The Men's Fragrances Byrdie Editors Love to Wear

The idea that there are separate men's and women's fragrances is quite simply ridiculous. Sure, there are notes that have been traditionally associated with scents designed with men (or women) in mind, but this "rule book" was created in a bid to fit us all into neat little pigeonholes. And I don't think I even need to tell you that it just doesn't work like that.

Gender is socially constructed, after all, and personal taste adds even more nuance into the mix. We've found that our perfume preferences cannot fit neatly into the gender boxes set out for us by marketeers and beauty brands, so it's worth throwing out these preconceptions and figuring out which notes actually make you happy.

It just might be the difference between living a life nonplussed by perfume and one anchored by the companionship of a scent that cradles you in your weaker moments and expresses exactly the sort of image you want to put out into the world. So as you can see, there's a lot at stake here.


No one does such a good job of summing up how I feel on the matter than perfumer Roja Dove: "A rose has neither a penis nor a vagina," he told The New York Post earlier this year. "And stereotyping an ingredient to a particular gender is so Victorian. If you find a scent you love, that makes you feel sexy and walk a little taller — wear it." I couldn't have put it better myself.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that anyone can like any fragrance, whether it creates a cloud of pink, fluffy roses or builds a stark landscape of cold grey notes. I, for one, increasingly find myself attracted to perfumes with the words "for men" emblazoned on the bottle whether they're meant for me or not. And if you haven't already detoured into the traditionally "male" perfume realm, you're undoubtedly missing out.

Below, I've rounded up the best "men's fragrances" we Byrdie editors can't stop wearing.