While the debate around gender becomes increasingly animated, more and more fragrances are claimed neither especially for men nor especially for women, but to be shared in order to create a common emotion. How did unisex perfume appear and what is it today? Explanations.
The history of unisex perfume
From fragrance for all… to gendered scents
If we travel in time, we realize that the perfume was not always gendered. At the time of the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, men and women used (and abused) animal, floral and aromatic scents that they willingly shared. Louis XIV loved orange blossom while the Queen of Hungary swore only by rosemary! It was at the end of the 19th century that sex invited itself into the codes of perfumery for purely commercial purposes. The romantic and flowery woman then faced the virile man with a clean and woody scent. If the feminine fragrances fall under an aesthetic step, the perfume for man answers a need for cleanliness and freshness. Gentlemen does not perfume himself, he puts on deodorant and smells good naturally!
At that time, the democratization of the synthetic notes also participates in this “sexualization” of perfume. It is from now on possible to create more notes, to bring new nuances to direct the identity of a composition towards the feminine or masculine side. The fragrances for her oscillate between floral and fruity notes, while we reserve the precious woods, leathers or aromatic lavender for men. If the ingredients create the type of perfume, the packaging and communication further promote this perception. Only the eau de Cologne retains its universal and unisex power by addressing everyone.
The appearance of unisex perfume
In the midst of the boom in modern perfumery, in 1889 the House of Guerlain launched a creation with a mysterious name: Jicky. Jicky was the name of Aimé Guerlain’s childhood girlfriend, but also the diminutive of his nephew, Jacques. This complex fragrance features an oriental and spicy scent with vanilla, lavender but also precious woods. Created for women, this perfume will first convince men to finally conquer women’s noses. It is still considered today as the first unisex perfume. Other inspired creators will try to follow the path of universality, but the stereotypes are still present.
Slowly, the androgynous trend is gaining ground in the industry of fashion before conquering the world of perfumery. From the boyish silhouette to the pantsuit at Yves Saint Laurent, women are claiming their freedom of expression. It is during the 90s that unisex perfume will really make its revolution. With CK One, launched by Calvin Klein in 1995, the perfume was aimed at a younger generation with strong ideals. A sober bottle, fresh juice and black and white communication are part of this new trend. This success will mark a turning point and will make unisex perfume more widely available. Subsequently, a large majority of the perfume houses will offer their own version of the olfactory diversity.
Why wear a unisex perfume?
Today, hygiene and beauty are no longer synonymous with femininity and virility, but simply with well-being. In cosmetics as in perfumery, the bottles are becoming minimalist and the scents more neutral. On the fragrance side, a unisex perfume is generally built around fresh and invigorating scents, green and citrus notes that combine with the power of amber, musk or precious woods. Between strength and softness, these compositions are both subtle and surprising. Wearing a unisex perfume is therefore a really good idea if you are looking for an original essence that you can even share with your partner!
The unisex perfumes of Carrément Belle
Our mantra at Carrément Belle hasn’t changed for over 30 years: if you like a perfume, it’s made for you! As we explained here, perfume has no sex and that’s why we advocate subjectivity in terms of smell! By the way, did you know that if the rose is considered feminine in Europe, it is widely worn by men in the Middle East? Our fragrances can be adopted by all noses, but here are a few compositions that blur the gender codes.
Enkor: the aromatic with strong character
The eau de parfum enkor starts on a fresh opening with green, aromatic and citrus shades. Then, its middle notes of light flowers and its warm and woody base reveal a wake of character. Combining freshness and power, this composition envelops the nostrils with a surprisingly vitaminized olfactory sensation.
Musc : sensual and wild
White musk has a singular scent reminiscent of skin, with its animal side and a touch of powdery softness. Combined with the freshness of floral and fruity notes, the eau de parfum musc spreads a sensual and wild scent with an amber wake. A real olfactory program to discover with your better half!
Dare and take the plunge with alõ
With alõ you will dive into the deep end of unisex perfume! Its marine and citrusy wake will make all skins shiver. This mesmerizing formula blends the freshness of a marine accord and citrus notes, with the power of spices and gin, in a festive cocktail, to finally vanish in a warm and soothing base thanks to vetiver.
Are you a fan of unisex perfume?
Discover the fragrances mentioned in the article