Can Women Wear Men's Perfume?

When it comes to the perfect spritz of perfume, there are often clear scents that women sway towards and vice versa for men. In recent years, as gender norms continue to be deconstructed, we have seen a wave of women opting to choose a men's perfume or aftershave as their daily scent of choice. So, can women wear men's perfume? Does gender matter when it comes to perfume? 


Breaking Tradition: Can Women Wear Men's Perfume?

Asking, 'Can women wear men's perfume?' isn't groundbreaking, although it may throw a few Twitter (X) Karens into hysteria. There is nothing stopping women from opting to wear a men's perfume or aftershave; in fact, there's a lot to unpack regarding the different scents.

Both men's and women's perfumes frequently see a crossover of the typical base notes.  Citrus, oceanic, earthy and floral notes can be found across both feminine scents and masculine fragrances, with the formulas emphasising some particular scents targeted toward a gender.

Men's fragrances are often earthy, woody, and spicier, while more floral, fruity scents fuel women's perfumes. 

However, women's and men's skin can sometimes react differently to scents. A woman's skin may pick up notes within a man's fragrance that lingers on her skin and becomes lighter than it would on a man's skin and vice versa. 

This means that wearing a man's scent on your body as a woman can be a completely different experience, and how it smells on you could take you by complete surprise. So, giving a cologne a go instead of a typical women’s perfume might be worth it. 

Let's be honest; it's just a label, just a subcategory; as a woman, you shouldn't shy away from strong, earthy, more masculine scents just because they're typically marketed towards a man. 

How many things in life have we seen that have been exclusively available to one gender, and when gender neutralised have become just as successful? Sports? Types of clothing? Makeup?

The world has seen so many gender-specific things become available to men and women at no judgment, and it's time that perfume followed suit. 

To learn more about why women wear perfume, see our latest blog post 'Beyond Smelling Good: Why Do Women Wear Perfume'.

Image of a man holding a perfume from The Essence Vault, can women wear men's perfume? The essence vault

Gender vs. Just Smelling Good

As time goes by and the world becomes more progressive, we are seeing gender norms being busted wide open by high-profile celebrities like Harry Styles, and unisex fragrances are on the rise through Fortitude Eau De Parfum and Grape Pearls Eau De Parfum.

Well-known perfumer Mathilde Laurent once said: "A perfume should never be reserved for one sex because smells have no sex." A lot of the confusion when it comes to gender and perfume is fuelled by subliminal messaging and what we are exposed to both in stores, through advertising and societal stereotypes.

Traditional messaging around perfume has been and will continue to be laced with gender stereotypes. A woman's perfume typically should be pretty and floral, in perfume bottles with gentle curves using feminine names like ‘Daisy’. 

Men's fragrances, on the other hand, are infused with smoky leather ingredients and use stronger, more dominant names such as 'Sauvage' and 'Le Male'. 'Feminine' types of fragrance are dainty in name and design, with a man's fragrance emulsifying a strong, mysterious design - it's typical, isn't it?

So no, gender doesn't matter when it comes to perfume, and the most important advice The Essence Vault can offer is to ignore the looks of the bottle or the packaging and the models on the advertising boards and inhale. 

Lead through the nose, not the eyes on this one, and ask yourself, what do I want to smell of? Which of these perfumes do I believe fits me the best? 

If you are concerned about how your perfume or cologne looks visually, remember our range of designer-inspired perfumes is delivered in sleek, identical, transparent glass bottles where the only differences are the labels, which are simply black or white.

Don’t go for gender in perfume; go for smelling good.

If feminine fragrances of floral scents aren't your cup of tea, or even a man's spicy scent doesn't tickle your fancy, consider a unisex fragrance. Scent has no gender, so find your favourite fragrance, be you, wear you and feel good about it - no matter what.

woman holding two perfumes from The Essence Vault, can women wear men's perfume? The Essence Vault

Breaking News: They’re Basically The Same

Both men’s cologne and women’s perfumes share similar base tones. There is no difference between women's and men's perfumes; both are things we spray on to smell appealing to ourselves and others. 

A long-standing conspiracy theory, however, is that women's perfume does not last as long as men's perfume, and there is, in fact, some science behind this. Men's perfume is made up of heavier base notes/musks, so they take much longer to evaporate off one's skin; however, women's, whilst infused by lighter notes, tend to evaporate quicker. 

On a financial note, men's perfumes, on average, tend to be about 6p less per ml when compared to scents for women.


Our Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts are to wear what you feel comfortable wearing. Perfume has no boundaries and is a 100% personal choice based on individual preference. It's important to remember that fragrance is a form of self-expression, and you should feel free to wear whatever scent makes you feel confident and comfortable, regardless of gender labelling or stereotypes.

The Essence Vault creates long-lasting perfumes inspired by designer fragrances at an affordable price; see our luxury range of women's perfumes and find your perfect match today. Happy spritzing!

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