Most people steal button-down shirts and sweaters from their boyfriends; I steal cologne. It started naturally enough with a few spritzes of my boyfriend’s Rituals’ Maharaja d’Or when we were on holiday, and from there it was just a matter of months before I’d blended together our fragrance collections. What’s yours is mine, right?
Wearing fragrance in this way has really opened my eyes to how confining it can be to perceive fragrance through a gendered lens. Historically of course, fragrance has a very gendered narrative. Sweet, floral, and fruity notes are typically labelled as ‘feminine’, while woody and musky scents are referred to as ‘masculine’. However, in the past few years, there’s been an increase in launches of gender-inclusive or gender-neutral fragrances and a marked change in perceptions of the gender “rules” around fragrances.