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Two For One: His & Her Fragrances That Are Actually Quite Good

Go beyond the boyfriend shirt, boyfriend jean, boyfriend watch and dive straight into the boyfriend fragrance. So economical.

Yves Saint Laurent once said that “a woman dressed as a man must be at the height of her femininity to fight a costume that isn’t hers”. We’ve established that through the beautiful and painfully chic Betty Catroux, Lauren Hutton and Bianca Jagger who were all serial suit wearers. Womenswear borrows from the boys all the time because (1) mo clothes, mo better and (2) menswear-inspired codes have that potential to be so sexy on a woman without being overtly so. That is truly something.

But why stick to just dress codes? Why not steal, say, stuff from their grooming kit and let them steal from yours? Foundations, BB cushions, concealers, but specifically fragrances. It is the easiest to steal, the best way to go out of your fragrance comfort zone and totes economical. I mean, one bottle for two? Moolah saved.

The latest men’s fragrance on our radar is Loewe 001 Man, a soothing blend of bergamot, mandarin, cardamom, woods, carrot seed, violet and patchouli. This is slightly surprising, but we actually like 001 Man more than its “feminine” counterpart, Loewe 001 Woman. There’s something so creamy about it even though the latter is the one with vanilla. (That said, they were created to be mixed so that the wearer gets something in-between.)

Bleu de Chanel is another cult-favourite men’s fragrance that women love. It is dark and velvety, yet fresh with hints of jasmine and citrus to balance things out so it doesn’t overpower the nose. If you do find it too “masculine”, consider spritzing in some refined florals or good old vanilla.

Now, the unisex fragrances. The intentional two-in-ones. Dior’s La Collection Privée technically comprises fragrances for both women and men, but I’ve been told by the brand’s fragrance consultants that the line is generally unisex. For example, I spotted Gris Montaigne  which is very loosely adapted from Miss Dior and one of my favourite fragrances ever – on the menswear floor of Dior’s flagship boutique in Seoul. Apparently, Gris Montaigne, a mix of bergamot, rose and moss, is quite a hit among the lads.

Replica Jazz Club by Maison Margiela is another interesting one. Inspired by an old world jazz club (durhhh) the boozy scent contains main notes of pepper, rum absolute and tobacco leaves – but there’s also strong trace of vanilla bean. It is technically – officially the word of the day – a men’s fragrance, but it could totally work on the cool French girl types. For something a little fresher and “neutral”, try Lazy Sunday Morning. (Byredo’s Blanche also has a similar vibe.)

Ultimately, it really boils down to the type of notes your nose prefers, because scents, as many perfumers will tell you, are genderless. So, two for one. Think about it.

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