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The Future of Fragrance is Unisex

With genderless fragrance products becoming more popular, the world of scent is catching up with the forward-thinking fashion industry.

3 min read

With every passing year, we step towards a more fluid, free and expressive future. In the worlds of popular culture, fashion and art, we have collectively taken huge leaps away from gendered concepts. Instead, the emphasis is placed on unique self-expression. So many incredible new designs and innovative ideas have evolved out of this freedom.

The world of fragrance is no different.

Fragrance products have historically been extremely gendered. With unisex fragrance products experiencing a surge in popularity, the world of scent seems to be catching up with the forward-thinking fashion industry.

Gender in the fragrance world

Fragrance is a form of self-expression and an extension of a person’s unique personality.

Throughout history, scent products have fallen into two traditional categories – feminine and masculine. These can still be seen in most retailers to this day.

Feminine fragrances often reflect the stereotype of a woman’s personality – delicate, sweet and light. They mostly fall in the Floral or Oriental fragrance families, with flowery, sugary and citrusy notes. These traditional feminine fragrance products are stereotypically powdery and saccharine.

On the other hand, masculine fragrances epitomise everything overtly ‘manly’ in the world of scent – think leather, mahogany, tobacco and pine. These musky, strong and rich fragrances are often too overpowering to be worn as a light fresh daytime scent.

These gendered concepts even dictate the product design. From bottle shapes to brand colour palettes and names, the line between feminine and masculine products is firm and unwavering. This even extends to home fragrance, too.

Shifting away from constraints

In 1994, there was a huge step away from these strict categories.

Calvin Klein released a unisex fragrance: CK One. Crafted by Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont, the unique fragrance quickly became a best-seller. Although it was not the first unisex fragrance to be released, it was the first to gain traction and popularity in the United States. Over 14 years after its release, sales of the fragrance were still reaching around $ 30 million every year.

The fragrance combined previously gendered notes together, to create something entirely new. It incorporated citrus notes with cardamom, nutmeg, jasmine, rose, sandalwood and cedar. CK One blends light fruity botanicals with deep, rich notes to create a harmonious unisex scent.

After CK One’s success, unisex fragrances have continued to defy stereotypes and grow in popularity.

Freedom and self-expression

Our homes, our clothing and our bodies are all deeply personal to us as individuals.

This shift towards a unisex scent is important. It is inclusive and allows for more self-expression – which is exactly what fragrance is all about. Generally, we gravitate towards fragrances that we truly love and feel reflect us, rather than purchasing products simply because they lie within gender norms.

Our fragrance collections are all unisex, blending a variety of botanicals harmoniously to create unique atmospheres.

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