Do or Don’t: Tomboy Perfumes

The other night, I met my friend K. at the movies. As we hugged hello outside, I noticed that she smelled incredible—sexy, warm, spicy, subtle. When I asked her about her perfume, she revealed that it was actually this men’s cologne. “Strangers stop me on the street to ask what I’m wearing,” she added.

It’s funny, recently I’ve noticed that all my friends who smell amazing seem to be wearing masculine scents. My cousin wears sandalwood essential oil. My friend S. wears a cedar cologne. My friend Kendra borrows her husband’s smoky, peppery fragrance.

I’m curious: Which perfume are you wearing these days? Would you wear a masculine fragrance? There’s something so sexy about them. I think I’m going to pair this citrus musk with sweaters and jeans this fall.

P.S. Wedding overalls.

(Photo by Garance Dore)

  1. KateM. says...

    I wear Lake & Skye 11 11, which is a unisex scent. I love it!

  2. Bleu de Chanel, magically intoxicating!

  3. Cherie says...

    I can’t get enough of Chanel Sycomore – dry, smoky, woody

  4. This weekend I was visiting my parents and I couldn’t stop smelling my mom’s neck! I know that sounds so weird, but she smelled spicy, musky and warm. I asked her and she said it was Calvin Klein Dark Obsession for men! My dad got it as a gift and she and him both use it. I love it.

  5. My Wife and I both wear Givenchy Pi which is a man’s cologne but it smells awesome on her.

  6. I’m a big fan of ladyfolk-wearing-men’s-fragrances! My opinion is, if it smells good on you, own it, genders be damned. I steal my husband’s cologne (Hugo Energise) every chance I get!

  7. I have to say, anytime I smell the men’s calogone in Banana Republic I secretly want to spray the tester on the cuff of my sleeve quickly before someone notices. Now I think, why not? I’ll buy it for my husband and then share it.

  8. I wear Maison Martin Margiela Replica Jazz Club. It is a men’s cologne but it is such an amazing fragrance. I love it. Margiela takes scents from places hes been and creates incredible fragrances that are so true to the locations! The one I wear most is Replica Jazz Club and its inspiration was a jazz club in Brooklyn, you can smell the leather, cigars, and whiskey. It’s spicy and musky and delicious.

  9. When I was a teenager, I wore Stetson. Today, I wear Tokyo Milk n Bulletproof. It reminds me of Tobacco Vanille from Tom Ford

  10. D. says...

    Actually, I wear pretty girly colognes (vanilla scents and such), but I think I would wear men’s too, just to spice it up!

  11. I’ve been enjoying wearing men’s cologne since I was in college-they’re a nice change from the girly scents I usually wear: Chanel No. 5, Tocca’s “Florence”, Lollia’s “Wish” and my everyday favorite, Tom Hardy’s “Love Kills Slowly” (which I consistently get rave reviews on from men and women). The men’s fragrances I like wearing are Chanel’s “Antaeus” and John Varvatos’ “Artisan.” The first time I smelled Artisan” I was in the John Varvatos store in Union Square, SF and just went wild, it smelled so crazy good. I was with my best guy friend and he thought I was nuts for buying the scent for myself but he had to admit it smelled pretty darn good on me, lol. We should wear what we like and what makes us feel and smell good!

  12. I use masculine perfumes half of the time as I dislike fruity & flowery scents. Also I find that for some reason (perhaps because the creators know that men are not going to bother with touch ups?) perfumes for men last longer than most fragrances made for women. And truth is, I’ve gotten more compliments -from men and women alike- for the masculine fragrances I wore:) I used to wear my brother’s Minotaure by Paloma Picasson cologne but now I buy my own. My favorites right now are Ambre Precieux by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Fou d’Absinthe, Bois Farine, Jaisalmer, Ambre Sultan and Fumerie Turque.

    My opinion is that if you feel comfortable in something, others will accept it as natural on you.

  13. I became obsessed with Banana Republic’s Black Walnut cologne after my boyfriend started to wear it. I even bought some of my own!

  14. Little late to the scent party, BUT… Malin and Goetz Musk oil is amazing. Like, makes my husband drool amazing. Subtle, but warm and sexy. I smelled it once in the store and bought it immediately.

  15. I am always wearing cologne or men’s fragrance, cuz I am really into woody musky scents. My fav at the moment is YSL’s nuit de l’homme. It’s a bit strong for summer so I am looking forward for the temperature to go down a bit ( it’s still 30’C in Hong Kong) so I can indulgence myself again in this nice scent.

  16. My masculine-leaning hands down favorite fragrances:
    -Frederick Malle’s Musc Ravageur (the most sexy fragrance ever…)
    -Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille and Santal Blush
    -Bottega Veneta. It’s rose and dreamy leather!
    -Christian Dior Oud Isaphan

  17. There are some amazing Men’s scents out there that I consider to be perfectly unisex. Comme des Garcon’s ‘2 man’ all of Ormonde Janye’s male scents and many others beside. Somehow though, I’m always slightly cautious of buying them, as if I’ll wake up one day and suddenly it’ll seem to ‘male’ to wear!

  18. I wonder how guys likes when girl smells like masculine perfume.. Just curious! I love masculine scents but preferably on a guy.

  19. I’ve always gone weak at the knees for a good male fragrance…just now having the epiphany that I can work cologne if I want to! Huzzah.

  20. My husband has some really nice colognes from Tom Ford. I’ve been debating on borrowing them sometime.

  21. I wear the Jo Malone Amber and Lavendar and love it. It’s the perfect mix for winter on my skin.

  22. Le Labo’s Gaiac 10 and Oud 27 they are unisex and unforgetable :D

  23. I had smelled Terre d’Hermès on men for years and loved it so much that I finally bought it for myself. I’m actually wearing it today. :)

  24. For my husband’s spring/summer scent this year, I purchased a bottle of Cartier Déclaration L’eau. If there was a scent that could describe my husband, so I had to buy it. I found myself sneaking in a spritz of it every morning before leaving for work. I might add as well that the aromatic-aquatic that features pink greapfruit, pink pepper, and cedar. Interestingly, the scent reminds me of our amazing vacations in Europe. I’m not sure why.. :) Thanks for this intersting article! x

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