Floral, fresh and sparkling fragrances are feminine, woody, rough and powerful fragrances are masculine. Clichés are hard to break. Like so many others, the perfume industry does not escape gender stereotypes by pigeonholing scents and perfumes.

Woodland man VS flower woman 


There is nothing feminine or masculine about a scent. Originally, perfume was used in religious circles as a means of communicating with the gods, a far cry from the best-sellers we know today… Over time, perfume became a sign of elegance and refinement, and was used in many ways: hygiene products, shaving foam… At that time, there was no gender distinction in scents. It was not until the 20th century that the industry was transformed into a male or female perfumery:

  • Women’s gloves are scented with roses and flowers, giving floral scents a feminine character.
  • Shaving mousses with aromatic scents and ferns (lavender, geranium, rosemary, tonka bean, vetiver) express masculine virility.

It is at the beginning of the 60s, that the advent of mass perfumery, will propose gendered universes cleaving as well olfactive as visually. Perfume becomes a “tool of seduction” for women and brings “power and virility” to men. With the fern accord and woody scents, it is the virile tradition of “men of the woods” perfumes, which are opposed to the imaginary flower-woman who sprays herself with rose, tuberose or iris essence. Little by little the perfume becomes more visual than olfactory, it gives itself to dream and expresses an idealized life.


Advertising in the service of clichés


One Million, Le Male, or Sauvage have advertising campaigns that use very masculine stereotypes and symbols, full of clichés, to reassure the man about his ‘real man’ scent. The ads blend together and look the same: the woman covered in diamonds in a beautiful dress that all the men look at and the man in a suit who only has to snap his fingers to see all the girls fall into his sports car.

While the fashion world has taken the lead in terms of inclusiveness, the perfume sector still seems to be lagging far behind.

Code breaking

We see this code breaking every day in our store. Men buy Rose Magnetic by Sophie Labbé and some women prefer Bois Impérial by Quentin Bisch. A perfume is neutral, it is neither gender nor age specific. It is a magical ornament that everyone can wear.

 As Jean Claude Elena said: “codes are invented to be transgressed, to be played with”.

Today, the advent of inclusivity and gender neutrality has allowed perfumery to modernise. The big luxury houses are starting to offer non-gendered fragrances. These are all the exclusive, high-priced collections you see on the market. A craze that has spread to all areas of beauty: lipsticks, deodorants, mixed creams, which allows everyone to find their happiness.

At Essential Parfums, we started with a simple idea: give the perfumers carte blanche to create, without any constraints or limits. The essential will always be the essence. 

We created this brand to share a true passion for the art of perfume – so our focus will always be on the fragrance itself rather than the trappings that surround it (such as fancy bottles, advertising and licensing fees that distort the essence of perfumery).

The juice is created to envelop us with notes that delight us, reassure us and evoke memories… It takes its dimension on each skin and draws its essence from the personality of each person. It has no gender, no age, and no artifice.

Discover our novelty : Fig Infusion by Nathalie Lorson


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