Photo: Drea Chong/Instagram
While that floral scented perfume will always have a special place in our hearts and beauty cabinet, there’s also something to be said about those stronger, spicier notes that oozes passion and charisma – the type of fragrance that are not only attractive to guys but are also worn by them. For years we’ve been programmed to think that delicate floral fragrances are strictly for women while musky woody notes are for men.
However, the truth is there is no such thing as an intrinsically masculine or feminine scent, it’s all a result of years of marketing. Versatile unisex perfumes that don’t fit those stereotypes can smell fresh, interesting and sensual. Plus, if you split it with your significant other, not only are you saving money, it’s also a subtle way for you to show your love for each other. Much better than cheesy matching couples tees, if you ask us. To help you decide on your new (shared scent), here are some of our picks.
Louis Vutton Le Jour Se Leve ($370 for 100ml and $540 for 200ml)
A year-and-a-half ago, French maison Louis Vuitton relaunched its fragrance category with seven different unisex perfumes that were released all at once. These scents are all designed to trace the journey of emotions that you go through when you travel. This year, the fashion house introduced a new perfume, Le Jour Se Leve in March.
Like the rest of the scents in the stellar lineup, Le Jour Se Leve, which translates to daybreak also traces an emotional journal. Thanks to its quiet complexity, the Le Jour Se Leve can be worn by a man or woman. While most brands use lime and lemon extract to add a citrusy punch to their fragrances, the designer brand uses mandarins from Sicily, Italy to create a citrus fragrance with a softer edge that will not be too strong. This seemingly feminine blend of mandarin, Jasmine Sambac, bergamot, magnolia petals, osmanthus, blackcurrent and musk somehow yields a sunny fresh scent that can be worn by anyone.
Diptyque L’Eau des Hesperides ($180 for 100ml)
If getting lost in a smoky, spicy haze isn’t really your thing, you might want to try this fragrance on for size. Nature-loving city slickers will lean towards this scent created by the French luxury goods company. The nose behind the L’Eau des Hesperides is perfumer Olivier Pescheux who was behind the creation of other cult favourites like the Kenzo Homme Eau De Parfum and 1 Million.
Inspired by Greek mythology, where the Hesperides were the nymph guardians of a garden with precious “golden apples”, L’Eau des Hesperides is grassy and green, with subtle hints of musk, cedar and immortelle plant to provide an urban edge.
Hermes Essence de Parfum Cardamusc ($592 for 20ml)
Created six years ago by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, the original ten fragrances - part of its Hermessence collection that features rare and unexpected notes - now has a follow-up. Inspired by a desert, this new fragrance marks the house’s first foray into fragrance oils.
This exotic scent is equal parts spicy and soothing. The cool cascading spice is given added depth by the decision to contrast its warm and enveloping animal notes of musks with a sharp hit of cardamom as its top note.