Can a Woman Wear Men’s Perfume? Here’s the Truth!

How often have you come across a scent that you love but it is meant for the opposite sex! Let me guess – quite often, right? It is not uncommon for men or women to desire the perfume that is meant for the opposite sex? And, that’s for a good reason!

Women can wear perfume meant for men. Fragrances are designed such that they attract the opposite sex. Thus, women often love the woody and leathery notes present in men’s perfume. However, if the objective of a woman to wear perfume is to woo men, using men’s perfume is not advisable.

Certain notes used in perfume appeal to a particular gender type. Therefore men and women react differently to perfumes based on the notes used in that perfume.

In fact, fragrances are created such that when men use fragrances designed for them, it makes them more desirable to women. As mentioned above, the woody, leathery, and earthy scents in a men’s perfume are often the type of notes that women love! So, it is quite natural for women to like men’s fragrances.

What is the Difference between Men’s and Women’s Perfume?

Generally speaking, the major difference between men’s and women’s perfume is the type of notes used in the perfume. Women’s perfume usually contain fruity, floral notes that men find attractive. Whereas, men’s scents typically contain earthy, leathery, or woody notes that women like.

Apart from the notes, perhaps the only other difference between men’s and women’s perfume would be the way a perfume is branded, advertised, and marketed to the audience!

When brands bring out men’s perfume to the market, they typically choose to go with a very manly advertisement that usually portrays a desirable man (mostly involves a famous actor or a model). This is done for an obvious reason i.e. to lure or convince men to buy that perfume.

The same goes for a women’s perfume.

How to Tell if a Perfume is for a Man or a Woman?

When you are buying a perfume, usually you want to be sure that you are purchasing a perfume that is meant for your gender type. Occasionally, people may also want to buy a perfume that is meant for the opposite gender!

Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand how to differentiate between a perfume meant for a man or a woman!

Here are a few ways for you to tell if a perfume is meant for a man or woman –

1. Notes Present in the Perfume

One obvious method is to look at the notes present in the perfume. A simple search on Google will reveal the details of the perfume notes used in a particular fragrance. As mentioned above, women’s perfumes usually contain fruity and floral notes. Thus, if you see a lot of lavender, rose, orange, berries, or other fruits and floral notes in the fragrance, it is likely to be a perfume meant for women.

Likewise, if you see notes like cedarwood, sandalwood, musk, leather, tobacco, or other earthy notes, the fragrance is more likely to be meant for men!

However, this is not a sure-shot method as there are notes that are common to fragrances for both women and men for eg. citrus (though mostly used for men, it is sometimes also found in women’s perfume).

2. Perfume Type

Another thing to look out for is to check the type of fragrance. If it says “Cologne”, it is most likely meant for men.

In the USA, “Cologne” is often a term confused for men’s perfume. Although a Cologne is designed mostly for men, what’s really interesting is that other types of fragrances (such as Eau de Toilette) that are meant for men are also referred to as Cologne!

However, in reality, Cologne stands for Eau de Cologne which is just another type of perfume like Eau de Toilette, or Eau de Parfum.

That said, an Eau de Cologne is usually a perfume meant for men. So, if you are looking for a men’s perfume, a cologne is definitely a great place to start!

3. Perfume Name on the Label

Using the previous method, you can not identify whether a perfume is meant for men or women if it is not a Cologne!

If you are interested in an Eau de Toilette (EDT) or Eau de Parfum (EDP) and want to know if it is designed for men or women, the best way to determine that is to look closely at the packaging label.

If the perfume name uses the word “Femme”, it is meant for women. Likewise, if the perfume name instead uses the word “Homme”, then that perfume is designed for men.

Sometimes, the EDT or EDP versions of the perfume may not contain either of the two words. In that case, it is best to ask someone at the store if you are purchasing the perfume over the counter. If you are purchasing the perfume online, make sure to click on the description and read the details or the FAQ section of the product carefully.

In some cases, the perfume may be unisex and may not mention specifically anything about the gender it is meant for.

Can Men Wear Women’s Perfume?

It is a common notion amongst some people that wearing women’s perfume shall help them become more attractive to women. After all, women choose the perfume they wear perhaps because they like it, right? Wrong!

Men can wear women’s perfume. In fact, the fruity and floral notes in the women’s perfume are added to entice men. However, women’s fragrances are designed to make women more attractive to men and not the other way around!

There is no doubt that perfumes can create a positive impression on the opposite gender! In fact, a study was designed to examine the impact of pleasant scent from a perfume during interpersonal interactions.

The research concluded that “presence of pleasant scent increased attraction towards the participants and produced positive shifts in perception!” (Source – Baron, R. A. (1981) ‘Olfaction and Human Social Behavior: Effects of a Pleasant Scent on Attraction and Social Perception’, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 7(4), pp. 611–616. doi: 10.1177/014616728174016.)

So basically, there is nothing wrong in wearing a perfume that is not meant for your gender. And, in case you are wondering, it is not considered weird at all! Just, don’t expect it to seduce the opposite sex and win them over!

Unisex Perfume – How Does That Work?

You may wonder – if certain notes are used to attract women and other notes are used to attract men, then how do unisex perfumes work?

Unisex perfumes are fragrances that are gender neutral. Unisex perfumes either use gender neutral notes that belong to Fougère scent family or use notes that appeal to both men and women thus making it relevant for both the genders.

For instance, if we consider the unisex perfume CK One, it contains over 20 scents in a mix of citrus, fruity, floral, and woody notes. This makes the perfume relevant to both men and women.

On the other hand, Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdijan contains only 6 scents and most of these scents are classified as gender-neutral notes.

If you are looking to buy a unisex perfume, both CK One and Baccarat Rouge 540 are great fragrances to consider. Baccarat Rouge is on the expensive side as it contains Ambergris. However, it has an amazing performance and lasts really long!

Another great option for unisex perfume is Tom Ford’s Fougere D’argent. It also has an amazing performance and it lasts really long! It is a unisex perfume and worth every dime! However, if you are looking for an affordable unisex perfume option, CK One (mentioned above) and Gucci Memoire Dune Odeur are both great perfumes that I recommend!

Purists of the fragrance industry argue that all perfumes can be unisex. Meaning, if we remove the tag of the gender from a particular fragrance, it can arguably be used for any gender. In fact, traditionally most perfumes were indeed unisex!

Is Eau de Parfum for Man or Woman?

Eau de Parfum signifies the concentration of fragrance oil used in the perfume. It is difficult to identify if a perfume is for a man or a woman simply based on whether it is Eau de Parfum or not. A better way to identify whether a perfume is for a man or a woman is to check the notes used in making the perfume!

As mentioned in the article above, a perfume that is designed for women will contain notes that will attract men. These notes usually include fruity or floral scents.

Likewise, a perfume that is created for me actually contain scents that women find attractive! These scents include woody, leathery, and earthy notes.

Eau de Parfum is only a type of perfume just like Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, and Parfum. These nomenclatures are put on a perfume to indicate the concentration of perfume oil used while making the fragrance.

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  4. Is Perfume a Good Gift? [With Options for Every Occasion!]
  5. Does Perfume Stain Your Clothes? [With Tips to Avoid the Stains!]
  6. 13 Reasons Why Your Perfume Fades So Quickly!

Credit to THOR GARLAN (on Pexels) for the Featured Image of this Article

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