Finding a fragrance is hard enough, without being limited to different fragrance categories. For those who don’t like traditionally feminine florals or masculine spices, ignoring fragrance categories can sometimes work better. Luckily, there is increasing industry attention on fragrances that are designed to be worn by men, women, and those who identify as neither. As well as fragrances that are designed to be unisex, I have also chosen a few fragrances made for either men or women that I think are more neutral and for everyone.
The Calvin Klein brand has several Unisex fragrances, but their most popular is without a doubt CK One. This fragrance bursts with citrus and is lemony fresh and long-lasting. While the base and middle notes feature cedar, sandalwood, amber, musk, and jasmine, nutmeg, rose, orris and lily of the valley respectively, the top notes of lemon, greenery, bergamot, orange, and a touch of pineapple are the stars of the show. This is a neutral and clean fragrance, suitable for everyone. Alongside One, CK recently released All, another unisex fragrance. Like One, All is a fresh fragrance but focuses more on soft floral and amber scents than that citrus spark. The base of amber, musk and vetiver and the middle notes of gentle jasmine, rhubarb and freesia compliment the top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and grapefruit blossom to create a fragrance that is scented and intriguing while remaining gender-neutral.
The same can be said for Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather. This perfume has a unique scent, with deep leather notes besides fruits and spices. The perfume starts with a firm base of leather, suedes, amber and woods, giving this perfume an earthy, rich, and powdery scent. This is built with the middle notes of resinous olibanum and deep jasmine, before being sweetened with the top notes of fruity raspberry and herbaceous thyme and saffron. Unlike many unisex fragrances, this perfume is not a clean or fresh fragrance, but a smoky-sweet leather concoction that intrigues no matter who wears it.
Similar can be said for Gucci Oud, a wood-based fragrance that is intricately layered so that anyone can feel comfortable wearing it. As the name suggests, the star note of this fragrance is the base note of Oud wood, which is combined with patchouli, amber and musk for the base of this fragrance. From there, the perfume is built with strong mid-notes of dusky rose and light orange blossom, finished with vibrant top notes of pear, raspberry and saffron. This perfume is predominantly focused on the oud and rose notes, but dries down with fruity, sweet and warm scents. The combination of oud and rose makes this fragrance deep and interesting, more interested in making a statement than deciding who wears it.
Our final unisex fragrance is 4711 Original Eau De Cologne by Mulhens. One of the oldest fragrances still in production, being made in Germany since 1792, this perfume started as a health elixir before its scent became its main draw. It is a simple perfume that still consists of its original seven ingredients: orange, lemon, bergamot, rosemary, lavender, petitgrain and neroli. Like many other Unisex fragrances, it is a fresh and clean fragrance, but the added herbaceous notes of rosemary and lavender add a touch of unique depth that help keep this fragrance so popular.
While these are all of the specifically unisex fragrances I will be putting on this list, I wanted to include a couple of gendered fragrances that I think can be worn by anyone. I start this part of the list with the ever-popular Versace Pour Homme. Like many of the fragrances above, this is a fresh and clean fragrance, predominantly citrus, aromatic and a touch green, created with prominent top notes of lemon, bergamot, neroli and gentle rose. This is built with middle notes of cedar, hyacinth, sage and geranium, adding a touch of depth and herbs to this fresh and clean scent. The base notes of tonka bean, musk and amber are incredibly light, only coming out with extended wear. While being labelled a men’s fragrance, the notes create a fragrance that is fresh and ultimately gender-neutral.
It is a little different for Rochas Man, which has more fragrant and varied notes. This perfume has top notes of lavender and bergamot for a smooth and fresh opening, followed by middle notes of raspberry, jasmine, cedar, lily of the valley and fragrant coffee, finished with base notes of amber, sandalwood, patchouli and strong vanilla. This fragrance focuses heavily on coffee and vanilla, making a perfume that is gently sweet and cappuccino-bitter, with touches of woodiness and lavender. While it has less of that universal unisex fresh-clean scent, I believe this fragrance has a little something that will appeal to you, regardless of if it’s a men’s fragrance or not.
The final fragrance on this list is admittedly a little more out there- Black XS for Women by Paco Rabanne. Unlike others on this list, this perfume has a distinctly feminine twist, a modern fruity-floral with touches of wood and spice. This perfume is built from base notes of heady vanilla, patchouli, and massoia wood, middle notes of black violet, rose and cacao with top notes of cranberry, pink pepper, and bittersweet tamarind. It is a deep, mossy-wood fragrance, strong with vanilla, cacao and warmth. Despite its traditionally feminine notes, this perfume’s woody and warm tones add a slightly masculine touch to this fragrance. My time in the CFD retail stores was dotted with occasions where men, from fathers to tradies, coming into the store enthusiastically buying this perfume for themselves, and I couldn’t agree more. The mossy wood and floral tones of this fragrance are not common in men’s perfume, so add something a little extra that can be hard to find. No matter your gender, this perfume is worth a try.
Written by Miranda