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Nose-to-Nose - No sex, please! - October 9, 2013

Photos - Wikimedia Commons

Gwen: You look deep in thought, Kay - what are you pondering?

Kay: Sex.

Gwen: Again?

Kay: Always. I'm always annoyed by the fact that perfumes are categorized "for women", "for men", or "unisex", which to me means sex-less! Its so limiting. It's so stupid!

Gwen: What got you on this bandwagon again?

Kay: Your post on Serge Lutens' Ambre Sultan.

Gwen: Well, it's named for a sultan, a king - it's not Ambre Sultana!

Kay: I know, but as you so succinctly point out, Lutens monument to amber is an Experience, not just a fragrance, and everyone should feel free to enter this scented kingdom. You didn't genderize it!

Gwen: Yup, You're right, everyone should experience this one! Inspired by the scents of Marrakesh, in Morocco it's deep dark and opulent. Y'know, Kay, Eastern cultures are different when it comes to fragrances. They wear what smells good, the notes from the natural world around them. Men wear rose and jasmine, women wear oud and sandalwood, and the scents are rich, with lots of sillage, and they put lots of it on!

Kay: It's a cultural thing. The wearing of Perfume has such a long tradition in eastern cultures, a solid spiritual base. Here it's more based on personal expression, but the rules are rigid. Flowers and fruits=women! woods and resins=men. Personally, I love detecting a " woman's" scent on a guy - it always different somehow!

Gwen: Yeah - the hormones change it. I remember a guy rushing past me in Paris in the Metro and I caught a distinct waft of Mitsouko. It was fab-u-lous -and he was, too!

Kay: Many of the Guerlains definitely work on everyone - the classics like Jicky, Derby. I love Vetiver! What are some of your favorite "gendered" scents that work for everyone?

Gwen: I know you LOVE Guerlain Vetiver, and I do too. It's in the men's camp but it sweetens up on a women's skin and still has that lovely dry grassiness to it. To answer your question, I've actually been working on a gender-bender list lately, you know.

Kay: You have? I’ve got a list, too! Spill, BFF!

Gwen: These aren’t in any order of importance and I purposely haven’t labeled them as Femmes or Hommes. People should click on the links to our posts and read our stories about them, and then decide if they want to try them!

Kay: Smart! No gender prejudice! I’ll add mine to the list, too

Gwen: Good! Here we go:

Pohadka – YS-UZAC - I spritzed, I sniffed, I swooned, I bought!

Attire-moi – Galimard and Pierre Faucher - Canadian, eh?

Eau d’Epices – Tauer Perfumes - Cool and dry and woody and perfect.

Avant-garde – Micallef - No straight-cut angles.

Myrrhiad – Parfumerie Generale - Experiencing is believing!

Encens et Lavande – Serge Lutens - Audacity got involved.

Iris Nazarena – Aedes de Venustus - Destined to be a classic.

Eight + Bob – - There’s that great story…

L’Air de Rien – Miller Harris - Enduring Love.

Still Life – Olfactive Studio - Anything but still.

Gwen: These are all such fabulous niche frags. If only people would experiment a bit, mix it up, read and learn on-line, cruise both Men's and Women's perfume counters, just follow their noses… .

Kay: Forget the labels and follow their desires…and wear what makes them feel good!

Gwen: Exactly. We need to completely avoid sex - perfume-wise!


See if we're right. Click on the links to our posts about each of these niche gender-benders, and learn why we think they’re perfumes you should experience yourself.