Should Men Wear Unisex Fragrance?

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Unisex fragrance. Sounds strange at first take, doesn’t it? I know some men may be turned off on this by the description alone.

When you purchase a bottle of fragrance (you need at least one), you usually head to the far back corner of the store or to the men’s counter and pick from the limited selection there. Many are tried and true classics (Aqua di Gio, anyone?) sprinkled in with a few other notable newcomers.

Chances are, these might not do it for you. With unisex scents, you can broaden your range of options and purchase something you love. You won’t be alone. Gender-neutral scents are becoming increasingly popular.

Unisex scents are neither here, nor there. Not overly floral, or overly musky. They are what they are. And many of them are some of the best fragrances I’ve ever had the opportunity to sniff. They just smell good.

If you think about it, we really can't assign any fragrance a gender based on scent alone.

It's a scent, a smell, something intangible that triggers a reaction in your brain. How we respond to that scent is what can make people think it's masculine or feminine. The smell of a rose is just the smell of a rose, but we've attached more meaning to it by calling it feminine.


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Instead of plainly thinking of fragrance as “masculine” or feminine”, it helps to dig deeper. Many fragrances are categorized by more detailed traits.

Is it woody? Fruity? Spicy? Clean? Citrusy?

There are many other ways to categorize fragrance.

Jo Malone is one of my favorite examples of a house that does great gender neutral fragrances. You tell me if their "Lime Basil + Mandarin" fragrance is masculine or feminine... It's really up to whoever is smelling it, and how it smells on the wearer. Pro users will even pair different Jo Malone fragrances together to create their ideal scent.



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Another favorite brand of mine is Byredo, who's founder, Ben Gorham, bases the scents he creates off of memories. "Sunday Cologne" "Mojave Ghost" and "Oud Immortel" are favorites that could swing either way in, working marvelously for genders.

There are many other great brands that have options that work for both men and women. Calvin Klein has been on the forefront of this movement. Other notable brands include Le Labo, and of course, Tom Ford.

These scents aren’t sexist. They can smell equally as good on a man as they can on a woman.

This isn't to write off any traditional fragrances that are marketed specifically towards men. Many of them are quite fantastic.

But I’m going to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone the next time you shop for fragrance. Take a step towards the unisex fragrances and give them a sniff. You might find your new favorite scent.

Oh, and go to Sephora when you do. They’ve got a great selection, and will kindly make you a few fragrance samples from your top choices so you can try them out around your significant other.