Perhaps the biggest misconception in the fragrance world is one perpetuated by manufacturers and distributors, that fragrances (or, indeed, people) are separated into binary genders and that one shouldn’t cross the line. Admittedly, we have “unisex” fragrances, but you know what? I don’t think the gender lines exist. I’m an extremely femme kind of woman. There was a time, several years ago, that I was working an office job and didn’t even own jeans or sneakers. And yet, one of the best fragrances I’ve tried on lately has been strongly marketed as masculine. Viktor&Rolf’s Spicebomb, released as the male equivalent of the megahit Flowerbomb, with its grenade-shaped bottle and black-and-white ad featuring a man flexing his considerable bicep while holding a bottle, has a clear message in its marketing: This isn’t girly stuff. But the scent’s woody-cinnamon-sweet character does beautifully on my skin, as do the pepper-sandalwood-rose notes of Cartier’s Declaration d’Un Soir.
This isn’t limited to women wearing men’s fragrances, either. Sean Connery, as masculine an image as he has always projected (James freaking Bond, for heaven’s sake), has gone on record identifying Jicky as a personal favorite, and Mitsouko is well known to have been Charlie Chaplin’s signature scent.
Just like people are more complicated than simply masculine or feminine, so are fragrances. So forget the gender labels. Nobody’s going to be genital-checking you when you go to buy perfume. (If they do, file assault charges!) Just wear what you love, and be happy!