Unisex fragrances: what you need to know

May 12th, 2023 9:37 AM

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Unisex fragrances have been around since the early 1990s. However, it's taken a while for gender-neutral scents to put a sizable dent in the market.

Only a decade ago, the unisex fragrance market was worth £26 million in Great Britain. By 2021, the value had soared to
more than £58 million. While nothing is stopping you from wearing any scent of your choosing, the rise in unisex fragrance provides a more unique array of scents that are well worth exploring.

What makes a good unisex fragrance?

There's a reason why brands like Escentric Molecules have become so popular recently. As the name suggests, unisex fragrances are designed to be gender-neutral, meaning you won't find aromas saddled with the same signatures found in men's and women's fragrances. They're formulated to smell great on anyone who's wearing them. What's more, they have broad appeal.

Key characteristics

Don't assume that gender-neutral perfumes are lacking in character. In fact, the best ones are incredibly complex.

Molecule 01 makes an instant impression with its musk, cedar and sandalwood notes. While some of these ingredients are typically associated with masculine characteristics, they're a low-key presence here.

If you're looking for something that's better suited to summer, seek out a fragrance that's rich in citrus notes. Lemon, apple and grassy notes are commonly used in male and female fragrances, making them an effective choice for non-specific scents.

If you're prepared to spend a little more on a premium product, look for essential oils like neroli. Geranium is another high-end ingredient you'll encounter in the gender-neutral category.

Finding a unisex scent that works for you

First time shopping for unisex perfume? If you're someone who comes undone when shopping for a standard signature scent, navigating this emerging market can be difficult. The best advice is to follow your nose.

Product samples let you try before you buy. If you're out and about indulging in a spot of retail therapy, head to your nearest fragrance store to see what's on offer. You can always put together a shortlist of your preferred scents and seek out a better deal online later.

If you're thinking about taking the unisex route, remember that basic fragrance rules apply. The main consideration here is seasonality. In summer, you'll want a lighter scent that's rich in citrus notes. Come the winter, swap out those lemon-infused notes for vanilla, sandalwood and cinnamon.

If you're someone who likes to switch it up throughout the day, you'll need to pay closer attention to formulas. Light and zesty notes work better during the day, while heavier formulas rich in things like patchouli are a good choice for the evening.

Although the unisex fragrance market is going from strength to strength, there are a lot of generic products around.

Many of the cheapest brands are simply too bland to make much of an impression. However, don't confuse blandness with subtlety. In some cases, it is worth selecting two or more gender-neutral fragrances that you can combine. If you like individual elements, layering them together can produce the lingering impact you're looking for.

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