Of all the products in the beauty space, I think fragrance is probably the most personal. Scent is so evocative that just catching a trace of a stranger’s perfume as they pass you in the street can be enough to transport you back to a long-forgotten moment or evoke the memory of a special time or place.
And the fact that it’s so very personal means that I have long been baffled by the constraints that we seem to have accepted as standard when it comes to experimenting with perfumes. Whether it’s florals described as innately feminine scents or leathery, woodsy notes assumed only to appeal to men, there is no doubt that the perfume industry has taken a fairly cliched approach to perfume for some time.
But that all seems to be changing. Whilst fragrance is innately genderless and the notes that appeal to us have as little to do with us being “female” or “male” as our favourite colour does, there is a fresh wave of perfumers and fragrance houses rejecting the notion of gender-based perfumes entirely. Enter: the era of genderless fragrances.