Scents with Equal Opportunity Appeal
Only one chromosome, a smattering of hormones and a strong dose of socialization separate the sexes. So it’s no surprise that certain fragrances hit all the right notes for both genders’ noses.
Sure, we’ve all heard the stereotype: women love roses and other florals; men prefer woods, leather and spices. But that cultural cliché tends to reflect a mass-marketing approach to fragrance.
Indeed, perceptions of “feminine” and “masculine” fragrances fail to account for that all important variable, individual taste, which is steeped in our personal experiences and everything else that makes us go “oooh” when the right scent hits our nostrils.
So what makes a great unisex fragrance?
According to Thymes perfumer Stacy Brown, notes that skew fresh, clean and green hit the universal sweet spot. “Crispy clean, outdoorsy fresh, earthy woodsy,” she says. “No real musky or floral overtones.”
The quintessential male fragrance is called a fougère (“foo-JHAI”), which literally means “fernlike.” “That’s the structure of most men’s colognes,” Brown says. “Crispy, fresh top; herbal, aromatic notes in middle; wood and musk dry-down.”
Treat him to true clean, green refreshment.
But as anyone who has ever had a father, brother, boyfriend, husband or son knows, those qualities can be extremely appealing to women as well.
"The whole men's category is built around aromatic notes, spice, woods and citrus," Brown says. "They're clean and not as overtly sensual" as traditionally come-hither Thymes fragrances, such as Goldleaf, Kimono Rose and Moonflower.
Although luxurious florals have earned their place in perfumery, Thymes offers many options for today's more neutral, contemporary palates. "Overall, we try to have a crisp, clear and sparkling feel to our fragrance," Brown says.
A wide array of Thymes collections fills the unisex bill. Bath & Body collections such as Eucalyptus, Lavender, Azur, Agave Nectar, Naia, and Olive Leaf all have male and female devotees.
In the realm of Home Fragrance, Indigenous Blue Lotus and Verbena Bamboo emphasize clean, green, woodsy, aromatic and citrus characteristics.
And then there's fresh, brisk Frasier Fir. "Almost anyone would want to buy that," Brown says, with a knowing giggle.
Know of any other Thymes collections that veer toward the center panel of the bathroom cabinet? Do share!
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