
Odori Iris is marketed to men; it's one of my top-10 favorites at the moment.
Cool name, have never smelled it!
Agree on that one, absolutely! And hugs to you, R
D & G The One for men is something I've been loving this winter. I love smelling it on me when it's cold outside. Yummy, warm, nicely spicy and easy.
I feel like so many scents I like are “unisex” or “genderless,” so this task is really difficult. I do frequently wear more “feminine” scents (I suppose that mostly means “floral” or “fruity” maybe?), and because enjoy wearing scents because they're “interesting”, I have the same problem you describe, Robin.
So, for “women's” scents that would be fairly easy for a man to borrow, hmmm: Voleur de Roses & L'Heure Bleue? Those are both “difficult” scents to appreciate, so it would depend on the person, but I don't think there's anything particularly “feminine” about either one that a guy should be “afraid” of…
Bulgari Black. Love, love, love it on self (am a woman), and so does husband.
Montale Wood and Spices is another one that is marketed for men, but I find it refined and feminine.
Men's scents for women… The Eau Sauvage is a given (I've had 3 bottles “borrowed” over the years.
Lolita Lempika au masculin would also be an easy one to convert.
Clinique Happy for men, Monsieur de Balmain, Hanae Mori, Rochas Aquaman,… There are so many really!
I agree, this one immediately came to mind. One of my female acquaintances is obsessed with it on her skin, and I can't say I blame her.
Oh, I LOVE Boucheron Jaipur for men. It makes me want to have sex with myself, if I might be so bold.
Prada Homme is more femme than regular Prada.
Christian Dior Pour Homme.
I feel like technically they're unisex (?), but AG Sables, Hadrien, Mandragore and Duel swing both ways.
So many!!!!!! Bulgari Black (rubber and black tea), biehl mc03 (Mark Buxton, dark incense), Dior Homme (sultry iris bomb), Guerlain Instant pour Homme (honey, woods) and Gucci pour Homme — cedar-smoky-sexy! — are the first that come to mind. Great topic, Robin !!!!
I think that's one of the reasons I often like the men's versions better — they aren't as sweet, usually.
I *really* need to get some Old Spice!
I've got the QUINTESSENTIAL one: Fleur Du Male by Jean Paul Gaultier!
Isn't Marquis de Sade fab? I so wish I could take advantage of that deal.
I also love Bulgari Black, Mugler Cologne, Mugler's Coffee version of A*men, just about any vetiver. HeWood is nice.
So much stuff has no gender designation that I don't know if it's leaning masc or fem until I put it on. I am SO glad I got over my aversion to smelling manly! I have lots on my to-try list from across the aisle.
It's so inexpensive, too! You can get a bottle at the supermarket.
Chanel's Egoiste, mmmmm! Nothing masculine about it. And Givency Pi, smells almost exactly like G's Organa Indecence. Dreamy!
You know what's funny? I'm jealous of women's perfumes because they tend to be stronger than mens EdT's. I happen to absolutely love wearing Coco Mademoiselle EdP and Chanel no. 5 EdP. Male, age 29, striaght… I dunno how “borrowable” those two would be for men but I happen to love them.
I've heard some women like Burberry Brit for Men on themselves.
For guys to borrow: Givenchy III, Mitsouko, Apres l'Ondee, Tabac Blond, Bulgari Omnia, Diorella, Anisia Bella
For gals to borrow: Le Troisiemme Homme, Jules, Dior Homme
joe805, have you tried Jo Malone's Pom Noir? It's along the same vein as Voleur de Roses, floral/fruity/woody notes.
I always enjoy Obsession for Men (I'm a woman). I don't care for Obsession for women that much, but the men's version makes me feel like I smell interestingly good. And I'm wearing Domenico Caraceni 1913 today, which might be pushing the envelope for women who are younger or more typically feminine, but then you never know. I think of it as the scent an Italian George Clooney would wear.
I agree totally!
But, given my love of Hermes scents, perhaps it's good they don't!
SirSlarty, if you like spicy, ever try Estee Lauder's Cinnibar?
MdS- looove it! The dry down is what gets me. And I have a decant of the Coffee too- smells delicious (and I hate Angel/Angel Man)…
You should try Spirit of the Tiger-it had been on my to-try list and then when it made the “best of” list it was cinched- good stuff.
Let Me Play the Lion is one of my fav's, so DH gifted it to me for Xmas. It is unbearably sexy on him! Others we share are Andy Tauer's L'Air du desert marocain and L'Artisan Timbuktu. I know Timbuktu is difficult for some, but I love it. He brings out all the smokiness whereas I amplify something that I swear is rose.
He is SO getting a bottle of L'Air for his birthday…
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
I wear CdG 2man all the time. I also wear Eau Savage and Dior Homme when the mood strikes.
Well, I think that Black Cashmere is perfect for mens. Chaos also. For woman, Body kouros fits very well.
I couldn't resist chiming in on this post.
I don't get caught up in the whole gender thing either – I simply wear what I like…and what smells good on me. Late model men's fragrances, to a large degree are yawn-inducing faceless things – you can't tell one from the next. Marine notes? Check., Ozonic, 'fresh', clean, blah, blah, blah…..you get my point. – regardless of the notes, they tend to smell the same. The last men's launch that caught my nose was For Him – Narcisco Rodriguez. So, I often find myself drifting to the other side, so to speak. I often wear Jicky (yes, I'm late to the party on that one!), Chanel's Bois Des Iles, and even By Kilian's Beyond Love (straight up tuberose) – and personally, I think the only way to make such a big floral like that work is for a man to rock it – on a woman, it's way too safe and predictable!
Oh, I forgot Dior Homme! This is one of the men's fragrance that suits a woman's skin in a incredible way.
Second the motion on that fantastic Baldessarini Ambre!!! It's actually a lot more feminine than many made-for-women ambers. I also love Bois 1920 Real Patchouli; it's another smooth, rich, deep “masculine” that is easily worn by us girls.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier markets Ambre Précieux as a scent for men, but it is easily worn by women. I wear it all the time!
I'd gotten a batch of samples from LS for my son last summer when he was looking for something new to wear. I played around with them a bit myself and fell hard for Carre D'As by Patricia di Nicolai. I think men's colognes are readily adaptable for women.
I totally echo your sentiments, SirSlarty. And I've put on Mademoiselle a couple of times as well. Always been curious about no. 5 just 'cause it's so legendary, but still haven't picked up a sample. And I got a bunch of compliments the time I rocked Classique EdP on a night out.
One of my closest female friends LOVES Burberry Brit for Men. And –as many times as it's already been mentioned — most all of the women I hang with will ask to borrow my Fleur du Male if they aren't already wearing something of their own. Even my mother adores that fragrance.
Montale's Fougere Marine, very fresh (not in that yicky way) but rich and velvety too. Also Montale's Aromatic Lime is to die for with a lush lime opening drying down to gorgeous sandalwood. Both of these have impressive lasting power. I trashed Habit Rouge last week, then revisited and voila, lemony brightness fading to comforting sweetness (guess it was MY chemistry that was to blame)! And lastly, Guerlain's Mouchoir de Monsieur, very classy, subtle soft lavender with lovely oakmoss, amber vanilla drydown.
MPG's Ambre Precieux is marketed as male but smells much better on me than on DH, though Ambre Sultan is often designated as for women and it smells much better on him than me.
Oh yes! Omnia is great. I especially like to wear the Crystalline flanker.
And I forgot to mention that D&G Light Blue for Women is a good one for guys, too, which is similar to Crystalline.
Agree. Black Cashmere is amazing.
I'll look for it, thanks!
Thanks for the tip, Lizbeth. I need to hit my local Saks' JM counter… I've been really wanting to try Black Vetyver Cafe lately for some reason. Had never been interested in PN (I thought I had heard it was quite sweet), but I'll check it out.
Totally. Instant love.
I (man) love Brit for Men and I keep meaning to do a side-by-side comparison of it with Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily because I find them similar. I think any woman who likes the JM would like Brit for Men also.
It's funny seeing all the comments about Fleur du Male…. it's pretty much way too floral for me, and I'm a guy who wouldn't hesitate to wear Carnal Flower, so go figure.
I'd love to know how it's selling too.
MPG's Eau pour le Jeune Homme might be another good one, although it took me a while to appreciate it — one step up on the accessibility scale from Eau d'Orange Verte. Also the CdG Incense line, particularly Avignon, although I'd consider those unisex. So many women's perfumes turn disgustingly sweet on me these days that it's a blessed relief to put on a men's/unisex fragrance!
CdG Kyoto. Balle de Match. ENCRE NOIR. And Claudie Pierlot's Mon Premier is wonderful on men.
Terre D'Hermes, yes! And also, Lalique Encre Noire, although I imagine that one would be difficult for newbies, as even many men find it exceptionally weird:)
haha Omnia is my boyfriend's favorite scent on me… maybe I should spritz him sometime!
Must try it. I rather like the women's, but finally decided it was just too sweet.
I love Jubilation XXV – such a romantic masculine scent, full of spice and desert. Perfect for a woman!
Neil Morris and I were discussing Fracas and he turned me on to how incredible it smells on a MAN! I tried it on El O – and he's right. It smells awesome! Same with Une Rose. Rex, the Malle rep at Barney's (built like a linebacker) wears Une Rose. Too yummy for words.
I love Duel. I love Givenchy and Guerlain Vetivers. On a hot summer's day, splash some Aqua Velva on your legs – what a great smell!
And I am a woman who adores wearing Duel!
D&G Light Blue for men. I like it better than the women's. I'm too selfish to let a man wear my Bulgari Black, which I now think of as feminine-but if he really wants to…oh o.k.
Quite a few by Maitre Parfumier et Gantier: Ambre Precieux and Secrete Melange, off the top of my head. Sables by Goutal and Dior Homme (quite 'feminine').
Mitsouko and Jicky (but also L'Heure Bleue I think) can easily be worn by men, Habit Rouge by women, Lutens Cedre and Chene by men (many of his line are/feel unisex). Bulgari Black can go both ways. O de Lancome can be worn by men. Pi Givenchy by women. No. 19 is perfect for men. These are all suitable for crossover wearing by neophytes, imho. Like many perfumistas, I find most scents can go both ways quite easily, except maybe when they're somehow a caricature of gender: extremely floral and powdery, say, or extremely wood/metal/ozonic. But even then it depends much on personal style and surroundings.
Do let me know how you like Black V Cafe, that's on my list.
Re: the PM, I didn't get much sweet, but more woods. I think there are incense & patchouli notes so that grounds it a bit.
Agree about Body Kouros. I wear it.
Recently I tried St Dupont Black and now planning to buy it. It's very easy and can be perfect everyday frag for women. And there are so many others, the list will be too long.
Very borrowable, I agree! And nicer than She Wood.
That one really isn't masculine to me *at all*.
Really? I am male, and I can wear heavy florals too (but only if I'm not at work), but wouldn't hesitate to wear Fleur du Male to work. I guess its the sillage and longevity of the fragrance. I work in health care and any fragrance that trails behind me is going to be out of the question! fragrances like Fleur du Male are softly feminine, and I think its the softness that allows me to wear it without any self-consciousness.
I looked it up and yeah, PM sounds good to me. It must have been another pomegranate — Aziyade or something — that was reviewed as sweet. Or just in my mind I'm used to pomegranate-scented products being too sweet for my taste.
Ooooh, really? (About the Pi.) I will have to try it, thanks for the tip!
It must be something with me and neroli: orange blossom sometimes sears my nostrils and seems like I can smell it at twenty paces. I find FdM to be a neroli grenade, but maybe it's just me. I guess after the top notes burn off, you may be right… I've finally noticed that it settles into a nice hay-and-honey vibe after the first several minutes.
It's been mentioned a few times, but I really like wearing Kenzo Power. I'm also a fan of Blue Sugar, the masculine counterpart to Pink Sugar (which is so cloyingly sweet it's practically gag-inducing to me). I like the burnt sugar and anise aspect of Blue Sugar, and it's a sweet scent without dipping into cotton candy and cupcake-land.
I couldn't see if anyone had posted Caron pour un Homme, perfect for any lavender lover! And can be had for a song…
I wear Hammam Bouquet and Hanae Mori HM regularly, and get compliments on both. And I dearly wish Terre d'Hermes smelled well on me, but alas no.
I used to wear Halston Z-14 when I was a teenager.
I haven't tried that one on skin, only on paper — will have to see if I can find a sample!
Oh, yes. This one too. I love this one much more than 25 for women.
Fun poll. I wear quite a few of the scents already listed including Dior Homme, Eau Sauvage, Terre d”Hermes, L'Instant pour Homme and MPG Ambre Precieux. In fact, I like more of the MPGs that are marketed for men than I do the ones for women. Santal Noble and Iris Bleu Gris are another two of my favorites.
I also love Ferre for Men, which has a nice touch of iris. It is very easy and wearable for women. Ferre Bergamotto Marino Cologne, which is marketed for men, is perfect for a hot summer day. I didn't like it on first wearing, but after trying it in the right weather, I changed my mind.
Joe, both good picks, and think the old classics are in many ways easier for a man to pull off than some of the newer feminines. Now please don't make me justify that, LOL…
FdM is a neroli grenade??? I'm THERE!! lol
It's fun reading everyone's answers! More than half of my favorite fragrances, so far, fall squarely into unisex territory, but I don't yet own a bottle of anything that is marketed just for men. But I have no question that it will happen!
No one has mentioned Grey Flannel. I've had a couple of people tell me that I should try it – for the violet, among other things. It sounds wonderful on paper. Any comments on that one?
Black is interesting because it was actually released as a unisex, but you never see it anywhere but the men's counter (or I don't, anyway).
I know many women who wear creed's green irish tweed. When I am in sephora, I keep moving bvlgari black to the womens section
I think most any man could happily wear Terracotta Voile D'Ete (discontinued, but available at all the discounters), which is like a stripped-down Old Spice plus a dose of ylang-ylang.
Also Organza Indecence, which is basically a cross between Obsession for Men and Habit Rouge. (I still can't believe it was marketed to women.)
I'm sure I have others in my cabinet but it's too late at night to think of them.
Yes, I think you could argue the LL is easier to wear than the women's. Can't remember Hanae Mori for men, need to find a tester.
Yes on the Gucci! Although not sure it's for a “first time borrower”, it's too wonderful to miss.
Miomia, right? That's a great deal.
Givenchy Pi is a good one to borrow…
SirSlarty, absolutely true…men get shortchanged on concentration.
Crystalline esp. ought to have been released as unisex!
A few of the L'Artisan scents are targeted more toward men but I adore them, including L'Eau de Navigateur and especially Mechant Loup. I had a hard time convincing the SA at Neiman's to let me buy the latter. It was only the fact that I had a French male friend with me urging me to “buy the big one” that finally convinced her I really DID want the bottle for myself.
I'd love to smell Omnia on a man…..
It's a very nice scent, very soft warm and powdery.
H — also definitely try HeWood if you haven't. I have a feeling you'll like it a lot.
I'll regularly rifle through my wife's SL collection (Bois Vanille / Fumerie Turque / Daim Blond / Douce Amere) – the former is a favourite, especially in winter, walking to the train through the frosty morning where it stays close – very much a 'for me' scent. I'm also a fan of her Mitsouko though it never seems to last very long on me unfortunately.
I like Yatagan more on her than I do on myself.
Robin this is such a great topic. I have always worn what I like be it mens or womens. We are told this is how a woman should smell or this is how a man should smell I say rubbish. If only the perfume houses would just say this fragrance is for whom ever likes it. So my friends live life and enjoy it smelling like flowers or woods or whatever you fancy because if you love it that is what matters.
There is one perfume that in our family was always considered unisex and it's not: Rive Gauche (the original, a female fragrance)
My Dad, my brother and me (a boy at the time), would regularly “borrow it” from my mom's nightstand.
The ocassions were: A night out for dinner, any summer day when we needed some bright pick-me-up, and the like.
Now that I am older, there are not many female frags that I want to “borrow” but that has a lot to do with the “fruity florals” invasion I guess.
I think Eau des merveilles might be possible to tweak into a masculine by layering over musk (I am about to experiment with Kiehl's musk soon) or over a strong vetiver.
Many people think it is unisex as it is, but I find a slight (very very faint, but it ruins it for me) sweet-powdery note in the drydown, that for me says “I am intended to be worn by a 35yo + lady, you are making a mistake!”… and then I desist!
i guess almost all men's fragrances can be worn by women and vice versa.
i wear the kenzo in the photo above in summer frequently and adore idole de lubin and ysl's jazz (all three flankers). i even bought terre d'hermes for myself and have been eyeing bulgari black for like ages. and my recent purchase for my boyfriend, kenzo to my boyfriend and it would go with a woman perfectly.
oh i forgot, i also like wearing delicious closet queen
Oh YES! Mugler Cologne! I use it constantly and forgot it's a unisex sold at the men's side of the counter, and could be counted as a masculine. That's right, Mugler Cologne is not a feminine, I'm so used to it I forgot…
My ex once sprayed Dune for women on his wrist – it was amazing on him.
Christian Dior Homme is a fragrance that is happily worn by me.
I like the men's Obsession better too, and for some reason it strikes me as less “dated” than the women's.
Hi flying_fox, your English is excellent! I will have to look for some Baldessarini Ambre, that sounds wonderful
Interesting, because I found Beyond Love too predictable myself — needed a twist of something! Bois des Iles is perfect on a man, and Jicky, obviously!
Nice that you guys share so many favorites!
Hello I am newby here. This article bring me to be member of this blog. I am an Asian man who adore Chanal19 , luscious pink by mariah ,manifesto by Isabella Rossini and FOR HER by rodriguze.
and I wear all that.
in my country good scent have no gender But status and class.
Glamour's February issue has an article on the same subject – “For the guys, but great on You!”. They recommend:
Prada Infusion d'Homme
Versace Pour Homme
Patrick Dempsey Unscripted
Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme
Sean John I Am King
Juicy Couture Dirty English
Calvin Kein Euphoria Men
Hmm, I haven't tried any of them, guess I should do that. The Gucci's are so confusing – the one called Gucci Pour Homme (someone else mentioned it above) with the dark brown lid and light brown juice, is wonderful on a woman – woody and incensy, but soft. I also love to wear Amouage Jubilation XXV.
Men´s fragrances I wear, usually stolen from husband: Givenchy Pour Homme, L´eau Par Kenzo, Kenzo Power, Vetiver, Terre d´Hermes, Aigner Men 2, D2Squared Wood for men, Issey Miyake
L´ Eau Bleu, Bulgari Black, Prada, Fig Tea, Patricia de Nicolai Vie En Chateau, Montale Wood and Spices, Six Scents No. 3 Spirit of Wood AND my significant other´s sweat —- I wish I could bottle it.
I like CdG2 Man too…think it's easier to wear than CdG2.
Thanks — forgot that one was even a men's!
Oops, He Wood. '~)
I wonder if it's the packagin?
(packaging, that is…must be enjoying the weekend…)
I think Caron's men's are wonderful…pour Homme, yes; a lovely lavender…the shape shifting lavender of Third Man…the tobacco smoke curling through the lavender in L'Anarchiste. I've enjoyed wearing all of them, though I definitely get a “I'm wearing men's cologne” feeling from 3rd Man.
After reading Friday's blog, I tried Serge Lutens Daim Blonde and L'Artisan's Voleur de Roses on my hubby (different wrists). Both smelled very nice!
He is always so good-natured about my “experiments”.
Woah, great tip! Fell in deep, passionate love with the JM AFTER it had been discontinued (isn't it always like that?), and will look into that for sure. Haven't had the best of luck with Burberrys womens' frags (too sweet-headachy), but mens', never tried. Do report back once you've done a side-by-side!
I forgot….. Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blainche.
Thanks to both of you for the recommendations!
Mamabear: I LOVE Une Rose… the topnotes seem like they'll be way too feminine, but when it dries down a bit, it's deep, winey perfection.
Zoe: I'm doing the side-by-side, and they're more different than I must have thought, but there must be a ginger note that I'm seeing similarity with. The JM has some kind of a “fresh” vibe going on, whereas the Burberry starts with a great blast of nutmeg & ginger and becomes a bit powdery. Still, testers are in every department store, so give it a whirl. There are also rumors that JM will add the Kohdo Woods to the regular line, I guess.
Mama: LOL – I like your version. There needs to be a frag called He Man. Maybe it can be marketed with Sex Panther.
I'm a real girly girl, all pink ruffles and glitter but I love so many men's fragrances. Here's my list:
L'Eau and L'Air de Kenzo
Chrome (No. 1 fave)
Del Mar Baldessarini
Aqva Pour Homme by Bulgari (love, love, love)
Aqva Pour Homme Marine
Insense Ultramarine by Givenchy
Eau Fraiche by Versace
Instead of saying, “This fall we will launch a new women's fragrance for 25 to 35 year olds,” companies shouldn't limit their market and just launch a fragrance, period.
If you love violet, definitely try some Grey Flannel. I find it works better if I spritz it on the back of my knees rather than “higher up” on the body.
My first niche scent ever was a PdN for men: Balle de Match
Nice you can both borrow then!
Love EPLJH — wish I got to wear it more often, I've hardly touched my bottle. Agree on the sweet factor! Best reason to go borrow.
Janjancl, me too
I find the women's Prada Infusion d'Iris very easy to wear, and the men's…different enough to seem “too masculine” for me. But it's a matter of taste – I prefer the women's, but both are very nice.
Has anyone mentioned Ormonde Jayne – Ormonde Man yet? (I havn't been able to read through the entire chain.) I found it to be a great choice for a lady to wear.
Tom Ford's Private Blends…….they are mos def uni-sex frags!!!
Thanks joe, too bad. Still, I love me a nice ginger, so I may try anyway. I heard the rumours, and am keeping fingers and toes firmly crossed!
Fracas on a man? Now you have really piqued my curiosity. I would try it on my hubby if someone would hold him down.
I haven't smelled Aqua Velva in years, must get some next summer.
I was longing for such a poll!
I happily posses: Gucci Pour Homme for the incense, Trussardi Uomo is a totally gorgeous chypre, Xeryus Rouge, Habit Rouge, Pi, Aramis (which is totally into Aromatics Elixir anyway so i shouldn't even count it), Aramis Touscany which drives me absolutely crazy, L'Instant Homme is my newest love, and last but not least: my ALL-time favourite: Issey Myake L'eau Bleue. This thing rings my bells!
Hmmmmm I guess I'm much more into men's fragrances than into womens…
For the near future I'm yumming onto: Eau Sauvage, Kouros (definitely!), one of the limited Opiums pour homme, Gentleman Givenchy, Terre D'Hermes (ahh only the price is so high still), the totally adored M7 fresh (the red I save for the MAN and will not abuse it at any stakes).
But when I even *imagine* the L'eau Bleue, the electricity goes on my back.
Rochas Man is one of the most unmanly men's frags that I've had the chance to smell Also I agree on Clinique Happy – very easily weared by a woman. Both are beloved by my friend who is gay. He always comments on how manly my frags are and how feminine are his (and I'm not gay).
It's funny: do men need gentler frans and that's why these waters are marketed towards them? And at the same time, all ads of women's frags are “the modern woman who has a manly edge about her” and whatever. Emancipation, or what? Is it us that provoke this, or is it another marketing attempt to behold and control the customer?
Cheers from BG (and sorry about long one),
Jubilation XXV! It's so much warmer than Jubilation 25. If it was more affordable it would be the most perfect oriental….
Other picks that seem easy to wear without a second thought: Black, Habit Rouge, Pour Monsieur, Cool Water, Eau Sauvage, Vetiver, most of the L'Artisans (esp. Dzongkha, Timbuktu, Safran Troublant), and many of the CdGs.
Cool! You know there was a Fracas for men too? Don't know what it smelled like though, and think it's really hard to find now.
Equipage is great, and very borrowable. I need to give Kenzo Power another try, it's sure been mentioned quite a few times here.
This is easy! Angel for men, Lolita Lempica Homme and, my personal favourite, Egoiste! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!
I have to say, if you like Jaipur, which I love, you would really like Casran by Chopard and of course, Egoiste. I am obsessed by Egoiste.
Nice list, thanks!
I like Blue Sugar better than Pink Sugar too. They need to do a unisex one — Purple Sugar, maybe?
Let's see…I prefer both Prada and Infusion d'Iris women.
It is out there in cyberspace and it is dirt cheap compared to the women's one so I am keen to know what it smells like too. If anyone knows please pipe up!
There are stacks of reputable internet stores that can get it for you right away! Try Strawberrynet.com
Hammam Bouquet is lovely — and so is the new Elixir.
Love Grey Flannel!
Agree on all of that!
That would be great!
Damselfly, thanks. I was just reading that's it's a powerful fragrance!
All department stores too ! I keep putting Bulgari Black in the women´s section weekly :)) One time I told a woman trying it and I said : “Just buy it. Believe me. Complain later. I´m not a sales attendant though. And she did buy it. ! ´´ The sales ladies who know me by now, smiled approvingly. I should open a perfume shop for lawyers and scientists.. LOL
I'll be repeating some others' choices, but my list would include: Bvlgari pour homme (and Extreme), Dirty English, Burberry London, Bvlgari Aqva (the original), L'eau par Kenzo (a fun citrus), Terre d'Hermes, Fleur du Male, L'Homme by YSL, Kenneth Cole Signature (great woody scent), Hypnose by Lancome, Ambre by Baldesserini, Xeyrus Rouge, Egoiste Platinum. Eau Savage. There are just too many to list! On the flip side, one of my favorite women's scents on a man is Donna Karan's Black Cashmere.
Organza Indecence — absolutely, and easier for a man to “adopt” in the new, less girly packaging.
That's funny — she didn't want to sell it to you? What does she care, LOL…
Boy, really surprised at how many mentioned Old Spice is getting! Kevin has promised to send me some.
Joe, how nice that you guys can share in both directions.
The niche houses seem more open about “this fragrance is for whomever”, don't they? When mainstream houses release a unisex these days, they act like it's some huge deal (Gaultier2, for instance).
P, I'm among those who thinks EdM is unisex as it is…but have you tried the stronger version, the Parfum des Merveilles?
I agree that Jo Malone's Black Vetiver Cafe is a good unisex scent. When I was a teenager in the eighties I was addicted to Cacharel Pour Homme for a while. I don't know if they still make that. Used to borrow my brother's Pi by Givency too…
Yep….. my cousin and I share it. Shes a fashion model who likes to change perfumes weekly, so we trade and together we have all the Hermes and go to sniffing parties. (for as long as real gourmet food comes with that !) Tried layering Merveilles EDT with Merveilles Elixir
Yup, I would argue for that. I find the LL masculine much nicer, same goes for Diesel's Fuel for LIfe.
Maybe it's because I'm a fougere/lavender girl at heart but I often find myself prefering the men's version of pairs.
Caron Pour Un Homme is easily made unisex, and 2nd L'Anarchiste as well.
Yes, most anything can but was trying to get a list of “beginner” scents…not every women is ready to spray on M7
That's a nice one!
I forgot all about Grey Flannel. It is great in high summer, I keep it in the fridge and spray abundantly at any provocation. On myself, and others if they seem to need it. Makes me miss July just thinking about it.
Old Spice, Old Spice, Old Spice. I steal my dad's all the time. I also used to wear my ex bf's Old Spice deodorant.
Hi & welcome! Nice choices, esp. the Manifesto
Sariah, I haven't tried the Patrick Dempsey. The Sean John is arguably more feminine than masculine anyway. The original Gucci — agree, wonderful on anyone!
Surprised nobody else has mentioned PdN Vie d'Chateau, although now I can't remember if it's marketed as feminine or unisex. Either way, great on women!
Chanel.com has it!
That's sweet! Mine is not so good-natured, LOL…
That's quite a list! I always think it's nice to do a men's scent w/ the ruffles & glitter — makes for a nice contrast.
And I haven't been able to remember the entire chain
But I think you might be the first.
“Is it us that provoke this, or is it another marketing attempt to behold and control the customer?” — that's a great question — it's not at all clear to me the extent to which men's fragrances are determined by what men want vs. what the marketers think they want. Women do much of the fragrance buying for men anyway, so it's almost like “what the marketers think women will think men will want”!
Agree on the Amouage — love it, it's too expensive
Egoiste is getting lots of love on this poll!
I honestly think more women than men must like Prada Homme…rarely see a man saying they like it! With you on the Infusion d'Iris though. The men's is close, but not quite as good.
True. True. I LOVE Prada Homme. I keep moving the tester to the women´s department and the girls get the idea and buy ! It helps when you wear Blahnik or Choos, they get easily convinced.. LOL
No I haven´t, I will check this week in the perfume stores downtown.
Nise list! Will have to check out the Kenneth Cole, I don't think I've smelled that one.
Could be that, but offhand can't think of any scents that are routinely kept on 2 counters. Most stores seem to put all the unisex stuff on the men's counter.
Not sure of the original marketing for Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, but it's definitely in the men's section at Holt Renfrew here, and it's great for any cross-over newbie! I know you prefer the edt, Robin, and I like the edp, so between the two of them. . .
True about the Gucci pour Homme being perhaps a bit of a stretch for a newcomer, but gosh, it sure is yummy!
ChicBohoGal, so right on Hypnose Homme! Drawn to it by Clive Owen's mug, and found that it was lovely on me. NOTHING to do with Hypnose for women. Just warm woods and a soft whisper of lavender.
Another easy one for women which I think was marketed to men: Eau de Cartier. Violets, earth, a bit of green. . .
The Kenneth Cole is quite nice – smooth woods. Similar in feel to the original Burberry for women (round bottle) without the fruit. I think you'd like it!
Isn't the Hypnose for men a little gem?? Glad to hear another thumbs up on that one!
Eau de Cartier is another great choice. I almost listed it, but thought it was marketed to women. Thanks for the clarification!
Iris Nobile is in the men's section? Surprised, thought that one was marketed as a feminine, but who knows. A man could certainly wear the EdT, right?
Without a doubt!
I am SLOWLY letting my inhibitions slip as far as gender specific scents go; obviously, when certain houses or companies release some frgarences, tehy are released, designed, and marketed with a sex in mind. This makes certain stereotypes and perceptions hard to break away from (for me, anything with rose or jasmine as a featured player is feminine – can't help that mass marketing and modern sex defintions place these things in one's head!) I think it is harder for men to dabble in the “girly” splashes more than it is for women to add some “manly” punch to their scent; maybe there is something to be said for the unviersal male psyche and how secure it is…
That said, I do have one “female” scent that I not only wear fairly often, but I get comments on, not to mention amazed responses when I tell them what it is; so I guess my suggestion for the brave man who wants to take a walk on the “pink” side is Chanel No. 19 – the crisp and raspy muttering of neroli and bergamot in the open is sort of dirty and clean all at once; once the cigar-smoke like flashes of the opening fade, you get this well-worn leather armchair scent, encrusted with thickest moss… and a bouquet of flowers, vibrant but soft, just enough to “dress” up the masculine tones; for the male image, think of a gentlemen smoking in his study, the windows open during a wet spring day and the wafting scent of the wife's garden coyly kissing about the crisp collar of his dress shirt.
That description might send some men running for their Joop! and the like, but No. 19 is one of those scents that is so sexless but still sexy, androgynous but bares a sculpted and wonderous face; when a woman wears it, it comes across etheral and feminine; on a man, so I have been told, it smells calm and classy; quietly masculine. The eau de toilette is dirtier and less prominent in my opinion – it is less likely to give away that the bearded one is wearing PERFUME. However, I have come to really like the eau de parfum, which is what I now own; it is stronger and lasts longer – yes the flowers are amped a bit, but so is everything else, so it is balanced, just more pronounced.
I still shop very much on the men's side of the counter, but I am slowly coming around to the idea that some scents transcend the sexual identities of the shopper; Jicky was originally a men's scent, was it not? Look at how it is marketed now… and most of the sales in male scents are made by and worn by female shoppers. I keep my ear to the ground, to see if there is anything out there that should be sniffed by all; if it smells great and I like it, why not wear it? Who should tell me what to wear or how to smell as long as I am happy – I think for most men it is an issue of comfort and the fear that some sexual identification would be misconstrued while doing something new or different.
I may not strut about wearing Le Classique or Le Interdit and I am likely not to ever, but I proudly spray the No. 19 whenever I want, because I can.
What a wonderful comment, thank you! I will have to see if I can get my husband to try No. 19 now.
I just love the idea of fragrance being like an orchestra following you around and playing your own personal theme song! So spot on. I'm currently obsessed with L'Artisan's Mechant Loup, and have a particular affinity with a number of Christopher Brosius-created fragrances that I think of as tomboy scents: things like Demeter's New Zealand and Thunderstorm, and CB I Hate Perfume's Wild Hunt and Eternal Return. I also snagged a sample of “Cumming” recently, and have been enjoying that as well (and not just for the delightful name!)
I love that idea too
I haven't tried Demeter New Zealand (love the rest of your tomboy scents though) — going to have to go look that one up!