I stridently resist the notion that fragrance is gendered. Perfume is such a very personal experience, a ritual that must suit one’s own taste and work well with one’s chemistry. There’s lots and lots of debate on the topic of personal chemistry and whether it makes any difference to how a perfume ‘works’ or not. I don’t know the science on that, but my very boysy husband wears the hell out of rose and jasmine and makes all woody scents smell like floor cleaning agents. Zeeba is his precious. Our son prefers woody scents, and can’t bear the smell of roses, yet Ritual (tuberose, pink lotus and tobacco) sings for him like no other.

The multi-million dollar marketing strategies used to sell fragrances to men and women have relied on the fast-fashion styles that come and go in the blink of an eye. Such ‘ephemerality’ comforts the industry with a steady stream of renewed patronage every time they launch another product… because it’s all the rage, so hot, on-fleek, on trend, in vogue, hot dang and wotever wotever wotever!

Thirty five years ago, masculine fragrances were so butch and blokey. Giant moustaches sprouted on most men and the chiropractic industry boomed from all the necks gone awry from so much heavy gold bling dangling on chests so hairy they burst buttons right off shirts. Disco was de rigueur. Tattoos were few and far between and only beatniks or the deeply religious and/or heavily hirsute wore beards.

These days, men wear whatever scents they like and more comfortably allow their sensuality to shine through, regardless of their sexuality or what others think. Bravo.

Historically, the most rose-devoted peacocks in the world were the Arabs. Those gorgeous guys anointed themselves with the rich floralcy of exquisite roses and jasmines, with total style and confidence. It’s not at all about sexuality, it’s about the joi de vivre – the exaltation of life.

Having said all that, I receive many emails from boys all over the world that ask me if I produce ‘Men’s fragrances’? So I thought to simply flag the fragrances in my collection that are unmistakably ‘boysy’, and are least likely to cause a fuss in more fragrance-conservative situations.

AROMATICSEnergique and Eau Naturel.

EAU DE TOILETTESEarl Grey and Gondwana.

EAU DE PARFUMSBotticelli, Lyonesse, Rococo, Tallemaja are all excellent fragrances suited to men who like men’s fragrances. In addition (just resting from the website until I’ve finished overhauling the seasonal display) – Artemis, Black Spruce, and two new fragrances Bulgakov and Musk Batavia. (coming along any day now)

OIL PARFUMSBatavia, Incense, Labyrinth. (A few other ‘masculines’ currently resting are Hussar, Byzantium, Pagan and Free Spirit).

LUSSO COLLECTIONAntarctica, Embers, Mokaya, Ritual and Zeeba.

Many other fragrances listed within the fragrance categories on my website are worn beautifully by men, but those listed above are simply the most typical of the genre most people are accustomed to smelling on men.

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