Is it OK for men to wear women's fragrances?

Some women's fragrances smell great on men.
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Of course there's no crime in a man wearing women's perfume -- just as there's no crime in a woman wearing slacks rather than skirts. And truth be told, you might be surprised how much women's and men's fragrances ultimately have in common, despite the fact that marketers create very distinct feminine or masculine packaging and advertising for their products in order to attract one or the other gender of customers.

Women's scents are often described as sweet, fruity or floral, while men's scents are often conveyed as woodsy, green and leathery. But in reality, all perfumes are simply chemical concoctions, and men's and women's fragrance blends contain many of the same ingredients. While floral and citrus are considered feminine scents, most men's fragrances contain some level of both of those components, too. And many scents marketed to mature women contain the musky, spicy scents we often associate with men's cologne.


The spectrum of fragrance compositions is vast, so it stands to reason that a number of fragrances strike a middle ground, attracting both genders. If women try enough men's fragrances, and if men try enough women's fragrances, we'll all eventually begin to associate plenty of scents with both genders. In fact, when marketers discover that a women's perfume or a men's cologne has become popular with the opposite gender, it's not uncommon for the company to repackage the fragrance and call it "unisex."

Men shouldn't be wary of floral and citrus scents; their current men's cologne likely contains lavender and bergamot anyway. Also, scents smell different on each individual person based on body chemistry. Wear what smells good to you and don't worry about the packaging.


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  • Perfume Fairy. "His and Hers Fragrances – Are we really that different?" (Aug. 29, 2012)
  • La Parfumerie. "Fragrance Families." (Aug. 31, 2012)
  • The Perfumed Court. "Fragrance Families." (Aug. 25, 2012)