There is no scent more emotive than that of smell, with its effortless ability to rouse distant memories. It can transport us elsewhere with great ease. A whiff of fragrant lavender can conjure up thoughts of quaint English gardens, whilst the unmistakable scent of sun lotion will no doubt summon memories of summers gone by.
It may sound a little deep, but that’s why selecting a perfume is quite an important choice. You are in a way labelling a portion of your life with a particular scent. For this reason, many brides will select a particular perfume which they will wear on their wedding day only – so that scent will forever be linked in their mind to that specific day.
Selecting a perfume is also very personal and I believe that a fragrance can say as much about your style as your clothing does. So don’t be afraid to be bold and experimental, a ‘one size fits all’ approach should not be adopted.
In recent years we have seen more perfumers release versatile scents and step away from the age-old trend of targeting perfumes to either a male or female audience. Jo Malone is probably the best known for this. All their perfumes are packaged into the same iconic bottles and the only way you are able to tell them apart is by reading the label.
Of course many of their fragrances will smell more masculine to some or more feminine to others, but they are not labelled or marketed towards any specific gender. It’s more a question of selecting a scent you absolutely love rather than being subconsciously guided by a sleek marketing campaign.
So who are the perfumers which are making waves in the industry and bringing us the most exciting and non-gender specific scents?
This is one of my favourite brands. It was founded by Frederic Malle and emerged as a collaboration of renowned perfumers who wanted to essentially ‘go rogue’ and have complete creative freedom when it came to creating fragrances. This is because creativity can sometimes be under control when working for established fashion houses where you are given a specific brief.
The brand works with heavyweights of the perfume world who have quite the repertoire, for example Dominique Ropion who is known for creating iconic fragrances such as Theirry Mugler’s Alien and Calvin Klein’s Euphoria. They also work with perfumer Carlos Benaim who is the creative mind behind Ralph Lauren’s iconic scent Polo amongst many others.
All their perfumes are packaged and presented in smart round bottles. No flamboyant marketing campaigns mean that your senses are completely free to do the choosing.
Frederic Malle, Carlos Benaim’s Music for a While 50ml, £145
A cool French perfume house which will forever have a place on my list of favourites. Diptyque was founded in 1961 and have been delivering beautiful unisex scents ever since. Most of the brands fragrances are available in candles too and their packaging is instantly recognisable, donning their unmistakeable French style font.
Diptyque Tempo Eau de Parfum 75ml, £120
Tom Ford is unashamedly in-your-face when it comes to pushing boundaries. Many of their perfume names air on the side of risqué, although still rather tastefully so. Their latest offering is called Bitter Peach.
Admittedly Tom Ford does stock a range of masculine and feminine fragrances, however their luxury Private Blend range are all unisex and packaged in the same gorgeous glass bottles. Some of their fragrances will smell more feminine to some than others, but they too are not marketed in any specific way. Proving once again that in the world of luxe modern perfumes there are no rules.
Tom Ford Fleur De Portofino 50ml, £174
This is probably one of the most on-trend perfume brands right now. The Swedish brand launched in 2006 but has really made waves in recent years because of its Instagrammable packaging and use of eclectic names. I mean who wouldn’t want to dose themselves in some Gypsy Water or Velvet Haze?
Byredo Velvet Haze 50ml, £115
Creed are one of the oldest perfumers in existence, with a heritage spanning back to the1700s. Although the brand do stock masculine and feminine lines they also have a range of unisex fragrances, which actually happen to be my favourites. Think classic timeless scents with an expensive twist. They do come with a hefty price tag but with their unique scents you can rest assured that you will not smell like anyone else in the room.
Vetiver Geranium 100ml, £200