We strongly believe that fragrance isn’t gendered, anyone can wear anything. But we also know we are bold in our approach and not everyone is so confident in their scented selection. So we’ve picked some distinctly unisex fragrances suitable for whatever gender your partner might be, with potential for sneakily spritzing yourself when no one’s looking. These fragrances have been compiled around the loveliest ingredients and a strong desire to create something interesting, beautiful and unique, which, come to think of it, is pretty much what we’re looking for in a partner.
We’re big fans of Anais Biguine, founder of the Gri Gri brand and perhaps the epitome of that relaxed easy chic the French are so good at, check out our interview with her here. The Gri Gri range is inspired by the cultural significance of tattoos, so if you have a partner with embellished skin then this might be perfect. With Tara Mantra, Anais wanted to reference the spiritual and meditative power of Sanskrit texts, which might also appeal to anyone seeking mindfullness or calm.
The fragrance has a softly spiced, powdery opening that immediately feels comforting, it has the vibe of a relaxed weekend – easygoing but interesting. Waves of gentle jasmine and saffron wrap you with a cocooning embrace, but in the background there is a reassuring balance, created with notes of warm polished floors and beeswaxed furniture. It evolves down to a smoky, woody warmth that eventually become less about fragrance and more about you and your skin. It’s easy-going but with an individual, want-to-be-a-bit-different, creative vibe.
If Comme des Garcons Blackpepper was a pair of jeans, they’d be those deeply stylish, Japanese-selvedge ones that denim aficionados wear, cut in a manner that made them just a little bit edgy. It’s a scent that hasn’t a chilly note in its make up, instead it’s all warm woods, spiced seeds and earthy patchouli, uplifted and sharpened by that bright note of perky pepper. Somewhere in the mix there’s also a blurred smokiness, it’s intoxicatingly complex and full of promise. ideal qualities in a partner, we say.
It’s definitely a scent for creatives. Faye Toogood, founder of Studio Toogood, is a fan and her design studio developed an impressive, scent-inspired art installation for the recent launch at Selfridges (where we interviewed her). The shiny aubergine-black bottle is designed to lie rather than stand, because it’s not a scent that wants to be like everyone else, it’s an independent thinker, a cool-dude with places to go and things to see.
If ever there was a perfume designed to make you – or your partner – feel as cool, then it is Beat Café by Jusbox. Inspired by the cafe society of the 60s, when everyone hung around corner cafes, quoting Bob Dylan and wearing aromatic Afghan coats, this leathery, peppery scent has the added grime and sweat associated with a good time. It would appeal both to those with fond memories of that scene, or anyone who wishes they did.
The fragrance has been constructed by renowned perfume nose Dominique Rupion. It’s a quality scent from the start and opens with a spicy pepper-and-crushed-coriander hit mixed with smokey tobacco and a swirl of brandy. Mr Rupion wanted to evoke the atmosphere of those Beat-Generation cafes, where earnest types with long hair would talk revolution, poetry and free love.There’s a smudge of old school manliness (its the vetiver, we’re told) which warms to a comforting, neck-nuzzle of leather, cedarwood and good times. Music lovers everywhere will also love the LP inspired label and the chunky bottle with its vinyl record shaped top.
The joy of musky perfumes is their powdery, skin-like baseline which, in the best examples, smell like an amplified version of yourself. So it is with Musc Eternal, a sumptuous and suede-soft scent from the elegant Mizensir brand, by Alberto Morillas, which really does smell like deliciously warm, clean skin (musk scents are often considered sexy due to the skin connection), enhanced with a light blur of floral and spice somewhere in the mix.
A Master Perfumer, Mr Morillas has been creating fragrances – often top sellers – for brands for decades. He’s also known as the King Of Musk for his ingenious way with the note, so we were very excited when he launched his own Mizensir range recently. With Musc Eternal, the opening notes are a soft echo of barely there florals, the gentlest of rose and jasmine notes, swathed in a sensuous cloud of creamy softness. There’s a light dash of vanilla-coffee flavoured tonka bean within the layers, which gently spices up the mix as it warms on the skin and reinforces that sense of smelling like the best version of you, or your loved one.
Our beautiful images are by Richard Foster Studio for We Wear Perfume. Retouching by Jon Gibson Skinner.