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09 July 2006 @ 08:19 pm
Men and scents  
You thought I was dead? Well, I'm not! I am, however, on vacations, and I've been too busy to post here (I'll be more active in August, at last).

I'm the kind of person who enjoys "gender-fucking" sometimes, throwing confusion at people as whether I appear as masculine or more feminine, and playing around with gender. I find interesting to ponder over what people perceive as masculine or feminine, and how much opinions can vary - just looking at scents reviews on the BPAL Madness forums gives an idea of how much some perfumes come accross as masculine to some while gender-neutral to others, or really feminine.

Not everybody is into playing around with norms and presentations, however I was wondering how the guys here felt about wearing more androgynous or feminine scents, what are the type of scents (fragances; not necessarily naming specific oils) they, personally, consider as masculine, if they've tried different scents than the supposedly men ones and enjoyed them much on themselves, if they tried "men scents" that didn't come accross as men scents at all to them, what are they searching for, most of time, in a "manly scent"; in a more general way, how do the BPAL men feel about scents, gender-wise, especially coming to wearing them, and how did people around them reacted depending on what they were wearing.

Addendum: an extra question and women can share their thoughts about this too! It triggers my senses when people around me give mixed signals gender-wise, as I generally enjoy androgyny. It makes me curious and sometimes attract me like a moth to a flame. But what about you? How do you feel depending on what your partner, or friends wear (what if it's the sex or gender you're attracted to, and what if it isn't)?
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Elocution Safariwe_happy_few on July 10th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
That's interesting, my girlfriend and I like mixing up the gender-specific scents. I tends to hate "men's cologne" type scents, but she likes them. I like them on her too. Though there are some more "masculine" BPAL scents that I like (Satyr, Golden Priapus), more often than not, I like more theoreticqally feminie scents (xiutecuhtli, kali, straight jasmine or frangipani).

Part of it is the I like bucking gender stereotypes (nail polish anyone?), but also I just like smelling that way. However, it's not cut and dried, there are some scents that are so "girly" that I dislike them, even on women. But then I tend to like women with a fair butch streak, so who knows.

One thing I like about BPAL, is that they rarely assign a gender to their scents. Such things are trite and insulting.
aloiis on July 10th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
I remember that as a kid, on other people I would have a low tolerance for "men's cologne" and a higher one for very feminine scents, while nowadays it's the other way around, though I always have troubles with too strong smells, and I find a lot of men literally shower themselves in perfumes. While I don't mind too much "gendered scents", if the scent's intensity is too important it'll turn me off totally. And I can't help but finding gender-neutral or androgynous scents more appealing than gendered ones, most of time.

Also I think that scents can help revealing a part of you that can't be detected otherwise. That means that wearing the exact type of scent that "is you" would make it a bit.. "redundant" somehow, unless you purposefully want to put the emphasis on your main "traits". If you're masculine, wearing a scent that embodize another kind of masculinity can add dimension to your character, and so can wearing a scent that reminds of a different gender.

It is indeed great that most of BPAL scents are gender-neutral, because you can smell whatever you want without having to care about gender, but when the purpose is to play around with genders, I like knowing what things smell like, even if people have different ideas on the same oil. :) To me gendered scents become insulting only when people try to enforce them on you without giving any choice; but sadly I think that's what most of other perfumes, oils, colognes etc do, and same goes for clothing and other aspects of society. You are expected to fit somewhere and you're not given choice on the matter.
(Deleted comment)
aloiis on July 10th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
"So I guess the short answer is that the lab's website and descriptions of their scents have opened my mind and freed me from traditional gender restraints as far as perfume oils go. I'm open to trying most of their scents."

Yeah, same here. Before knowing about BPAL I had mostly stopped wearing perfume oils and such, mostly because I couldn't find anything that suited me, but now not only I'm interested in their concepts, I also wouldn't mind trying their feminine scents. Currently however I am more exploring masculinities/men scents, and gender-neutral ones, so I don't think I'll try too many feminine oils before I'm done with the rest. But who knows, my priorities and tastes may change too.
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