Here at Escentual, we believe that you should wear whatever fragrance you love the most – no matter who it’s marketed towards, what it looks like or what it smells like. Whether you tend to go for fragrances designed for women, marketed at men, mix or match, or opt solely for gender-neutral fragrances, you should always be the one who makes that call.
Personally, I tend to opt for women’s fragrances just because I like sweeter scents, which typically fall into that category. But I also love a unisex fragrance too. So, I thought it was about time that I share my top five gender-neutral fragrance recommendations, which really do appeal to all genders (even my sweet-tooth-self would wear all five).
But before I dive in, I’d like to answer a few common questions that arise when we’re thinking about gender-neutral perfumes (AKA unisex fragrances).
Unisex Fragrance FAQs
What is unisex perfume? Unisex perfumes or gender-free fragrances are designed to appeal to and be worn by all genders.
Why are perfumes gendered? Perfume has been categorised as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ ever since it was first commercialised. Historically, this has been based on gender stereotypes e.g. women’s fragrances are typically sweeter and more floral, whereas men’s fragrances are typically deeper and more woody/earthy.
Can perfumes be unisex? Absolutely! There’s nothing intrinsically ‘gendered’ about fragrance – it’s just that the beauty industry typically associates certain types of scents with men or women, but ultimately, you can – and should – wear whatever you like. That said, there are now a wide range of fragrances that are marketed as gender-neutral too. We have the 1994 CK One scent to thank for this – it was the first unisex fragrance to really take off.
What are the benefits of unisex fragrance? To start with, gender-neutral perfumes are more inclusive; they don’t adhere to gender stereotypes and encourage you to choose a fragrance solely based on your own scent preferences. There are a few other hidden benefits too – for example, gender-free fragrances tend to have more universal appeal and be inoffensive, meaning that they match a range of moods, occasions and seasons. Plus, Team Escentual members love to share the same scent with their opposite-sex partners (it’ll likely smell slightly different on your both, and it’s also pretty handy for trips away when you want to streamline your holdall).
And then, finally, there’s the question: which is the best unisex perfume? Well, that’s a pretty tricky one to answer. But I’ve picked five of my personal favourite gender-neutral scents that I think you’ll love – whether you want to share them with a partner, or keep them all to yourself (I totally won’t judge either way…)
1. The Cool New Signature
D by Diesel is a 2022 launch, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it deserves to be on my best unisex fragrance list. When D by Diesel first dropped at Escentual, it did the rounds in the office and everyone agreed that it’s definitely a unisex fragrance – everyone loved it.
It starts out with a hot and spicy slice of ginger, lifted by a bright, citrus-green touch of bergamot. But the heart is where D by Diesel really shines. It hits you with a wave of freshness, thanks to a unique denim cotton accord that draws on Diesel’s fashion heritage. You’ll also find a universally appealing, ever-soothing lavender note in the heart too. As the fragrance settles on your skin, it warms into a vanilla bourbon accord and blend of ambery woods, resulting in a cosy, comforting and still sensual scent that never feels overwhelmingly sweet.
Another thing I love about the D by Diesel fragrance? Its design. Not only is it refillable, but it also fits snuggly in your hand as you grip hold of it. This feels perfectly in fitting with its theme; it’s been created to be as universal and inclusive as a pair of jeans.
2. The Scent For G&T Fans
Gin is no longer seen as mother’s ruin. These days, everyone and anyone (who’s old enough) loves a good G&T. And Atkinsons Mint & Tonic has as much universal appeal as the nation’s favourite tipple.
Although the name instantly reminds you of Gin & Tonic, to me, Mint & Tonic is a hybrid cocktail: it’s half G&T, half mojito. To start, it takes a generous handful of cool green mint and pairs it with tangy lime and grapefruit for a sparkly, buzzy citrus tone. The sippable scent warms into a spicy ginger, geranium and honeyed mandarin heart before settling into a woody, earthy base of cedarwood, musk and vetiver. The result? A scent that should come with a warning: do not drink me.
Held in a clear glass bottle, the Mint & Tonic fragrance will definitely appeal to all genders. Plus, its inoffensive design can slide right into anyone’s personal fragrance collection – no matter whether you tend to go for men’s fragrances, women’s fragrances, all gender fragrances or a mix.
3. The Green Fragrance For Layering
Salvatore Ferragamo’s Storie de Seta is an entirely unisex fragrance collection. In fact, each versatile scent has been created with layering in mind, so you can mix and match them to create your very own fragrance layering combination. Or, you can wear each scent on their own – trust me, they’re all dreamy enough to wear alone.
As its breathtaking, swirling silk-inspired bottle suggests, Giungle di Seta is by far the greenest scent in the Storie de Seta collection. It opens with a light, crisp green pea facet before adding a delicate touch of peony, which never feels too sweet or feminine. The star note has to be Salvatore Ferragamo’s exclusive Filo di Seta accord – you’ll find this note across all of the Storie de Seta fragrances; it ties them together. But what does the Filo di Seta accord smell like? Made using 62.2% renewable and 99.1% biodegradable ingredients, it blends Lilybelle® – a note created using orange peel via a sustainable extraction process – and Timut pepper for a spicy-fruity edge. Finally, sensual musk warms on the skin as the base of the fragrance is revealed.
4. The Deliciously Nutty Aroma
Les Infusions de Prada Amande is the type of fragrance that proves that powdery-floral scents can appeal to all genders. The scent kicks off with an unexpected blend of notes. It’s got the unique nutty side of bitter almond, creamy sweet heliotrope, lifted by a juicy honeyed squeeze of mandarin to refresh the fragrance. As the scent settles on your skin, it takes on a sweet, soft side, thanks to the likes of vanillery tonka bean and musk, warmed through and intensified by softly spiced star anise.
Of course, the cool pale blue bottle will please all genders and will easily slide into any personal fragrance collection.
5. The Luxuriously Spiced Signature
The most luxurious fragrance in my line-up of gender-neutral fragrances, you definitely could share The House of Oud Golden Powder with your partner, but the chances are you’re going to want to keep it all to yourself – just look at it! Held in a glistening gold THOO ‘egg’ that looks like cracked sand in a desert plain, the Golden Powder fragrance sits on top of a premium gold base that doubles as the cap. The best bit about the bottle has to be the fact that each bottle is entirely unique – the one you get will be slightly different to the one we’ve photographed.
Part of the Desert Day Collection by THOO – an entirely unisex perfume brand – the Golden Powder fragrance is just as captivating as the bottle, and definitely ties into the idea of ‘hot desert sands’. It starts off with a warm, sweetly spiced blend of cinnamon and nutmeg. The heart of fragrance reveals a rich, luxurious blend of precious woods, including a milky sandalwood note. As the scent settles, it unleashes a warm, ambery base powered by the likes of musk, vanilla, tobacco blossom and oud. It definitely appeals to all genders – as long as you’re a fan of spicy scents!