What It Means To Be A 'Masculine' Fragrance

What It Means To Be A 'Masculine' Fragrance

When a perfumer creates a fragrance, they have a certain audience in mind. This could be anything but the most common divisions are masculine, feminine or unisex. 


What makes a fragrance masculine? When a perfumer creates a fragrance, they label the fragrance as either masculine, feminine, or unisex. A masculine fragrance is usually a fragrance with a woody, green, smokey, or spicy scent with a heavy emphasis on the base notes of the fragrance.


While at Shay and Blue all of our fragrances are unisex it is helpful to the consumer to know who the fragrance would typically be targeted towards. No matter who you are we’re going to go more in-depth into what makes a fragrance masculine and why you might not want to care too much about what a fragrance is classed, as well as some great examples from our perfumery!

The Most Noticeable Traits Of A Masculine Fragrance


Image by @allofaidan on Instagram

Putting into words what a masculine fragrance smells like is quite difficult. We all have a certain picture of it in our head, but it is difficult to put it into words. That being said, there are a few things that are clear differences between masculine and feminine fragrances.


Masculine fragrances are usually a little less sweet than what you would see with a feminine fragrance. Instead, masculine fragrances focus more on other notes, like woods, greens, spices, herbals, or even smokey scents. These scents are usually more of an outdoor scent, inspired by ‘masculine’ things, like pipe tobacco, lumberjacks, leather, or strong booze like whiskey.


Masculine fragrances have less of an emphasis on sweet scents. They’re usually less powdery, floral, or fruity.  That being said, there are many, many fantastic masculine fragrances that are very sweet. For example, an often used note in fragrances is vanilla. This gives off a sweet scent, and despite it being sweet, it still makes some fantastic masculine fragrances.


One more thing that is often found back in masculine fragrances is that there is more of an emphasis on the base notes. These are usually the stronger, longer lasting notes. These can be anything, but you often see notes like musks, woods, or strong spices.


Now, these are just some guidelines. There are countless masculine fragrances that completely defy these points. But, often times, these points do come back in masculine fragrances.

Some Fragrances Smell More Masculine Than Others

Every fragrance gets classed as either masculine, feminine, or unisex. When a fragrance gets classed in a certain group, it usually just fits better with those people. Wearing a feminine fragrance when you’re a man might be a bit off-putting, as the fragrance was not created for a man.

However, not every fragrance classed as masculine is on the same level of masculinity. Every fragrance has a different scent, and there is no possible way that every masculine fragrance has the same masculine scent.

For example, you can compare two fragrances. Both these fragrances could be classed as masculine, however, one could be a more youthful scent therefore deeming it as less the less masculine fragrance of the two. 

What exactly makes a fragrance more masculine than another fragrance can really be anything. In the end, the scent of a fragrance can be very subjective. What might smell masculine to me could smell less masculine to someone else.

Some Examples Of Shay and Blue's 'Masculine' Fragrances


Main Collection

Black Tulip

Blood Oranges

Framboise Noire

Salt Caramel

Blueberry Musk


Concentrate fragrances

Oud Alif

Kings Wood

Blacks Club Leather

Amber Oud Ahad


Image by @the_v_scentt on Instagram


Extracts of Parfum

Oud Alif 

Parfum Nashwa


Lites collection

Mood For Oud 


Voulez Vous

Notes Often Found In Masculine Fragrances

Above I mentioned how the masculine fragrances are inspired by ‘masculine’ things, like lumberjacks, leather, pipe tobacco, and whiskey. These, of course, aren’t the only masculine notes used in fragrances, but there are a few that are quite common.


Leather is a note that is often used in masculine fragrances. There are many fantastic leather fragrances, and most of them are actually for men. The scent of leather just has this bad boy type of vibe around it, which is quite masculine. 


Woods are also found quite often in masculine fragrances. Many fragrances use a woody note as one of the base notes. Woody notes have this really nice, masculine feel to them. Kings Wood, for example, has a very nice woody scent to it, this is then combined with pineapple, fearn and pepper. But many other fragrances also have woody notes in there, like sandalwood or cedarwood.


The last note that can be found in many masculine fragrances is tobacco. The scent of tobacco has this gentlemen-like feel to it, which gives a fragrance a nice, masculine touch. However, tobacco is also a very good note for the more darker, richer feminine fragrances.

What About Unisex Fragrances


Image by @cinmi.does.makeup on Instagram

Like I discussed above, a fragrance can be classed as either feminine, masculine, or unisex. Unisex fragrances are meant to be worn by both men and women. These unisex fragrances usually have a very safe scent that when you smell it, you can see both a man and a woman wear this fragrance without any problem.


Why You Shouldn’t Care Too Much About How A Fragrance Is Classed

Fragrances are all classed in a gender group. However, the main reason you wear a fragrance is that you want to smell great. And if you think that a unisex fragrance smells fantastic on you, you really shouldn’t have anything stop you from wearing it.

These classifications are nothing more than labels. You really should just wear the fragrances you like, regardless if they’re masculine, feminine, or unisex. Go with what makes you happy and wear it proudly!


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