With the rise of niche perfumery brands started to wash away the idea of masculine and feminine fragrances. The idea was to create conceptual fragrances that told stories – tales that could be enjoyed and worn by anyone regardless of gender. This movement trickled down into the mainstream world, which had flirted with the idea for decades before fully embracing it in the 1990s. Technically, any fragrance is unisex, it all just depends if the wearer is brave enough to rock it and that should be the one and only criteria for a scent – does it smell good to you? Excellent! Wear the heck out of it then!
I’ve talked about unisex fragrances a lot on the Escentual Beauty Blog but this week I wanted to draw your attention to three scents that approach the genre from a unique perspective – perfumes that don’t tread the conventional path. Each is wearable by men and women, and has an unusual facet that makes for a most interesting wear. They range from delightful sips of mandarin tea, to chilly grey forests and summer walks, but all of them are easy to wear no matter what your olfactory preferences are!
L’Ile au Thé is a unique unisex fragrance because unlike many shared fragrances, it comes in both a masculine and feminine guise. That’s right, you can get this one in Annick Goutal’s iconic masculine and feminine bottles, dependent on your preference. The fragrance tackles the familiar note of green tea, presenting it in a hyper-photorealistic guise – so much so, in fact, that one finds themselves wanting to give it a cursory sip (not recommended). L’Ile au Thé is surprisingly fruity, what with its mandarin top note and osmanthus at the heart, which gives a delightful apricot jam feel, all of which is place a top a soft breeze of musk. L’Ile au Thé is a refreshing, contemplative fragrance that is just as calming as a fresh brew. Blissful.
Serge Lutens L’Eau Froide
Out of all of the unisex fragrances out there, Serge Lutens’ L’Eau Froide is one of my all time favourites. I love it for its odd take on freshness and because it avoids the aquatic, ozonic clichés that so often get lumped together in both fresh and unisex perfumery. Like all things Lutens, L’Eau Froide is an abstract scent that is evocative of so much in reality, but presents these elements together as something entirely new. L’Eau Froide places the bracing quality of mint next to the aromatic tones of cardamom and rosemary, all of which sits against a backdrop of ice cold frankincense. L’Eau Froide smells cold, grey and barren, like a landscape of bare, spiky trees in the dead of winter. It’s a fragrance that suits both men and women because it speaks of emotions felt by all people – feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Shantung makes for an interesting unisex scent because its notes, which focus on juicy fruits and colourful flowers, are usually more prominent in the realms of feminine perfumery. But why should the girls have all the fun, eh? Us boys can enjoy the fruits and flowers too, especially if they smell as good together as they do in Shantung! This fragrance, which takes inspiration from the silk fabric of the same name, is a beautifully sunny blend that speaks entirely in vivid colours. It boasts a pink rose note accented by juicy blackcurrant, a white floral bouquet and lots of fizzy laundry musks. Wearing Shantung is like taking a breezy afternoon stroll in the height of summer. It’s a fragrance of nature, peace and joy, and it smells gorgeous!
Over to You!
What’s your favourite unisex fragrance? Let me know in the comments box below!