Androgynous perfumes are important at QUILL. So often, scents are “for men” and “for women,” despite working for ANY gender. Why must vanilla and florals be for women, or leather and cedarwood be for men? Why must they be for men or for women when gender identities are expansive, and unisex perfumes are… well, ALL perfumes?
We ask these questions a lot, and we hope to someday find answers. For now, however, we are here to share products that won’t alienate anyone or cause gender dysphoria when searching for an eyeshadow palette – or, in this case, a gender neutral fragrance.
So, with that mission at top of mind, here are QUILL’s 26 favorite androgynous perfumes, because smelling bad? It’s just not an option.
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Many know of the iconic brand for its gendered products, but they have an entire unisex section that leaves gender out of the picture. Calvin Klein had ck One, but they’ve quickly gotten with the times and created their ck Everyone, inspired by a “new generation.” With top notes of citrus orange and spicy ginger, while blue tea accord takes the middle and notes like cedarwood and patchouli take the base. The result: a scent as complex as gender — exactly how we like it.
A “genderful fine fragrance,” Woodphoria is Boy Smells’ take on California’s great outdoors. Hang in the redwoods with the notes of sandalwood and cedar, or relax by the ocean when the scents of coconut water and fig leaves waft by. There’s also a hint of jasmine lingering, with musk placing you in the haze of summertime. Travel the Golden State without leaving your home.
We love an androgynous perfume that works as a base to layer with, and this unisex option is exactly that. At its core, the perfume is far from bland – but notes of smooth sandalwood and citrus-floral neroli create a space perfect for a topper. Perhaps a sweet wild rose, inviting a scent of romance? Or maybe leather, evoking images of a booth in the back of an empty bar? Or, even, a combo of the two: a secret date night? With the base notes, you can bring any image to life.
Okay, yes, we were drawn to this androgynous fragrance primarily because of its name. But we also love the feelings it evokes! Like Boy Smells’ option, Rainbow Bar is inspired by California: LA, specifically, and the ‘80s glam-rock era. The scent is earthy, with notes of warwood, fresh basil, and cedarwood – not exactly what you’d think of when you hear “glam rock,” but pleasant nonetheless. The bottle features a melody of colors, forming a rainbow which symbolizes peace and freedom.
We love everything Fluide, and now, we love everything Flooid, too! Non Gender Specific (can’t get enough of that name, tbh) has one product we can’t get enough of: this unisex perfume, because they’ve done damn well at making it smell… well, gender neutral. Top notes are zesty, with yellow citrus, orange, and grapefruit; middle notes are warm, with amber and patchouli; and base notes literally earth the perfume, courtesy of sweet cedarwood, pine bark, and mossy undertones.
If you’ve ever wanted to smell like a sunset, AllSaints’ Sunset Riot is the closest you’ll get – and it captures what you’d imagine the sun going down to smell like when up close. Woody floral may throw you off, but when you catch a whiff of the bright pink pepper and orange flower – the same colors of that wondrous sunset – you’ll understand the appeal. Cedarwood takes the base, rounding out the bold, beautiful fragrance.
I’m blessed to live by the ocean – I’m reminded of this every time a friend complains that they just want to drive along the coast. That’s why I’ve decided to gift all of my friends Jo Malone’s Sea Salt Cologne, thanks to notes that practically taste like salt air. Of course, the heart note is sea salt – it’s inspired by the ocean, after all! – with a musky, nutty top note of ambrette seed and an earthy base note of sage.
Le Labo is a classic company, offering androgynous perfumes that stray from any hint of gender. My personal preference is Santal 33, as I consider it one of the brand’s most gender neutral scents. Violet accord marries cardamom at top, while iris and ambrox dance in the middle. At the base, cedarwood, leather, and sandalwood ground the scent. The result: a fragrance that belongs in the men’s, women’s, and enbies’ aisles.
You know those wild nights out, where anything can happen and the chances of remembering it all are… well, slim to none, at best? That’s the spirit this unisex fragrance embodies. The bottle is shaped like a flask, first and foremost, so you can’t really be surprised that one of the notes is rum accord. Orris and musk mingle like smoke in the back of a crowded bar, where patrons are one drink from either tapping out or taking 1920 Harlem’s night by storm.
I’ve never been to Japan, but I like to imagine that this perfume is a direct portal to Kyoto. Unsurprisingly, cypress is at the top of this genderless fragrance – considering Kyoto is surrounded by the tree, it’s only appropriate to make it the star. Coffee is an exciting addition, meeting with incense resin at the middle, while a collection of woody whiffs float in the base notes. Sit in the gardens with a warm cup of coffee and take in the crisp, beautiful morning (and breathe in the cypress trees, of course).
I personally have no clue what reliable intimacy is like (it’s just not in my chaotic nature), but after smelling Somebody Wood… well, I kinda wanna know. And can you blame me? With so much wood, it’s no surprise that this scent is reminiscent of putting roots down with someone. Sandalwood is the foundation, with comforting musk and sensual amber clawing their way to the top for an undeniable, absolutely reliable fragrance.
I’m not going to lie – this androgynous perfume is pretty out there when it comes to its mix of smells. Don’t believe me? Try to imagine what moss smells like with caramel, or jasmine with cacao. It’s a little confusing, no? Well, that’s kind of the point: it’s supposed to be as happening as Tribeca. Consider this the “It” perfume to wear to the “It” location – it will stand out from the hundreds of scents you pass by in the hustle and bustle of New York.
“REPLICA” By The Fireplace is iconic. It just is. When one site gives it an average of 4.4 stars with 1,700 ratings, you know a fragrance is good. Maison Margiela captures the upcoming season in this unisex perfume, which smells… well, exactly like sitting by a cozy fireplace, with chestnuts roasting and vanilla making its way to the living room from the kitchen. Clove oil and orange flower add complexity, creating a memory in a bottle – just like it advertises.
Cannabis has a strong scent, and it’s pretty polarizing (as is the topic of cannabis, but that’s a different conversation, anywayyyyy). But (MALIN+GOETZ) describe the scent as a “lazy afternoon” that reminds you of “fading innocence” and “endless possibilities,” and that’s accurate. Spicy herbs twist with a smokiness that hangs in the air – what does that sound like? Add in subtle white floral notes for a hint of sweetness and freshness to break up the hotboxing of your body.
Do you ever feel like something’s just… off? Not right? I think we all do at times, and when that feeling creeps up, it’s time to spritz on Phluid’s Balance. The gender neutral fragrance comes in a neon blue bottle, immediately shaking you out of a funk. Enjoy notes of bergamot and crisp apple to uplift the senses, lavender to calm any worries, and cedar and musk to ground yourself when the world feels like too much.
Un Jardin sur le Nil’s inspiration is a walk down the Aswan Nile, taking in the bright and awakening scents that guide you along the river. Green mango and lotus give the unisex perfume a kick, while calamus is an almost dusty note – like walking through an Egyptian desert? Sycamore wood is at the base, with a blend of incense tying together the perfume with a bow. It’s exotic and euphoric in a bottle for all.
The unisex Beau can be shared with a beau, or you can keep it to yourself as a statement of self love. It’s a global scent, with notes including palo santo wood, coconut, white flowers, and cedar. It describes itself as “Amber Woods,” and while that sounds accurate, I’d argue that the scent of coconut is more of an ode to the sea. Regardless, you’ll feel cultured when you wear this fragrance, and the world will think so, too.
Have you ever thought about wearing milk? Yeah, no, me neither. Yet Milk is one of Commodity’s most popular scents, and its central note is… you guessed it: cold, creamy milk. Surrounding this unique note is mahogany wood and tonka bean, combining to form a foamed drink by the fire. With a cozy scent of marshmallow on top, you’ll smell like a cold night filled with scorching s’mores and loved ones.
BVLGARI’s Eau Parfumeé collection is specifically meant for all genders – it’s not implied, but stated. This unisex perfume is a callback to the original Au Vert from 1992, aka the first tea fragrance. Bright and earthy meet warm and sensual; Italian bergamot citrus intertwines at the heart with a green tea accord, then meets with beeswax and tonka bean. Recalling the region of Uji in Japan – specifically, its “Precious Dew” green tea – you’ll feel classy as hell in this iconic fragrance.
Yes, this is THE Heretic, who creates a perfume that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow’s orgasm. As tempting as it was to include it, Bergamusk is also naturally alluring, just like you, with its musky qualities being derived from the aphrodisiac ambrettolide. Earthy bergamot is paired with lavender, thyme, lime, and verbena on top, while middle notes are contrasting jasmine and cedar. Base notes round out the intoxicating scent with the sensual ambretollide musk. Send yourself to summer in southern Calabria, because you deserve it.
It’s November, but I’m already excited for the holidays. Come on, you know you are, too. Still having trouble getting into the holiday spirit? This all-natural perfume is inspired by a day skiing the slopes, then ending up at the dimly lit lodge after-hours. It brings you to the mountains with notes of palo santo and patchouli, clove and black pepper, as well as the sweet, warm note of vanilla absolute.
Tom Ford, we mentioned a dupe for your Cherry perfume, but we have to include your unisex OG Soleil Blanc (translation: “White Sunlight”). It’s the perfect androgynous perfume for spring, with fresh ylang ylang and coconut blooming from sultry, spicy cardamom and a floral amber. It’s luxurious, it’s sensual, it’s that bright morning sun waking you up in a stranger’s hotel bed. Do you leave a note? Yes… but you leave the signature blank.
Each Imaginary Authors scent is accompanied by the synopsis of its “story” and written instructions on when to best wear the unisex fragrance. For the bold adventurer, take a journey through dense mountain fog and firs to Cape Heartache. Douglas firs and pine resin mingle with notes of vanilla and mountain fog, evoking the memory of Christmastime in one sniff.
“Taunt” those around you with your intoxicating existence, in part due to Dedcool’s androgynous scent. (We said in part – you as a person are just as intoxicating, don’t worry.) We love the unisex perfume’s packaging, first and foremost: a clear bottle with a simple barcode and emphasis on being “unisex.” The smell is flirtatious, with fresh notes of dew and bergamot meeting base notes of sweet vanilla and full amber. Sitting right in the middle: a floral blend, lightening the entire fragrance up.
Lovin’ you for your progressive nature, Urban Outfitters – where the other millennial fashion brands and their androgynous perfumes at? Scents change like a revolving door; currently, the four offered are “Skin,” “Fresh,” “Forest Bathing,” and “Sandalwood.” Sandalwood smells of its name, while Fresh smells like bergamot, orange flower, and vetiver; Forest Bathing will send you to the middle of the woods with notes of rhubarb, fig, and almond; and then there’s Skin, which is exactly how you’d like to smell post-wash, with hints of jasmine and cedar mingling with the scent of natural musk.
Are you missing summer? Same – I’m just not a cold-weather gal. Bring back the sunshine and poolside convos with Vacation by Vacation. It will make you think of sunscreen, without a doubt, but not in a chemically-enhanced, toxin-doused way; instead, classic notes of coconut, banana, and pineapple meet with pool water and swimsuit lycra. Because what screams “summer nostalgia” more than a gender neutral scent reminiscent of pool noodle races at the local swim center?
Which gender neutral fragrances are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!