A Journey Towards Gender Neutral Perfumes
by : Jelicia Lloyd
Hey girl, its me again. I wanted to talk to you about the increasing popularity of Gender Neutral scents and perfumes. Now, It is no secret that a person’s scent is the synonymous with their image & personality. My momma would tell me, “Girl! I could smell you coming.” Really all she was saying was that your scent or smell enters the room before you do.
Just for an extremely brief history lesson, the origin of perfumes actually dates back to the ancient Egyptians time. But here’s the kicker, scents were used to celebrate prayers and religious ceremony by burning essential oils, resin, and perfumed unguents. This practice had multiple functions. Just to give you an example, the oils and unguents burned were necessary to ensure divinities’ protection and benevolence. Scents were also used to convey messages, prayers to the dead, and to purify the body during embalming ceremonies. I don’t know about you, but this really had my mind blown.
By the 20th century perfumery had become more of an art form. Companies were able to develop and create more unique scents with new technology. Let's fast forward to the 1980’s to be exact. When I think about the 80’s, I think about iconic 80s hardcore party people and NYC’s Paladium dance club. I mean sex, drugs, and fashion were all major elements of the 80’s. The scents of the 80’s were literally a reflection of the time; scents were Spicy, Musky, Powdery, and Intensely Fruity. The most popular perfumes of the time were brands like Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, Obsession by Calvin Klein, and Poison by Christin Dior. All with very provocative ad campaigns that either included sex, sexuality or drugs.
Now let’s take a look at the ‘90s and 2000s. This was a time were perfumes conveyed scents that were gender specific, sweet, safe and fun. To follow this sweet girl persona, perfumes scents were Citrusy, Candy scented, Floraly, and Musky. Some of the most popular brands were Be Delicious by DKNY, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Lauder Pleasure by Estee, Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger, and CK One by Calvin Klein. The collab between Kate Moss and Calvin Klein scent, CK One, become one of the first popular unisex Scents in the U.S.
I’m not try’na ride the CK train, but I truly feel like Calvin Klein made one of the first moves to returning scents/ perfumes to gender-neutral. The base is a deep green scent of tea, nutmeg, and soft musk along with the “perfume for all” campaignit was like a stamp of approval for the future brands and classic brands to follow.
Which brings us to present times. Unisex scents are rewriting our perception of what it means to be masculine and feminine. The growing popularity of unisex scents has a lot to do with the growing acceptance of gender neutral sexuality and androgynous dressing.
The most current gender neutral scents are Kiehl’s Original Musk, CK2 by Calvin Klein, Tom Ford’s Black Orchid Edp, Hermes Eau de Rhubarbe Écarlate, and Le Labo Santal 33, which was released in 2011 and has a cult-classic status.
Kiehl’s Original Musk, Soft fragrance begins with an initial creamy, fresh citrus burst of Bergamot Nectar and Orange Blossom. Follows with a soft floral bouquet of Rose, Lily, Ylang-Ylang and Neroli, and dries down to a warm, sensual finish of Tonka Nut, White Patchouli and Musk.
CK2 by Calvin Klein, starts off with a wasabi, green spices, mandarin, and violet leaf absolute scent. Then transitions to hint of a wet stones, orris absolute, rosy smell. Finally finished with sandalwood, incense, vetiver scent.
Tom Ford’s Black Orchid has a warm floral scent. A deeper description of Black Truffle, Bergamot, Black Orchid, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord, and Patchouli.
Le Labo Santal 33 scent introduced the brand's use of cardamom, iris, and violet, which crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy—Australian sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood—some spicy, leathery, musky notes and gives this perfume its unisex signature and addictive comfort.
I personally love to explore both my masculine and feminine side. For me, androgyny is a feeling and an expression. Unisex scents makes is possible to express how I feel. Not only that, but it is inclusive to multiple personalities and sexualities. Speaking of the importance of being inclusive, the Aesthetik will soon have a unisex essential oil fragrance available for the Fall, so be on the look out for its release! If you want to be one of the few to receive a sample before it drops email her at email@example.com and she will send you one!
I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and learned as much as I have been writingit. Now I am most likely gonna go hunting for my next scent, so until time, BYEEE! Oh! And if you would like to read more in depth about gender neutral scents, check out some of the the links below:
Jelicia Lloyd lives in the middle of Nowhere, Texas, but her mind and creativity are always in tune with exotic places where fashion happens. She is a recent fashion graduate who freelances as a patternmaker and blog writer to further her career in fashion.