Perfume That’s Not Only For Boys!


Kate Apted


Hello and welcome to 2018 APJ family!

Today, I want to discuss some of my favourite ‘male’ scents that I love to wear. One of the things I love about the frag community is the freedom of expression and lack of gendering. It is absolute bliss to hear men express their joy for wearing scents traditionally marketed at females. Sadly, I hear less of females waxing lyrical about more masculine fragrances. I suspect there are many gems being missed out on.

Perfume That’s Not Only For Boys!

Egoiste by Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Egoiste by Chanel

This is what I deem to be the sexiest scent ever. It is sandalwood done right. It is a little difficult to come by in Australia, but if you find yourself overseas, seek this out. When it was released, Egoiste stood in stark opposition to the heavier florals of the late 90s and the emerging trend for aquatics. I think it the ideal unisex scent for our era. Some liken it to Bois Des Illes, also by Chanel.

This is Him Zadig & Voltaire fragranticaFragrantica

This is Him By Zadig and Voltaire

Unimpressed by the bland female version, I tried this and fell in love with the smoky incense. I even bought the shower gel. I swore there is patchouli in this scent, but apparently there isn’t. It could hold its own in a Commes des Garcons line up, as the incense isn’t given that usual designer sweetness.

L’Homme Ideal Eau de Parfum Guerlain fragranticaFragrantica

L’Homme Ideal EDP by Guerlain

If you do not enjoy the Petite Robe series, please give this a try. It has a more subdued and less sweet cherry that lingers like an aura. Funnily, men compliment me every time I wear this, yet it does not get much attention from Youtube reviewers. I actually went to buy Black Perfecto, but chose this instead.

Opium Pour Homme Yves Saint Laurent fragranticaFragrantica

Opium Pour Homme by YSL

I gave up on the female Opium years ago. I think I overdosed on it in my late teens. This version is a spicy delight. It can be heavy if oversprayed, but a few light spritzes add a day long zest to the air. It is quite a dry and crisp scent, but I imagine it would be wonderful layered with a mildly sweet feminine scent. It can be found relatively cheaply.

Antaeus Chanel Fragrantica 2Fragrantica

Antaeus by Chanel

This is a husky beauty. It has a Lauren Bacall feel to it. I love that it has a stick deodorant in the scent, but I find the deodorant has a bit of green added and looses its grey hoarse quality. I find Antaeus works well in the heat of our summer. I just spray less and apply again at lunch time. It clings to clothes, so be warned! It baffles me why males choose Bleu(gh) de Chanel over Antaeus. I would love to smell Antaeus more often.

Honourable mentions: Terre de Hermes EDT by Hermes, Habit Rouge EDT by Guerlain and Rochas Man by Rochas.

Know of any other masculine perfumes I should try?

Until next time, much love. Kxx

67 comments on “Perfume That’s Not Only For Boys!

  1. annemariec says:

    Oh, more than an honourable mention has to go to Rochas Man! Lavender, vanilla, coffee – so yummy and so SMART. Best for winter. The bottle is a scream of course. RM is very cheap, a safe blind buy in my opinion.

    And then there is Eau Sauvage, the original masculine-stolen-by-women fragrance. I sometimes think that Chanel were going for exactly this man-woman-man thing with Boy, but it’s not as fun when you make it intentional.

    Guerlain Vetiver is another good one in this class. As is Lalique Encre Noir. Cartier L’Envol maybe. I must try the blokes’ Opium. Don’t think I ever have.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Hi annemariec! Yes, Rochas Man is awfully good stuff. As I do not currently own a bottle, I didn’t feel qualified to do it justice. Eau Sauvage is the perfect stolen moment scent of all time. I bought my boys Fahrenheit simply so I can steal sprays. Feels more decadent. K xx

  2. Anna Maria says:

    Yes I wear the Opium, men I love it I feel like I am at a disco in the 70’s or 80’s. My bottle is almost to the end, will def buy again. I originally bought for my two sons, who weren’t too dare they!…so its mine now.
    Egoiste, I need to try and the Guerlain Vetiver I used a whole bottle in late 2000’s to myself! as you can see my family…well they wear Burberry, Jazz, and Versace Dylan.

    • Kate Apted says:

      You know, Anna Maria, those last three are pretty darn good! Dylan Blue is one that I would not mind, but it a bit like This Is Him! Vetiver is a brilliant all rounder. I have to laugh at that disco bit. Now that you mention it, yes, Opium has got that vibe. K xx

  3. Gina says:

    Fahrenheit all the way! And many many more. I lean toward masculine when I am not wearing vintage.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Gina, you fabulouso soul you! Has anyone ever told you how Fahrenheit sits on you? It is rather interesting to note how others find such strong presence scents. K xx

  4. chez Marzipan says:

    I love the entire Dame Perfumery Mens Collection on a woman (me!!). Also, Phlur has some interesting mens/unisex fragrances that I enjoy.

    • chez Marzipan says:

      and two more came to mind in reading everyone’s list….Ineke Derring Do and 1000 Flowers Ode for Him.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Hey CM! Dame and Phlur are a little hard to get hold of here. I’ve had a look at the Phlur website and quite a bit grabbed my attention. I’ll certainly keep my eyes peeled for any opportunity to buy! And Dame have a glowing reputation…so, on my radar too. K xx

  5. Jackie b says:

    Oh yes, Habit Rouge Dress Code, Knize Ten, M by Pure Distance.
    They live in His Cupboard but I know where they are!
    Egoiste sounds nice…

  6. Cassieflower says:

    Dior Homme is just swoonsome, especially the parfum version. Givenchy Pi has something in it that’s very similar to Organza Indecence, so that too is shared with me. Lalique Encre Noir and Tom Ford Grey Vetiver are fabulous on a female. And I’m not sure if FM Musc Ravageur is marketed to men specifically but it gets raided regularly in my house😜.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Hi Cassieflower! That Dior Homme parfum tends to get a bit of attention from females – and not necessarily when worn by men. My limit is the good ole edt, but a quick spritz of the parfum when at Myer does wonders for the soul on a rainy day. I need to try Pi again. Been a while. Thanks for the reminder! K xx

  7. Tara C says:

    Dior Homme and Dior Homme Intense are favourites, as well as Parfums Divine L’Homme de Coeur.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Tara C, thanks! I’ll check out the Parfums Divine. I don’t know anything about the house, but I’m happy to learn! K xx

  8. Wendy says:

    If you like the powderiness of Habit Rouge (of which i have a vintage version in the Louis XVI and smells divine) you might like Rose des Hommes (Les Parfums de Rosine)…To be honest i am not sure how this would smell on a guy, but i think it is heaven! I also have Cartier’s L’Envol, which can easily be worn by us women…

    • Kate Apted says:

      Yes, Wendy! How can I forget the Cartier male range? You are right! A sniffathon might be needed Saturday… K xx

  9. Morgana62 says:

    Caron’s Yatagan. Spicy without sweet

  10. shiva-Woman says:

    A new mission! I’ve tried none of these, but the scents I wear are marketed and branded as unisex typically, and they veer heavy, dark, and sexy rather than femini be floral. Thank you for the review!
    shiva-Woman recently posted…Perfume That’s Not Only For Boys!My Profile

  11. Diana says:

    I own and wear quite a few masculine perfumes: the mentioned above Habit Rouge, Vetiver (big love!), Eau Sauvage (Fraicheur Cuir, as well) Antaeus, Aramis (the original one, 900 (Aromatics Elixir’s twin, IMO), Tuscany for men is also great).
    It’s funny that you should mention Bleu de Chanel: my cousin used to wear it a lot before I introduced him to the glorious Antaeus, and now he’s going through his third bottle!

    I also love Kouros & Chanel Pour monsieur, – it’s one of the finest chypres out there. There’s a few masculine gourmands that I like to wear in summer: Dior Homme Intense (sadly, it goes vanilla on me too fast), Midnight in Paris and Bulgari Black.

    • Saffyishere says:

      Oh of course….Midnight in Paris….fab on me during a cold Winter’s day.

      • Diana says:

        It’s gorgeous. I’m actually surprised that VC&A marketed it as a fragrance for me, it’s such a soft and smooth scent.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Diana, that has given me some more to acquire. Pour Monsieur is an absolute legend. It was a toss up between buying that or Antaeus. I need to rectify that. And Aramis is a brand that I admit put me off because of New West. Trite and petty, I know, but I loathed that with a passion. Time to sniff those you recommended. I do love Bleu but it is everywhere. It gets tiresome to smell that and One Million. Thanks for your suggestions! K xx

      • Diana says:

        Argh! I posted a reply with a few more suggestions yesterday but it seems to have disappeared 🙁
        OK, here goes: Pour Monsieur de Chanel is a lot like Patricia de Nicolai, – I don’t own the latter but I’d really love to, they both are superb.

        I’d forgotten to mention a couple other favourites of mine: Le 3e Homme de Caron and Grey Flannel. If you like green scents you might want to give these a try.

        Oh, and as for Aramis, their masculine frags created under the reign of Estee Lauder are fabulous. Aramis stands out among them (for me) as it has everything Cabochard could offer but does it better. Its feminine twin is Estee’s Azuree, by the way. I’ve read a lot of great reviews on JHL and Devin but haven’t tried them yet.

  12. Fazal says:

    Eau Sauvage and Dior Homme, only in original versions. I don’t think I would be able to resist a women who is wearing original dior homme with the most irresistible lipstick note.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Well, Fazal, you come by and put on Bal a Versaille. I am yet to meet a man willing to wear it. Or Chanel No 5. I’m not fussy! K xx

      • Fazal says:

        I have both bal a versaille and chanel 5. I have kind of hoarded Chanel 5 and kinda like vintage cologne version the most. if we take into account all concentrations I have, I am pretty sure I have at least 500 ml of Chanel 5.

      • Kate Apted says:

        You are sassy, Fazal! Love your work. I’ll gladly join you for lunch any day.

      • Fazal says:


  13. crikey says:

    I wear quite a few perfumes that are marketed towards men–three of the ones above, the Guerlain Vetiver, Habit Rouge, CDG 2 Man, Yohji Homme, a couple of the A*men variants, and I wasn’t above nicking a dab or two of my dad’s Old Spice back in the day…

    • chez Marzipan says:

      ….because Old Spice was originally released for women and then rebranded for men 🙂

      • crikey says:

        now _that_ I did not know. For me, as for so many others of a certain age, I think it’s the quintessential Dad smell. And the red-and-white packaging of the two grooming standbys, side by side: Old Spice and Brylcreem.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Oh yeah, crikey! That cdg Man 2 is glorious! Another Mecca sample bottle used by me. I have to spray it as I go by the store. The a*men I’ve tried are not too shabby, but I feel my yearly spray of Angel covers that. K xx

      • crikey says:

        It’s one of the few where I had to buy the next bottle _before_ I ran out.

        (Your Angel comment cracked me up. Too, too accurate! And I hear you: my bottle of A*Men will last me another century at this rate. I need to find a swap where I can send large decants out into the world…)

  14. V says:

    Musc Imperial by L’Atelier Cologne!

  15. Neva says:

    I used to wear men’s perfume back in the eighties but the ones I’ve had are lone gone from the market (Trussardi Uomo, Sergio Soldano…and Kouros is not the same anymore). There is a new one I like very much – Comme des Garcons, the Monocle series Hinoki. It’s a fresh woody scent.

  16. Marion says:

    I’m hypersensitive to the “aftershave” note probably because in my generation perfume marketing was so genderised but when Fahrenheit first came out in the 80s I bought it for myself… I remember getting it and Le Must de Cartier at the same time in a duty free. I adored the two stroke note in it! I did eventually give it to my brother but I’m still tempted when I see the occasional bottle of vintage. On the other hand the aftershave base note in some niche lines eg Tauer red flags me, yet I adore his Lonestar Memories on myself. I love Muscs Koublai Khan but there is a note in there that rings too masculine for me, likewise Ambre Sultan.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Marion, ugh! Yes, I know what you mean. Especially with some fougeres. Can be a very challenging genre. I am a little partial to Tauer’s Lonesome Rider and Lonestar Memories too. I see that the musk for men type are making a loud noise in the comments section. I must be missing out…K xx

  17. Melanie says:

    CK Eternity for men & Joop Homme were favourites in my younger, carefree days!
    I’ve just found Zadig & V This is Him and I really like this one. Have sample which will possibly turn into bigger decant. (Their ‘this is her’ sits really well on me and is worn quite often, especially when it’s going be warm.)
    Am noting down other mentions to try – thanks Kate

    • Kate Apted says:

      Melanie!! How can I have missed some Calvin Kleins?! Some absolute joys in that range. A bottle of Obsession for Him is a need in the perfume wardrobe. You have me scribbling on my test list now! K xx

      • Saffyishere says:

        Obsession for men is a must in a ‘true’ parfumista’s fragrance wardrobe….Which reminds me…time to buy ‘him’ another bottle so ‘I’ may wear it.

      • crikey says:

        I forgot about Obsession! That was one I used to wear a lot, only, I never bought any for myself and shamelessly sploshed on loads from a very stylish friend’s bottle. It will always smell like dancing to me, and very, very late nights in NYC, and being terrifyingly young. I wonder if I could wear it now…

  18. Mals86 says:

    Like Marion, I came of age in a time when perfume was closely associated with gender, and some masculines are to me like wearing Y-front underwear (when one does not have the proper anatomy for it): they don’t fit. I absolutely cannot manage to wear an aromatic fougere. CanNOT do it.

    That said, I’ve been known to swipe my older son’s VC&A Midnight in Paris, or my younger son’s Egoiste (I bought it for him anyway). Dior Eau Sauvage is great, or it used to be anyway, and Dior Homme the same. Basically, if it’s not a take-off on the classic Brut formula, it’s fair game — and I love to SMELL aromatic fougeres on other people, I just don’t want to wear them myself!

    (But truth be told? I adore my florals, so it’s really a matter of dragging me away from them. So many perfumes, so little time & skin.)
    Mals86 recently posted…Scent Diary, July 3-9, 2017My Profile

    • Kate Apted says:

      Mals86, you are right. Too many perfumes. But fougeres are a very challenging genre. Even some men really should not wear them. When I find one done right, it is an instant love. Sadly, my eldest wears them to annoy me. Bahahaha! Especially Brut. K xx

  19. Lynda says:

    I bought my husband Habit Rouge for Christmas and he didn’t like it. What shame…I love it 😆

    • Kate Apted says:

      Yes, Lydia. What a shame. Not. It would be terrible for him to hate all his next 10 Christmas gifts. Bahahahaha! I love your choice. Vavoom, girlfriend! K xx

  20. Ingrid says:

    I wear Eau Sauvage, Bvlgari Black, Paco Rabanne pour Homme and Le Galion Eau Noble. But my favorite is Eau Sauvage, I’ve been wearing that since the late 1960s.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Ingrid, a classic set of choices. Different enough from the other, so you would actually be set with just those. What is your opinion on the Eau Sauvage parfum? K xx

      • Ingrid says:

        Kate, I haven’t tried that yet. It’s kind of hard to come by where I live. Next time I’ll be in Sydney I’ll hopefully find it.

  21. Tiffanie says:

    Such a great list of scents to try! Obsession for men is another one I like to sniff whenever I see a tester bottle.

    Thank you for these suggestions. I’ve added L’Homme Ideal to my list of Guerlain “I” fragrances to try. The list already included the Idylle and L’Instant fragrances and their many flankers.

    • Kate Apted says:

      Tiffanie, I am surprised L’Homme Ideal isn’t a hugely popular scent. Guys seem to like it, but I get more attention from it than any other scent I own. From men! I think Guerlain should have made it part of the LPRN series. Let us know what you think of it. I’m curious! K xx

  22. Loved this post and looking forward to reading much more. Perfume is a product that may source of your attraction. A good smell influences every personality. If you wanna magnificent personality of party and you may remember everyone. Are you looking magnificent fragrance .we have brought for you many flavor pocket perfume with reasonable price. It is the best option to save your money. We offer you many flavors fragrance pocket perfume in the price you buy an expensive perfume.

  23. cookie queen says:

    Oh blimey Kate. Not worn any of those. No plans to. Hmmmmmmm. Ok, maybe, maybe next time I come across one I will try. Don’t hold your breath. An excellent post, that has certainly got me thinking. Hugs. xxxxxxxxx

    • Kate Apted says:

      Ms Cookie Queen, whoa a second! L’Homme Ideal is not too far off Black Perfecto. I reckon a little sniff of that might sway you a teeny bit. But I would be surprised if you liked any of the others. K xx

  24. Kate Apted says:

    Hi all you lovely people! Sorry I haven’t responded as yet. Seriously busy at work in 41oC heat. So, a little famished. I’ll swing by tomorrow AM. Hope you Southerners are keeping your water intake high.

    • Saffyishere says:

      Yes Kate.. Since we now have air conditioning I am coping with the heat much better, than previous years. I am wondering about the Eau Sauvage.. has it been reformulated? Ought I seek out vintage, or is the 2017 version acceptable?

      • Kate Apted says:

        Dunno, Saffy. I actually like all forms of it. Even the newest is loads better than O de Lancome. I’d gladly own any version.

  25. Saffyishere says:

    I wear Tobacco Vanille, and adore YSL M7 Absolou on myself as well as hubby.

  26. Greg says:

    Great choices Kate. I’m a particular fan of Antaeus and Egoiste.

    Maybe it’s hard for a man to make recommendations on a male scent for women, but I would say Nicolai New York, the entire Helmut Lang men’s range and DS & Durga Italian Citrus are “male” scents in my collection that I think women would enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *